From rising sea levels and hotter atmospheric temperatures, to strange and frequent disturbances in normal weather patterns, the effects of climate change can be seen everywhere.
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As you may have already guessed, in this article we’ll be exploring climate change- specifically it’s definition, its causes, its effects, and methods that are currently being used to solve climate change.
However, let’s clear up a common misconception.
Climate is sometimes confused with weather.
The USGS says that weather refers to “‘short term’ atmospheric conditions”, while climate is the “weather of a specific region averaged over a ‘long period’ of time.”
Hence, the weather deals with the cloud coverage and rainfall for a short time but the climate takes into consideration that weather over an extended period.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s explore climate change.
According to National Geographic climate change is “a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns.”
Simply put, it is how climate change happens.
Let’s say a place that is usually covered in ice becomes a tropical lagoon over five hundred years. Or if a rain forest flourishing with lush vegetation changes into a barren desert in four hundred years.
These describe climate over a long time.
However our world is going through changes more rapidly than before. And time is not on our side.
Causes of Climate Change
Now you’re probably wondering “What exactly causes this change?”
Earth’s climate has changed due to events that have occurred naturally, however, in recent years human activities have exponentially made it worse.
According to NASA ‘human activities are driving the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century.’
As the name suggests global warming is definitely the warming of the Earth.
Basically, an excessive amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, may trap heat and cause the Earth to warm up, also changing the climate. This is referred to as the greenhouse effect.
Thus some human activities that have increased climate change are the burning of fossil fuels, increased industrial activities, and the cutting down of trees, which together release carbon dioxide into the air and inhibit the removal of carbon dioxide from the air by trees.
Effects of Climate Change
Climate change has many effects.
A few examples include the melting of glaciers, intense heat wave, and seawater becoming more acidic.
As the Earth’s temperature rises, ice around the world is beginning to thaw
resulting in occurrences such as glaciers melting.
This also results in higher sea levels as the water that melts goes into the sea.
Seawater is more acidic
Sometimes, carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere combines with sea water making it more acidic. Further, this affects sea life as plants and animals living in the sea aren’t used to the acidic environment, and as a result, they die.
Intense heat waves
All around countries are experiencing intense heat waves. In recent times temperatures have even reached triple digits. This is significantly worse in summer.
Many countries have realized the impact that climate change has on the environment and have since started to implement measures to help.
Climate change affects sustainability and as such impacts the future generations and the resources that will be available for left for future generations.
Some solutions for climate change include:
Promoting and ensuring energy efficient products
Increasing the use of renewable energy production
Encourage sustainable solutions
Increased recycling engagement
We can also leveraging agency acquisitions in order to facilitate markets for sustainable technologies and solutions.
The Hendricks Foundation also is dedicated to this mission. Using sustainability measures, we refurbishes used laptops and give them students who do not have consistent access to a computer; thus helping reduce our impact on the environment and the climate, as the amount of waste is decreased and more recycling is done.
Climate change is a current cause for concern. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, the excess cutting down of trees and industrial activity. Resulting from this, there are many negative impacts such as the melting of glaciers, more acidic seawater and intense heat waves. Additionally three major contributors to climate change are the burning of fossil fuels, the increase in industrial activity and deforestation. To help solve this issue, countries around the world have to take initiatives to help with sustainable solutions.