Long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns are referred to as climate change. These movements could be due to natural causes, such as oscillations in the solar cycle. However, human activities have been the primary cause of climate change since the 1800s, owing to the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas.
According to a report by BBC, the world is now about 1.2C warmer than it was in the 19th Century - and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 50%.
Scientists suggest that if we want to escape the worst effects of climate change, we need to cut down temperature rises. They claim that global warming should be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.
Climate change has a significant impact on our health, from the air we breathe to the water we drink. Air pollution, food production, heat waves, and extreme weather are all examples of the direct costs of a warming climate. We can also observe the ramifications on a larger scale, in the form of widespread war and displacement, which are frequently rooted in the struggle for scarce natural resources.
What causes Climate Change?
Coal, oil, and gas, which account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and almost 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions, are by far the most significant contributors to global climate change. The heat of the sun is trapped as greenhouse gas emissions blanket the Earth. As a result, global warming and climate change occur.
In the previous 151 years, the industrial activities that sustain our contemporary civilization have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to around 417 parts per million. The panel also determined that human-produced greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are likely to blame for much of the observed increase in Earth's temperatures during the past 50 years.
The Earth's atmosphere contains gasses that trap heat and prevent it from escaping into space. These are referred to as "greenhouse gasses." The 'greenhouse effect' occurs when these gasses act as a warming blanket around the Earth.
Our survival is dependent on the greenhouse effect. Earth would be around 30 degrees colder now if it weren't for greenhouse gasses. We wouldn't be able to thrive without greenhouse gasses and their warming effect.
However, since the Industrial Revolution, though, we've been releasing increasing amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, trapping even more heat. The greenhouse effect is heating the planet at a much faster rate than it is keeping it at a warm, stable temperature. This is known as the 'increased greenhouse effect,' and it is the primary cause of global warming.
Natural Causes of Climate Change:Natural climatic cycles can modify Earth's temperature, but the changes we're experiencing are on a scale and at a rate that natural cycles cannot account for. These cycles have an impact on global temperature for years, or even months, rather than the 100 years that we have seen. Longer-term changes such as Milankovitch cycles and solar irradiance, on the other hand, can take thousands of years.
The path of the Earth and the tilt of its axis might shift somewhat as it revolves around the sun. The amount of sunlight that falls on Earth is affected by these fluctuations, which are known as Milankovitch cycles. The temperature of the Earth may alter as a result of this. These cycles, on the other hand, occur over tens or hundreds of thousands of years and are unlikely to be responsible for the current climatic shifts.
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO):
ENSO is a pattern of shifting Pacific Ocean water temperatures. The global temperature rises during an 'El Nino' year and falls during a 'La Nia' year. These patterns can influence global temperature for a short period (months or years), but they couldn't explain the current continuous warming.
The temperature of Earth has been altered in the past by changes in solar energy. However, we have yet to witness something powerful enough to alter our climate. Any increase in solar radiation would warm the entire Earth's atmosphere, yet we can only perceive warming in the lower layers.
Our climate is influenced by volcanoes in a variety of ways. Aerosol particles produced by eruptions cool the Earth, but they also release carbon dioxide, which warms it. Volcanoes emit 50 times less CO2 than humans, indicating that they are not the primary driver of global warming. Furthermore, volcanic eruptions have a cooling effect rather than a warming effect.
Many factors influence climate change, but the evidence is unambiguous. Climate change is primarily caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and changing how we use land.
Agriculture, road development, and deforestation all have the potential to alter the reflectance of the earth's surface, resulting in local warming or cooling. Heat islands, which are metropolitan regions that are warmer than the surrounding, less crowded areas, exhibit this effect. Buildings, pavement, and roofs reflect less sunlight than natural surfaces, which helps to explain why these regions are warmer. While deforestation can improve the earth's reflectivity by replacing dark trees with brighter surfaces like crops, the overall effect of all land-use changes appears to be a slight cooling.
It is high time that being the most intelligent species on the planet, we take the responsibility to save the Earth! The United Nations has already warned us about how we are reaching the breaking point wherein the balance between our needs and the capacity of the land to degenerate will end.
Let us know your ideas on what can be done to protect mother Earth. Comment below!