Climate Change – Overview
“Climate” is a very general term that has a variety of closely related meanings. Usually, “climate” refers to the average, or typical, weather conditions observed over a long period of time for a given area. Climate change is effectively the debate that states that human beings have already or potentially adversely affected the Earth’s environment due to the mismanagement and misuse of its natural resources leading to detrimental short and long-term consequences for the planet and its inhabitants. In essence the interaction between the Earths environment and the custodians of the planet have become desynchronised leading to catastrophic and unnatural changes in the Earths eco system. The voices of those who deny climate change and its human causality are becoming fewer as scientific evidence mounts.
Carbon dioxide is the chemical by-product emitted when fossils fuels, such as oil and coal etc, are burnt. The aggregation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere prevents energy from
HOW GREENHOUSE GASSES WORK
The physics of increased percentages of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causing climate change on earth are simple: blanket and heat effect. In the past nature kept atmospheric gases stable as it balanced out gases expelled from and absorbed by the earth. It was delicate. When a single asteroid struck the earth and changed the atmosphere, it wiped out most life on earth and took millions of years for nature to restore a balanced atmosphere. In our times when a single volcano erupts it takes the earth years to restore atmospheric balance. But such emissions are minor compared with the fossil fuel gases expelled by the 200-year-old industrial revolution. The mathematical gap between the gases expelled and earth’s ability to absorb them is the problem. The extra gases hold in the rays of the sun, heat the earth and cause its climate trajectory to change. It is simple physics.
the suns rays from escaping back into space. This process in effect traps the heat in the same manner heat is trapped in a green house thus providing the term ‘the greenhouse effect’.
Factual causes of Climate Change
- CO2 emissions from Traffic and Industry
- Burning Trees and Litter
- Large Power Plants that use Fossil Fuels
- Intensive Livestock rearing
Climate change can make a dramatic impact upon the equilibrium and subtle balances that must exist in order for the continued survivals of earths’ delicate flora and fauna. Even the most insignificant imbalance in the Earths’ environment can adversely and appreciably affect both the eco system at large and the corresponding food chain of the planet. Climate change can cause; flooding, stormy, unpredictable and highly destructive weather patterns, higher water levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, invasion of foreign insects and related diseases, further deforestation leading to infertile and in-arable land.
The effects of climate change
Apart from some eccentric dissenters, the majority of the scientific community acknowledge there have been dramatic changes in the Earths environment. Scientists are more than 90% confident that human industrial activity is driving global temperature rises.
Carbon dioxide levels today are nearly 30 percent higher than they were prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution, based on records extending back almost 650, 000 years ago.
According to NASA, the polar ice cap is now melting at the rate of 9 percent per decade. Arctic ice thickness has decreased 40 percent since the 1960s.
The current pace of sea-level rise is three times the historical rate and appears to be accelerating.
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. The IPCC 4th Assessment Report said that this trend would likely continue.
Poverty and food insecurity has also been tied to climate variability.
The West (Europe and North America) and more developed nations like China and India create the biggest impact. in the form of carbon dioxide emissions, on climate change. The great need to meet the insatiable appetite of consumerism in the West has been the driving force behind the growth in global emissions. The developing countries such as those in Africa, Latin America and Asia are now endeavouring to develop structures to ape the avariciousness of their Western cousins and therefore placing an extra strain and aggravating the already perilous and delicate environmental balance. These developing nations argue that the West has had the opportunity to source and supply the unquenchable consumerism of their citizens over many decades and cries hypocrisy at the attempts by the latter to call for a reduction in manufacturing by the new players in the global market, i.e. the developing nations and their growing economies.
overview – years of consultations and Conferences – culminate with Paris agreement – depends on implementation
Deadlock – while time is running out.
While the world has faced an unprecidented economic downturn that has paralysed efforts to promote climate chage mitigation measures severe weather events and prolonged changes in weather patterns are continuing. Flooding, tornados, drought, shorter growing seasons are being experienced. Denial of climate change is all but a thing of the past and everyone is aware that the cost of mitigation measures will increase the longer we wait to implement them. Even so no coordinated measures are being taken to tackle climate change.
Read More Environment: Justice Briefing 1 Environment II: Justice Briefing 2 Global Warming: Justice Briefing 4
Africa – Climate Change: Briefing 22
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