Climate change is real and uncertain. It plays a great impact on the environment and our lives. Most of the people aren’t aware of what climate change is due to unreliable sources or lack of misinformation. But we do know what global warming is all about. Global warming is one of the key factors which leads to climate change.
First, we need to understand the difference between climate change and global warming.
Climate change refers to changes of weather pattern in the long term. Whereas global warming is the gradual increase in the overall temperature of earth’s surface for a decade or longer.
Paris agreement(2015) won’t help us to curb climate change. We can’t always rely on the government to solve this issue. We as the society, community and organization must step up to develop a healthy and safe environment for the upcoming generations.
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change refers to significant changes in global temperature, weather pattern, precipitation and other measures of climate that occur over several decades or longer.
For eg: Landslide, Earthquake, Drought Heatwaves, Floods, Tsnaumi etc
Water vapor: It is the most abundant greenhouse gas. Water vapor increases as Earth’s atmosphere warms, so does the possibility of clouds and precipitation.
Carbon-di-oxide(CO2): Carbon-di-oxide is a minor component which releases through respiration, volcano eruptions, burning of fossil fuels, deforestations, and land-use changes.
Methane(CH4): It is more potent and also a less abundant gas in the atmosphere. It enters through the decomposition of wastes in landfills, agriculture land, and cattle.
Nitrous Oxide(N2O): A powerful greenhouse gas produced by soil cultivation practices fossil fuel combustion, nitric acid production, and biomass burning.
Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs): Chlorofluorocarbons are synthetic compounds which are used in industrial applications and home appliances such as refrigerators, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner, etc. They are now heavily regulated due to their severe impact on the atmosphere which includes ozone depletion as well as trapping in the lower atmosphere.
CHANGE IN WEATHER PATTERNS
Changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration and timing of weather. Weather or climate variable is above or below threshold value of the variable.
For eg: Weather patterns included in the number of warm days and nights. Some of the extreme weather events include floods, droughts, tornado, hurricane, heatwaves etc.
RISE OF SEA LEVEL
The rise of sea level is caused by ice sheets and glaciers and the water expands as it warms. The rise in sea levels has adverse impacts on people who live in coastal areas which could lead to floods and storms. Average sea level have swelled over 8 inches in 1880. Every year the sea rises in another 13 inches. By 2100, the rate of sea level will rise by 4-6 feet.
The ocean absorbs 90% of the excess heat from the air making it warmer. Warming of the ocean can lead to the bleaching of coral reef and it reaches the deep water.
Indiscrimination cutting down of trees can lead to the release of carbon dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere.
BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS
Fossil fuel consists of hydrocarbons, coal, oil, extinct species of dead animals and birds. It is the largest source of emissions of carbon dioxide(CO2) and also contributes to climate change.
DROUGHT AND HEATWAVES
A substantial amount of greenhouse gases is released from vehicles, industries and agricultural activities which increases the amount of carbon dioxide(CO2) and heats the atmosphere. Droughts and heatwaves make it difficult for all living beings to survive.
Wildfires are blazes that are uncontrolled and fueled by different types of weather, dry underbrush, and wind, which burn land by the acres and take over everything in their paths, in just a few minutes. Due to hot and dry condition, lightning strikes, volcanic eruption, arson, burning debris and human activities leads to wildfire.
RISE OF TEMPERATURE
The continuous release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes the temperature to rise which is called a greenhouse effect. These gases are harmful to us and the environment.
The earth’s average temperature was 0.8 °C (1.5 °F) during the last century. The current earth’s average temperature is 15.5 °C (59.9 °F).
MELTING OF SNOW, GLACIERS AND ICE-CAPS
Increase in temperature directly impacts the snow, glacier and snowcaps. The rising temperature is leading to decline in ice mass. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world including the Alps, Rockies, Andies, Alaska and Himalayas.
Upgrade from Non-renewable energy to Renewable energy: Non-renewable sources include coal, oil and fossil fuels. They are one of the major contributors of climate change. Renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and bio-energy are eco-friendly, clean source of energy and it also helps to curb pollution.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Buying the products with minimal packaging helps to reduce waste. Reusing the materials helps to reduce pollution. Recycling household waste helps to reduce greenhouse gas.
Replace your household lightbulbs: Replacing the regular bulbs in CFL or LED bulb helps to consume less electricity. It also helps to save electricity and eliminate greenhouse gases.
Save electricity: Consume electricity power as much as you need. Switch off the lights television, stereo, computer when you’re not using them.
Use of public transport and electric/hybrid vehicles: Public transport like trains, metros, trams, buses can relieve traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. The use of public transport must be encouraged if a sustainable transport policy is to be developed. The electric/hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity and certainly in mind space. They are eco-friendly, promote a clean and safe environment, reduce pollution, produces zero-emission and more efficient. Electric/hybrid vehicles are the future.
Plant more trees: Planting of more trees helps to remove carbon dioxide(CO2) and release oxygen(O2). It helps to provide a clean source of air, healthier climate and overcome climate change.
Buy energy-efficient products: While purchasing home appliances, electronic devices like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave oven, computer, light bulbs you must look for the device and appliances that consume a substantial amount of energy.
Ensuring sustainable development: All the countries must make the transition to low-carbon development and help to overcome climate change.
Spread a word: All the countries, communities and organizations should conduct some programs, spread awareness about this issue and make people learn about how we could collectively unite together to prevent catastrophic climate change.
“Climate change is the biggest threat that we are facing today. That’s the reality. If we don’t unite and work together collectively to overcome it, one day our planet will completely get decimated.”
To read my previous blog about the current scenario of Indian education system click right here
This blog is open for your critics and opinions to improve upon.