Climate change can be described as a variance in the statistical dispersal of weather patterns, which may last for long periods –– typically decades or millions of years. As per scientific studies, it is evident that climate within the earth is continuously altering. The changes in weather patterns include global warming, such as temperature variations, and altering of the precipitation patterns, such as storms and snowfalls, among shifts. As such, this paper will give an in-depth analysis of climate change and all its surrounding tenets. Thus, people have to comprehend the different aspects of climate change to adopt measures that prevent the same.
Berkeley Earth (2014) states that currently, climate change is blamed for everything, including hurricanes and tornadoes. It is a wrong depiction since the claims go beyond the scientific facts. Furthermore, linking cause-and-effect to different weather events is quite difficult (Berkeley Earth, 2014). Even if fossil fuels might result in climate change, they can also facilitate various advancements that have improved the other aspects of life like the mode of transportation and communication, among others.
The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (n.d.) affirms that climate change has been mainly propelled by the increasing greenhouse gasses. According to their reports, the carbon dioxide emission has risen by about 35% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (NOAA, n.d.). Roughly 80% of carbon dioxide amounts discharged due to human activities result from fossil fuels (NOAA, n.d.). Another 20% of harmful emissions are caused by deforestation and agricultural activities. Methane, being another greenhouse gas, is 25 times more lethal in trapping heat than carbon dioxide, whereas the rates of its diffusion have risen by 150% (NOAA, n.d.). Nitrous oxide’s concentration in the atmosphere has also risen by 20% lately (NOAA, n.d.). As such, these greenhouse substances form a layer in the atmosphere that traps the earth’s heat, thus resulting in a rise in sea level and a decrease in snow and ice cover (NOAA, n.d.). More so, it has been established that the sun’s intensity has been stable over the years. In that regard, one can conclude that global warming is mainly caused by greenhouse gases (NOAA, n.d.).
The United Nations Environment Programme (n.d.) states that climate change occurs as a result of the reducing forest cover. In other words, reduction of forest cover reduces evapotranspiration rates. It also lessens the availability of carbon sinks, thus making carbon’s amounts in the atmosphere rise exponentially. Ever since the industrialization period began, the impacts of climate change have been heightening, primarily due to deforestation in order to set up the industries (UNEP, n.d.).
The World Health Organization (2018) has reported that the impacts of climate alterations can be felt in various aspects, including the migration of animals in search of cooler places. WHO (2018) predicts that a quarter of the earth’s species are headed for extinction by the year 2050. Furthermore, the melting of ice across the Arctic, being habitats for the polar bears, could lead to total extinction of the animals within 100 years. In fact, the remaining Golden Toad in Central America died in 1999 due to climate change (WHO, 2018).
UNEP (n.d.) also relates the continuous migration of people living in low-level lands to climate change. Due to climate shifts, the sea levels are rising, thus displacing individuals living in the low-level lands. In countries like Haiti, people are moving from some islands due to continuous flooding. UNEP (n.d.) also estimates that the country could be submerged in a few years. Therefore, climate change has been directly linked to the migration of people residing in these low-level lands as well as coastlines (UNEP, n.d.).
Therefore, climate change’s primary causes are related to human activities that include deforestation and combustion of fossil fuels. As it is well known, trees are essential in the formation of rains. In other words, rain concentrations depend on the number of trees within water catchment areas, hence influencing the global temperatures. The increased utilization of nitrogen-rich chemical fertilizers in agriculture affects heat storage on croplands. This is because nitrogen oxide has 300 times more heat-trapping capability per unit volume than carbon IV oxide (UNEP, n.d.). Therefore, alterations in the environment have resulted in numerous detrimental effects experienced by both humans and animals. Thus, if the issue is not solved, some animals such as the polar bears could become extinct in the future.
Berkeley Earth. (2014). Know the facts: A skeptic’s guide to climate change. Berkeleyearth.org. from http://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/skeptics-guide-to-climate-change.pdf
National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). (n.d.). Global climate change indicators. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/indicators.php#introduction
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (n.d.). Climate change. Unep.org. https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/climate-change
World Health Organization (WHO). (2018). Climate change and health. WHO.int. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health