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Climate Change

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What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time. Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions. Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities have also been identified as significant causes of recent climate change, often referred to as global warming.

 

Causes of Climate Change:-

The Greenhouse Effect:- The Earth maintains a habitable temperature due to the Greenhouse Effect, which allows heat from the sun to penetrate our atmosphere, where it is absorbed by the Earth’s surface or radiated out and reflected back to Earth by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Without it, the Earth would be a cold and hostile planet, and would most likely be uninhabitable.

Anthropogenic Causes of Global Warming:- The most important greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour. While all these gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, emissions from human sources have caused their levels to rise to a point that is no longer sustainable.

Burning Fossil Fuels:- burning coal to generate electricity, burning oil to power vehicles and aircraft (vehicle emissions), or burning wood in fires used for cooking or to provide heat, etc. changes the state of stored organic carbon from a liquid or solid  into a gas (carbon dioxide) which is released into the atmosphere.

Deforestation:- vegetation absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis, converting this to carbon which is stored within all plants. When vegetation is burned, this organic carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, and in so doing becomes a carbon source rather than a carbon sink.

Volcanic Eruptions:- A volcano releases large amount of sulphur dioxide, water vapour, dust, and ash into the atmosphere, when it erupts. These large volumes of gases and ash can trigger climate change by increasing planetary reflectivity causing atmospheric cooling. Aerosols are tiny particles that are produced by volcanoes. Aerosols remain in the atmosphere for only a few days and reflect solar energy back into space they have a cooling effect on the world.

 

Effects of Climate Change:-

Change in Rainfall Patterns:- In last couple of decades, excess rainfall, droughts, hurricanes and floods have become quite frequent. While few areas experience plenty of rainfall, then there are areas that face droughts throughout the year.

Depletion of Arctic Ice:- Though greenhouse effect is necessary for all of us to survive on this planet but an increase in greenhouse gases causes temperature to rise which can result in harmful effects to the ecology and environment. The increase in temperature of atmosphere has resulted in shrinking of arctic ice.

Wildfires:- The hot and dry conditions causes wildfires to spread across dense forests and makes it a perfect recipe for disaster. They not only reduce green cover but also push forest animals towards higher altitudes. Animals that could not survive become extinct and get their name registered in the list of endangered species.

Heat Waves:- The large amount of greenhouse gases released from industries, vehicles, agricultural activities increases the concentration of CO2 and heats up the atmosphere. The increased temperature then cause heat waves and make it difficult for people to survive.

Rise in Sea Level:- Some parts of the earth are going to naturally be warmer than others, but as the climate changes that means that so will these areas.  Warmer conditions may also lead to other areas not getting enough precipitation, and even some areas that may get more than they should.  It will also cause parts of glaciers to melt, which could lead to flooding in certain areas and could make the sea levels rise.

 

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Solutions of Climate Change:-

Consume Less:- The easiest way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is simply to buy less stuff. Whether by forgoing an automobile or employing a reusable grocery sack, cutting back on consumption results in fewer fossil fuels being burned to extract, produce and ship products around the globe.

Be Efficient:- A potentially simpler and even bigger impact can be made by doing more with less. Citizens of many developed countries are profligate wasters of energy, whether by speeding in a gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicle or leaving the lights on when not in a room.

Stop Cutting Down Trees:- Every year, 33 million acres of forests are cut down. Timber harvesting in the tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. That represents 20 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and a source that could be avoided relatively easily.

Unplug:- Believe it or not, U.S. citizens spend more money on electricity to power devices when off than when on. Televisions, stereo equipment, computers, battery chargers and a host of other gadgets and appliances consume more energy when seemingly switched off, so unplug them instead.

Future Fuels:- Replacing fossil fuels may prove the great challenge of the 21st century. Many contenders exist, ranging from ethanol derived from crops to hydrogen electrolyzed out of water, but all of them have some drawbacks, too, and none are immediately available at the scale needed.

Greener Farming:- Department of Agriculture is helping farmers adapt to climate change, even if they don't believe in global warming. Regional climate hubs now provide extension agents with technical support on best practices to deal with a changing climate, including preserving buffer wetlands to cut down on both erosion and flooding. National forests and grasslands will now be managed with the goal of storing CO2, among other aims. Already farmers have begun adopting various techniques to reduce greenhouse emissions, including precision agriculture to grow crops efficiently, cover crops to reduce soil erosion and bio digesters to reduce animal waste.

 

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