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The planet is getting warmer day by day. The weather is getting worse. Climate change doesn’t mean just global heating. There are different parameters playing an essential role in climate change. This article will describe the different components of climate change. Moreover, how humans can stop wrecking the planet.
What is climate change?
Climate change basically refers to the long term trends in climate over the last decades. In this era, when we talk about climate change, it means we refer to the change in climate due to human activities that began at the start of the 1900s. Basically, the climate has gone through different patterns and changes but humans were not behind these changes. However, current climate change is due to humans and it is happening at an alarming pace.
Climate change refers not only to global warming but also changes in rain patterns. Sometimes climate change is referred to as a climate crisis and global warming as global heating.
How do we get here?
It started in the early 1800s but the most negative impact on climate change happened in the last 100 years. Overall, the industrial revolution is behind this climate crisis.
During the first wave of industrialization in the 1800s, humans dramatically increased the usage of coal and started clearing lands. The second phase of climate destruction started when we introduced fertilizers and chemicals at the end of the century. After WW1, people started opening up oil fields that became the most important part of military use.
From 1930 to 1960, different studies and papers showed the inability of the oceans to absorb carbon, climate feedbacks, global warming and the damage to the ozone. In 1960, humans were capable to measure the exact amount of carbon in the air. The first earth day was celebrated in 1970. In the same year, the USA created the Environmental Protection Agency.
What causes climate change?
Research shows different ways that play a significant role in climate change. Greenhouse gas emission stands out among the key driver of climate change. Here are a few biggest contributors to greenhouse gases emission:
Most greenhouse gases originate from different energy resources such as the burning of coal, gas, and oil. The energy is utilized for heating, cooling, manufacturing, and other processes. Humans produce almost 70% of greenhouse gases that have a severe impact on the climate.
2. Deforestation and Land clearing
Deforestation is another major cause of climate change. Fewer trees will absorb less CO2. Cutting down trees release the stored carbon in the biomass. Moreover, it also reduces rainfall and increases soil disturbance.
3. Agriculture and Farming
Fermentation, fertilizers, manure management, crop residues, rice cultivation release the stored carbon. So it is also a significant factor in climate change.
Transportation such as ships, trains, planes, and trucks consume a significant part of energy. They emit CO2 that is really destructive for the climate.
The industry is another giant factor that creates a lot of emissions. Whether it is a mining industry, manufacturing industry or fashion industry, all are equally responsible for climate change.
6. Waste Disposal
The residential or commercial waste also has a remarkable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. It can be solid waste disposal, waste incineration, wastewater handling and also burning of waste.
All aforementioned factors have an impact on the climate because all produce greenhouse gases. However, their impact varies on the scale.
What are Greenhouse gases?
When we talk about greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide receives our attention most of the time. Only CO2 is not a gas that causes global heating. Basically, each greenhouse gas has different characteristics and has its own impact on our biosphere.
For example, methane causes global warming for over 10 years, but it vanishes very quickly. It only remains for 12 years in the atmosphere. On the other hand, CO2 can last thousands of years. Basically, humans are the key driver behind the emission of greenhouse gases. Now humans are even causing animals and plants to emit these gases more too.
Here are some important greenhouse gases:
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Deforestation, burning of fossil fuels have basically increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The emission of CO2 is also a natural process during breathing and volcano eruption. So far, it is the most severe factor in climate change.
- Methane (CH4): It is another major greenhouse gas that has a severe impact on climate. This gas is produced naturally and by humans as well. For example, CH4 emission is due to decomposition in landfills, rice cultivation, digestion and livestock manure like cows. It is much more active than CO2 but less abundant in the atmosphere. However, it is also increasing dramatically.
- Nitrous oxide (N2O): The main sources of N2O emission are soil cultivation, fossil fuel combustion, especially the usage of fertilizers, biomass burning and nitric acid production. It is the most powerful greenhouse gas having a severe impact on climate.
- CFCs and HFCs: These are the most severe greenhouse gases that have destroyed our ozone layer. Chlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons are based on an industrial origin that is used in many applications. When these gases were destroying our ozone, did we take any step?
What is next for Climate change?
It is good news that the global community is united on the hazard of climate change. The science has linked different extreme events such as flooding events, anomalous hurricanes to human-caused climate change. So everyone is getting serious about climate change and thinking about the solution.
Some even still argue that we have left behind the tipping point. According to them, if we stop emitting greenhouse gases today, there will be no dramatic effect. We need to prepare ourselves for a different kind of climate in the future. This preparation will take money.
There is no need to think about such arguments. We should try to stop the emission of greenhouse gases as much as possible to prevent the climate from becoming worse.
Climate change is a severe issue today. There are several factors causing global warming and climate crisis. One of the most significant factors is greenhouse gases. Authorities must take action to stop these gases. The most obvious solution is a dramatic shift in energy resources. We can reduce greenhouse gases emission by shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.