THE ALARM OF CLIMATE CHANGE

THE ALARM OR CLIMATE CHANGE.

Global temperatures and sea levels are rising, and possibly contributing to larger more devastating storms. To put it in a simplistic way, climate change is the climate of Earth changing. Climate change is defined as gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet over approximately 30 years.

Climate is sometimes mistaken for weather. Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods, or thunderstorms.

Climate is different from weather because it is measured over a long period of time, whereas weather can change from day to day, or from year to year. Similar to weather, climate takes into account temperature, humidity, wind direction, and precipitation. More significantly, a change in climate can lead to changes in weather patterns. As a matter of fact, climate conditions vary between different regions of the world and have a strong influence on the type of plants and animals that live there. The Antarctic, for instance, features a polar environment with extremely low temperatures, strong winds, and some of the driest weather on the planet. The species there have evolved to withstand the harsh surroundings. In comparison, a tropical climate prevails in the Amazon jungle. Consistently warm temperatures, high humidity, copious amount of rainfall and an absence of distinct seasons. A great diversity of plants and animal species, many of which are unique in the entire world, are supported by these steady circumstances. 

Climate change is a very serious threat, and its consequences impact many different aspects of our lives. The Earth is already experiencing demonstrable effects of climate change, such as melting Arctic sea ice, receding glaciers, rising sea levels, a rise in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and shifting animal and plant ranges. Over the past century,  the world has already warmed by around 0.8ºC (1.4ºF), and the temperature has continued to grow.

The combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas, and oil, which we use for industry, transportation, and energy generation, is one of the main causes of climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2), one of a group of molecules known as greenhouse gases, is released into the atmosphere in significant quantities when fossil fuels are burned. They get their name from the fact that, like a greenhouse’s glass, they permit solar heat to enter the environment while preventing it from leaving. All things considered, the result is an increase in global temperature, which gives birth to the phenomena called global warming.

Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. This term is not interchangeable with the term “climate change.”

It is truly up to us to make the changes necessary for a healthier planet. Being aware of everyday activities on the climate is the first step toward knowing what steps can be taken to reduce emissions as an individual, a community group, or an organisation.

Accordion to the European Commission, here’s a list with the consequences climate change has over the natural world:

  1. High temperatures
  2. Drought and wildfires
  3. Availability of fresh water
  4. Floods
  5. Sea level rise and coastal areas
  6. Biodiversity
  7. Soils
  8. Marine environment

 

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VOCABULARY

Weather – state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

Humidity – amount of water vapour in the air.

Precipitation – all forms in which water falls to Earth from the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide – greenhouse gas produced by animals during respiration and used by plants during photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is also the byproduct of burning fossil fuels.

Climate – all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

Climate change – gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

Fossil fuel – coal, oil, or natural gas. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals.

Glacier – mass of ice that moves slowly over land.

Global warming – increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s air and oceans.

Greenhouse gas – gas in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, and ozone, that absorbs solar heat reflected by the surface of the Earth, warming the atmosphere.

 

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