Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?
Our planet has undergone climatic changes in the past century like never before. By now, climate change has become a global issue, and all countries are holding hands to combat the fast changes in our climate.
One out of three people have heard about climate change; the remaining two either have heard about it with a deafening ear or are just too naïve. The point is everyone should be well aware of current trends with climate change.
Schools and places of higher learning have dedicated time to studying and interpreting climate change. Climate and weather study has now been incorporated into the school syllabus, meaning that every student is aware of climate change and its effects.
What is climate change?
Climate change can be defined as long-term changes in the average weather patterns of a given place, region, or the entire globe per se. Climate change occurs as the atmosphere interacts with other geological, chemical, biological, and geographic factors.
All living creatures react to the slightest of climatic changes. It does not matter whether or not the changes are permanent or temporary. A good example is the shedding of leaves by trees when there is little or no water in the soil. Another response to climate change comes when insects migrate to cooler regions during dry periods.
Life on earth is adaptive, and living organisms are adaptive and thus tolerant to climatic change. There is clear scientific evidence that indicates that climate change has been happening for some time.
On a day-to-day basis, we can confidently say that climate change is happening. For example, it is always very chilly in the mornings, but temperatures keep rising or falling during the day. Sometimes it is calm; other times, windy, and sometimes, snow falls. These little atmospheric changes can easily be overlooked, but these small changes result in much more significant climatic changes.
Weather and climate are related. The only difference is that weather is a set of atmospheric conditions in a place for a short time. At the same time, climate change can only be established after years of study in a much bigger region.
The greenhouse effects
The earth works like a greenhouse. During the day, as the sun hits the greenhouse, the air becomes warm both in and outside the greenhouse. At night, however, the air outside the greenhouse becomes cold, but the air inside the greenhouse remains warm due to the glass walls.
The atmosphere works the same. The heat from the sun during the day hits the ground, such as ice surfaces, and is reflected back to the atmosphere. This cycle keeps the atmosphere at a balanced temperature at a cozy 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
In recent years, however, human activities like burning fossil fuels emit a lot of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. When the atmosphere heats up, the warm gases are unable to escape from the atmosphere, and as such, the gases remain trapped in the atmosphere causing the atmosphere to become very hot. Therefore, scientists have expressed concerns over increasing gas blankets in our atmosphere, which is responsible for the drastic climatic changes.
Carbon dioxide and other air pollutants collect in the atmosphere over a long period of time. These pollutants and CO2 absorb sunlight and solar radiation that is supposed to bounce from the atmosphere.
Typically, radiation and sunlight are supposed to escape from the atmosphere. However, plenty of these pollutants and CO2 form thick blanket layers that trap the excess heat, causing the planet to get hot.
These gases include Carbon Dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and fluorinated gases. When combined, these gases become so thick and cannot allow heat to escape from the earth through them. This causes the greenhouse effect.
Rising temperatures fuel long and hotter heat waves, frequent drought, heavier rainfall, and more powerful hurricanes.
Back in 2015, there was a very long drought in California that caused the worst water shortage in 1200years. This was a result of global warming. Such a case might repeat itself, given that global warming will most likely increase over the years.
The National Academies of science, engineering, and medicine revealed that some attributes, like droughts affecting the globe, can be traced back to global warming.
Effects of global warming.
- Disappearing glaciers, snow melting at a rapid pace, and server droughts that cause water shortages.
- There has been a rise in sea levels, which has resulted in more coastline flooding in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
- The emergence of new pests that destroy plants and vegetation.
- Coral reefs and alpine meadows are being damaged. As a result, many animals that depend on these habitats could be pushed to extinction.
- A new disease, allergies, and asthma emerged due to increased ragweed pollen production.
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