In recent years, there have been numerous campaigns organized by both governmental and non-governmental organization aimed at raising awareness on the effect of climate change on the environment there are laws and policies have been formulated by various governing bodies to reduce and help In protection of the environment. But despite all this, there seems to be little or no improvement on this sensitive issue as it even goes from bad to worse. This article has focused on the concept of climate change and how it is a major world problem that should be taken very seriously.
First of all, what is climate change? Climate change as defined by the National Geographic Organization (Nat Geo), can be defined as the gradual long-term shift in global and regional climate patterns. Also, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) defined climate change as the change in the usual weather found in a place. It is a change in the climate of the earth. This change in weather can be observed in changes how much rain a particular place gets in a year, or a total increase in the temperature of a particular place.
The history of climate change dates back to the 19th century. At this time, scientists noticed changes in ice levels which also led to an increase in the water level. Other natural changes such as the change in the earth’s pro-climate and the greenhouse effect were also observed. As time passed, various theories were formulated by scientists as regard climate change but one major contribution that was made was voiced by the Thomas Edison who identified non-renewable energy sources as a cause of climate change and stated the need of the replacement of non-renewable sources of energy by renewable sources of energy. From the mid-nineteenth century to now, there has been a remarkable development in man’s understanding of climate change which has led to various activities aimed at reducing it.
Climate change, which is getting more evident in the 21st century, is caused by a lot of factors and some of these factors are given below.
• Fossil-fuel combustion, deforestation, cultivation, livestock ranching and industrial production have increased recently due to the increase in population also since the start of the industrial revolution.
• Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have also contributed to climate change. These gases which include carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide absorbs the infra-red radiation emitted from the earth's surface and re-radiate it back to the surface of the earth leading to the greenhouse effect which is the trapping of the sun’s warmth in the earth’s lower atmosphere.
• Radiation is redistributed on the earth's surface. This also has a major effect on the earth’s climate.
• Tectonic movement, which changes the shape, size position and elevation of continental masses and also the bathymetry of the oceans have a strong effect on the circulation of the atmosphere, and waves.
The factors above contribute to climate change but most importantly, human activities have the most dangerous effect on the climate as this change in climate has a negative effect on the activities of mankind and also on the society. Some effects of climate change on society are explained below.
• Decreasing snowpack in western mountains has been observed in North American countries, also, increased frequency intensity and duration of heatwaves in cities that experience them. These will lead to an increase in the average temperature of cold countries and also a disturbance in the ecosystem of those environments.
• In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are estimated to be exposed to increase water stress, yield from crops which constitute a major source of living for a lot of farmers could reduce by 50 percent in some regions, and this may lead to a general reduction in access to food, and also an increase in poverty.
• Also, there is an increased risk of inland flooding and also Coastal flooding as the water levels of oceans all over the world continue to rise. The rise in the water level also leads to erosion, death from diseases associated with flood, and also drought in some areas as water might take land meant for agriculture.
• Global warming: This is one of the major effects of climate change. As human activities continue to destroy the ozone layer and climate by the release of dangerous gases in to the atmosphere, ultra-violent rays that are supposed to be absorbed by the ozone layer can now pass through the ozone layer and get to the earth surface. These rays cause the temperature to increase. It also increases the risk of skin and some other types of cancer to humans.
So you can see that climate is a quite serious issue that should be treated with importance and concern. Here are the following tips you can do to prevent climate change:
1. Spread awareness; let people around you know the things that affect the climate both negatively and positively and work together with the people to protect the climate.
2. Use renewable sources of energy to power your home; non-renewable sources of energy release dangerous gases to the atmosphere hence avoid them and use only renewable sources of energy as much as you can.
3. Reduce water waste; this led to an increase in the water level which also contributes to climate change.
4. Use a fuel-efficient vehicle.
5. Recycle waste products.
6. Plant more trees.
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