60 What is Climate Change and its Dangerous Effects on Earth

What is Climate Change?

Before starting the concept of climate change first we need to understand the term climate “It is the long-term average of weather incidents in a certain region. The climate of the Earth (Structure & Composition of the Atmosphere) is not constant. It has altered several times over billions of years due to natural reasons such as solar spots, ice age glaciations, and so on”.  The terminology of Climate change reflects that a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable periods. In simple words, we may say that it represents a change in the long-term weather pattern.

Assume a place where a winter day may be bright and pleasant, but the typical weather, or climate, indicates that the region’s winters will be mostly cold, with snow and rain. The shift in the pattern of the region’s winters from the regular winter pattern epitomizes climate change. Climate change refers to the observable consequences of the ongoing warming trend. Major fluctuations in temperature, rainfall, snow, and wind patterns (Atmospheric Circulation: General Concepts, Wind System, and Global Atmospheric circulation) that last decades or longer are commonly used to evaluate climate change.

Temperature Rising

Over the last decade, nearly all experts in environmental science have concluded that human activity has begun to change our climate. The greenhouse effect increases as human activities continue to emit gases that prevent heat radiation from exiting the Earth. The most visible of these gases is CO2, which is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. Others include methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO), and chlorofluorocarbons, which have been previously used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioning systems as well as aerosol spray propellants. emission.

CO2 Emission

Taken with other gases, they act to raise the Earth’s surface temperature, with consequences including dislocation of agricultural areas, rise in sea level, and increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as severe storms or record droughts.

Climate change is a recurring theme throughout this article, ranging from the urban heat island effect (What is Urban Heat Island?), which tends to raise city temperatures, to the El Niño phenomenon, which alters global atmospheric and ocean circulation, to the effect of clouds on global warming, and rising sea level due to seawater expansion with increasing temperature.

Note:

Temperatures in continental Europe have risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the last century. Heat records or records for the lowest minimum temperature were broken in numerous regions, and early springs have become increasingly common.

Method of Controlling Greenhouse Effect

Slowing the release of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion is one strategy to limit human impact on the greenhouse effect. However, because modern civilization requires the energy of fossil fuels to perform essentially all work, lowering fossil fuel usage to stabilize the rising quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere would be difficult. However, some natural processes reduce atmospheric CO2. Plants withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere by taking it up in photosynthesis to construct plant tissues, such as cell walls and wood. In addition, CO2 is soluble in seawater.

The Major Effects of Global Warming

We discuss the major effect of global warming are following:-

  1. Rise in sea level.
  1. Increased likelihood of extreme events such as heatwave, flooding, hurricanes, etc. (Hurricanes, severe storms, droughts, and floods may be becoming more frequent as the global climate warms).

  1. Glacier retreat (The retreat of glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas will have a potential impact on water supplies. Climate change may cause variations in both temperature and snowfall, causing changes in the mass balance of a glacier.)

Climate Change 1
Fig: The projected impact of global temperature rising in the north pole region from 1985 – 2085.
  1. Melting of ice caps (Ninety percent of the glaciers in the world are retreating because of the rising average global temperature. The ice pack in the Arctic is diminishing, and in the Antarctic, large portions of rock, formerly buried under ice, are being exposed. This process, which scientists have been monitoring for many years, began around 1850, at the end of the “Little Ice Age,” but it has accelerated in recent decades.)

  1. Plankton loss due to rise in ocean temperature (Climate change affects phytoplankton dynamics, impacting phytoplankton composition, location, and biomass in the seas as a result of higher seawater temperatures and lower pH levels. Warming of surface waters can reduce phytoplankton productivity, which is especially worrying at low latitudes.)

  1. Bleaching of coral reefs (However, one-third of the world’s reefs are sick or have already died. By 2030, up to 70% of the world’s reefs might be destroyed. There are several causes for this condition, but global warming and the influence of human activities (tourism) are two of the most important. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest reef, stretching 1,250 miles (2,000 km) along Australia’s northeast coast. It has suffered massive losses and bleaching of up to 60% of its coral in recent years. If current trends continue, experts, fear the corals will go extinct in less than a century.)

  1. Spread of disease (Changes in the Earth’s climate and the environmental effect of human activities do not just put the world on the edge of an environmental disaster. According to various studies, they also have the potential to have an impact on public health. The degradation of natural ecosystems and the “tropicalization” of climates begin to move the vectors of some of the most common infectious illnesses (such as malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever) to previously unexplored places.)

Climate Change 2
Fig: Above figure shows how the number of malaria cases in Colombia increased as the average temperature increased.
  1. Change in the Carbon Cycle (Clear cutting of timber, resultant of removes carbon from the landscape, while regrowth returns carbon through photosynthesis.)

Change in Carbon Cycle
  1. Desertification (One billion persons—one-sixth of the world’s population—in 110 countries are being affected by desertification. As much as one-third of all land on the planet could be at risk.)

Desertification
Fig: Figure highlights the worldwide future risk of desertification
  1. Effect on agriculture (Climate change will impact how crops grow. Earlier seasonal warming will allow a longer growing season, but hotter summers with higher drought potential may reduce later growth. However, increasing atmospheric CO2 will tend to increase growth. Tajikistan saw the lowest rainfall in 75 years, and one-half of the predicted 2001 harvest was damaged. Prolonged drought is one of the most devastating repercussions of climate change, depriving millions of people of food and water.)

  1. Impact on hydrology (Where lakes occur in inland basins, they are often saline. Some large saline inland lakes are below sea level. When climate changes, such lakes can dry up, creating salt flats. 30,000 The number of people killed in Venezuela in late 1999 as a result of heavy rains—the worst in 100 years—that broke existing rainfall records by 400 percent in certain locations. Deforestation and desertification amplified the consequences of this severe rainfall event in certain locations.)

  1. Impact on coastal regions (Rising sea levels, as well as an increase in the frequency and severity of storms, will exacerbate future coastal erosion. Wetlands along the coast will shrink in size and quality. Warming will harm coral reefs and hasten the arctic coastline retreat.)

  1. The threat of environmental refugees (Today, however, the UN admits that many people have been forced to leave their homes due to environmental concerns, whether due to a natural disaster or because the land has been so degraded that it no longer supplies the required resources to exist. This scenario might intensify as a result of climate change, including up to 50 million people by 2010.)

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