What is Climate Change and why is it happening?

global warming

Global warming is the greatest threat facing our planet today. A warming planet alters weather patterns, water supplies, seasonal growth for plants and a sustainable way of life for us, and the worlds wildlife. Climate change has already started, but its not too late to take action. Theres still time for us all to be part of the solution.

A continuous flow of energy from the sun heats the Earth. Naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases, trap this heat like a blanket, keeping the Earth at an average of 15 degrees Celsius, warm enough to sustain life. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant of these gases. The amount of naturally produced CO2 is almost perfectly balanced by the amount naturally removed through photosynthesis and its dissolution in oceans. However, the overuse of fossil fuels is leading to increased CO2 in the atmosphere, trapping more and more heat and warming the Earth.

As a result, were seeing more dramatic weather patterns across the globe. The effects of Earths changing weather not only causes devastating natural disasters but shrinking of the worlds ice shelves and glaciers due to warming sea water. Because ice acts as a solar reflector, the less ice there is, the less heat the Earth reflects. WWF provides more detail on the impacts of climate change on our polar regions, glaciers and more.

Why is it Happening?

Theres more than a 90% probability that human activities over the last 250 years have warmed the planet. Thats according to the 2007 Assessment Report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organisation made up of thousands of independent scientists worldwide. Likewise, WWFs Living Planet Report, concludes that humanitys overconsumption of food, material goods, fossil fuels, and non-renewable resources is putting a huge toll on the planet, exceeding its capacity to sustain us. Forests absorb and remove CO2 from the atmosphere. So areas undergoing excessive deforestation experience higher carbon emissions. Agriculture is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter after fossil fuels. Methane produced by livestock, manure management, the burning of savannah, and the conversion of forests to pasture land are all major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. WWF details the environmental impacts of agriculture on climate change, water supplies, habitat loss and more.

What kinds of things do we do that harm the environment everyday?

recycle

Some people claim to respect our planet, but they toss cigarette butts out of car windows, drop trash in the park, pour solvent down their drain, and many other actions that harm our environment.

Even your basic needs in our homes are dependent on fossil fuels. Your water, food, and fuel for heating and cooking likely travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to your home.

We are losing millions of acres of rainforests each year.  When they make products using wood in the factories, this emits hundred of millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and if the product like papers are not recycled, this can harm the environment too.

Driving less than needed or buying a fuel-efficient car will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Many small changes will someday lead to a bigger change. Recycling whenever possible greatly reduces the energy needed to create new products. Whether it is aluminum cans, magazines, cardboard, or glass, finding the nearest recycling center will aid in the fight against global warming.


Do you choose to treat our planet with respect or do you help to "trash it"?

climate change

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