Human influences and pressure is triggering a range of environmental changes. These changes on the geography of the Earth within such a small time frame are unheard of, and may be irreversible. Climate change has a wide range of adverse effects on the natural world and manmade systems. The main concerns are the risks posed on the Earths geophysical and ecological processes. Many causes influence climate change with the main cause being increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Other major causes include deforestation, land-use changes, and chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs)—leading to a warmer atmosphere. Increasing amounts of evidence of natural disasters are becoming more frequent, as a result of the higher temperatures. Disasters include: floods, droughts, melting glaciers and deteriorating health. Sea levels are rising and affecting the coastal areas and marine ecosystems. Also some businesses like fisheries are working under staggered conditions. This paper presents the recent position of climate change and its causes, also some considered methods to reduce climate change impacts.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as: ‘a large change in the climate system that persists over an extended period; usually decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC, 2007)’
Over time the Earth’s surface-geography changes because of varying climate conditions. Some natural factors which influence the climate over thousands of years include: change in the energy output of the Sun (intensity), Earth’s rotation and spin around the axis, volcanic activity, and the water-vapour greenhouse effect (Solomns et al, 2007). Svante Arrhenius predicted in 1896 that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations would increase twice as much due to the burning of fossil fuels; making the Earth’s surface warmer (Pittock, 2005). According to Pittock (2005), Arrhenius came to this conclusion via John Tyndall’s experiment in 1859. Tyndall showed that CO2 and methane gas controlled surface-air temperatures by absorbing heat radiation from the Sun. A planetary energy imbalance is taking place as more energy from the Sun is absorbed by the gas particles and less is re-radiated to space. In regards to McMichael (2003), The World Health Organisation reveals serious consequences of economy, health and safety, food supplies and many other issues. Some of these realities include: rising sea levels (due to melting glaciers at the poles), frequent and unpredictable floods—putting people in low areas and near the coastal regions at risk; tough drought conditions, mainly in Africa and Central Asia, bushfires and a loss of nearly a third of the species on Earth. A warm atmosphere helps in the spread of diseases with the biggest threats being malaria and dengue fever (Carlane and Depledge, 2011). Stringent measures must be implemented to reduce these gases from the atmosphere. The end of the 20th century has experienced some of the warmest periods in mankind’s history. In the past decade, unusual weather events have aroused more awareness among people (Nema et al, 2012). Climate change is a ‘hot topic’ presented in the media headlines and radio talk shows. It has stimulated an upheaval in the population and pressured scientists to answer some of the community’s worries. This report will discuss the main reasons of why climate change is a worrying issue with detrimental effects. Also, potential strategies to reduce this growing problem would be briefly investigated and outlined.
Main causes of climate change
Climate change is a dangerous problem that threatens the existence of many organisms. Greenhouse gas emissions are one of the core causes of climate change. A strong link exists between increasing CO2 productions and a growing economy. Wealthy-industrialised nations are to be blamed due to unreasonable production of toxic...
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