“Change is the law of nature” -Anonymous
Sometimes, our nature can be a victim of this change but of the erratic one. Climate change now-a-days is a very well known term for every creature (here –human) on this planet Earth. The credit for this goes to our daily sources of information and articles on Sea-level rise, temperature elevation, high wind speeds and no rainfall in one region but floods in other regions and so on. In this blog I will also be discussing the same thing, but I would like to start it with the very basic yet the important term – Our Climate. Just what is climate? Climate is commonly thought of as the expected weather conditions at a given location over time. People know when they go to New York City in winter, they should take a coat. When they visit the Pacific Northwest, they take an umbrella. Climate can be measured at many geographic scales—for example, cities, countries, or the entire globe—by such statistics as average temperatures, average number of rainy days, and the frequency of droughts. Climate change refers to changes in these statistics over years, decades, or even centuries. Enormous progress has been made in increasing our understanding of climate change and its causes, and a clearer picture of current and future impacts is emerging. Research is also shedding light on actions that might be taken to limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to its impacts. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), are responsible for most of the climate change currently observed. But how has this conclusion been reached? – Scientists have been taking widespread measurements of Earth’s surface temperature since around 1880. These data have steadily improved and, today, temperatures are recorded by thermometers at many thousands of locations, both on the land and over the oceans. Various analyses shows that Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by more than 1.4°F (0.8°C) over the past 100 years, with much of this increase taking place over the past 35 years. A temperature change of 1.4°F may not seem like much if you’re thinking about a daily or seasonal fluctuation, but it is a significant change when you think about a permanent increase averaged across the entire planet. One of the major causes of Climate change includes – Green house gasses. Although greenhouse gases comprise only a tiny fraction of Earth’s atmosphere, they are critical for keeping the planet warm enough to support life as we know it. As early as 1820’s scientists also appreciated the presence of these greenhouse gasses—which include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor— act like a blanket in the atmosphere, keeping heat in the lower atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that is essential to keeping the Earth’s surface warm. Like a greenhouse window, greenhouse gases allow sunlight to enter and then prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere. But increase in concentrations of these gases can cause the thickening of the blanket which in turn warms the earth surface. Greenhouse gasses are not only to be blamed for climate change but human interference also plays a vital role in increasing the concentration of these gases. Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, have increased the number of aerosol particles in the atmosphere, especially over and around major urban and industrial areas. Changes in land use and land cover are another way that human activities are influencing Earth’s climate. Deforestation is responsible for 10% to 20% of the excess CO2 emitted to the atmosphere each year. When all human and natural forcing agents are considered together, scientists have calculated that the net climate forcing between 1750 and 2005 is pushing Earth toward warming. The extra energy is about 1.6 Watts per square meter of Earth’s surface. When multiplied by the surface area of Earth, this energy represents more than 800 trillion Watts (Terawatts)—on a per year basis, that’s about 50 times the amount of power produced by all the power plants of the world combined! This extra energy is being added to Earth’s climate system every second of every day. The total amount of warming that will occur in response to a climate forcing is determined by a variety of feedbacks, which either amplify or dampen the initial warming. For example, as Earth warms, polar snow and ice melt, allowing the darker colored land and oceans to absorb more heat—causing Earth to become even warmer, which leads to more snow and ice melt, and so on. These changes in the climate will affect various ecosystems, agricultural and food productivities and directly or indirectly the marvelous creation Nature and its creatures. Some other impacts will be; 1. Temperature – Higher warming (x1.5) throughout the continent and in all seasons compared with global average. – Drier subtropical regions may become warmer than the moister tropics. 2. Precipitation 3. Decrease in rainfall 4. Increase in rainfall 5. Extreme Events – Increase in frequency and intensity of extreme events, including droughts and floods, as well as events occurring in new areas. Various strong committees and panels are finding the solution for the disaster which will happen in the coming years due to human interventions. To limit climate change in the long term, the most important greenhouse gas to control is carbon dioxide. Recent one is Paris accord on climate change, the one that probably got the least attention but could have the most immediate potential. But it’s not the duty only of these panels, various organizations; NGO’s to help Mother Nature to get out of these sufferings, to help its creatures survive and to built a healthy environment for the future generations. We should strive hard to keep the climate change in control and believe me it’s not at all a herculean task or rocket science so that a layman cannot understand. I would not share many difficult or idealistic or ambitious choices here but as discussed in the recent summit on climate change in Paris a simple –a very basic thing which can be implemented by us and that is reforestation, tree plantation, increasing the canopy of forests, protecting them, conserving them, finding alternative options for forest products keeping sustainability in mind. And as we know that trees are good at keeping carbon out of the air, and simply preserving the planet’s vast forests is a straightforward way to get a huge head start on the business of slowing climate change. Responding to climate change is about making choices in the face of risk. Any course of action carries potential risks and costs; but doing nothing may pose the greatest risk from climate change and its impacts. However, robust scientific knowledge and analyses are a crucial foundation for informing choices.
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