Global warming, rising temperatures, higher ocean temperatures, shrinking glaciers, etc. Questions like, Can we fix climate change? who is responsible for climate change? these are some of the terms that we can hear almost every other day in some documentary, film, or event. But have you ever wondered why these terms are in use so much? The answer is simple: The looming danger of Climate Change.
What is climate change?
According to the UN, Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms.
Some of the changes in the climate we have seen recently are:
- 2019 was the second warmest year on record and the end of the warmest decade (2010- 2019) ever recorded.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to new records in 2019.
Causes of the Climate Change:
To understand climate change, and to fix it, one must know what our world is experiencing and what is the cause behind such a drastic and lethal climate change.
According to scientists, one of the main causes of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels. These fuels are made from decomposed plants and animals found under the earth’s crust containing hydrogen and carbon. Oil, Coal, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels. Releasing them into the air cause carbon dioxide and methane to create a greenhouse effect which increases the temperature of the earth.
Today, there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there ever has been in at least the past 2 million years. During the 20th and 21st centuries, the level of carbon dioxide rose by 40%.
Deforestation, increase in rearing animals, and production of cement are some of the reasons for carbon emissions.
Effects of the Climate Change:
As we can see from the facts given, the effects of global warming are quite significant and unless and until we cant see the effects of something, we can’t fix the thing.
- Increasing Sea levels: Earth’s 70% of the surface is covered with water. The water in the form of oceans and seas absorb almost 80% of the extra heat generated by we humans. But when the water gets heated too much it starts to expand which leads to the sea level rising. These rising sea levels can cause extra water to come into the living setups. For example, it is estimated that the city of Venice can drown by the year 2030. Additionally, due to the heat trapped in the earth due to excess carbon dioxide, the glaciers and ice sheets in the north and the south poles are melting at a very fast rate.
- Changes to the global climate and weather events: Due to the increased emissions, the global climate will be changing, impacting the seasonal weather in different parts of the world. For eg: hotter and drier and harsh summers and wetter and warmer winters lead to extreme temperatures.
To what extent are we responsible?
The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterates unequivocally that human activity is the cause of global warming. Of course, the earth’s climatic change can increase its temperature naturally over time. But looking at the pace we are seeing what is happening at such a scale and speed that natural cycles cannot explain.
As per the reports, Every single year since 1977 has been warmer than the 20th-century average. Nineteen of the 20 warmest years have occurred since 2001. The period of 2015 to 2019 included the top five hottest years on record. If we do the analysis, this warming up of the earth cannot happen on its own without the burning of coal and oil.
It is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.
2018 US National Climate Assessment
6 ways to save the planet ( fix climate change )
It is often touted as what change can an individual bring? But the fact is one small change can make a very big impact in the long run. Some of the ways by which an individual can try to fix climate change are:
- Spreading Awareness: As much as it sounds cliche, we must remember that ‘word of the mouth’ is still the most effective way of marketing. So, spreading a word about climate change,its causes,its effects and various techniques which will be listed down will be a definite way. Additionally one should increase their political awareness by choosing the correct representative who talks about climate change. This can be a noble way to fix climate change.
- Put Renewable energy to use: Renewable energy is a type of energy which is neither exhaustible nor it is is polluting. For example solar energy wind energy etc. Using renewable energy is a great way to minimize carbon emissions that leads to climate change. Solar energy is nowadays very common for domestic lighting. This can be a smarter way to fix climate change.
- Turn it off: Artificial lighting accounts for large percent of electricity use. Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you’re leaving any room for 15 minutes or more. Switch off power strips and unplug electrical devices when you’re not using them. This can be a habitual way to fix climate change.
- Use cold water: Using cold water can save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes. Choosing a low setting on the washing machine will also help save water. This can be a gaseous way to fix climate change.
- Switching to e-billing: E-billing can save a lot of paper products. Hard copy bills alone generate almost 2 million tons of CO2. Save paper by signing up for e-billing. This can be a intelligent way to fix climate change.
- Buy local: Buying local products including local varieties of flowers can reduce carbon footprint by cutting down the CO2 emission because of transportation. Buy fresh, local products to eliminate the long distances traveled and preserve nutrients and flavor. This can be a collaborative way to fix climate change.
“Healing the planet starts in your garage, in your kitchen, and at your dining room table.”
All the tiny parts combine up to a bigger portion, so if you, you, and you consider changing your habits, that are sustainable then we can proceed to have a climate keep or we can say fix climate change, probably. Do check out the blog 5 habits that help to reduce carbon footprints while using internet. Share your thoughts & Thanks for Reading.