You have probably heard of the phrase climate change many times, but do you actually know what it really is? Long gone are the days when the term would only feature in scientific journals and conferences. It is now a significant occurrence in news features and everyday conversation.
What Exactly is Climate Change?
Climate change can be defined as a shift in weather patterns and changes which are recorded in oceans, land or ice sheets. These changes take time to be noticeable, but the consequences are felt.
More scientifically, climate change is a range of several phenomena which are caused when fossil fuels are burned. The burning of these fossil fuels add gases that trap heat into the environment. Some of the signs of climate change include extreme weather events such as drought, freezing temperatures, a rise in sea levels, a shift in plant blooming seasons and global warming.
What is Global Warming?
As the name suggests, global warming is a process whereby the earth retains some of the heat which is emitted by the sun. It is a gradual process, where the overall temperature of the planet is increased due to a rise in the levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other harmful pollutants. It is one of the effects of climate change.
Understanding the Greenhouse Effect
One of the terms you are likely to encounter when learning about climate change is the greenhouse effect. Simply put, this is how the earth traps energy from the sun. When the solar energy radiates back, it is absorbed by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and CFCs and spread in a different direction.
This energy is what is used to heat the earth and make it habitable. When there are more emissions created by humans, for instance, through manufacturing companies, the heat becomes too much, and this results in what is referred to as global warming.
Scientists predict that if the emissions by the greenhouse gases are not controlled, then there will come a time when the earth will be too hot to live on.
Human Activities Which Cause Climate Change and Global Warming
One of the factors associated with climate change and global warming is human activities. Destructive activities which humans have engaged in have been blamed for causing climate change. Some of them include:
- Deforestation: Removing the earth cover by cutting down trees introduces more carbon dioxide into the environment. To counter this, every one tree which is cut should be replaced by two more.
- Driving fuel guzzlers: Driving around introduces greenhouse emissions into the environment. If your vehicle is heavy-duty, then it means more toxic gases are added to the environment. To prevent this, you should try and use alternative ways to travel, such as a bicycle.
- Burning carbon-based material: It goes without saying that burning carbon-based material, such as plastic, releases carbon dioxide into the environment. This is why it is undoubtedly essential to recycle or approach a recycling company to dispose of items for you.