Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather within the context of longer-term average conditions. 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. Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. It is already affecting our climate, agriculture, native ecosystems, infrastructure, health, and biosecurity. If left unchecked it will have broad social and economic impacts.
Causes of climate change:
Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock.
This adds huge amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat in the atmosphere and regulate our climate. These gases exist naturally, but humans add more carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels for energy coal, oil, and natural gas and by clearing forests. Greenhouse gases act like a blanket. The thicker the blanket, the warmer our planet becomes. At the same time, the Earth’s oceans are also absorbing some of this extra carbon dioxide, making them more acidic and less hospitable for sea life.
Effects of climate cause:
Humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival because of climate change. More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities. The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires. The projections of future climate changes are already happening; microcosmic events that stand as hints of future effects. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the oceans, increasing their acidification damaging coral reefs and marine life. Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. It is already affecting our climate, agriculture, native ecosystems, infrastructure, health, and biosecurity. If left unchecked it will have broad social and economic impacts.
Climate change facts:
- There is over 95% certainty that human influence is the dominant factor in warming since the mid20th century.
- To put this into perspective scientists are as certain that humans are warming the planet as they are that smoking causes cancer.
- There isn’t a safe temperature rise. Each degree of warming will bring more extreme weather [PDF] and sea level rises.
- Climate change impacts are happening now and are increasing in severity and likelihood from floods in Asia and Europe to droughts and hurricanes in the USA.
- Climate change is already displacing millions of the world’s poorest people. And it’s affecting people here in the UK too as flooding will continue to get worse.
- Rise in global sea levels over the last century. The rate of rising has nearly doubled in the last two decades.