Climate change is a significant difference in climatic events over a period of time. It can cause a larger or lesser amount of extreme climatic events.
These extremes in the climate cause intense effects for humans and if we don’t act now global warming may cause a large issue.
What’s the issue?
In just 100 years temperatures have risen by 0.74oC around the world. In Australia the ten highest temperatures have occurred after 1998. By the time world temperature has risen 2oC many species will have disappeared as they cannot cope with the dramatic temperature increase.
As extra greenhouse gases are released they form a blanket across the atmosphere. As this blanket increases so does the temperature as heat loses its ability to escape. Another effect is that some of the carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. When this happens the ocean becomes acidic and sea life finds it more difficult to survive.
Some sources of greenhouse gases are the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. Currently 20% of greenhouse gases come from deforestation which creates large problems. As well as the carbon dioxide pollution this has many other effects which you can discover more on here- Deforestation |The Animal Facts.
David Attenbrough said, ‘It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.’
Climate change has a large impact on reptile populations. Some reptiles eggs hatch out the different sexes at different temperatures. As such when the temperature rises only one sex may hatch meaning no breeding can occur plunging the species into extinction. This is especially bad for sea turtles that are already endangered.
Is there a solution?
We caused this issue so it’s our job to stop it. As Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone said ‘One of the big questions in the climate change debate: Are humans any smarter than frogs in a pot? If you put a frog in a pot and slowly turn up the heat, it won’t jump out. Instead, it will enjoy the nice warm bath until it is cooked to death. We humans seem to be doing pretty much the same thing.’
It is our time to make a change and there are many solutions. Firstly we need to reduce our energy consumption. By reducing the amount of energy we use, we reduce the amount of fossil fuels which need to be burnt.
Eating wisely can also help. Meat produces 18% of greenhouse gas emission. By removing this from the food chain then we can remove a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
What can you do to help?
Swapping to renewable energy sources can make a big difference. If you add solar panels to your house then you can produce your own emissions free energy. This will also mean that you save the money you would have spent on your power.
If you can’t move to renewable energy then make an attempt to reduce your energy use. By doing this you will lessen the amount of fossil fuels which need to be burnt to produce power. One great way to get into this is by participating in Earth hour. To find out more about that initiative go here – WWF-Earth Hour.
Another way is to eat at least one meat free meal a day. By doing this you will reduce the need for a large number of animals which are producing excess methane. This will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.
wwf, (2014). Global warming and climate change. [online] Available at: http://www.wwf.org.au/our_work/people_and_the_environment/global_warming_and_climate_change/ [Accessed 18 Jun. 2014].
Worldwildlife.org, (2014). Climate Change | Threats | WWF. [online] Available at: http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/climate-change [Accessed 18 Jun. 2014].