Climate Change & it’s main drivers

As a start for this series, I’m going to be first be starting off with what is climate change and it’s causes. It might sound a bit silly to talk about this, but truthfully speaking there are misconceptions when dealing with climate change.

Global warming: the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Climate change: a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, or of a region on Earth.

Earth is a large version of a Green House.

Have you seen those greenhouses were they plant all year-round crops in? Do you know why we now have tomatoes or lettuce or even strawberries all year round? This is because of the ability of these greenhouses to give suitable and optimum conditions to increase the productivities by conserving the heat inside.

Earth depends on energy coming from the sun. About half the light reaching Earth’s atmosphere passes through the air and clouds to the surface, where it is absorbed and then radiated upward in the form of infrared heat. About 90 percent of this heat is then absorbed by the greenhouse gases and radiated back toward the surface, which is warmed to a life-supporting average of 15degC (59degF). Without this ability, the temperature on Earth would be around negative 27degC.

Climate Drivers

There are over 22 climate drivers that constantly operate on varying time scales, so why would Earth’s climate remain stable? Listed below are a few of the importnat drivers.

MoreThan22ClimateDrivers_Page_24.gif

Impacts of Climate change

  • On average, Earth will become warmer. Some regions may welcome warmer temperatures, but others may not.
  • Warmer conditions will probably lead to more evaporation and precipitation overall, but individual regions will vary, some becoming wetter and others drier.
  • A stronger greenhouse effect will warm the oceans and partially melt glaciers and other ice, increasing sea level. Ocean water also will expand if it warms, contributing further to sea level rise.
  • Meanwhile, some crops and other plants may respond favorably to increased atmospheric CO2, growing more vigorously and using water more efficiently. At the same time, higher temperatures and shifting climate patterns may change the areas where crops grow best and affect the makeup of natural plant communities.

 “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth” – Rachel Carson

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