What is Climate Change
Climate change refers to a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere. It implies climate instability. We will have wilder and more unpredictable weather with harsher extremes. This will have profound and adverse effects on the way we live.
Is it Real?
♦ Our world is hotter than it has been in two thousand years
♦ All ten of the hottest years on record have been since 1990
♦ Already 150,000 people die each year as a result of climate change and the problem is getting worse. Floods in Mozambique, forest fires in Indonesia, hurricanes in Florida, storms in the UK – these are all exacerbated by climate change
What Causes Climate Change?
The temperature of the earth rises when the levels of the so called ‘Greenhouse Gases’, mainly Carbon Dioxide (CO2) rise. CO2 is released by burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. Methane, also a greenhouse gas, is released as wetlands warm and as as a result of the digestive process of animals. Heat from the sun is trapped by these gases in our atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases absorb and re-emit some of the infrared radiation that would normally be radiated out into space. Some of the re-emitted radiation is re-absorbed by the earth’s surface, warming it. The gasses form a blanket around the earth – like the glass of a greenhouse. The more of these gases the higher the temperature.