The earth’s climate has changed throughout history. The past 5 years have been the hottest since In the next 20 years, the average surface temperature will have risen across 1.5 degrees and will keep on rising to 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century if there is no emissions reduction based on the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Camilia et al. 2021). According to McGrath (2021), we will see even more frequent heatwaves and increasing heavy rainfall events on a global scale. Besides that, some regions of the world will face some type of droughts.
So, what is exactly the meaning of climate change? Climate change is long-term shifts which may be natural, in temperatures and weather patterns. However, human activities such as burning of fossil fuels have been the main contributor to climate change since 1800s.
What Causes the Earth’s Climate to Change?
There are many factors that contribute to climate change which are:
- Power generation.
Electricity generates by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Large amounts of global emission are produced from these activities. Carbon dioxide is one of the emissions that blanked the Earth and trap Sun’s heat, resulting in increase of temperature.
Emissions will increase due to deforestation activities. These activities have led to release of emission because carbon that have been stored will be released when the trees are cut down.
One of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is transportation. Road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles are the largest contributors due to the combustion of petroleum-based products.
- Food production.
Various types of emissions produced during food production process such as methane and carbon dioxide. Clearing of land for farm animals such as cows and energy use to run farm equipment are part of contribution to climate change.
High level pollutions occur due to industrialization. Greenhouse gas concentrations have increased in atmosphere, resulting in climate change.
What are the Impacts of Climate Change?
- Increase of temperature.
The average global temperature has increased due to the climate crisis. More frequent high-temperature extremes like heatwaves can cause productivity reduction and damage to infrastructure.
- Drought increase due to high temperatures.
Global warming has increased temperature and cause drought.
- Rising of sea level.
Thermal expansion of oceans due to warming lead to rising sea levels. In addition, melting ice from glaciers are also among the contributors to this phenomenon.
- Food source may be affected.
Some area may face difficulties to grow usual crops due to climate warming and changes of rainfall patterns. Many places will experience reduction in crop production.
- Impact on health risks.
Changing patterns of weather lead to rising deaths because of extreme weather events.
How to Tackle Climate Change?
Humans are the main contributor to climate change. We must be responsible for what we have
done. It may not be too late for us to avoid or limit some of the worst effects of climate change.
Here are some ways to tackle and limit climate change:
- Switch to energy efficient appliance.
Choose appliances based on their star rating. The higher the star, the more efficient the appliances will be. Efficient appliances will help in carbon footprint reduction created by electricity generation.
- Shift to renewable energy.
You can change your source of energy at home such as solar energy which reduces greenhouse gas emission.
- Take public transport or walk.
Most vehicles burn petrol or diesel which emit greenhouse gas emissions. By walking or taking public transport, you will help in greenhouse gas emissions reduction and also improving your health.
- Stop cutting down trees.
By reducing cutting down of trees and planting new trees, the rate of emissions can be reduced.
- Camilia, H. (2021, August 9). Global warming will hit 1.5C by 2040, warns IPCC report.
- Chigbo, A., Chidozie, C., & Chekwubeckukwu, N. (2016, June 15). Industrialization and its
Backlash: Focus on Climate Change and its Consequences. Journal of Environmental
Science and Technology, 9:301-316. https://dx.doi.org/10.3923/jest.2016.301.316
- Earth Eclipse. (2022). 10 Soultions for Climate Change.
- McGrath, M. (2021, August 9). Climate Change: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’. BBC