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What is Climate change ?

Climate change refers to long term changes in climate including average temperature and precipitation. The greenhouse effect plays an important role in regulating the climate of the earth. The ability of certain trace gases to be relatively transparent to the incoming visible light from the sun yet opaque to the energy radiated from earth is one of the best understood processes in atmospheric sciences. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect because the trace gases trap heat similar to the way the greenhouse’s transparent covering traps heat. And without our atmospheric greenhouse effect, earth’s surface temperature would be far below freezing. On the other hand, an increase on the atmospheric trace gases could result in increased trapped heat and rising global temperatures.

Earth’s climate is changing and this is causing grave concern. The changes taking place in the atmosphere have become one of the serious threats the world faces today. Manifestations of adverse climate change due to anthropogenic interference are now discernible and might result in irreversible adverse impacts in a few decades. Human activities have the potential to disturb the balance of natural systems and cause warming of the planet to an unprecedented extent. Some of the activities that have dramatically increased GHG emissions are burning of fossil fuels, industrial practices and consumerism, deforestation and agriculture. These activities have increased emissions to the extent that far exceeds the ability of natural systems to assimilate these gases. Of all the gases, carbon dioxide is the main contributor being released in great volumes since the industrial revolution. As a result, climate change has started endangering biodiversity, human health and food and fresh water supplies, coastal and low lying system, impacting people worldwide, especially in developing countries like ours due to low adaptive capacities.

To stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere, a sea change is needed in the energy systems. Besides a policy, there is a need to use cleaner technologies, use energy more efficiently and efficient mass transit options for better fuel efficiency. Changes in lifestyle and behavior patterns can contribute to climate change mitigation across all sectors.

 

 

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