Climate?Change

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Climate?Change

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The power point presentation should be about the paper that I loaded ”Climate Change”.
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Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Mitigation Measures

Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Mitigation Measures
Introduction
Climate change has been described by many as being one of the greatest challenges and threats facing the present and future generations, with increasing evidence pointing to the fact that it is a reality, not a hoax as earlier imagined. It refers to a situation whereby there is a variation in weather patterns over a period in different parts of the world. Also referred to as global warming, climate change is the condition in which the average temperatures on the surface of the earth rise to abnormal levels leading to a variation in climatic patterns in various parts of the world, with scientific evidence pointing to human activities like fossil fuel burning as being the single most important cause. So far, various signs have been identified as being proof of climate change including warming of the earth s temperatures in parts of the world, heat waves in some regions of Asia, warm winters and cold summers, and rising temperatures (Khan, 2012). Other incontrovertible evidence on the existence and reality of climate change include rising sea levels melting icebergs and ice sheets, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers in the Antarctic and Greenland. Other evidence of climate change includes extreme wealth conditions like droughts, floods, heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires and tropical storms, the emergence of illnesses like dengue fever and malaria in the tropics and the greenhouse effect. Therefore, given this overwhelming scientific e-proof that climate change is no longer a hoax but a real threat to us and our future generations, there is a need for serious actions to be taken by nations to find ways of mitigating its impacts on the human population. This paper looks at the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change. Climate change is primarily caused by human activities, adversely affects human health and national economies hence there is a need both at domestic and international levels to find lasting solutions to this environmental issue.
Causes of Climate Change
Various factors may be cited as being responsible for climate change. The most conspicuous anthropogenic factors identified as the leading cause of climate change is human activities involving the burning of fossil fuels, industrialization, and deforestation. These activities increase the amount of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide nitrogen and carbon monoxide in the environment. The effect of these glasses is that they block the sun s rays from being radiated back into the upper part of the earth s atmospheric space hence leading to their concentration on the lower surface of the earth. It is this concentrated heat wave from the sun absorbed by these gasses that cause global warming through the greenhouse effect. Human activities such as the clearing of forests to pave the way for farming and settlements are also responsible for climate change as they interfere with the levels of carbon gasses in the air. Trees act as filter agents, absorbing excess carbon dioxide which they use for manufacturing food. With the absence of trees, there is likely to be a high concentration of these gasses on the earth s surface hence leading to warming of the earth s surface. Human agriculture involving the use of chemicals and the clearing of forest lands also leads to greenhouse gas proliferation hence causing climate change. According to Ring, Lindner, Cross, and Schlesinger (2012), some of the sources of climate change over served for a century now include changes in solar radiance, volcanic eruptions, changes in land use patterns, greenhouse gasses, tropospheric ozone, and aerosols (p. 403). Moreover, according to Khan (2012), besides the human factors, other non-anthropogenic or natural factors that cause climate change include comets and meteorites, the shift and tilting the earth s position about the sun, ocean currents, cosmic collisions, continental drift, volcanic emissions and variations in solar output (p. 49). The major contributors of climate change are therefore global warming and greenhouse effect offset by activities by humankind.
Effects of Climate Change
Climate change has numerous adverse impacts on the human population and the earth s ecosystem in general. It has economic, social and cultural effects on communities and nations. To begin with, as Venkataramanan and Smitha (2011) observe, climate change negatively affects weather and weather patterns such as increased precipitation levels and storms over the oceans besides increased temperatures all of which result in melting ice and rising sea levels which may have a catastrophic effect on people (p. 227). Furthermore, climate change or global warming has and will continue to have an effect of causing glacier retreat and final disappearance as snow and mountain glaciers that covered the Southern, and Northern hemispheres continue to diminish. The impact of these is that there will be a rise in ocean levels thus causing coastal flooding and destruction of property and loss of lives. Additionally, global warming and climate change will certain have adverse impacts on world oceans and seas, affecting their ability to absorb excess carbon dioxide due to increasing in the maritime temperatures caused by warming of the earth s surface. The rising ocean temperatures will decrease its capacity to absorb excess carbon gasses thus leading to their release into the atmosphere where their effects are catastrophic.
Furthermore, climate change has had and continues to have negative impacts on human health across the world. For, as the earth s surface warms up due to climate change, diseases such as malaria and dengue fever continue to wreak havoc and kill millions of people in the tropics. This also affects national economies as money which would have been used for development is channeled towards combating these illnesses caused by climate change. Besides this, from an economic point of view, climate change affects economies by leading to reduced agricultural yields due to droughts, floods, tornadoes, heat waves, shifting rainfall patterns and extreme weather conditions that affect farming and food production. Consequently, food insecurity will set in leading to hunger and starvation as the one recently witnessed in the Horn of Africa. Climate change also affects tourism, energy and forestry sectors of the economy due to risks to ecosystems and wildlife.
Mitigation Efforts and Measures-Solutions
As countries- both industrialized and developing continue to feel the reality and consequences of climate change, various domestic and international initiatives have been expended in trying to have a global consensus on how to manage and mitigate effects of climate change. Some of the strategies or techniques that have been identified as being effective in minimizing the adverse impacts of climate change are adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation refers to learning to live with climate change effects by adjusting or coming up with ingenious or innovative ways of reducing its impacts such as using alternative sources of energy which cause no or minimal pollution (Leary, 2008, p. 6). On the other hand, mitigation refers to taking active measures actually to reduce and prevent climate change effects. Integrating climate change control and adaptation with a country s development agenda or goals and protecting natural resources are some of the most promising means of addressing its impacts on earth (Leary, 2008).
According to a study by Spyridi, Vlachokostas, Michailidou, Sioutas and Moussiopoulos (2015), the most efficient options for strategically planning climate change adaptation and mitigation are the rational management of water and water resources, tree planting and forest management, increasing energy efficiency and using renewable sources of energy (p. 272). Globally, the formation of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) in 2007, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represent some of the efforts being taken by states to combat climate change. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Cancun Climate Change Conference in 2010, and the 2015 Paris Conference are examples of international efforts to reach a consensus on how to cut down on carbon emissions by countries. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is leading in efforts to fight climate change through data collection on emissions, promoting clean energy economy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other measures put in place by EPA to combat climate change include coming up with common-sense regulatory initiatives such as the Clean Power Plan, partnering with private sector investors and other international leaders helping communities adapt to climate change.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In summary, climate change entails the variations in the temperatures and weather conditions of the earth due to human activities like burning of fossil fuels and also non-human factors like changes in earth s orbit and volcanoes. It causes poor health, rising sea levels leading to flooding and destructive storms and also affects the economy due to the effect on agricultural productivity and mitigation costs. Use of alternative renewable energy sources, cleaner and greener production, recycling wastes, implementing eco-industrial concept and promoting eco-efficiency as Rai and Rai (2013) suggest are thus the most likely mitigation and adaptation measures to address the problem of climate change (p. 141). At the global level, to actually tackle the effects of climate change or eliminate it, increased cooperation and economic or political compromises will have to be made by nations (Hardy, 2003, p. 208).

References
Hardy, J.T. (2003).Climate change: Causes, effects, and solutions. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley. Khan, Z.A. (2012). Climate change: Causes & effect. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 2(4), 48-53
Leary, N. (2008). Climate change and adaptation. London & Starling, VA: Earthscan.
Rai, P. K., & and Rai, P.K. (2013). Environmental and socio-economic impacts of global climate change: An overview on mitigation approaches. Environmental Skeptics and Critics 2(4), 126-148
Ring, M.J., Lindner, D., Cross, E.F., Schlesinger, M.E. (2012). Causes of the global warming observed since the 19th century. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences 2, 401-415
Spyridi, D., Vlachokostas, C., V. Michailidou, A.V., Sioutas, C., & Moussiopoulos, N. (2015). Strategic planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation: the case of Greece. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 7(3), 72-289
Venkataramanan, M., & Smitha. (2011). Causes and effects of global warming. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 4(3), 226-229.

 

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