This paper entitled, “Current Climate Changes” intends to reintroduce the definition of Climate Change. Furthermore, it plans to state the human contributions to climate change. Moreover, it also aims to reiterate that cattle produce too much methane, which in turn plays a large role in the current climate changes that occur. In addition, it also intends to state the effects of climate changes. Last but not least, it provides the solutions that may possibly address this serious dilemma.
Climate Change Defined “Climate change” is an alteration in our climate which, ninety to ninety five percent of it, are brought about by the unethical, ill-mannered acts of human beings (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). “The United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is explicitly endorsed by the national science academies of the eight most industrialized nations, says that the scientific opinion on climate change is that the average global temperature has increased 0.
6 ± 0. 2? C since the late 19th century and that most of the warming that has been observed over the last fifty years is caused by human activities” (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). These human activities include the emission of greenhouse gases, for instance, carbon dioxide and methane (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Temperatures or heat may go up by “1. 4 to 5. 8? C between 1990 and 2100” according to the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ).
Rises in sea level, changes in pattern, as well as, alteration in the amount of precipitation will go along with the aforementioned as well (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Then the aforementioned occurrences are expected to yield the following as well: a) extreme water events like floods and b) droughts, as well as, c) heat waves, and d) hurricanes (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). In addition to that, it may also contribute to “biological extinctions” and may affect “agricultural yields” (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Human Contributions to Climate Change
Some experts accept as true that the earth experienced climate change from two hundred ten million years to one hundred forty million years ago or during the Jurassic Period with standard temperatures increasing by 9? F (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). It is said that this caused the rate of “rock weathering” to increase by 400% which actually, resulted in “carbon dioxide” level dropping back to normal for the succeeding 150,000 years (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Moreover, a greenhouse gas, technically referred to as, “methane clathrate” has been believed to have caused “climate change” back then (Encarta Encyclopedia n.
p. ). They thought it was related to the “Permian-Triassic extinction event” and the “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Furthermore, “William Ruddiman”, a “paleoclimatologist” states that the influence of human on the “climate changes” may have began along with the development of agriculture eight hundred decades ago (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). This hampered/prevented “carbon dioxide and methane levels to drop” as quickly as they would have done otherwise (Encarta Encyclopedia n.
p. ). In addition, there is a decades-old difference of opinion about the consequences of humans on the climate change (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Most of “scientific opinion” on this issue is that “recent warming is caused largely by humans”, although this has not been settled (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). The discussion usually focuses on the effect of emissions of “carbon dioxide” which is linked to human activities like that of “burning fossil fuels and industrial activities” (Encarta Encyclopedia n.
p. ). Also, climate change theory supporters assert that: 1) The recent rise in “carbon dioxide” and other “greenhouse gases” is human-caused (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). 2) The climate change of the last five decades is most likely caused by human activity as well (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). 3) Geophysical experiments by humankind may turn out bad and may bring about something humans cannot undo like climate change and its effects (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Methane Production by Cattle
According to researchers, “cows are one of the top greenhouse gas producers” (Hunter 657). Explaining further, cows produce too much methane, which is one of the leading “causes of the climate change” (Hunter 657). It is believed that cows contribute about 29% of the total volume of methane emitted through internal fermentation in the digestive process or via defecation (Hunter 657). Aside from this, cattle are also associated with the burning of the forests, which is also a source of “greenhouse gas emission” (Hunter 657).
However, other experts believe that the problem of “fossil fuels” is that the released “carbon dioxide” that has been trapped is “taken out of circulation and collected then burned all at once” (Hunter 657). This means that the issue on cow flatulence is that the “carbon dioxide” is recently absorbed by the plant matter that the cow ate and that the “carbon dioxide” it released will again be absorbed by new grass grown (Hunter 657). In addition, much of the “carbon” absorbed by the cow is condensed in to the meat and defecation thus, taking more “carbon dioxide” out of the environment (Hunter 657).
Effects of Climate Changes The current controversy over whether “climate change” should be of concern must be addressed immediately (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Controversies like: 1) whether or not the climate is changing beyond “natural variations”; 2) “whether or not human/industrial activity is responsible for the change”; 3) how large future changes will be, etc.. should not be the focus of experts, as well as politicians, instead, they should look deeper into the consequences or effects of “climate change” and do something about it (Encarta Encyclopedia n.
p. ). There are various predicted effects of “climate change” and these include: 1) sea level rise; 2) temperature rise; 3) acidification; 4) shutdown of thermobaline circulation; 5) extreme weather; 6) destabilization of local climates; 7) reduced ozone layer; 8) methane release; 9) forest fires; 10) decline of agriculture; 11) flood; l2) migration; 13) water scarcity; 14) skin cancer and other related diseases etc (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Solutions
The world’s principal international agreement on combating “climate change” is technically referred to as the “Kyoto protocol” (Oberthur et. al. 2). There are other strategies though, and some include the following: 1) Improving “energy efficiency” since more efficient cars, appliances, and industrial systems use less energy meaning less fuel is burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted (Springer 102). 2) Developing and using energy sources which emits little or no carbon dioxide, for instance, hydro power, solar power and windmills, as well as other “renewable energy sources” (Springer 102).
3) Improving forest and “agricultural management practices” like: planting more trees since trees remove “carbon dioxide” from the atmosphere, and reduction of cattle since “methane” is produced by such agricultural activity (Springer 102). 4) Reduction of the impacts of “climate change” for instance through the following: new varieties of crops can be developed to grow in changed climates; building of aqueducts since they can carry water to regions affected by drought; and building of dikes and sea walls to protect coastal settlements (Springer 102).
5) “Government regulation”, for instance forcing auto companies to design more efficient cars (Springer 102). 6) Encouraging people to save energy by promoting energy efficient devices (Springer 102). 7) “Informing & educating people in improving efficiency /reducing emissions” (Springer 102). 8) “Government spending” for more, in terms of “research and development” for instance, in developing new technologies that use less energy or emit no “carbon dioxide” (Springer 102).
9) “Greenhouse mitigation” which may be carried out through: elimination of the utilization of fossil fuels so that emission of greenhouse gases may be avoided eventually; and making sure that “carbon dioxide” is absent in the atmosphere (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). 10) Injection of “carbon dioxide” into “depleted oil wells to force more oil out of the ground or seafloor” so that it may be possible to “store carbon dioxide released by a power plant, factory, or any large stationary source” (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Conclusion
“Climate change” is an alteration in our climate which, ninety to ninety five percent of it, are brought about by the unethical, ill-mannered acts of human beings (Encarta Encyclopedia n. p. ). Its effects include: 1) sea level rise; 2) temperature rise; 3) acidification; 4) shutdown of thermobaline circulation; 5) extreme weather; 6) destabilization of local climates; 7) reduced ozone layer; 8) methane release; 9) forest fires; 10) decline of agriculture; 11) flood; l2) migration; 13) water scarcity; 14) skin cancer and other related diseases etc (Encarta Encyclopedia n.
p. ). On a final note, this problem may be addressed through the following: “1) injection of carbon dioxide; 2) greenhouse mitigation; 3) informing and educating people; 4) promoting energy-efficient devices; 5) Improving forest and “agricultural management practices; 6) building of aqueducts; 7) development of new varieties of crops; 8) government spending on research and development etc.
” (Springer 102). References Encarta Encyclopedia. Climate Change. 2007. Microsoft. 03 October 2007 http://encarta. msn. com/encnet/refpages/search. aspx? q=climate+change Hunter, R. A. “Methane Production by Cattle”. British Journal of Nutrition. 98 (2007): 657. Oberthur, Sebastian & Ott, Hermann E. The Kyoto Protocol: International Climate Policy for the 21st Century. NY: Springer, 1999.