Human impact on climate Essay
Human impact on climate
Abstract Climate change has long been a controversial issue among governments and world bodies. It is defined as the variation in the Earth’s global climate or in regional climates over time. These variations may be caused by a multitude of factors, some of which include geological changes within the Earth itself, changes in forces outside the earth, or human activity. When talking about this issue, two terms are often interchanged to refer to these variations in normal weather patterns, namely global warming and climate change. The two however, while similar, belong to different spectrums.
This paper seeks to examine the role of human activities as a form of climate change. Overview Global warming simply pertains to the recent gradual warming of the temperature in different locations around the earth. Climate change, as defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), talks of variations in weather in general, but which are caused particularly by human activity. Although there have been steps taken towards curbing the destructive effects of climate change, there continues to still be a sense of apathy on the parts of some governments with regard to it.
The continued burning of fossil fuels in power plants, vehicles and other machines are directly responsible for producing air particles that contribute to warming the earth’s atmosphere. The conversion of forests to farmland or real estate developments has also reduced the amount of trees overall, thus cutting down the chances of more trees mitigating the carbon levels in the air, as well as absorbing and acting as a natural control for floods. Effects of Climate Change Climate change will have many effects on the environment, some of them already visible while others are slowly already being experienced in different parts of the world.
Currently, scientists project that the mean global temperature will rise about 3 degrees Celsius, assuming the amount of carbon dioxide in the air doubles due to continued use of fossil fuels. Another projection was the rising of the mean sea level by about 50 cm, a relatively significant rise in light of the fact that computer model estimates have shown that several low-lying states and countries may, in part or whole, be submerged by the rising water level. The warming of temperatures at the mid-continent levels, as well as those in higher latitudes, will also be greater as compared to other locations.
It has therefore been predicted that a considerable amount of polar and glacial will melt, as well as the continued warming of the oceans. These two events will constitute for the most part the increase in water levels mentioned earlier. Also to be seriously affected is the ecosystem, along with the natural order of the environment. Due to the heat that would be generated, more tropical climates would be prevalent, thus the focus on migration as well as agricultural production and output would shift all over the world.
For the wildlife, the changing ecosystems would directly affect their natural habitats and breeding places. As it is, researchers continue to forecast that global warming may cause the easier proliferation of disease due to the idea that disease-carrying insects and other animals may migrate to other locations due to the changing weather. The hydrologic cycle will also intensify, with changes in water supplies as well as weather seasons such as droughts and flood, which could then greatly affect crops and other natural sources of food.
Lastly, the effects of climate change on the broad concept of international security cannot be discounted. With more poor countries potentially facing an environmental disaster of catastrophic proportions, masses of refugees could converge on those remaining industrialized and highly urbanized nations that remain only somewhat affected. Also, should fossil fuel use not be successfully curbed in time, the scarcity of it will only mean that nations who have remaining reserves will become more powerful and dominant in the world stage, with new influential nations possibly developing.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 April 2017
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