Climate change refers to transformations in the climatic pattern of a particular region. It is the process in which the climate of a place shifts away from the regular patterns.
Climate change has mostly negative effects because it is caused by environmental pollution. The use of fossil fuel, as well as industrial emissions, lead to the depletion of the ozone layer hence global warming.
Other human activities such as deforestation and poor farming methods are also leading causes of climate change.
Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events).
Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities have been identified as primary causes of ongoing climate change, often referred to as global warming.
Scientists actively work to understand past and future climate by using observations and theoretical models.
A climate record extending deep into the Earth’s past has been assembled, and continues to be built up, based on geological evidence from borehole temperature profiles, cores removed from deep accumulations of ice, floral and faunal records, glacial and periglacial processes, stable-isotope and other analyses of sediment layers, and records of past sea levels. More recent data are provided by the instrumental record.
General circulation models, based on the physical sciences, are often used in theoretical approaches to match past climate data, make future projections, and link causes and effects in climate change.
The Major effects of Climate Change:
Many world leaders and international organizations have placed the need to tackle climate change as a matter of priority because of its adverse effects on life on the planet. These are some of the main effects of climate change:
- Freak weather events: Warmer earth, cooler winters, unexpected rainfall, wild winds, etc., are all effects of climate change. And, these events can be devastating to communities both in the short and the long term.
- Lack of diversity in the ecosystem: As weather patterns become erratic, some animals move in search of food. Every ecosystem thrives because of the interdependence that exists among the living organisms present in it. Climate change may cause a lack of diversity as the ecosystem is left with only a few species of flora and fauna.
- Poor agriculture and crop output: Agriculture largely depends on favorable climatic conditions. Changes in climatic patterns would, therefore, lead to poor crop and animal yields.
- Rising sea levels: As the ice caps melt, the ice pours into the sea and causes it to rise.
- Clean water shortage: Lakes are a primary source of fresh water for domestic use. Climate change can cause water sources to dry up, and this creates a water shortage, making it difficult for people to access safe water for domestic use.
- Health related complications: Very high temperatures can cause dehydration. Extreme weather can result in serious health complications.
- Displacement: Food shortages, floods, and war are all effects of climate change that can lead to huge populations of people to become displaced. This can result in millions of human beings becoming refugees almost overnight, which is obviously a horrific and devastating experience for those who are affected.
- Wars: Some people feel that as resources and stable land become scarce, wars can break out in many parts of the globe due to political selfishness and ill advised political decisions. Peace is always preferable to war, and war can leave its scars on a community for many years and many generations in the future.
- Lack of stable rhythms in life: Agricultural communities that live by the seasons find their way of life severely disrupted by climate change. This is because one of the key effects of climate change is a disruption in the seasons. The seasons and the weather permeate our lives, no matter where we live. The changes of the seasons, or the presence of dry and rainy seasons close to the equator, and the stability that comes from this helps us to make meaning in our lives.
- Fall in tourism: Lack of diversity in the ecosystem and the absence of natural attraction sites such as forests and rivers can lead to a decline in tourism. Severe climatic conditions are also not ideal for many travelers, making places with such climates unattractive to tourists.
It is, therefore, important to guard against climate change by engaging in practices that do not destroy the planet that we live in. Environmental protection is the duty of every individual that values the essence of sustainability in any ecosystem.