To begin with, it is necessary to know what is meant by climate change. This may apparently seem silly to you because the weather (not climate) do change from summer to winter, since you are likely to confuse the difference between climate and weather. To be very precise, the difference between weather and climate is concerned about the time factor. While weather represents the condition of the atmosphere over a shorter period of time, climate is all about how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively longer period of time. Nevertheless, this post primarily concerns climate change, not weather change.
Now, let’s get into the basics of climate change that is going to affect us devastatingly if we fail to take appropriate action against it right away. But what the heck is climate change? Although there are countless myths about climate change, the fact remains that it is a global challenge having no borders and to halt it requires coordinated efforts by all countries. This takes us back to the groundbreaking effect of the Paris Agreement (December 2015) where more than 180 nations had agreed to keep the increase in global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial level. Needless to say, this was done to avoid the gruesome effect of climate change due to global warming. The next question that pops up on your mind relates to what are the effects of global warming as well as what causes global warming.
The devastating effects of global warming has already hit us in the form of unprecedented flooding in desert or semi-desert areas, loss of rainfall in sub-tropical regions, tsunamis causing terrible devastation in 2004. Other impacts of global warming has been manifest in melting of arctic ice level, rise in sea water level, sudden change in weather conditions and failure of crop in regions where no such hazard has ever been reported since ages. However, the worst part of the global warming will be the drowning of major cities that have grown near the oceans such as London, New York, Tokyo, etc and island countries like Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and others due to substantial rise in sea water.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution way back in the 18th Century, extensive use of various chemicals in the factories had altered the chemical balance of the universe. Along with it, extensive deforestation due to industrial or economic purposes and the excess burning of fossil fuels like natural gas, oil, and coal has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 315 ppmv (part per million by volume) to about 363 ppmv since 1958. These are some of the primary reasons for which the heat gets trapped in the atmosphere thus causing global warming.
By now you must have observed that the most relevant factor responsible for global warming Is CO2 or Carbon dioxide. However, since we cannot stop the rise in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, we can at least reduce it by adopting the following methods:
Any gas that has the property of absorbing infrared radiation (net heat energy) emitted from Earth’s surface and reradiating it back to Earth’s surface, thus contributing to the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour are the most important greenhouse gases. (To a lesser extent, surface-level ozone, nitrous oxides, and fluorinated gases also trap infrared radiation.) Greenhouse gases have a profound effect on the energy budget of the Earth system despite making up only a fraction of all atmospheric gases.