Climate change, (sometimes referred to as global warming) is the change of temperature over a long period on and around the Earth’s surface, this can cause weather patterns to shift in the long term. This is not limited to one specific region, it has an impact on the whole planet. It is the reason why sea levels are rising, and glaciers / ice sheets are melting. In some continents of the world, hurricanes and typhoons are occurring more regularly than before, while other continents are facing more heat waves and droughts.
Based on long-term scientific evidence, the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published its fifth assessed report on climate change in 2014. They have stated that greenhouse gas concentrations, methane, nitrous oxide, per-fluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and hydro-fluorocarbons caused by human related acidities has been the main reason why climate change has been affected so heavily over the past 100 years.
Effects on climate change
Across the planet, these effects on climate change are already taking place. IPPC reported that there has been a larger increase in average surface temperature of 0.85 degrees centigrade since 1880. Although this number looks small compared to an average daily temperature in any part of the world, comparing this against global change can have a massive overall effect. If the temperature of planet Earth’s surface was reduced by 5 degrees centigrade, we would be in a full ice age. Here are a list of other changes that have currently taken place:
- Sea level increase by 0.19m between 1910 and 2010
- Sea surface temperature has increased across the globe by an average of 0.11 degrees centigrade between 1971 and 2010
- Sea ice reduction was the lowest it’s ever been in 2016, beating the previous record in 2015
- Precipitation changes, some continental areas of the planet are seeing more intense flooding, and others are facing more droughts
- Due to ocean acidification, acid in oceans has decreased by 0.1 on the pH scale since the last century
The severity of these changes will continue to rise in relation to the global temperature.
What can I do
The Paris Agreement was produced in December 2015 at the COP21 Climate Change conference. This is a global agreement between countries with the aim to make sure the rise in temperature is within 1.5 degrees centigrade and to make sure that any temperature rise does not exceed more than 2 degrees centigrade compared to pre industrial times. Global emissions must attempt to stabilise and then target reduction for this goal to be achieved. Here’s a few ways on how you can play your part to help:
- Calculate your household carbon footprint, this will be based on your consumption and is influenced by your lifestyle and choices.
- Have a plan in place to reduce your emissions at home.
- Reduce emissions at your workplace and encourage others around you to also take part.
- Speak to one of the many motor traders about an electric vehicle and do you bit to reduce the exhaust emissions
- Support carbon footprint reduction initiatives across the globe and also inform as many people as possible about the reality of the situation.
Future generations will continue to experience the impacts of climate change on our planet for decades and centuries to come, it is important that we take the right steps going forward and we can all start by taking action today.