THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
The effect that humans have had on the planet along with natural events of the earth have attributed to a change of weather patterns and conditions globally. The climatic change which has occurred has happened over decades and millions of years. Human influences on climate change include increase of carbon dioxide emissions from use of fuels and cement factories, ozone depletion, animal agriculture, and deforestation. Natural causes of climate change include solar radiation, plate tectonics, and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations
There are various controversies surrounding the study of climate change. Disagreements exist on the causes of climate change, the magnitude of climate change occurring, and the potential effects on the earth and human society. The scientific community generally agrees on the amount of increase in temperature. One of the fears that exists in many communities and political forces is that the acceptance of global warming and its effects will cause an increase of finances dedicated to minimize carbon emissions.
Impacts of global climate change are already visible. Glaciers which are millions of years old have begun to crack and melt, others have already disappeared. Sea levels are rising and intense temperatures are being felt on land. Global climatic effects ultimately lead to social and economic effects as well. Food supplies have already been affected negatively and infectious diseases have increased dramatically. One of the more serious impacts of climate change and global warming is the effect on countries with land lying below sea level. It is said that as ocean levels rise, certain countries will face catastrophic flooding while others will face extreme droughts.
Climate Change: Threats and Impacts to the world.
Effects of Climate Change Today: What effects climate change has brought to our world.
How Does Climate Change Effect Plants: Factors of climate change that effect the world’s foliage.
United Nations Environment Program: Helping countries overcome climate change.
The Impact that Climate Change Brings: When you change the climate, you change everything.
Science behind the Change
Variations in the gasses of the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and halocarbons have risen due to human activities. The greenhouse effect occurs as these gasses interrupt with the regular workings of the atmosphere and trap heat. Other natural causes such as significantly large volcanic eruptions and solar activity also play a role in causing climate change. As the average ocean temperature increases from these factors, sea levels rise and other important weather elements such as ocean and wind currents are also affected.
The Physical Science Behind Climate Change: (.pdf file) Why are climatologists so highly confident that human activities are dangerously warming the earth.
Climate Change Education: Resources for teaching and learning.
Teachers Guide to High Quality Educational Materials on Climate Change and Global Warming: Resources for K-12.
Basic Science: The causes of climate change.
Science Behind Climate Change: An introduction to climate change.
Links to Organisations
There are a wide number of private and public organizations that are trying to bring awareness and change to climate change. They face a wide array of challenges ranging from the different thoughts of global leaders to the challenges of developing countries. These organizations focus on developing polices for countries to developing cutting edge technologies and providing the latest research. Below are just a few of the top organisations working to better the climate conditions of the world.
The Climate Group: A non-profit organization working with governments to develop polices and technologies to cut global emissions.
Pew Center: Brings a cooperative approach with critical scientific, economic and technological expertise.
Climate Institute: Creating innovative and practical policy solutions to protect the balance between climate and life on Earth.
Beyond Zero Emissions: Not for profit, volunteer run organization working to implement climate change solution.
Climate Institute of Australia: An institute driving climate change solutions.
Nature’s affect on climate change leads back to millions of years however the impact of humans on the topic can be measured in the past few hundred years. The first industrial revolution started in the 1800’s with the development of the steam engine. The second industrial revolution in the 1870’s brought about the factories for fertilizers, electricity and public health infrastructure. Both these revolutions increased the release of dangerous gasses into the atmosphere. Important polices on climate change started being created 1988 with the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization. Currently organizations and politicians continue to work on the improvement of carbon footprints on national and personal levels. Schools are also playing a crucial role in educating the next generation on the preservation of the earth. Another major ‘wake up call’ for global warming was the documentary by former US vice president Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth.
Global Warming Timeline: Milestone of global warming.
Global Climate Change: Processes and properties associated with climate change.
A Journey Back in Time: Abrupt climate change and the dulling of coral reefs.
Exploring Environment: Global climate change and the environment.
A Brief History of Climate Change and Conflict: Conflict in the human race attributed to climate change.
One of the keys to reversing the effect of climate change on the earth and thus on society is to develop sustainable forms of energy. This not only applies to fuel sources for transportation but other more simple steps such as growing vegetables at home or the use of wind energy to provide at least some energy in homes, schools and other relatively small structures. Organisations are being encouraged to take part in sustainable activities by changing customer behaviour or working on reducing their own carbon emissions. New focus is being laid on ‘being green’ during recessions and how being ecofriendly can provide financial savings as a positive side effect.
What is Sustainable Climate Development: Environmental, economic, and social well-being for today and tomorrow.
Climate Change and Energy: Providing sustainable solutions for turbulent times.
Division for Sustainable Development: Climate Change and sustainable development.
Climate Change and Sustainable Development: (.pdf file) A blueprint from the sustainable development network.
Climate Change and Sustainable Development Linkages: (.pdf file) Analysis of the two topics.