Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Date:  2021-03-09 20:03:20
6 pages  (1412 words)
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Causes of Climate Change 5

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1. Natural Causes 5

1.1. Volcanic Eruptions 5

1.2. The Earth's Tilt/Earth Orbital Changes 6

1.3. Solar Variations 6

1.4. Ocean Currents 7

2. Human Causes 8

2.1. Agriculture as an Important Contributor to the Climate Change 9

2.2. Deforestation as a Major Contributor to Climate Change 9

Increase in the Global Temperature 11

Greenhouse Gases 12

1. Water Vapor 12

2. Methane 13

3. Carbon dioxide (CO2) 13

4. Nitrous Oxide 13

5. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 13

Global Warming 14

Causes of Global Warming 14

Impacts of Climate Change or Global Warming 14

Possible Solutions 15

1. Reviving Up Renewables 15

2. Boosting Energy Efficiency 15

3. Greening Transportation 16

4. Reducing Fossil Fuel 16

5. Agriculture and Forest Management 16

Conclusion 16

References 18

Introduction

Climate change can be defined as the seasonal changes in weather conditions for a long period of time. These climate patterns or fluctuations play a significant role in influencing natural ecosystems as well, as the human cultures and economies that rely on them. For instance, the shifts in climate can influence how people and other organisms live; it also affects the health conditions and food production and health. Since the global climate is dynamic and continuously fluctuating through a natural cycle, people are now concerned about these fluctuations since they have negative impacts on human lives, and the changes are speeding up at an alarming rate.

The average temperature of Earth has increased by about 0.760C to 0.80C over the last 100 years, with the warmer period being the last two decades (Crowley, 2000). This rise in temperature might look small. Nevertheless small increases in temperature turn into huge variations in the global climate. The reason behind this is that the quantity of extra energy required to increase the global temperature, even by a little, is enormous. This extra energy is somehow force-feeding the worlds climate system.

Most scientists now know for sure that for the past decades and century, the globe has been warming. They recognize that various human activities, such as, the burning of oil and coal, have extremely increased concentrations of greenhouse gases; the gases that trap heat with no escape within the atmosphere. The researchers have also realized the science of how these greenhouse gases results in the detected warming. And as a result, they are able to predict that the earths temperature will continue to rise for many years to come, with significant effects on weather patterns and sea levels, and consequences for the economy, human health, and ecosystems. Only the significant reduction in emission of these heat-trapping gases can help save the earth from its current situation.

Scientific Consensus on Climate ChangeScience reaches a consensus when scientists come to an agreement. There is an awe-inspiring level of scientific consensus that human activity is the reason behind climate change. More than 95% of the scientists came to the same accord that the world is warming and that the activities of human are the cause (Victor, 2004). Despite this consensus, only about 50% the common people are aware that researchers have reached a common agreement on human-triggered climate change. The scientific consensus as far as the climate change is concerned, always refers to three key points: the world is warming up; anthropogenic activity is the cause of this warming; if the emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) continue then the warming will increase (Schmidt & Wolfe, 2009).

Causes of Climate ChangeThere are various impacts over the global climate, which can be categorized as human-induced (anthropogenic) and natural factors. As from the start of the 20th century, different climatic scientists have been studying a change in the climate, which cannot be ascribed to any of the natural impacts of the past only. This climate change, which is also popular as global warming, has happened faster than expected or than any other change in climate documented by humans and therefore, is of great importance and interest to the human population (Hardy, 2003). Below are some of the causes of climate change.

1. Natural CausesThe global climate is altered and influenced by various natural causes, such as ocean current, solar variations, changes in the earth's orbital/The Earth's tilt and volcanic eruptions.

1.1. Volcanic Eruptions

During the process of volcanicity, the volcanic erupts normally takes place, and large volumes of dust, water vapour, ash, sulphur dioxide (SO2) as well as other gases are thrown out into the atmosphere. The large volumes of ash and gases may have a great impact on climatic and weather patterns over a given period of time by raising planetary reflectivity resulting in atmospheric cooling. Polar particles like dust and aerosols are as well produced by the volcanic activities. Because of their capability of reflecting the solar energy or radiation back into the atmosphere, they bring a cooling effect on Earth. The carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas are also produced nonetheless the amount of these gases are quite negligible compared to the emissions due to human activities.

1.2. The Earth's Tilt/Earth Orbital Changes

The Earth is tilted or inclined at an angle of 23.50 to the vertical plane of its ring road path. It takes one year to make a complete orbit around the sun. Changes in the Earths tilt can result in slight but essential climatic changes that bring different seasons (Schmidt & Wolfe, 2009). During summer, the northern hemisphere inclines towards the sun whereas, during winter, it is inclined away from the sun. Suppose there was no tilt it could have meant that, we would not have experienced the different seasons. Slow and small variations in the Earths orbit result in small but climatically essential changes in the severity of the seasons. For instance, more tilt causes colder winters and warmer summers whereas less tilt causes milder winter and cooler summers.

1.3. Solar Variations

Most of the energy for the global climate system comes from the Sun. Even though, the output of solar energy seems constant from a daily point of view, slight changes over a long period of time can cause climate changes. A number of scientists believe that some of the warming, which occurred in the mid-20th century were because of an increase in the Suns energy output. Since the sun is the major source of energy that is influential in our climate system, it proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the solar energy output causes fluctuations in the weather and climatic conditions. Various scientific studies have shown that the variations in the intensity of solar radiation have performed a major role in climate changes for the past years. For example, a reduction in solar activity was believed to have caused the Little Ice Age around 1650 and 1850, the time when Greenland was basically cut off by ice and glaciers progressed in the Alps (Houghton, 1996).

Recent Earths warming, however, is not only due to the solar variations alone as other factors come to play. Various evidence also shows that the solar energy has been constant. For instance, research shows that as from 1750, the average quantity of energy emanating from the Sun has been constant or has increased with a negligible amount.

Suppose the global warming was triggered by a more active sun, and then warmer temperatures in the atmospheric strata would have been expected by scientists. Scientists have only noticed a cooling in the upper layers of the atmosphere, and a warming occurs in the lower regions and at the surface of the atmosphere. This is as a result of greenhouse gasses that capture heat in the lower parts of the atmosphere. In addition, climate models, which that involve changes in solar irradiance cannot replicate observed trends in temperature for the 20th century without including an increase in greenhouse gases (Liverman, 2007).

1.4. Ocean Currents

Research has shown that oceans play a fundamental role in climate change. Ocean currents move huge amounts of heat around the world. Winds push against the surface of the sea and drive the patterns of the ocean currents. Interactions between the atmosphere and ocean can as well result in a phenomenon known as El Nino that normally occur after 2 to 6 years. The oceans play a key role in determining the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Variations in ocean circulation can influence the climatic condition through the movement of carbon dioxide into and out of the atmosphere (Liverman, 2007).

Ocean currents are well recognized to slow down or change direction. Most of the heat, which escapes from the oceans is usually in the form of water vapour. Water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas on Earth. However, water vapor also plays a role in the formation of clouds that shade the Earths surface. Thus, results in a net cooling effect.

2. Human CausesIt has been identified beyond reasonable doubt that there are changes in climate as a result of the...

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