Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather”. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. Global climate change is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. The global concentration of these gases is increasing, mainly due to human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels (which release carbon dioxide) and deforestation (because forests remove carbon from the atmosphere). Definition of Climate Change
Where in the world is Climate Change critical? Climate change basically effects everyone around the world. However there are some countries and areas that are greatly exposed. Antarctica is one of the places where there is a hole in the ozone. However luckily no one lives permanently in Antarctica. This however doesn't mean it doesn't have a negative effect. The increase in levels of UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth will mean that eventually the ice will start melting and sea levels will rise. Other countries exposed are countries such as Australia and New Zealand. There is now a hole in the ozone layer over these countries which means the people living in these countries will experience the most effect in the long term and also in the short term.
Causes <ul><li>Air pollution : The air is full of particles and gases that may affect human health, such as pollen, fungal spores, and pollutants from fossil fuel emissions. </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Disasters : Climate change will increase the risk of both floods and droughts. Ninety percent of disaster victims worldwide live in developing countries, where poverty and population pressures force growing numbers of people to live in harm's way—on flood plains and on unstable hillsides. The vulnerability of those living in risk-prone areas is perhaps the single most important cause of disaster casualties and damage. </li></ul><ul><li>All the different diseases and health concerns climate change causes. </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture : Increased dryness in the summer could affect the quality and yields of the crop due to an increase in drought and heat waves. </li></ul><ul><li>Sea levels : As temperatures rise, the sea will absorb heat from the atmosphere, causing it to expand and therefore creating sea level rises. This can cause flooding. </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife : Species are under threat in more than one way. Climate change is predicted to cause a number of weather extremes, which could directly affect our wildlife, for example through flooding or storms. This can cause specific animals to become extinct </li></ul>
Main pollutant of climate change <ul><li>The climate of the Earth is always changing. In the past it has changed as a result of natural causes. Nowadays, however, the term climate change is generally used when referring to changes in our climate which have been identified since the early part of the 1900's. The changes we've seen over recent years and those which are predicted over the next 80 years are thought to be mainly as a result of human behavior rather than due to natural changes in the atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><li>The human consumption is massive and keeps increasing. This is one of the reasons why humans are causing climate change. Every country is Industrialized, some more than others. However pollution in the atmosphere travels around the world with the winds which means it affects almost every country. </li></ul><ul><li>The ozone prevents 97 per cent of the sun's UV light from reaching the Earth's surface. So when we humans keep destroying the ozone, increased levels of UV radiation then reaches the Earth's surface which for example causes skin cancer. </li></ul><ul><li>Factors affecting Climate: </li></ul><ul><li>Distance From the Sea </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean Currents </li></ul><ul><li>Direction of Prevailing Winds </li></ul><ul><li>Relief </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity to the Equator </li></ul><ul><li>The El Niño Phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Recently, it has been accepted that human activity is also affecting climate </li></ul>
Health consequences concerning society <ul><li>The climate we live in affects many areas of our lives. The quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and our homes are all dependent on our climate and weather. Some of the health related diseases or concerns in society are: </li></ul><ul><li>Vector-borne diseases various diseases transmitted </li></ul><ul><li>by mosquitoes. An example of a Vector-borne disease is Malaria </li></ul><ul><li>More heat waves which will increase the number of hot-weather related deaths </li></ul><ul><li>UV exposure – levels of UV radiation reaching the </li></ul><ul><li>earth’s surface may increase due to sunnier summers, </li></ul><ul><li>a decline in cloud cover and ozone depletion (which </li></ul><ul><li>reduces the capacity of the ozone layer to absorb UV). This can cause skin cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Food poisoning. Higher temperatures in summer could cause and estimated of 10,000 extra cases of salmonella infection per year </li></ul>
This figure illustrates the basic components that influence the state of the Earth's climatic system.
Solutions <ul><li>The list of things we need to think about which will be affected by climate change is endless. A few examples of how we will need to change the way we live in order to cope with changes to our climate are: </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable energy: The regular use of renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular. Thee possibilities for alternative energy sources, include solar power, wind power, geothermal, water power and even nuclear energy. This would mean we would have to eliminate the burning of coal, oil and, eventually, natural gas. </li></ul><ul><li>There are various things we could start doing in our homes to prevent climate change getting worse. Just to name a few: Let your clothes dry naturally rather than using a tumble drier, Use energy saving light bulbs - they use a quarter of the electricity and last much longer etc. </li></ul>