Climate Change - Humanity's Greatest Challenge
By Adrian Aju Thomas
Climate change is an important, current and ongoing issue. Pollution is also a huge factor of climate change, air pollutants affect the amount of sunlight coming into the atmosphere, some pollutants warm the Earth, while others cool it down, the most common pollutants are methane, black carbon, ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols. Deforestation is another huge leading cause to climate change by reversing the effects of carbon sequestration and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, deforestation is also responsible for about 18% of all global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, even more than from transportation. We started to realize and correct the problem in the late 1970s. The event that lead up to this point was in 1800-1870, when people noticed the level of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere was increasing after the industrial revolution. It may seem a problem that doesn’t really affect us, because all we’ve seen yet is absurd weather patterns, but it’s more than that, in fact, here are three effects of climate change the humanity is already facing:
i)Extreme Weather Conditions
Climate change can be caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, & volcanic eruptions. Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gases, aerosols, (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
It is imperative people become aware of this because it causes more extreme weather.
Solving this problem is very important because it can prevent a lot of things from happening or even beginning like houses and buildings being damaged by flooding from extreme weather. It can also be important because it can save people's lives.
Climate changes have also been observed to impact human health, including that of allergic individuals. When we burn carbon-based materials, carbon dioxide is emitted from what we burn and therefore, emits C02 into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide absorbs heat, and increases in atmospheric C02 levels suggest that the increase is coming from burning fossil fuels.
The changes in temperatures cause an increase in the concentration of pollen in the air. This increases the strength of airborne allergens and causes an increase in allergy symptoms.
People need to know this because allergies can be deadly. Everyone has different allergies and different reactions. The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening emergency.
Long periods of high temperature that cause drought related stress decreases the productivity of crops and livestock, including fruit crops and milk yields. This will build up into a gradual shortage of supplies, leading to mass food shortage.
Observed climate change is already affecting food security through increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and greater frequency of some extreme events. Studies that separate out climate change from other factors affecting crop yields have shown that yields of some crops (e.g., maize and wheat) in many lower-latitude regions have been affected negatively by observed climate changes, while in many higher-latitude regions, yields of some crops have been affected positively over recent decades.
Despite all this, we have a shot at saving ourselves, our families and more importantly, our planet. As humans we must realise that the global disaster that is, climate change is already here, and we must know that the clock is ticking, and time is short.
By Adrian Aju Thomas