What is climate change? Is it the same as global warming? When did climate become a hot topic in the world’s agenda? What are its main causes and consequences? Is it a lie? Find everything about climate change below! Please use the index to find out what you’re looking for.
Simple Definition Of Climate Change
Climate change is the global phenomenon of climate transformation characterized by the changes in the usual climate of the planet (regarding temperature, precipitation, and wind) that are especially caused by human activities. As a result of unbalancing the weather of Earth, the sustainability of the planet’s ecosystems is under threat, as well as the future of humankind and the estability of the global economy.
Who Is Responsible For Climate Change? And Who Studies It?
When we talk about climate change, we are often talking about the increase in temperatures linked to industrial activities and in particular the greenhouse effect. Therefore, we sometimes speak of global warming, which is said to be “of anthropogenic origin”. Ultimately, the causes of global warming (at least at its current rate) are not natural but driven by the human economy and industries.
Many scientists are studying this phenomenon and trying to understand how activities of human societies are responsible for this heating. These scientists are grouped together in the IPCC (International Group of Experts on Climate), and they regularly publish reports studying the evolution of climate change, such as the one published in late 2018.
The Consequences Of Climate Change On The Planet’s Ecosystems
An increase in temperature due to global warming it’s not only about a heat increase that can be felt by humans or glacial ice melting – it has the potential to affect the planet’s entire ecosystem. As we have been watching in many different countries, from the US (California) to India or South Africa, the weather is getting disruptive. Extreme weather events are more regular and their patterns are changing – they’re more intensive, aggressive, and with more energy. This means more storms, floods, cyclones, and droughts will take place over the next years.
At the same time, the regulating capacity of oceans is also being affected by an increase in temperatures. If global temperatures increase dramatically, ocean levels will not only increase – they will also be facing the ecological challenges of oceanic acidification and deoxygenation. At the same time, forest areas (e.g. Amazon rainforest), fragile ecosystems (e.g. coral reefs) and biodiversity (e.g. corals, insects and mammals) are also under threat.
The Consequences Of Climate Change On Society And On The Economy
Furthermore, climate change is already challenging and can further challenge our societies. With the increase in temperatures in some countries, especially in Equatorial regions, the flow of climate refugees is changing and increasing, putting pressure in other countries to host them, help them strive and overcome political barriers.
The reasons for this move have to do with natural resources, such as drinking water, that are getting more limited and many crops and livestock that are unlikely to survive (affecting locals but also the global economy of the several industries that rely on raw materials) in specific locations because of the temperature being too hot or too dry, too cold or too wet. And as it turns out, studies say that the wealthiest countries of the world will be the ones experiencing fewer changes in their local climate compared to the poorest regions if the global average surface temperatures reach the between 1.5º and 2º Celsius.
The Consequences Of Climate Change On Businesses
Finally, businesses are also likely to be affected by climate change. Indeed, in a context where the climate is changing, companies need to be aware of the risks that they may face and be prepared to deal with them by developing CSR strategies that evaluate the impacts they may suffer. Events such as damaged crops, the loss of infrastructures, unexpected changes in market stocks, investors that ask for sustainability reports and the growing expectations of society for business to be transparent are variables to keep an eye on.
How To Fight Climate Change
To fight climate change, we must first reduce our greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. To accomplish this, the first step is to embrace renewable energies that are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, and avoid creating energy by the burning of fossil fuels. As well, besides swooping the types of energy we produce, we must also make everything more efficient, because even if the energy comes from a renewable source, it still won’t be carbon neutral and will still contribute to the ozone depletion.
We need to adapt our lifestyles to overcome these growing challenges that climate change is bringing. For this to happen, we should start to create a worldwide culture of sustainable development, where the energy is wised wisely and efficiently, where a circular economy is a strong bet, as well as durable and eco-friendly products. One thing is for sure, we need to choose responsibly the products we buy because our demand as consumers influences what we are supplied with.