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Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Change in global and regional climate patterns attributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels

Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Humans’ need for fossil fuels has exacerbated global climate change. Oil, gas, and Coal emissions contribute to 75% of the world’s greenhouse gasses and almost 90% of carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gasses blanket the earth and get trapped in by the sun’s heat. All these factors together have led to global warming. 

The earth is warming up at an unprecedented rate, and climate change is disrupting weather patterns and the balance of nature. The human race and all life on earth are at risk.

What Causes Climate Change

Below are the three most significant factors contributing to climate change. We’ve only highlighted four. There are other causes, namely food production, agriculture, and human overconsumption.

Power Generation

Almost all of the countries in the world use fossil fuels to generate electricity. Burning oil, coal, and gas produces nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, creating emissions that cover the earth and trap the sun’s heat. Only a quarter of the world’s electricity is generated by solar, wind, and other renewable resources (which emit limited pollutants or no greenhouse gasses.

Mining, Construction, and Manufacturing

The mining, construction, and manufacturing industries play a role. Machines and melting plants run on gas, oil, and coal. Some plastics are manufactured from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels. 

Deforestation

Humans cut down forests to create room for pastures and farms. It’s estimated that 10 to 12 million hectares of forests are destroyed yearly. Cutting down trees limits the earth’s ability to keep emissions out of the atmosphere. 

Transportation

With the advent of the 20th century, we became greatly reliant on ships, trains, cars, planes, and trucks to transport ourselves and goods worldwide. Many vehicles are now being manufactured to use electricity. This is all good and well, but countries will still use coal, oil, and gasses to power electricity to charge these vehicles, which defeats the object. 

What Are the Effects of Climate Change

  • Warmer Temperatures

The rising concentrations of greenhouse gasses have led to an increase in the earth’s temperatures.

  • Increased Severity of Storms

An increased ocean temperature has led to storms like hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones becoming more frequent and severe. This has led to an increase in snow, rainfall and flooding. 

  • Intense Droughts

In some regions, water supplies have become scarce. Climate change aggravates water shortages in already water-stressed areas. Droughts also cause loss of crops and more severe sand storms.

  • Rising and Warming Ocean

When the ocean water warms, it expands, and more carbon dioxide emissions lead to the ocean’s acidity levels rising. Coral reefs are also dying, which plays an essential role in maintaining delicate ecosystems in the sea. Glaciers and poles are melting at an astonishing rate.

  • Extinction of Species

It’s estimated that the world loses species 1,000 times greater than ever before.

  • Food Shortages

Global food shortages and poor nutrition are increasing as extreme weather leads to the loss of crops.

  • Increased Health Risks

Pests and diseases are flourishing under increased surface temperatures. Humans have a higher risk of attack. In addition, more severe storms, lack of food, and intense droughts are leading to more deaths. 

  • Displacement and Poverty

More people are displaced as farms and businesses are destroyed by extreme weather conditions and disease. Floods destroy people’s livelihoods and homes. It’s estimated that over 23 million people are displaced due to factors relating to climate change each year.

Sources:

https://earth.org/statistics-deforestation/#:~:text=We%20lose%20approximately%2010%20Million%20Hectares%20A%20Year&text=The%20most%20affected%20ones%20are,far%20the%20most%20impacted%20countries.

https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/causes-effects-climate-change

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