The number of individuals and organizations propagating the news about the impending disaster that looms menacingly over our dear Earth really shows the seriousness of the problem of climate change. The question frequently being asked these days is, ‘’Why is our climate changing? This is a question that has generated a lot of responses. However, the main issue is not about the answers being given but by the knowledge that this was not a popular question some years back. This shows that the issue of our climate changing has now become an issue that is discussed almost every day, and the base of the problem was magnified during the industrial era. If this can really be associated with a particular point in time, then the other thing that should be understood is, ‘’how did this happen?
Natural or manmade
It has been realized that the main cause of the changes in our climate is due to the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere from substances such as fossil fuels. This is the period that the environment begun to experienced such increased amounts of industrial pollution which led into the depletion of the ozone layer which acts as the temperature regulator for the Earth. Taking a look at how this really happened gives us the chance to see what caused such a problem to rare its head at that point in time. Many years ago, this was never experienced in such intensity. This means that climate change and all the problems associated with it became very intense during the industrial era. The industrial era is a period during which a lot of manufacturing industries were set up and these industries depended on fossil fuels so as to be able to function properly. Fossil fuels like coal were burned by these industries in order to generate the power they needed to operate. Through the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy, gases like carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere. These are the gases that cause the greenhouse effect leading to global warming. Machines like airplanes, vehicles, manufacturing industry machine of various types and fuel-using home gadgets have been identified as the major sources for the release of the harmful gases into the atmosphere. Identifying these machines helps one to realize the fact that the increase in global warming came about as a result of the numerous activities of man. This therefore shows that the problem of climate change is really man-made and not natural.
The sensitivity of the Earth’s climate is considered to be the estimation of how the climate of the Earth will change if harmful gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are doubled. In order words it is estimating how the climate of the Earth will react to an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. This is to help man get to know the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate. A lot of discussions on whether the climate is really sensitive to the numerous harmful activities of man as to really cause it to change, has taken place and people keep on debating on that issue on a daily basis. Though a small group of people seem to believe that doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not directly lead to any changes in the climate, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that such an occurrence will lead to very serious climatic conditions never experienced before. In conducting such research to buttress their point, it has helped to prove that the climate of the Earth is really sensitive to the harmful gases like CO2. It has also helped to show that by increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climate will increase by a minimum of 2oC.
Though the issue of climate change is well known these days, it is very imperative to know the things that really make it possible to determine that the climate has really changed. These include the following;
- Increased solar energy
One main thing that has led to the realization that the climate has really changed is the increase in solar energy. The heat from the sun has now intensified as a result of the ozone layer being depleted through the activities of man. The ozone layer which protects us from the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun is no more intact and so all the harmful radiations from the sun do reach the Earth. The heat from the sun has been allowed to be exaggerated by the holes in the ozone layer but the emission of harmful gases like CO2 has formed a screen in the atmosphere which prevents the heat from escaping back into the atmosphere, therefore the Earth is being kept a lot warmer than it should be. This leads to the rise in the atmospheric temperature.
- Greenhouse gas increase
The greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) Nitrous oxide (N2O) and Fluorinated gases have also increased exponentially in recent times and this has impacted negatively on the Earth’s climate. These are the gases that form the layer which traps the escaping heat from the Earth. This trapped heat leads to the phenomenon referred to as global warming. When this happens it directly results in an increase in the climatic conditions of the Earth and with it comes the various effects that it brings along.