We keep hearing a lot about Climate change/Global warming but it is something that’s not completely understood by a lot of people .Our climate changes in response to changes in the global energy balance.
Climate and weather are two different things:
Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time measured in terms of factors like wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation (rain, snow, etc.). In most places, weather changes frequently.
Climate is the average pattern of weather in a certain place. It usually stays pretty much the same for centuries if not interfered with, but in recent times extraordinary human interference has meant major changes in the climate which in turn has given rise to global warming.
The one activity that is wrecking havoc on the climate is the burning of “fossil fuels” such as coal, oil and gas. These fuels contain carbon and burning them makes carbon dioxide gas, the main culprit behind climate change.
Carbon dioxide gas traps the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, partly in the same way as glass traps solar heat in a sunroom or a greenhouse. For this reason, carbon dioxide is sometimes called a “greenhouse gas.” As more carbon dioxide gets released in the atmosphere, solar heat has more trouble getting out. The result is that the average temperature of the atmosphere increases given that all other factors stay unchanged.
Ever since the start of the industrial revolution people began burning large amounts of coal and oil, which made the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increase by almost 30% according to available data, and average global temperature appears to have risen between 1° and 2°F. Energy consumption has increased and more fossil fuel for energy production are being burnt, adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The occurrence of global warming does not mean the earth will be warm at once. But on average most places will be warmer. according to the secretary general UN, this means rising sea levels; more frequent and less predictable floods and severe droughts; famine around the world, particularly in Africa and Central Asia; and
Carbon dioxide is not the only culprit. Emissions of methane and nitrous oxide also do considerable damage.
Coal and oil contain sulphur. Upon burning the sulphur is transformed into fine particles in the air. This sulphur pollution contributes to various environmental problems. Scientists do tend to think that this sulphur pollution has had cooling effects in the northern hemisphere, but the cooling is getting largely cancelled out due to more ‘greenhouse’ gas submissions.
If things continue on the same scale, scientists’ believe that the amount of warming will be about 2.5°F (1.4°C) by the year 2050. The range of uncertainty stretches from almost no change to over 4°F (2.3°C). That just spells disaster.
The ozone hole is a different problem.
Many people confuse the hole in the ozone layer with climate change. Though, these two problems are different. The ozone layer is basically a deep layer circling the earth that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer and damage plants and animals. An interesting fact to notice here is that the ozone itself is made up of ultraviolet radiation. The main cause of the hole in the ozone layer is chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), gases that are used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and industrial applications. While CFCs alone cause warming, their ozone destruction can cause cooling. So far these warming and cooling influences are approximately balanced. Under an international agreement most uses of CFCs are now being phased out to protect the ozone layer which has led to some improvement.