Climate Change: Concept and Theories
Climate change has become a concern of scientists rather recently. There are numerous theories as to the reasons for this process, but there are still no particular answers. Some researchers believe that this is a natural process, and there can be done anything while others stress that people’s activities harm the environment and contribute greatly to climate change (Mathes 276).
What scientists know is that climate change has an impact on the development of the planet and human society. More so, it is also acknowledged that it affects people’s health and can lead to a variety of catastrophic consequences. Admittedly, people have tried to develop numerous strategies to solve the issue, and it is possible to consider some of these methods.
As has been mentioned above, scientists have discussed numerous reasons for climate change. Some scientists state that there are different natural causes for that process. Before mentioning the reasons for climate change, it is important to note that the problem is closely connected with the depletion of the ozone layer. This is the layer in the plant’s atmosphere containing “relatively high concentrations of ozone” (Sivasakthivel & Reddy 30).
The ozone layer is from “approximately 10 km to 50 km above” the surface of the Earth (Sivasakthivel & Reddy 30). This layer is a shield protecting all organisms living on the planet from solar radiation. However, this shield is being damaged by numerous harmful emissions and, hence, solar radiation has a stronger negative effect on the Earth and its inhabitants.
As has been mentioned above, scientists have discussed numerous reasons for climate change. Some of them state that there are different natural causes for that process. One of these causes is the volcano eruption as it has been proven that large explosive volcano eruptions have a significant effect on the balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperatures (Mathes 89).
There are also numerous process planet’s fossil fuels undergo, which affect global temperature. Admittedly, the solar activity also has a certain influence on climate change (Mathes 135). Lots of scientists stress that these processes have been taking place for millions of years.
However, researchers are now more concerned with the global nature of the process as earlier temperature increase occurred locally, whereas now the entire planet is undergoing this change (Mathes 130). This makes the problem more serious as it is likely to have numerous consequences for humanity.
Apart from supporters of the idea of natural causes of climate change, there are researchers who claim that people’s activities contribute greatly to climate change — for instance, burning fossil fuels ‘heats’ the planet. Mathes notes that atmosphere and stratosphere are great filters of heat and radiation, which comes from both sides, from the planet’s surface and the sun (132).
However, greenhouse effects interfere with this process and radiation as well as heat remains in the atmosphere. In other words, the planet does not ‘cool’ and accumulates heat, which is dangerous to the vast majority of organisms. To support the idea that heat comes from the planet’s surface more than it does from the sun, scientists claim that the planet does not cool at night when there is no sun (Mathes 132).
Scientists point out that people’s activities harm the environment and ‘heat’ the planet. Thus, industrial development has led to an increase in harmful gases emissions and contribute to the greenhouse effect.
It has been estimated that increase in harmful gasses emissions is increasing rapid and it is approximately ten times faster than “the warming at the end of the most recent glacial period 15,000 years ago” (Mathes 132). Deforestation is another problem for the future of the problem forests ‘cool’ the planet providing oxygen and consuming carbon dioxide.
It is necessary to note that lots of people think of climate change as a problem affecting the environment or planet and, thus, a problem which is distant and quite irrelevant to a person. However, this process affects each organism of the planet. Of course, it influences each person in the world. For instance, climate change has numerous effects on people’s health.
One of these influences is the development of skin cancer and numerous eye disorders (Nwoke, Nwoke & Ukpai 170). People are now exposed to a larger amount of solar radiation, but people have not developed effective tools to resists or, in other words, have not adapted yet (Nwoke, Nwoke & Ukpai 169).
This leads to a variety of health issues. Apart from skin cancer, solar radiation is reducing people’s immune system’s resistance to numerous “infectious and parasitic diseases” (Nwoke, Nwoke & Ukpai 169). Rising temperatures are favorable for numerous parasites, viruses, and bacteria which can cause the development of diseases and even start epidemics.
High temperatures also increase the rate of cardiovascular disorders in people, especially elderly ones (Martens 163). The risk of heart attack or stroke is increasing, and elderly people are especially vulnerable. Nwoke, Nwoke, and Ukpai note that mortality “increases sharply during the heat wave” (170). Again, this is a sign of a rapid change and people’s inability to adapt to new conditions.
At the same time, climate change is not confined to the heating of the planet as it is also associated with extreme weathers. These conditions also negatively affect people’s health. Hurricanes, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters destroy people’s homes and make them face numerous issues and live in conditions which are often associated with spread infectious diseases.
Malnutrition is another problem millions of people worldwide have to face. Farming lands are decreasing due to droughts, hurricanes, and so on. Famine is one of the problems which occur as a result of climate change. Famine is closely connected with certain harm to biodiversity in huge areas.
As has been mentioned above, climate change affects all organisms on the planet. For example, a lot of lands is turning into deserts or, on the contrary, become flooded. Plants vanish, and animals inhabiting areas have to search for more favorable conditions (Sivasakthivel & Reddy 35). Carnivore animals also have to move in their search of food. Notably, the change is occurring on land and in the water.
Lots of areas become contaminated after such natural disasters as floods, hurricanes, and so on (Sivasakthivel & Reddy 35). Numerous species of fish become extinct or are in danger of extinction. Again, plants, animals, and fish are exposed to numerous parasites, and global warming contributes to the development of harmful organisms which are ore adapted to such conditions.
Notably, climate change is affected by industries, and, at the same time, this process hurts industries as well. This is especially true for agriculture (Nordhaus, 230). People extract and burn fossil fuels to produce goods (including food). They cut down trees to have farming lands.
This contributes to climate change. In its turn, this process creates lots of hazards to agriculture. Extreme temperatures and lack of water destroy harvests. Numerous natural disasters also damage farming lands, and people do not have enough food in huge areas. The problems are really serious and need to be solved for the sake of present and future generations.
Scientists have been working on the development of effective solutions for decades. There are numerous ideas on the way to handle the problem. One of the potential solutions is further research into the problem and exploring a variety of issues in detail (Nordhaus 146). In other words, scientists believe that it is crucial to understand processes which contribute to climate change to be able to handle the issue.
Apart from understanding processes contributing to climate change, researchers also need to explore and check different strategies aimed at solving problems.
Mathes notes that development of climate models can be a good and effective strategy to explore climate change and associated processes (172). These models enable scientists to predict the way this or that process starts and finishes. Of course, these predictions will help researchers to develop strategies which will address issues occurring because of climate change.
Another solution is to consume less fossil fuel as a source of energy. It has been estimated that production and use of such sources contribute greatly to depletion of the ozone layer, increase in harmful emissions, and ‘heating’ of the planet (Nwoke, Nwoke & Ukpai 171).
Therefore, it is essential to reduce the consumption of such sources of energy. Remarkably, people have already learned how to use renewable sources of energy, and the development of new sources should never end. The use of windmills and the development of new sources will help people to reduce harmful effects on the environment.
Finally, raising people’s awareness of the problem will positively affect the situation (Nwoke, Nwoke & Ukpai 171). It is crucial to make people think about the problem and the importance of being more responsible. Governments of all countries must launch a variety of programs which would target all groups of people.
Students at schools and universities should know more about the problem as they can choose to devote their lives to looking for the necessary solutions. Companies should also participate in this process. Entire industries should be involved. These programs will help people to unite and concentrate on specific, meaningful issues.
To sum up, it is necessary to point out that climate change is a serious issue which needs to be solved immediately. Major causes of climate change are natural processes which are taking place and increasing impact of people’s activities. The problem has numerous effects on the development of the planet and human society.
Climate change affects people’s health in a variety of ways. It also negatively affects biodiversity as well as the development of industries. It is noteworthy that researchers are still unsure about the particular causes of the problem.
Nevertheless, everybody is sure that it is necessary and possible to address the issue. Thus, there are several strategies which can be used to cope with the problem. People must focus on the development of renewable sources of energy and raising awareness about the problem. The planet is changing, and people of the present are responsible for preserving the Earth for upcoming generations.
Martens, Pim. Health and Climate Change: Modelling the Impacts of Global Warming and Ozone Depletion. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. Print.
Mathes, Edmond A. Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future. Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2013. Print.
Nordhaus, William D. Economics and Policy Issues in Climate Change. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Nwoke, B.E.B., E.A. Nwoke and O.M. Ukpai. “Effect of Climate Change on Human Health and Some Adaptive Strategies – A Review.” Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 2.1 (2009): 168-172. Print.
Sivasakthivel, T and K.K. Siva Kumar Reddy. “Ozone Layer Depletion and Its Effects: A Review.” International Journal of Environmental Science and Development 2.1 (2011): 30-37. Print.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!