If you are one of those who are quite concerned about the unusually high and low temperatures of our environment nowadays, climate change would probably ring a bell to you.
What is climate change?
Climate change is the world’s natural response to maintain energy balance. The energy levels we receive from the sun can tip the balance of global temperature and change our climate dramatically. Heat energy is distributed by ocean waves and winds all over the world causing extreme weather changes on a global scale.
Changes in the earth’s climate are a result of both internal and external “forcing mechanisms.”
- The most significant influence comes from solar radiation, and greenhouse gases.
- Other factors include deviations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun and continental drift.
- The biggest concern comes from the sun’s radiation and the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
What is Global Warming?
The most prominent and immediate effect of these forcing mechanisms is a phenomenon known as global warming. It has been observed how in some parts of the world temperatures spiked at an alarming rate.
- One particular incident was noted to be one of the hottest in the year 1913 in Death Valley, California, USA where temperatures reached a scorching 134?F.
- Less than a decade later, it soared up to another record high, this time in Libya, reaching up to 136?F in the year 1922.
Global warming has perpetually changed the world’s climatic conditions which can have life-threatening implications such as extreme weather conditions or the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and health risks like heat stroke and skin cancers. Climate change can also affect vegetation, resulting in rapid plant loss and consequently aggravating the problem of hunger and malnutrition.
2011 – the 10th Warmest on Record
The most disturbing finding about global warming is that it has become irreversibly worse as time goes by. Aside from the solar output, which is the primary cause of global warming, pollution and greenhouse gases further aggravates our present condition.
‘Climategate’ scientists made a startling revelation about the world’s present condition.
- Starting from the 1850’s our temperature levels has gone from bad to worse.
- For the 10th time in earth’s history, global average temperature in 2011 has peaked to 14 degrees centigrade according to World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Climate change is not new to us. Our world has gone through these cycles several times before and most life forms managed to survive due to the absence of these internal anthropogenic forcing mechanisms. However, with these environmental changes caused by industrialization coming into the picture, it might become an entirely different story.