500+ Words Essay on Climate Change
Change in the overall environmental conditions of our planet Earth is referred to as climate change. There is a significant difference between weather and climatic changes. While weather changes over short time intervals, climate refers to a change happening over an elongated period.
The global mean temperature has been rising persistently, and this has been happening across both land and sea areas. This has been a burning issue for inhabitants all over the world. Climate change can affect millions of lives, including our entire ecosystem. Plants, animals, birds, other species are its victims as well.
If not attended to, it can lead to catastrophic outcomes that can endanger the entire human civilization. A couple of factors are responsible for this change. The swift change in the Earth’s climate is mainly caused due to human activities.
How did Climate Change Start?
Scientists have reported that climate started changing in the latter half of the 19th century. However, some state that it can be as early as the 1500’s. Both instances have one thing in common that this occurred due to human activities. It was only the last century when we started discovering the effects of climate change.
Global warming and climate change are closely linked. The rising temperature of the Earth is caused by the greenhouse effect. It is a phenomenon that deals with trapping of heat in the atmosphere of the earth.
Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour allow the sunlight to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. However, they trap this heat and do not let it slip back into space. Carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere has significantly risen after the industrial revolution.
Fossil fuel and deforestation contribute to the increase in the level of carbon dioxide. It has the potential to last as long as a hundred years. Even if all human activities are shut down, still the temperature of the earth will continue to rise. One of the concerning issues which have come up to the surface recently is the ozone layer depletion.
The chlorofluorocarbons, along with the greenhouse gases, are responsible for breaking down the ozone molecules and thus forming a hole in the ozone layer. This has enabled the harmful ultraviolet rays to enter the Earth’s atmosphere and do all the more damage.
What is causing this Climate Change?
Climatic change is indeed a critical issue that needs to be governed. But what is its causing element? Do we know the real culprit? To understand the climatic changes, it is essential to know the underlying causes. Various factors are responsible for climate change. Out of these, two primary factors need to be highlighted. These are natural means and human activities.
Natural Means: Natural causes like volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate movement, ocean currents, Earth’s orbital variations, solar radiations, and internal variability hugely contribute to climate change. Volcanic eruptions pump out huge volumes of ash, debris, lava, and gases which influence the climatic patterns.
They also release tiny particles containing sulfur dioxide which gets to the stratosphere. These particles can reflect solar radiation out to space. Ocean currents play a vital role in the distribution of heat energy as well as the regulation of weather and climate.
Melting snow and ice can alter the earth’s climate and cause less energy to be reflected, which means even more warming. Earth’s orbital shift can trigger climatic changes like the strength of the seasons. Internal variability is caused due to interactions within the climatic systems. El Nino effect and the Arctic Oscillation are examples of the same.
Human activities: Man made activities have always proved to have some sort of negative impact on our environment. Some of the human reasons which affect our climate include deforestation, industrialization, pollution, and burning of fossil fuels.
The global rise of temperature has resulted in more floods, droughts, frequent rains, extreme levels of heat, etc. Thirty billion tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere each year. Most of these accumulating carbons come from fossil fuels.
Moreover, pollution aggravates the situation. Now the oxygen level is decreasing with the sharp rise in the level of carbon dioxide. Besides, with the greenhouse effect and varying climatic conditions, natural habitats for many animals have been destroyed.
Wildfires and the burning of crops have endangered several species. Many of these species are now extinct. Our activities not only harm us but also harm our surrounding biodiversity.
Effects of Climate Change
Climate change has adverse effects on our lives. The entire ecosystem is vulnerable to its consequences. Apart from rising carbon dioxide levels, we can see the rise in ocean levels.
This is because they have been warming up all these years. Glaciers and ice caps of the mountains are melting. Accelerated sea levels and intense heat waves are some other effects. Forest life is endangered too. Mass migration of species can be noticed. Wildlife is declining at a steady pace.
The bleaching of Coral reefs is another problem. Lives of aquatic creatures are also at stake. The marine ecosystem will be devastated at this rate. With this rapid transformation of ecosystems, mass extinction is likely to happen.
Human lives are no different. Human beings are prone to chronic diseases. Moreover, climate also affects other realms like agriculture, transportation, water supplies, power requirements, etc. Agriculture would be the worst-hit sector, especially in the regions which are coping up with malnutrition.
What happens next?
Climate change is not the typical ecological issue that can be fixed the way we try to fix smog issues. It is too big of a concern that affects millions of people out there. It will keep on affecting billion more if we do nothing about it. If this continues, soon humans would disappear from our planet and become extinct.
Neglecting this cause will bring subsequent damage to our future generations. We must start contributing to our environment before it is too late. This way, the world would be a safer place to live in.