Climate Change: Environmental Protection Agency
How it works
Global warming, often referred to as climate change is used to describe the rise in average surface temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. There is a great debate amongst many as to whether global warming is real( some call it a hoax). There is a broad-based agreement within the scientific community that climate change is real. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration concur that climate change is indeed occurring and almost certainly due to human activities like the use of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases into the air.
The gases trap heat within the atmosphere, which can have a range of effects on ecosystems, including sea levels, severe weather events, and droughts that render landscapes more susceptible to wildfires.
EVIDENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING
The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling. They but are not limited to global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice effects, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, sea level rise, declining arctic sea ice, extreme events.
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is the human expansion of the greenhouse effect warming that result when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from earth towards space.
Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases that remain semi= permanently in the atmosphere do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as ‘forcing’ climate change. Gases such as water vapor, which respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are seen as feedbacks.
Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect include:
Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons.
The change in the natural greenhouse is attributed to human activities on earth. Over the last century, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased mainly due to burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. The coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make carbon dioxide.
Other human activities like clearing of land for agriculture, industry, etc. has increased concentration of greenhouse gases.
CIVILIZATION IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Humankind demands an unnerving toll on the planet. Everything we do affect our environment in one way or another. Be it what we build or consume, it all comes from our environment. Everything requires a segment of the world and changes that divide all the while. Varied woodlands turn into a pervasive field of corn. A wild turns into a network of boulevards, lights and high rises. In addition, we revamp the world somewhat more to our liking each day.
To all the more likely check human progress’ effect on the earth, researchers created eco-footprint analysis (EFA) to quantify exactly how much land is important to help a specific section of the populace’s utilization level. By this metric, we can pass judgment on demand individual demographics put on nature.
People in developed nations, for example, the United States and Japan, each require an expected 10 to 25 acres of land of land to help their way of life. As indicated by populace environmentalist William E. Rees, the worldwide normal separates to 5.4 acres of land per individual. Tragically, the planet has sufficiently just bio productive surface area to dispense 4.4 acres of land to every one of its 6.8 billion inhabitants. Human development’s eco-impression is as of now 22 percent past feasible dimensions.
So far in mankind’s history, this unquenchable craving has prompted the elimination of incalculable species, extending from the wooly mammoths of the Ice Age to the Tasmanian tiger in the twentieth century. Indeed, even the Neanderthals tumbled to human clubs and human rivalry for assets. Different species have flourished, either through development and taming or careless presentation into new neighborhood biological systems.
We’ve transformed deserts into farmlands and gorges into artificial lakes; we’ve erected artificial monsters to house both our living and our dead. Indeed, even the environment itself has changed because of our unlimited yearn for assets. Numerous researchers date human-impacted worldwide environmental change back to the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. Others, for example, natural researcher William F. Ruddiman, demand that carbon dioxide focuses started to rise 8,000 years back because of early slice and-consume horticulture rehearses.
Contamination has likewise incurred significant damage on the earth, harming environments with destructive synthetic substances and littering them with won’t. Landfills have turned out to be favored home bases for profitable species, for example, rodents and seagulls. Submerged ships and destroyed wharfs have turned out to be new submerged living spaces.
Alongside human venture, human clash has likewise adjusted nature. For instance, over three decades after the Vietnam War, the neighborhood biological community is as yet overflowing with cavities, unexploded arms and far reaching poisonous buildups that length the whole evolved way of life. Some critics of this type of warfare even venture to such an extreme as to mark it “”ecocide”” and request of for its incorporation in worldwide law.
In the hundreds of years ahead, people may figure out how proportional back on their eco-footprint. In like manner, they may figure out how to control nature considerably more or connect into the nearby planetary group for the assets they require.
ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
Technology is fundamentally changing the manner in which we live, work, identify with each other and to the outer world. The speed, expansiveness and profundity of current breakthroughs have no historical precedent and are disrupting almost every sector in every country. Now more than ever, the advent of new technology has the potential to transform environmental protection.
The hunt for new more quick witted approaches to help our improvement has dependably been a key driver of innovative progression. Today as our civilization faces a new unprecedented challenge, technology can assume a significant job in decoupling development and environmental degradation.
Let’s get straight to the point. No human innovation can completely supplant ‘nature’s innovation’ consummated more than a huge number of years in conveying key administrations to continue life on Earth. A productive, diverse normal world, and a steady atmosphere have been the establishment of the achievement of our human progress, and will keep on being so in future. A crucial issue in past mechanical insurgencies has been the lightness with which we have underestimated healthy natural systems like forests, oceans, river basins (all supported and kept up by biodiversity) instead of esteeming these as an important condition to advancement.
We expend more common assets than the planet can recover. At present, we are utilizing assets and biological system benefits just as we had 1.7 Earths and such an environmental overshoot is conceivable just temporarily before biological systems start to debase and, at last, crumple.
As global biodiversity continues to decline steeply, the health and functioning of crucial ecosystems like forests, the ocean, rivers and wetlands will be affected. Coupled with climate change impacts which are evident in warnings from scientists and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events worldwide; this is going to be disastrous for the ecological balance of the planet and for our survival.
This is not just doom and gloom, the risk is real. The failing of natural systems is not without consequences for us.
Consistently new proof of our unsustainable effect on nature is developing. The most recent five years have been the hottest five-year time frame on record, the Arctic warmed a lot quicker than anticipated and the UN appraises that over the most recent 10 years, atmosphere related calamities have caused $1.4 trillion worth of harm around the world. In a little more than 40 years, the world has seen 60% decrease in untamed life crosswise over land, ocean and freshwater and is heading towards a stunning decay of 66% by 2020 if ebb and flow patterns proceed. This has occurred in under an age. A squint of the eye, in contrast with the hundreds of millions of years these animal species have existed on our planet.
It is time to focus on the solutions which we know exist or have the potential to be developed and this is where technology, along with behavioral change, can help us reboot the health of our nature and planet. From the high seas to the depths of the world’s most dense forests, technology can transform how we identify, measure, track and value the many services and resources nature provides us with.
The possibilities for technology partnerships to reboot nature are endless. Our challenge now is to scale this work beyond a few test sites and into all of the places we are working to protect the planet. More than technology, we require a central move in attitude and comprehension of the job that nature and biodiversity designs in our lives and organizations. In the event that we keep on creating, expend and control our lives the manner in which we do well currently, woodlands, seas and climate frameworks will be overpowered and crumple. Unsustainable farming, fisheries, foundation activities, mining and vitality are prompting extraordinary biodiversity misfortune and environment debasement, over-abuse, contamination and environmental change. While their effects are progressively obvious in the regular world, the results on individuals are genuine as well. From sustenance and water shortage to the nature of the air we inhale, the proof has never been clearer. We are be that as it may, in numerous cases, neglecting to make the connection. Close by the innovative transformation, what we require is a similarly extraordinary social upset in the manner in which we associate with the planet.
WHAT’S AHEAD US?
The effects of global warming are the environmental and social changes caused (directly or indirectly) by human emissions of greenhouse gases. There is a scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, and that human activities are the primary driver. Many impacts of climate change have already been observed, including glacier retreat,] changes in the timing of seasonal events (e.g., earlier flowering of plants), and changes in agricultural productivity. Anthropogenic forcing has likely contributed to some of the observed changes, including sea level rise, changes in climate extremes, declines in Arctic sea ice extent and glacier retreat.
Future effects of climate change will vary depending on climate change policies and social development. The two main policies to address climate change are reducing human greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation) and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Geoengineering is another policy option.
Research by an array of scientists and scholars supports a daunting conclusion: Climate change is unlike any environmental problem we’ve ever faced. We can’t fix it the way we’ve started to fix smog or the ozone hole, with circumscribed regulations and treaties and limited technological changes. Climate change is too big in space, time, and complexity; the emissions that cause it are too central a consequence of the effort of some 7.5 billion people now, and some 10 billion within several decades, to prosper on Earth.
Why didn’t the environmental movement fully succeed? Some theorists now calling themselves bright greens or eco-modernists have abandoned the moral fight altogether. Their justification for doing so is that people want a vision of the future that’s cheery and that doesn’t require sacrifice. Now, they say, only a technological fix offers any hope. A gargantuan investment in technology (whether next-generation nuclear power or solar radiation geo-engineering) is being billed as our last hope. But in reality it’s no hope at all.
The reason for the failure thus far of the environmental movement wasn’t that it appealed to humanity’s moral sentiments”that was in fact the movement’s great strength. The effort fell short because it wasn’t able to alter industrial society’s central organizing principle, which is also its fatal flaw: its dogged pursuit of growth at all cost. Now we’re at the point where we must finally either succeed in overcoming growthism or face the failure not just of the environmental movement, but of civilization itself.
The good news is that systemic change is fractal in nature: it implies, indeed it requires, action at every level of society. We can start with our own individual choices and behavior; we can work within our communities. We needn’t wait for a cathartic global or national sea change. And even if our efforts cannot save consumerist industrial civilization, they could still succeed in planting the seeds of a regenerative human culture worthy of survival.
There’s more good news: once we humans choose to restrain our numbers and our rates of consumption, technology can assist our efforts. Machines can help us monitor our progress, and there are relatively simple technologies that can help deliver needed services with less energy usage and environmental damage. Some ways of deploying technology could even help us clean up the atmosphere and restore ecosystems.
But machines won’t make the key choices that will set us on a sustainable path. Systemic change driven by moral awakening: it’s not just our last hope; it’s the only real hope we’ve ever had.
Conclusively, our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue. Over the past century-and-a-half, enormous amounts of cheap energy from fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution, and loss of natural habitat and hence biodiversity. The human system expanded dramatically, overshooting Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for humans while upsetting the ecological systems we depend on for our survival. Until we understand and address this systemic imbalance, symptomatic treatment (doing what we can to reverse pollution dilemmas like climate change, trying to save threatened species, and hoping to feed a burgeoning population with genetically modified crops) will constitute an endlessly frustrating round of stopgap measures that are ultimately destined to fail.