Understanding Climate Change
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. It is caused by greenhouse gases escaping into the atmosphere, mostly from human activities such as burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. This causes an increase in average global temperatures. This can lead to more extreme weather events such as droughts or floods.
Climate change is the result of human activity, but the impacts are only now being felt. Climate change is caused by us and it’s happening now. That’s why scientists say we need to act now to prevent further damage to our planet.
Climate change has already had a huge impact on ecosystems around the world. Polar bears are dying because of shrinking ice caps at both poles. Higher temperatures are causing more frequent wildfires in Australia’s tropical savannahs. Coral reefs are bleaching due to ocean acidification (when carbon dioxide makes the water more acidic); and many other effects on biodiversity
Climate change amplifies the threat of extreme events, such as droughts and floods, to water security and food production.
Climate change will increase the risk of extreme events such as droughts and floods. Extreme events can cause damage to infrastructure, crops, and lives. For example, drought in some parts of Africa has resulted in food insecurity for many people there.
Extreme weather is also a concern to water security as well as food security. It damages infrastructure such as roads and bridges which may not be able to handle heavy rainwater flows during flooding events.
Climate change threatens human health
Climate change is a health issue that affects everyone, but it’s especially important for those who live in areas that are vulnerable to its effects.
Ultimately climate change will affect the environment in many ways, including:
Food production and access to food. Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns have led to more frequent droughts and floods that can cause crop losses or damage. These changes also make water more expensive for farmers and lead people in developing countries like India or Bangladesh—where most of the world’s poor live—to rely on less reliable sources such as wells instead of rivers or lakes when they need fresh water during dry seasons. This has an impact on public health because it puts millions at risk of malnutrition by limiting their ability to grow enough crops (which means they won’t get enough nourishment) while simultaneously making them more prone to infectious diseases like cholera due to contaminated drinking water sources becoming unclean due to lack of sewer systems installed near homes where people may use these services regularly.”
Human activities are changing our climate
Climate change is the result of human activities over time. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to warming. Aerosols such as black carbon can also trap heat when they are released into the atmosphere from natural sources or by human activity. Land use change can affect local weather patterns if forested areas are cleared for agriculture or urban development. Droughts are caused by climate variability (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation), but droughts can also be exacerbated by climate change, especially because higher temperatures increase evaporation rates which lead to greater water loss from soils and vegetation cover
This causes global warming, which contributes to changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events.
The problem of climate change is a global one. Greenhouse gases are coming from human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agriculture. They cause the earth to heat up and change the weather patterns around the world.
Climate models predict that temperatures will continue to rise until at least 2100 or beyond if we continue business as usual. This means we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions quickly if we want to prevent significant impacts on Australia’s economy and people’s health (see section 3).
Climate models have shown that climate change will have an impact on Australia in many ways: it will increase extreme weather events like drought or flooding; lead to more frequent bushfires; affect tourism industries such as fishing communities by making beaches harder for tourists who want access but also potentially causing economic losses through tourism decline due increased costs associated with purchasing insurance policies etc..
As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures rise, water vapour increases, land ice melts, and oceans warm.
Greenhouse gases and their effect
The greenhouse effect is a natural process that occurs when gases in the atmosphere trap heat. Some percentage of the solar radiation that enters the earth’s atmosphere in shortwave form is not absorbed by these gases. But when they heat the earth’s surface they convert into long waves. Now, these greenhouse gases trap long-wave radiation and raise atmospheric temperatures.
Gases that create the greenhouse effect are :
Most of our atmosphere is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. When you breathe out, you exhale these gases as well as carbon dioxide (CO2).
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most potent and abundant greenhouse gas. It is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil during industrial processes like production and transportation. Greenhouse gases also come from deforestation which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. It stays for hundreds or thousands of years before eventually being absorbed back into plants or soil through photosynthesis.
What is global warming?
When the concentration of greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere it contributes to rising average global temperatures.
Each increase in temperature makes it more likely that there will be extreme weather events – from heatwaves to tropical storms.
The frequency of extreme weather events is increasing.
The severity of the events themselves is also increasing, but not as quickly as their frequency. Extreme weather can have a devastating impact on human health, livelihoods, and ecosystems. For example, in 2016 it was revealed that more than 10 million people were affected by flooding in India. One year later this number had risen to 15 million. This is a massive increase that shows just how devastating climate change can be for those living on its front line.
Impacts of climate change include:
-More frequent floods and droughts.
-Heatwaves, wildfires, and superstorms.
-Extreme storm surges and coastal flooding lead to loss of lives and livelihoods.
-More frequent floods.
According to the United Nations, floods are the most common natural disaster in the world. They’re also the most common weather-related disaster in the United States and South Asia, where they claim lives and cause billions of dollars worth of damage each year. In Africa, flooding is second only to earthquakes as a cause for death or injury—and it’s not just because these countries have poor infrastructure: Floods can occur anywhere at any time and affect people who live far from rivers or lakes.
Droughts are a natural phenomenon. They occur when there is a lack of rainfall or snowfall, causing the ground to dry out and vegetation to die. This can lead to crop failure, water shortages, and food insecurity if it lasts too long.
Droughts can also lead to conflict and migration as communities compete with each other for scarce resources such as water or land that has been affected by drought conditions (for example: “Water Wars”).
Climate change is partly responsible for the increasing frequency and severity of droughts across many parts of the globe; however it isn’t just about shorter growing seasons for crops – there are other factors at play here as well!
Heatwaves are more common and longer lasting, with hotter temperatures affecting more people. They’re also more intense, meaning the heatwave can be fatal if you’re not prepared for it. If you live in a country where winters are bitterly cold but summers are mild, it may feel like there’s no reason to prepare for extreme weather — but this isn’t true!
In many parts of the world, successful climate change mitigation strategies could mean less frequent or less severe heatwaves as well as less extreme droughts and floods (see Figure 1). This would mean fewer deaths due to these events — but what about those who aren’t so lucky?
Wildfires (bushfires) are a natural part of the Australian landscape. In fact, it is estimated that at least 50% of all fires in Australia are caused by lightning strikes or human activity. However, climate change is making them more frequent and more severe.
Climate change means there are warmer days and cooler nights with less humidity than before. This can increase the risk of wildfires due to dry conditions during fire seasons and longer periods when there is no rain!
Extreme storm surges and coastal flooding
This leads to the loss of lives and livelihoods.
Storm surges are extreme weather events that occur when a tropical cyclone moves over water.
Coastal flooding is a direct result of high waves, strong winds, and storm surges reaching coastal areas. It can occur as a result of large storm surges or high tides combined with other weather phenomena such as wind and waves.
Coastal flooding can cause loss of lives, livelihoods, homes, and businesses due to property damage caused by storm surges or coastal inundation (i.e., rising sea levels).
Are climate change models any good?
Climate models have many uncertainties but the need for action remains
Climate models are not perfect, but they are the best tool we have for understanding how our climate changes over time and what it will be like in the future. They can help us predict changes to certain aspects of our environment, such as sea level rise or extreme weather events. But there are many uncertainties about these models—it’s hard to know if they’re accurate enough or if they need revision based on new information about the Earth’s temperature history.
The best way to reduce emissions is through reducing consumption: switching from coal-fired power plants that release carbon dioxide into our air; eating less meat; buying fewer things made overseas (like electronics); driving less often instead of taking public transit; etc., all while also investing in cleaner technologies like solar panels, wind turbines and electric motors that run cars more efficiently than gasoline engines do now
National Action Plan on Climate Change
Due to the emergent threat of climate impacts, all governments need to unite and make combined efforts to tackle climate change.
With the above-said objective, the governments of the world have met several times over the years to form a consensus and deal with this emergent crisis. In international summits, agreements are made on achievable goals to mitigate climate change.
These agreements serve as the baseline for participating nations to formulate policies for short and long-term National and State action plans.
Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our environment, biodiversity, and people. Climate models have many uncertainties but the need for action remains despite these uncertainties. We must develop technologies that can reduce emissions and increase carbon storage in soils, forests, and other ecosystems.
References & External Sources
Download fact sheets published by the UN
On climate and the physical science.
Climate, food, and agriculture