Climate change can cause changes in the rainfall regime, which can cause extreme droughts in several places.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change “refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified through changes in the mean and / or variability of its properties and that persists over a long period of time, typically decades or more ”.
Currently, these changes are occurring at an accelerated rate due to the action of man.
Climate change is a major threat to biodiversity and is one of the main environmental problems of the 21st century.
In this text, we will present some considerations about the main causes of climate change, its consequences and actions to try to mitigate this problem.
Climate change has always occurred throughout Earth’s history. They can occur naturally, or anthropic. However, in recent times, human actions have aggravated climate change, especially after the Industrial Revolution.
Climate change can cause changes in habitat, causing the extinction of several species.
One of the main causes of climate change is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Earth’s surface constantly receives solar radiation. This radiation is reflected back into space by the Earth’s surface and other components of the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases absorb part of this radiation that would be radiated back into space, thus keeping the planet warm.
Human beings are largely responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The greenhouse effect is a natural process, however, the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due to the anthropic action, has accentuated this phenomenon and caused the increase in the average temperature of the planet, what we call global warming. Although many gases are related to global warming, CO2 has a prominent role, due to the large amount of emissions of this gas by human actions.
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by more than 32% since the Industrial Revolution. This increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is mainly related to the burning of fossil fuels, in addition to the burning of forests and industrial activities.
The Earth goes through natural climatic variations. In the past 400,000 years, for example, it has gone through four distinct cycles, glacial and interglacial. The last glaciation took place some 20,000 years ago, and it took the Earth about 10,000 years to warm up again and enter the interglacial phase.
However, it has been observed in recent decades that the increase in the average temperature of the planet has occurred about 50 times faster than in the natural cycle. According to IPCC models, in 2100, the planet should have an increase in its temperature between 2º C and 4.2º C above the temperature of the pre-industrial period.
Melting glaciers will cause sea levels to rise.
According to the IPCC reports, a series of floods could occur, due to the intensification of storms, and long periods of drought. In these two situations, livestock and agriculture may be harmed, as well as the survival of several species.
In addition, some regions may suffer from the large amount of rain, which will cause constant landslides and increased flooding. Probably coastal areas will also suffer from rising sea levels, thanks to the melting of glaciers caused by the increase in the average temperature of the planet.
The dry areas of the planet will suffer even more from the lack of water. Therefore, drinking water, which is already scarce in some regions, could be the cause of deaths and political disputes. In addition, with the increase in drought, the occurrence of fires may be more frequent, causing loss of biodiversity and threatening the life of the population. Given this situation, it is not difficult to conclude that several species of plants and animals will go into extinction.
Food production may decline, since any climate change directly affects the cultivation of several species. With this, there will be a difficulty in accessing food, not only because of low production, but also because of the possible increase in prices.
Human health may also be affected by climate change. Problems such as heat stroke, allergies, mosquito-borne diseases, malnutrition and hunger can be intensified due to the rise in global temperature.
The increase in the average temperature of the planet can trigger long periods of drought in the future.
The climatic changes that the planet has been going through, due to anthropic actions, can generate several impacts and have as consequences:
- Global warming
- Loss of ice cover at the poles
- Rising average sea level
- Increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as drought and rain
- Changes in the availability of water resources
- Changes in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity
- Risk of food insecurity and the collapse of food systems
- Extinction of several species
- Impacts on the health and well-being of the human population
It is essential to look for ways to mitigate these changes. It is important to limit the increase in global temperature so that it remains below 2 ºC in relation to the pre-industrial period, preferably below 1.5 ºC.
In December 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed, a document in which countries recognized climate change as an urgent and irreversible threat to all populations and which policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2, should be implemented, such as by investing in clean energy. However, some studies show that the measures taken so far have not been sufficient to achieve this goal. It is essential that the government, private institutions and civil society work together in the search for initiatives to mitigate climate change.
In 2020, we faced the biggest pandemic in the last 100 years and, consequently, the biggest economic recession in recent history. The vast majority of the population thought this was impossible, but the world stopped. A pandemic can change a lot. It can change the world. It can change people, and it reveals what the human being is.
Will we come back from this nightmare with a more humanitarian view of the world we live in? Or will we continue with the “blindness epidemic” capable of interrupting our ability to see reality with clarity? Species extinction, social inequality, racism, climatic emergency. If you could go back in time, what would you do to stop it all?
Please let us know your thoughts!
ROO BAGS CEO