The earth climates continue changing and affect the life of human and animals. Climate change is also known as global warming. It can be described as the gradual rise in the surface temperature of the earth. The earth’s temperature requires a balance of the heat entering and leaving the planet system (The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Climate change can have serious impacts on people and animals on Earth. Climate change is not only a local but also a global issue, and humans are the primary cause of climate change.
It is undeniable that humans are the most contributors to climate change. Many scientists have done in-depth research on climate change. It is well-known that humans are the leading cause of climate change due to the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels cause a release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the air. The gasses released to trap the heat in the atmosphere, and this has a range of effects on ecosystems. The effects include rising sea levels, melting snow, and ice, more extreme heat events, severe and catastrophic weather events such as intense rainfall, storms and floods, and droughts that render landscapes susceptible to wildfires (The National Climate Assessment, 2014). Further studies by scientists show that “Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to increase another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years”(The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017, Basic Information). The study suggests that the increase will continue and in some cases, may accelerate and this poses a significant risk to human health, forests, agriculture, freshwater supplies and rising coastlines.
The primary cause of climate change is not only the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil but also other factors. Natural factors include the variations of the sun’s energy reaching the earth, the changes in the reflectively of the earth’s atmosphere and surface, and human activities such as deforestation and agriculture which help to contribute to the proliferation of greenhouse gases that cause climate change (The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Other climate forces include; Black carbon (BC) is a solid particle or aerosol, it is not a gas, but it contributes to the warming of the atmosphere, Sulfates, organic carbon, and other aerosols can cause cooling by reflecting sunlight (The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Warming and cooling aerosols impacts negatively on the atmosphere as it interacts with clouds, changing some of their attributes such as formation, dissipation, reflectivity, and precipitation rates (Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Other natural factors that influence the climate change is the variations in the sun’s energy towards Earth’s system. When sunlight reaches the earth surface, it can be reflected or absorbed by the earth surface (The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). If it is absorbed, the earth releases some of the energy back into the atmosphere as heat. The greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), Tropospheric ozone (O3), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) absorb the energy (the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). And this slows the heat that is sent back to the atmosphere (the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). Although the natural cause of climate change is not avoidable, it is nothing to compare what human activities did over the past century.
A small increase in the earth’s temperature caused by climate change can have several effects on the lives in the land. The effects include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps. It can cause a great storm when it rains. Other effects include warm ocean temperatures, frequent storms especially during severe weather events which lead to flooding and tsunamis. Also, the increase in weather causes severe wildfires that threaten to the lives on earth. We may not be able to reverse the problems. But at least we can do something about it to avoid making it worse.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). Climate Change. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/climate-change-basic-information
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). Climate Change Science. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/climate-change-science/causes-climate-change
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases
National Climate Assessment. (2014). Overview | National Climate Assessment. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/overview/overview