It is crucial to provide a description of the problem of the climate crisis, its causes and effects, and possible prevention measures.
- The climate crisis, combined with declining biodiversity, is the most significant challenge facing humanity.
- At the moment, rising average temperatures are having a strong influence on the climate, and these impacts will become even more critical through the years (Dearden & Mitchel 2016).
The Concept and Causes of Climate Change
- Climate change is the variation of the climate of the Earth in general or its individual regions over time. They are expressed by statistically reliable deviations of weather conditions from multi-year values over a period of decades to millions of years (Fawzy et al., 2020).
- Transformations determine climate changes in the Earth’s atmosphere and processes occurring in other parts, such as oceans and glaciers. It is also due to the impacts associated with human activities (Dearden & Mitchel 2016). External processes that influence the climate are configurations of solar radiation and the Earth’s orbit.
- One of the leading factors of climate change is burning fossil fuels, coal, gas, and oil (Fawzy et al., 2020). This has contributed to higher atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
- The reasons are also agriculture, especially large-scale cattle breeding and the use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, deforestation, and transportation (Fawzy et al., 2020).
The Dynamics of Climate Change
- Multiple studies have documented an increase in the global average temperature since the middle of the 1990s (Parry, 2019). This process is generally referred to as global warming, which is assumed to be caused by human activity, specifically the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.
- It is assessed that human activity has caused a temperature increase of about 1.0 °C compared to the pre-industrial level ranging from 0.8 °C to 1.2 °C. At this rate, global warming will probably reach an average temperature increase of 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2052 (Fawzy et al., 2020).
- For the first time in observational history, it rained rather than snow at the peak of the Greenland ice sheet, and Canadian glaciers were rapidly melting (Fawzy et al., 2020).
The Effects of Climate Change
- Higher water levels in the seas and oceans due to water expansion at higher temperatures and melting glaciers. More intense and frequent abnormal weather phenomena, such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, and storms (Parry, 2019).
- Territories become desertified, and crop yields decrease due to the depletion of water reserves. This can lead to regional tensions, exacerbating existing conflicts (Parry, 2019).
- In addition, a threat to long-term crop planning and food supplies is generally due to less reliable and unpredictable seasonal shifts.
- Climate change is a significant threat to the health and well-being of the environment, and a loss of valuable habitats, biodiversity, vital ecosystems, and species due to a lack of adaptability to rapidly changing environmental conditions (Dearden & Mitchel 2016).
- The first stage is the transition to using green energy. Currently, 31% of greenhouse gases result from the production of heat and electricity and the activities of other sectors (Fawzy et al., 2020). The use of clean energy in the home and business is essential in the effort to combat climate change.
- State cooperation at the international level to protect the environment (Dearden & Mitchel 2016).
- Governments introduce national programs to reduce the use of plastic and other harmful materials and recycle waste (Fawzy et al., 2020).
Dearden, P., & Mitchel B. (2016). Environmental change and challenge. Oxford University Press.
Fawzy, S., Osman, A. I., Doran, J., & Rooney, D. W. (2020). Strategies for mitigation of climate change: A review. Environmental Chemistry Letters, 18(6), 2069-2094.
Parry, M. L. (2019). Climate change and world agriculture. Routledge.