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Climate Change

Natural climate variability is a slow process led by nature and has been taking place over the millennia on our planet.

Climate change is an anthropogenic induced climate imbalance. It is as a result of the gradual change in global temperature, caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which alter the composition of our global atmosphere. Today, our fast reality.

At the heart of climate change is the greenhouse effect, in which molecules of various gases trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere and keep it warm enough to support life. Carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) are an important part of Earth’s natural cycles, but human activities are boosting their concentrations in the atmosphere to dangerous levels. The result is rising global temperatures and an unstable climate that threatens humans, economies, and ecosystems. (WorldWatchInstitute, 2009)

Greenhouse gases come from a broad range of human activities, including energy use, changes in land use (such as deforestation), and agriculture.

Since the mid-eighteenth century fossil fuel use and cement production have released billions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere before the Industrial Revolution were some 280 parts per million (ppm). By 2007, levels had reached 384 ppm—a 37-percent increase.

Scientists believe that several “climate tipping elements” could destabilize the planet’s climate by setting off chain reactions—“positive feedbacks”—that accelerate other climate changes. Once a tipping element is triggered by crossing a threshold or tipping point, there is no turning back even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to end. Some tipping elements, such as the loss of Arctic summer sea ice, may be triggered within the next decade if climate change continues at the same rate. Others—the collapse of the Atlantic ocean current, for instance—are thought to be many decades away.

Repercussions of climate change affect us directly which is why we are experiencing a depletion of natural resources, flooding, disease, water shortage, habitat destruction, ecosystem disruption, glacial melting and, not least of which is the negative economic impact.

( Data taken from Climate Change Reference Guide - WorldWatchInstitute, IPCC AR4, UNFCCC )