Causes and History
Climate change is long-term directed or rhythmic changes in climatic conditions on the Earth as a whole or its large regions. Climate change is directly or indirectly caused by human activities that cause changes in the composition of the global atmosphere. Alterations in the Earth’s atmosphere cause global warming, the process which occurs in other parts of the Earth, such as oceans, glaciers. The external processes that shape the climate are shifts in solar radiation and the Earth’s orbit. Today’s main problems are the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere due to fuel combustion, aerosols in the atmosphere that affect its cooling, and the cement industry (Rich, 2019). Other factors, such as land use, ozone depletion, animal husbandry, and deforestation, also affect climate.
Scientists became interested in the problem of climate change in the XVII century. A century later, a link was discovered between geological epochs and climate change (Rich, 2019). French scientist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon suggested that the Earth in its original form was a hot ball that gradually cooled, affecting the climate. In 1896, Swede Svante Arrhenius was the first to suggest that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and other processes could cause global warming in the future (Sutter, 2017). In 1988, James Hansen, a professor of ecology at Columbia University, addressed the U.S. Congress, where he spoke about the threat of climate change and called for immediate action (Sutter, 2017). This was the starting point for the fight against global warming.
Current State and Impact
Extreme weather events combined with the COVID-19 pandemic had a double impact on people last year. The pandemic has also disrupted meteorological observations and complicated disaster risk reduction efforts (Manzanedo & Manning, 2020). Today, the Earth’s population can observe that each summer is hotter than the previous one, conditioned by the sun’s temperature increase. On the other hand, the situation seems to have improved since numerous factories shut down due to the financial crisis.
Undoubtedly, global warming has left a significant impact on people’s lives. Climate change affects social and environmental health factors such as clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure housing. For instance, extremely high air temperatures directly lead to death from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, especially among the elderly. Besides, climatic conditions strongly influence water-borne diseases and diseases transmitted by insects, shellfish, and other cold-blooded animals.
How Can Humans Affect Climate Change?
Human beings can be responsible for preventing global warming by performing simple actions. For instance, the choice of vehicles in the city has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. One can start hiking, cycling, or using public transport instead of driving a car. In addition, farmers need to learn how to use less water to grow food, but they can also save water by reducing food waste. Some household waste is potentially hazardous and should never be disposed in a regular trash can. Batteries, paints, mobile phones, medicines, chemicals, and other items contain elements that can seep into the soil and water, damaging the natural resources needed for food production (Ritter, 2017). Moreover, reducing the use of single-use plastic will help keep the soils clean.
Meat production entails significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions than chicken, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. It is also worth reducing the consumption of dairy products, the production and transportation of which is accompanied by significant carbon dioxide emissions (Zeliger, 2019). In general, it is vital to disseminate as much knowledge as possible about climate change and spread public awareness about its consequences and prevention measures that every person can take.
Manzanedo, R., & Manning, P. (2020). COVID-19: Lessons for the climate change emergency. Science of The Total Environment, 742, 1-4. Web.
Rich, N. (2019). Losing earth: A recent history. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Ritter, A. (2017). Climate change. Economic, Poolitical and social strategies to combat the root causes. GRIN Verlag.
Sutter, P. S. (2017). Making Climate Change History: Documents from global warming’s past. University of Washington Press.
Zeliger, H. I. (2019). A pound of prevention for a healthier life: How and why avoiding exposures to toxic chemicals and other sources of oxidative stress, the cause of most disease, lowers the odds of getting sick. Universal Publishers.