climate
Environment

Causes and Effects of Climate Change

The effects of climate change become more and more noticeable as time passes.

Apparently, the planet is warming since 1906, and the temperatures have increased between 1.1 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, signs of global warming are becoming more visible now, and people have started to notice them, and some are extremely worried. The weather even causes glaciers and sea ice to melt, and winters are more severe in the US.

It is the biggest environmental challenge that our generation is facing, and our planet is suffering.

However, many people are not aware of what causes global warming and what its effects are. Therefore, this guide is meant to help you.

1. Causes

The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

Greenhouse gases include water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. These gases have the effect of trapping solar radiation in our planet’s atmosphere, and thus make the climate warmer.

Earth’s orbit change

The orbit around the Earth usually changes its shape.  Sometimes, the orbit is almost circular, so the planet is at the same distance from the sun. Other times, it has a more pronounced ellipse shape. This makes the Earth move further away and closer to the sun as it progresses around its orbit. As a result, the climate gets warmer when we are closer to the sun.

Ocean Currents

The currents of the oceans carry a lot of heat around the planet. They usually change directions, so different areas change temperature, becoming cooler or warmer. There’s a huge amount of heat in the oceans, so the current changes affect the global and coastal climate.

Volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics

The movement of plate tectonics causes continents to change their position and move somewhere else on Earth. For instance, 300 million years ago, Britain was near to the equator, and it had hotter weather.

Because of the plate movements, volcanoes form as well, adding to the climate change. They throw dust particles into the atmosphere when they erupt. So, depending on how sunlight interacts with the volcanic materials, the planet’s surface may cool or warm.

The carbon dioxide in the oceans

Compared to the atmosphere, the oceans contain more carbon dioxide and can absorb CO2 from it. When found in the oceans, CO2 doesn’t trap heat like it does in the atmosphere. We could have a warmer climate if CO2 moves back into the atmosphere by leaving the oceans.

2. Effects

The polar regions’ climate is changing

The south and north extremities of the Earth are regulating the planet’s climate, but they are now affected by global warming.

Over the last 100 years, average air temperatures have increased by about 5°C in the Arctic. According to data, there will be no summer sea ice cover remaining in the Arctic by the next few decades.

Climate change affects wildlife

Climate change is making it hard for certain species to adapt to it, so they will be affected by this.

For example, the number of tigers has decreased by about 3,200, mostly because of habitat loss. Also, African elephants can drink about 225 liters of water per day, so the lack of water is going to affect them. Polar bears are also forced to fast for longer, losing body weight and making their survival harder.

Forests are affected

Tree lines in sub-Arctic boreal forests are slowly retreating to the north as temperatures are rising.

It affects freshwater

Climate change is causing flooding through rains. So, freshwater environments all over the Earth are under pressure from pollution, drainage, and extraction. Climate change only makes this worse. Flooding and drought extremes become more common, and they cause conflict and displacement.

Final Thoughts

Climate change is a serious problem, and people need to have more knowledge about it. Hopefully, this article provided some helpful information.

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