Climate Change, Global Warming, and Related Issues
Salvador, Patricia Camille O.
The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns. The subjects of “global warming” and “climate change” have become parts of both the popular dictionary and the public discourse. Discussions of global warming often induce responses and debates between believers to different views of the threat posed. Yet there are many degree regarding global warming, climate change, and the threats they represent that are not well understood by the public. The public’s conceptual understanding relies largely on images and paradigms within the underlying scientific concepts. To appreciate the potential threat that climate change and global warming represent to human society, living things, and our environment, it is necessary that we first understand the true science underlying these phenomena. The purpose of this report is to review the implications of climate change for the welfare of human society and our environment. First to discuss is the science underlying global warming, climate change, and the connections between these two phenomena. Next, the various variations considering climate change and global warming will be talked about. Then the report explores what climate changes are projected for the future under various possible scenarios of future human behavior, and what impacts these changes are likely to have on society, ecosystems, and our environment. Finally, opinions and conclusions will be given.
I. Scientific Background
1Many people in the media and elsewhere use the terms "climate change" and "global warming" interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. But there are differences between the meanings of the two terms. Getting a better handle on the definitions of and differences between "global warming" and "climate change" will help us understand why the threat caused by continued warming of the planet is so serious. The meaning of climate change is fairly straightforward—a clear, sustained change in the components of climate, such as temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, or winds. Such changes must constitute a clear trend, and be clearly distinguished from the small random variation in these parameters that takes place all the time. Climate may change in a single region or across the whole planet. These changes can be brought about by a variety of factors such as natural external factors, natural internal processes of the climate, or human-induced (anthropogenic) factors. These causes will be further discussed in the preceding section. Global warming on the other hand refers to an increase in the average temperature at the surface of the earth, or the lower part of the atmosphere. Most climatologists consider that the global warming experiencing by the most is mainly the result of human actions changing the composition of the atmosphere. However, global warming and cooling have occurred naturally throughout the history of the earth, as a result of natural climate variability. Such changes in the past were usually much slower than the rate of warming that has occurred in the last few decades. A. Energy Balance
2The Earth receives energy solely from the Sun, in the form of light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and releases energy back to space, in the form of infrared heat. The Earth's climate is determined by the "Earth's stored Energy" which is the difference in the amount of energy received from...
Salvador, Patricia Camille O.
B22 L14 PH2 Narra St., Sto. Nino, Pasay City
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