Climate Change - What's All That About?
When humans cut down trees or burn fossil fuels, they release extra carbon into the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect. Mass deforestation around the world at an unprecedented rate is making the problem worse year by year.
Unfortunately, due to this climate change the earth is getting warmer as temperatures at the Earth's surface have increased by an estimated 1.4°F (0.8°C) between 1900 and 2005. The past decade was the hottest of the past 150 years and perhaps the past millennium. The hottest 22 years on record have occurred since 1980, and 2005 was the hottest on record.
The Kyoto Protocol on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, believed to be the key cause of global warming, expires in 2012 and does not require major developing nations to make reductions. In addition, the US has rejected it. Increasing car usage around the world is leading to carbon dioxide emissions increasing not decreasing. As incomes rise in India and China, they are obviously looking at car ownership as a status symbol and the benefits that it brings. With nearly 2.5 billion between these 2 countries, this increased car ownership could cancel out any gains made in the West through reducing factory and car emissions.
Scientists and those in the know predict that climate-induced floods, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense hurricanes, famine, drought and conflict could also reverse recent gains in reducing poverty around the world and that the USA and UK will be affected by all or some of the above.
Climate change presents a significant challenge to the UK and to the international community. Recent Climate Change Conferences in Montreal and the G8 and the Gleneagles Summit have attempted to co-ordinate the international response to climate change.
There are also enormous opportunities if we are willing to take action. Government, business and individuals all have a part to play, and all of us will benefit from rising to the challenge of reducing the harm to the environment.
While some of the effects of climate change may be positive, such as longer growing seasons in certain countries and longer, hotter summers in the UK. These positive impacts are unlikely to be sustained as the globe continues to warm. Similarly, many developing countries are even more vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and less able to adapt due to lack of money and will power
Related Tags: car, change, uk, co2, climate, carbon, usa, earth, greenhouse, biodiversity, dioxide, forests, gases, developing
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