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Climate is defined as the prevailing weather conditions in a particular region over an extended period of time of around 30 years. Climate change on the other hand, refers to statistical changes in the weather over a period of time, thus, it can be said that weather ad climate have a close relationship. This means that it is not possible to separate the two aspects even though they are not similar. Climate change does not occur overnight but takes quite a long period of time (Solomon et al. 96). However, climate change is greatly caused by human activity.
This report is aimed at exploring the way in which human activities impact climate change.
Human activities impact climate change by increasing the blanketing effect through the release of greenhouse gases. When this occurs, the human activities change the chemical composition of the atmosphere which in turn alters leads to climate change. Some of the human activities that cause climate change include burning fuels, deforestation and industrialization. Both activities increase the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Deforestation on the other hand, reduces the number of trees dependant on carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. The continuous existence of greenhouse gases impact a warm climate that melts the snow and ice (Solomon et al. 95). The dark surface of land lies beneath the ice and snow. This means that when the ice and snow melts, the dark surface is exposed to the sun. As it is known, dark surfaces absorb heat more compared to bright surfaces. Therefore, the dark surface absorbs much heat during the process of ice and snow melting. When this occurs repeatedly, more snow and ice melts thereby causing climate change.
Human activities stir up the concentration of greenhouse gases; methane, halocarbon gas, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Some of the human activities that impact an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere include increased use of fossil fuels in manufacturing industry and transport sector. Methane on the other hand, is increased by landfills, natural gas distribution and agriculture. An increase in the use of fertilizers in farming and burning of fossil fuels increase the concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. The use of hydrocarbons in refrigeration in various industries is also among the human activities that release halocarbons into the atmosphere.
Climate change is an occurrence that can be traced back to 157 years ago. For instance, between 1910s and 1940s, the climate shot upwards by 0.35 Degrees Celsius while between 1970s and 2000s, the climate went up again by 0.55 Degrees Celsius. Out of the twelve warmest years in the recent past, the world has so far experienced 11. Besides, there have also been increased surface temperatures that have contributed to decrease in seasons of ice in lakes and lengths of rivers. In the Greenland ice sheet, there has been increased melting of ice. Glacial mass is also reported to have gone down. It should also be noted that the regions in the northern hemisphere continuously experience reduced snow cover. The Arctic continues to experience a reduction in ice levels and thickness. In other cases, the sea levels and warming in the oceans has significantly been on the rise (Solomon et al. 103). Most parts of Africa experience prolonged droughts while other parts of the world that used to experience snow seasons have taken a new shift of more rainfall than snow seasons, an indication of rise in temperatures. These changes have been impacted by the emission of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities.
Even though there are efforts that are currently being made towards altering climate change, researchers point out that there are higher chances of the occurrence continuing into the future if the changes in climate are not abated. Some of the changes that have been predicted to take place in the future include prolonged droughts, heavy rainfall and unpredictable weather conditions. Other predictions also include the melting of snow and ice in Greenland ice sheet and other cold regions.
Human activities are directly attributed to the climatic changes that are experienced across the globe today. They mainly facilitate the rate of evaporation whenever there is moisture on the surface since it occurs in the wet surfaces and oceans. By doing this, the role of the heat is altered from that of warming the air to moistening it. As a result of this, summers are altered from what they are supposed to be to being either cool and wet or warm and dry. This occurs because temperature changes resulting from human activities cause change in climate. Therefore, predicting changes in climate becomes difficult (Solomon et al. 105). When the climate changes occur continuously like is the case in many parts of the world, the rain patterns are altered. It also alters the intensity and frequency of rain. On the other hand, high temperatures cause a rise in the rate of evaporation that leads to droughts. These are some of the commonly witnessed results in various parts of the world.
For climate change to occur, there are three basic conditions that must be altered. One is that the incoming solar radiation should change either through a change in sun or in the orbit of the earth. Second, the percentage of solar radiation that is reflected to the surface should be altered. This may take place through change in land cover, small particles in the air through changes in cloud cover. Another condition is that the change of long waves radiated to the surface should occur (Solomon et al. 112). Going by these three agents of climate change, human activities are likely to cause interference with the last two. This implies that human activities may cause climate changes in higher rate compared to anything else because a change in the sun’s position or the orbit of the earth is not likely to occur frequently. This has resulted into major climate changes since the beginning of industrialization in 1750s.
The main human activities that impact climate change are industries involved in agriculture and burning of fuel. Fuel burning is responsible for more than 75% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere while agriculture accounts for the remaining (Solomon et al. 115). This implies that shifting human activities would impact climate changes across the globe. In fact, the changing of human activities would be ideal in cutting down the level of green house gases.
Based on the findings above, it is clear that human activities impact climate change. Besides, it is also evident that change in human activities could help in stopping climate changes to a great extent. Going by these observations, this report provides certain recommendations. One of them is that each farmer should practice agriculture through farming methods that do not intensify the nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Another recommendation is that industrial activities should be controlled so as to limit the production of greenhouse gases.
This report has conducted an evaluation on how human activities can cause climate change. The report has identified human activities as the major cause of climate change since the beginning of industrialization in 1750s. Going by the findings of the report, it has recommended that farmers should adopt farming practices that do not lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. Besides, it has also suggested industrial activities that would not stir up the emission of greenhouse gases.
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Solomon, Susan. et al. IPCC, 2007: climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. United Kingdom: Cambridge University press, 2007. Print.
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