All about Climate and its Change

People talk a lot about the weather, which is not surprising when you  consider the impact it has on our mood, on how we dress and on what we  eat. ‘Climate’ however is not the same as the weather. It is the average  pattern of weather for a particular region over a long period of time.

The  climate has and will always vary for natural reasons. Natural causes of  this include fractional changes in solar radiation, volcanic eruptions  that can shroud the Earth in dust which reflects the heat from the sun  back into space, and natural fluctuations in the climate system itself.

However,  natural causes can explain only a small part of this warming. The  overwhelming majority of scientists agree that it is due to rising  concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere  caused by human activities.

Climate Change

Energy  from the sun warms the earth’s surface and, as the temperature  increases, heat is radiated back into the atmosphere as infra-red  energy. Some of the energy is absorbed within the atmosphere by ‘greenhouse gases’.

The  atmosphere acts in a similar way to the walls of a greenhouse, letting  in the visible light and absorbing the outgoing infra-red energy,  keeping it warm inside. This natural process is called the “greenhouse  effect.” Without it, the global average temperature on earth would be  -18°C, whereas at the moment it is +15°C.

However, human  activities are adding greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide,  methane and nitrous oxide, to the atmosphere, which are enhancing the  natural greenhouse effect and making the world warmer. This man-made  extra warming is called the “enhanced” greenhouse effect……………….

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