CLIMATE CHANGE

 

We have released so much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that our planet's atmosphere is now like a thick, heat-trapping blanket. These gases, such as carbon dioxide, have the ability to absorb the spectrum of infrared light and contribute to the warming of our atmosphere.

Once produced, these gases can remain trapped in the atmosphere for tens or hundreds of years.

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 WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE?

Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the oceans, increasing their acidification – damaging coral reefs and marine life. Areas that were once white with snow are now retreating to only the highest points of the world. Incidents of extreme weather are increasing, from flooding to tropical storms. 

 

GLOBAL WARMING

Since 1900, the global average temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius, and the northern hemisphere is substantially warmer than at any point during the past 1,000 years. A change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001.

    

SHRINKING ICE SHEETS AND GLACIERS

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Observations from space suggest that parts of the major ice sheets are beginning to melt more rapidly.If the ice disappears, Earth is likely to become warmer and major climate changes could occur. Wildlife living in the polar regions may also be devastated.

Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.

 

EXTREME EVENTS

Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased atmospheric moisture that may result in more frequent heavy rainfall and snowfall, and leads to evaporation that can exacerbate droughts.

 

SEA LEVEL RISE

Global sea level rose about 20 cm in the last century. Entire countries are at risk of disappearing. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges..

 

The greenhouse effect is the main reason for climate change. Only way to stop the climate change is reduce our emissions.

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