Climate Change -
What is it?

Climate change isn’t something new that’s just happened, the climate hasn’t been static but has changed many times over the millions of years that the earth has existed due to natural causes. Today, when we talk about climate change it is a term referring to the last 100 years!

Climate Change is probably the largest threat to the natural world and will have a huge impact on the way we live our lives in the future. Climate Change is leading to Global Warming which is defined as an increase in the average temperature on Earth. As the Earth is getting hotter, disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods are getting more frequent.

Average temperatures on earth have risen by approx .75’c over the last 100 years. Figures issued by the Met Office show that 19 out of the 20 hottest ever recorded years have taken place since 1980.

Global sea levels have risen by 10 centimetres over the last 50 years, this is a direct result of the melting ice caps and warming oceans.  This is already threatening low-lying countries.  Millions more people are expected to be flooded every year by 2080.   Latest predictions suggest the sea could rise by 1 metre this century.  In Europe this could affect over 20 million people alone. 

Important Climate Change time lines over the years

1824   French Physicist Fourier suggested that an atmospheric effect kept the earth warmer than it would otherwise be – he used the analogy of a greenhouse
1859   Irish scientist Tyndall undertakes lab experiments, identifying water vapour and carbon dioxide as heat-trapping gases.
1896   Swedish chemist Arrhenius makes the first climate prediction; halving CO2 could lead to an Ice Age, doubling CO2 could lead to an increase in global temperature of 5 °C
1938   Engineer Callendar first suggested that fossil fuel burning was responsible for the observed warming of the world's climate. He predicts a rise of 2 °C for a doubling of CO2 with poles warming most.
1958   American scientist Keeling makes the first direct measurement of atmospheric CO2. The Keeling curve will become a crucial tracker of CO2 rise.
1975   Manabe and Wetherald produce the first 3D model simulation of the effect of doubling CO2, producing many of the features seen in current models — stratospheric cooling, enhanced warming at high latitudes and an enhanced water cycle.

We have known about the potential problems that the increase in global temperature for many years, now is the time to act, today not tomorrow!!



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