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Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Climate change is one of the serious issues affecting the world today. It is characterized by a long-term change in the weather conditions.  The various changes that may accompany climate change include changes in temperature, winds and the level of rainfall.  In addition, these can also include extreme temperatures and other indicators. Therefore, climate change has become a global concern especially at this age, when the industrial production is massive, and there is an extensive release of carbon dioxide into the environment.  As a result, some areas have been left dry, and they will turn into deserts with time. This paper will lay an explicit focus on climate change; particularly its key causes and effects.

Causes

Natural causes

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The earth climate can change due to natural factors. These are the factors that are external and outside the climate system. The changes in the volcanic activities, the rotation of the earth around the sun as well as the output of the solar activity are some of the factors that can be attributed to climate change. The changes in the volcanic activity, as well as in solar radiation, are crucial aspects leading to climate change. These factors influence the balance of energy on earth (Lean 111).

Although the volcanic eruptions are temporal, they also have a significant impact on the climate. Since the time of industrial revolution, the changes in the solar radiation have not had a significant impact on the climate. However, due to human activity and an increase in greenhouse gases emission, the effects of the solar radiation are felt, and they have started to cause changes in the climate (World Meteorological Organization 2).

Human causes

Human beings have also contributed significantly to climate change. Human activities such as burning of fossil fuels have had a stake in climate change. Human beings are continuously using fossil fuels despite the ongoing criticisms against it due to teir impact on the environment. On the other hand, the number of vehicles has increased. The consumption of fossil fuels has also gone up to match the increasing number of cars (Markham 3). 

The result is the high production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases play an imperative role in the climate changes. The gases accumulate in the air and form a layer that is hard for the sun rays to penetrate. They also influence the amount of incoming and outgoing energy and, as a result, warming and cooling effects occur. These effects have contributed to the climatic variations that the world is experiencing today (Lean 112).

An important human factor that has been causing climatic change is the global warming. Global warming is caused by some gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, chlorofluorocarbons and nitrogen oxide.  These gases have increased due to human activity, and they have also played a role in climate change. Nitrogen oxide is one of the most dangerous gases that cause global warming and climate change, respectively. The gas forms a strong cover that makes it difficult for the sun radiation to penetrate. Unfortunately, the gas has increased in concentration by 20 percent from the time of industrial revolution. The former explains the current climate changes (World Meteorological Organization 2).

It is eminent that human beings have also been cutting trees for charcoal and agricultural use at a rapid rate. Cutting down trees for the purposes of charcoal also leads to the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Also, cutting the tropical forests has had a grave impact on the climate change. It has interrupted the normal flow of carbon in the air. The trees play a key role in regulating the climate since they attract rainfalls and produce oxygen. Therefore, cutting down of trees have led to dry winds that in turn have caused a serious reduction in rainfall. Some areas have also turned into deserts due to the massive cutting of trees (World Meteorological Organization 3).

The overall impacts that have resuulted from human activities have had a heating effect thus resulting in warmer climates. A combination of human and natural factors has also played a part in raising the global temperature by approximately 0.6 percent. The increase in global temperature has played a stake in the current climatic changes.

Another cause of climate change is the aerosols that are found in the atmosphere. The aerosols cause climate change by spreading and absorbing solar radiation. The distribution of the solar radiation has a cooling effect on the atmosphere. The absorption of the solar radiation causes an increase in the atmospheric temperature since they prevent absorption of sunlight by the earth’s surface (Lean 113).  

Various human activities increase the amount of aerosols in the air.  One of the most common aerosols is dust. Its massive production is seen in industries and agricultural activities. The burning of biomass is also contributing to the increase in aerosols since it releases soot particles into the air. It should be also noted that the Northern Hemisphere is said to have more aerosols when compared to the Southern Hemisphere. The Northern part is said to have a very high radiation that have also led to an increase in temperatures and climatic changes (Markham 3).

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Effects

Climate change has various negative effects. At first, climatic changes will cause a great rise in the temperatures. The result will be the lack of water and rainfall. Such a change has an adverse impact on the crops. Lack of water will cause a massive crop failure, which will lead to massive deaths of people who rely on agriculture as their only way of livelihood. In addition, water shortage will also lead to other problems. It is estimated that changes in climate will affect more than 1000 countries. These countries risk experiencing a water shortage by the mid of the century. The water shortages have many implications. For example, it will lead to sanitation problems. The ecosystems will be destroyed, and even economic activities will be highly disrupted.

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