Climate change and Global warming are two phrases seen and heard everywhere recently, and not without reason. The atmospheric situation has been increasingly getting worse. Despite efforts by various concerned citizens and companies, the harm is now being said to be on the track of becoming irreversible. More and more individuals are coming ahead and voicing the importance of practicing sustainable living and reducing pollution, especially since daily news of drastic developments worldwide like the melting of icebergs, tsunamis, and extreme summers. To understand why these situations arise, it is essential to know the meaning of global warming and climate change.
What is Global Warming?
Global warming has been described as “the long-term heating of the earth’s climate system.” Certain heat-trapping greenhouse gases are emitted from industries or other human activities, which get trapped in the earth’s atmosphere; this has been happening due to human activities from the mid-1800s, mainly fossil burning and such activities. Later, such activities became more widespread with an increase in vehicles and industries, which are a huge part of the pollution that emits the gases. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. There exists a layer of ozone in the stratosphere, which is referred to as the ozone layer. This ozone layer protects the earth from the concentrated heat and ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. However, due to the increase in greenhouse gases, the ozone layer has constantly been depleting for decades. Due to the reduction in the protection from heat, the average temperatures on earth have increased gradually; this is called Global warming. Global warming has been a topic for essays and articles in schools and colleges, which shows that this issue has not become prevalent newly.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is the term used not only for the effects of global warming but also for the change in the climate and weather patterns. The current changes currently have been recorded to be more rapid than any other known event in the history of the earth. The leading cause for this is the emission of greenhouse gases and the burning of fossil fuels. The temperatures have been rising, which has been having effects that can be seen all over the earth. Snow level at the poles has been drastically decreasing, icebergs and glaciers have been melting, thereby increasing the sea and ocean levels, forests have been drying up, wildfires are found more frequently and deserts are increasing in surface area.
However, climate change threatens more deeply and mainly in addition to the above issues. Ecosystems and communities are being impacted more and more every day. The primary things that we value and depend on like water, energy, food, and health are being adversely affected.
It is possible to adapt to these changes and to delay and eventually prevent the worst from happening. However, the changes are taking place at a much faster pace than before. Many living beings respond to the changes, like plants blooming earlier than they’re supposed to and species expanding their land range. But these adaptions are not fast enough compared to the increasing temperatures and rising sea levels. Also, in communities where there is a difference in the way of living of one group compared to the other, one group is bound to be more vulnerable to the threats than the other. The resources and facilities that one group has put them at an advantage over the others. The groups at an advantage are usually the rich and influential ones, who get what they want, leaving the poor unprotected and unsafe.
Climate change is the most pressing issue that is facing the entire planet. If there is no increased action to curb and contain the emissions and sustain and safely use the resources, we will be moving towards mass extinction due to either high temperatures or food crisis. The secretary of the United Nations had pointed out that the climate emergency is a race that we are losing, but it is a race that we can win. Fundamental and extraordinary transformations are required in all walks of life to bring about a large-scale recovery response. New and efficient technological advancements can help to reduce net emissions and to make the world cleaner. It is time to work towards envisioning a clear future for the generations to come.