Weather describes the day to day condition of the atmosphere like rain, heat, snow, pressure, and humidity. Weather is also always changing in different places. Climate refers to the weather type in a region; for instance, some climates are cold while some are hot. The temperate regions can have colder periods as compared to tropical regions that are mostly warm and hot. Climate change refers to change in the Earth’s climate that occurs over a long period of time. The current concerns about climate change are based on the fact that the climate is changing faster than has ever been recorded in the past 2,000 years. The climate is said to be changing due to global warming.
Global warming in turn refers to rising global temperatures. Global warming is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon-dioxide and methane in the atmosphere. Under normal circumstances, such gases maintain the temperature of the earth at a normal range that is healthy for life. However, the abnormal increase in the amount of such gases in the air has resulted in the surface temperature of the earth receiving more heat radiation and so the temperature is rising. The increase in such gases in the atmosphere is due to the burning of fossil fuels like petroleum and other industrial processes.
There are several evidences for climate change. First of all, it is recorded that the hottest years in known history all happened within the last fifty years. The temperature of the oceans is also rising. Another evidence of climate change is the rising sea levels. It is said that the level of the sea rose by more than 6 inches in this century and that it continues to rise. Furthermore, glaciers, ice sheets and ice caps that are found in polar regions are also melting quickly. In many areas of the world, glaciers are melting and this is due to global warming. The melting of such glaciers may also be contributing to the rise in sea levels. This is a dangerous event because people that live in coastal regions will be forced to move if the sea level continues to rise.
Climate change is also responsible for the increase in weather events such as severe rainfall in some places like the United States, hurricanes and tropical storms. Heat waves and droughts are also increasing, as well as floods and wildfires. These weather events are increasing in numbers as well as in their severity. At the same time, some areas are drying up more thereby, increasing the areas of land that are desert. Due to rising temperatures, there are also more diseases like dengue fever. A large number of people have already being affected by such events as tsunamis and droughts.
Climate change has consequences that can be felt all over the world. This is because climate patterns shape the environment such as natural ecosystems as well as means of livelihoods and even cultures. When the climate changes, it affects how people live and where they live. It also affects how animals live and where they too live. Birds for instance, can migrate in search of new places to live that have the right temperatures. The use of water is also affected depending on weather there is increased water supply or a drought. Planting seasons also change and this affects the production of food. Climate change is therefore, an issue of concern and efforts are being made by governments, individuals and organizations to create awareness about the problem.