Why The Weather and Climate Are Changing
You might have heard that the weather is changing. But why and how? Humans are causing the climate to change, and there’s a problem with that. The average temperature on Planet Earth has increased by more than 1°C since pre-industrial times and is expected to rise even more in decades to come. A major reason for this warming is emissions of heat-trapping gases.
Yes, The Weather and Climate Are Changing
The weather and climate are still a complicated system to understand and predict, but it is changing.
Weather patterns are shifting at an alarming rate, causing droughts, floods, and other extreme conditions. The link between human behaviour and shifts in weather is complex, but the change is already happening.
The evidence for global climate change is overwhelming. For example, the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998.
Scientists have also observed increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases — most notably carbon dioxide — over the past century, which has accelerated as humans have burned fossil fuels at an increasing rate.
And while some sceptics argue that natural variation could explain these changes, most experts agree they are largely because of human activity.
In fact, even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, temperatures would continue to rise because of the heat already trapped in the atmosphere.
But there are signs that our influence on weather is becoming even more pronounced.
There’s a lot of debate about whether the weather and climate are changing, and whether humans are responsible. But the evidence is clear. The world is getting warmer, and this is affecting our weather.
The past three decades have seen marked increases in extreme weather events like heat waves, heavy precipitation events, floods, droughts, wildfires, and tropical cyclones (hurricanes).
Natural variations in climate can influence these events. But global warming also influenced some through factors such as sea level rise or changes in atmospheric circulation patterns.
Climate Change Affects Extreme Weather Around the World
The effects of climate change on extreme weather like heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires are often discussed in terms of averages.
How will temperatures change, and how much might rainfall or snowfall increase?
But for people living in a particular place, these averages can miss the point. Extreme weather is local.
The term “extreme weather” is often used to describe weather events that are unusual for a particular region or time of year. These events often cause a lot of damage and affect lives.
The term “climate change” refers to long-term changes in Planet Earth’s climate, such as increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns.
Seed size and forest floor conditions determine tree seedling survival in extreme weather
Global climate change brings increases in precipitation extremes, from severe drought to heavy rainfall events, both expected to become more prevalent through the 21st century.
Powerful weather events already impact human environments, with intense fires and flooding, and greatly transform natural ecosystems.
A recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that it is extremely likely that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming since the mid-20th century.
The IPCC also says that it is very likely that most warming since the mid-20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
However, the impacts of climate change on extreme weather events vary from place to place.
In some places, it will lead to fewer extremes — for example, less rain or snowfall in a region that relies on snowmelt for water supply during dry months. In other areas, there may be more heat waves and droughts.
Extreme weather events such as floods, storms and droughts can cause damage worth billions each year. And even more so when they happen at the same time as other natural disasters such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
And The Climate Gets Affected by Other Things
Climate is not constant, and it changes over time. This is because there are lots of different things that can affect the climate and they influence each other in different ways.
The climate system is very complex and, while scientists do a great job understanding what some of the factors are, they are still discovering new things.
When it comes to climate, there are lots of things that can affect it and they influence each other in different ways. And some of these things are the direct causes of climate change.
However, the climate is not only affected by human activity. Climate can also be affected by other things like volcanoes, and solar variations.
So, let’s take a look:
Volcanoes: Volcanoes cause ash clouds that block sunlight from reaching Planet Earth’s surface and this leads to cooling.
The last time this happened was during the 1783 Laki eruption in Iceland which caused crop failures across Europe and droughts in North Africa.
Solar Variations: Solar variations have an impact on climate by changing the amount of sunlight that reaches Planet Earth’s surface.
For example, during sunspot minimums (sunspots are temporary dark patches on the surface of the sun), less radiation reaches Planet Earth, and this leads to cooling.
While at sunspot maximums (when there are more sunspots), more radiation reaches Planet Earth, and this leads to warming.
Your Energy Choices Can Impact the Climate
Energy choices we make impact the climate we live in. This is true not only because of the ways they are produced, but the way they are used.
We don’t really think about that as much as we should. Maybe because it seems so far removed from the actual physical work of getting cars, trains, and planes all powered up.
But it’s necessary to get that energy and use it wisely. If we burn things, like coal or natural gas, that warm Planet Earth up and release carbon into the atmosphere then we need to be smart about it.
That includes making sure all that energy gets where it’s going as efficiently as possible. That way less of it goes to waste and we aren’t heating up all of Planet Earth with our wasteful habits.
If you want to be part of the solution, here’s how you can help:
Use less energy. You can start by making sure your home is well-insulated and that you’re using energy-efficient products.
Choose clean energy sources when you can. When purchasing electricity or natural gas from your utility company, there are often clean energy options available. These include wind, solar and geothermal power.
Those are sources that produce zero emissions and have a smaller environmental impact than traditional sources like coal-fired plants or gasoline-powered vehicles.
Support policies that encourage renewable energy development at both local and national levels.
Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels because they don’t put pollutants in our air or water when they’re used (or burned).
But these technologies still need government support to become widespread enough so that we can rely on them for all our electricity needs rather than fossil fuels (which will eventually run out).
Weather Conditions Play a Big Role in Agriculture
To grow and harvest good crops, farmers must pay attention not only to the time of year but also to an assortment of other factors, including weather conditions.
Farmers carefully monitor their crops and plan crop-rotation strategies to anticipate weather conditions such as droughts, storms, heat waves and floods that will all present challenges for farmers.
Weather is a crucial part of farming and can make or break a certain crop.
Weather can have a major impact on the success of crops. Although farmers have long experience with the variability of weather conditions, it can still be difficult to predict because there are so many variables involved and specialists are looking into new ways to measure them!
The weather plays a crucial role in agriculture because it affects how well crops grow, as well as how much they produce.
It also determines how many crops will fail and how much damage they will suffer. Weather is also important for farmers who want to know what they can expect from their fields during certain seasons, so they can plan accordingly.
Weather is one of the primary factors that determines what happens in farming communities around the world. Farmers rely heavily on the weather to tell them when to plant and harvest their crops, which ones are going to be successful and which ones will fail.
They also need to know how much water and sun each crop needs to thrive, so they can make sure their plants get what they need at just the right time during their growth cycle!
Scientists are looking into new ways to measure climate change, such as by using satellites and radar. This allows them to observe the atmosphere from above and make predictions about how it will evolve over time.
Experts Are Predicting More Extreme Weather Events
Scientists predict we will see more extreme weather events in the future as the climate changes. But we can’t know for sure whether this will happen yet.
This is because these kinds of predictions can be hard to make accurately.
While scientists are clear that humans are causing our climate to change more quickly than it did in the past, they also don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the future as a result.
While some studies and articles do quote scientists making claims that certain types of weather events will become more common.
At the moment, it’s difficult for those predictions to be specific about what part of the world would be affected or when a specific event might occur.
Extreme weather events are becoming more common. There is no doubt about that. But what does this mean for the future? Are we going to see more extreme weather events in the future, or will things go back to normal?
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The answer depends on who you ask. Some experts believe we are in a new climate era, while others say that extreme weather events have always happened and always will.
One of the main problems is that it is hard to know what the future will look like because there are so many variables.
For example, if we look at the past 100 years, there have been many different types of extreme weather events. Including droughts, floods, hurricanes, and heat waves.
It’s hard to predict whether this trend will continue or not by just looking at historical data alone because it doesn’t give us a full picture of what might happen in the future.
However, we do know the most well-known cause of a changing climate is the burning of fossil fuels.
When these fuels are burned, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which traps heat that would otherwise escape into space. This causes an increase in global temperatures.
Greenhouse Gases Are Affecting the Atmosphere
Greenhouse gases are capable of absorbing and emitting infrared radiation, which is what allows them to influence the climate system.
The major greenhouse gases in Planet Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane.
Greenhouse gases, or GHGs, trap infrared radiation from the sun, which is then re-radiated and absorbed as heat in the atmosphere.
The most prevalent of these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapour, methane, and nitrous oxide. All plants and animals naturally produce CO2 when they break down organic matter during the process of metabolism.
The greenhouse effect is a direct result of atmospheric gases intercepting the Sun’s thermal radiation, or heat energy, which would otherwise be directed toward outer space.
Planet Earth’s atmosphere traps this radiation. This process also keeps us warm enough to live on Planet Earth.
The greenhouse effect occurs naturally because of the atmosphere’s composition. Nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) are both transparent to thermal radiation.
However, water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and other gases present in the atmosphere absorb thermal radiation and re-emit some of it back toward Planet Earth’s surface, increasing temperatures near the ground.
These gases are called “greenhouse gases” because they allow sunlight to pass through but retain some of its heat energy.
Without these gases, much less sunlight would reach Planet Earth, but we would still feel its warmth.
Climate has always been changing but now it is changing on a faster timeline.
There’s no doubt that climate change is real, and it has already started to affect many areas of daily life. But what impact will climate change have in the future? How much warmer will it get, and how fast?
There was a time when Planet Earth was covered in ice, and it was not too long ago that we were at risk of being cooked by the sun.
But unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last decade, you’ll have noticed the effects of climate change are accelerating and don’t hold much hope for the future of Planet Earth.
It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, people were still debating whether global warming was real.
Since then, we’ve seen record heatwaves across Europe and Asia, as well as droughts in California and Australia. We’ve watched glaciers melt and sea levels rise at rates never witnessed in human history.
And these changes aren’t just affecting humans — they’re affecting every living thing on Planet Earth.
Plants and animals are migrating further north or south in search of habitable territory. Some species are finding new homes, but many are dying out altogether.
And that’s something that could eventually lead to mass extinction events like those that killed off the dinosaurs millions of years ago.
The problem with climate change is that it’s not something we can see or touch. It’s a slow-moving disaster that could wipe out our species and change the face of Planet Earth forever.
Planet Earth’s climate is changing, and we must adapt. But what causes it to change? How might it change in the future and how will that affect our lives?
Our climate system is out of balance. In the past century, Planet Earth has warmed by over 1°C.
And as Summers grow hotter and winters become longer, the biodiversity that is important to our survival is being compromised.
At this point, it’s obvious for everyone to see that a change in habits needs to take place. But when we look back on history where do you think we will stand?
We can either wait for politicians to be the ones who are remembered as taking action and having saved us from extinction or we can start changing some of our own habits.
It’s never too late to make a difference!