Whenever we hear of climate change, the first thing that comes to our mind is global warming. Global warming is the cause of climate change. In simpler words, climate change is the change in weather patterns which can last for extended period of time, even millions of years. As mentioned, climate change is caused by a lot of factors and global warming is one of them. Other factors which cause the climate change are volcanic eruptions, change in plate tectonics of Earth, solar radiation and biotic processes. If you have watched the Hollywood movie ‘2012’, it showcased the change in climate due to the shift in tectonic plates.
The most visible climatic change is the melting of the glaciers and the rise in the sea level. Antarctica doesn’t have that many ice caps which it had, a couple of decades ago. Do you know that the big cities like New York, Sydney and Mumbai are at risk of being drowned in the future due to the increase in sea rise level?
Climate change is real. Climate change is being substantially increased by humans and the carbon we put into the atmosphere. And it appears to be speeding up. If science has made any mistakes, science has been underestimating it.
~ James Balog
Most certainly, if the climate change at the current rate would continue then that day won’t be far when the human race might extinct or at least suffer badly. As it is said there is a solution to each and everything, definitely there are solutions to climate change as well and which are listed below:
1. Stop Cutting down Trees: Believe it or not, cutting down trees is the prime reason of the climate change. Shockingly, every year 33 million acres of forests are cut down. If we improve the agricultural practices which includes forest management and proper paper recycling, there is a chance that an equilibrium could be maintained of cutting tress and planting new trees. Planting new trees will quickly reduce the rate of emission of gases. Moreover, you can get used furniture instead of buying new one.
2. Control Population: Yes, if the population is controlled, then climate change can also be controlled. How? Putting in simpler words, more number of people means more requirement of resources like food, shelter etc. which leads to more usage or utilization of the planet. In a way, more number of people gives rise to the climatic change. You probably would have heard about China’s 1 child rule. The world’s largest population country has made a strict rule of having an only child. This policy certainly decrease the use in resources. China is badly affected by the climate change as the cities are covered by the smog most of the year.
3. Less use of Fossil Fuels: How were the fossil fuels made? Probably, everyone would be knowing as this was the topic which was covered from the junior classes to the higher classes. But, do you know, if you reduce the use of fossil fuels, then the climate change could be improvised? Yes, use of petrol, diesel and other products leads to the climate change. The high emissions of the greenhouses gases is depleting the ozone layer and giving rise to global warming and global warming is one of the major causes of climate change.
Many big automobile companies and scientists are continuously working on the technology to replace petrol or diesel driven cars. Electric cars and hybrid cars are already available in the markets. Fossil fuels are anyhow going to be finished in the next 20-30 years but till then, if the high use of fossil fuels will continue then by the end of fossil fuels, we would be experiencing a whole new climate.
4. Unplug your Devices: In almost every house, there are at least a dozen of appliances which includes air conditioner, television, microwave, washing machine etc. These devices lead to global warming and hence the climate change. Yes, these appliances consume more energy when they are switched off as compared to when these are switched on. So, it is advisable to unplug the appliances when they are not is use. It will decrease the rate of emission of harmful gases and would probably control global warming and then climate change. Apart from this, every person should use their appliances smartly and efficiently. The latest technology whose use is increasing is the use of LED lights. Yes, soon they will overcome the CFL’s. LED lights are efficient and consume less energy.
5. Focus on Renewable Energy: Fossil fuels will be finished in a couple of decades and it is high time to move towards the renewable energy. In many parts of the world, many cities are using the energy from the renewable sources of energy which includes wind, solar, tidal, ocean and many more.
6. Control of Methane Leaks: Surprisingly, methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Every month, there is a huge quantity of methane leak from pipeline, storage tanks, other infrastructure, garbage dumps and coal mines. Tonnes and tonnes of garbage is disposed in landfills and after a certain period of time, the organic matter emit methane gas which is a greenhouse gas. Although, a lot of landfill gas is utilized in power plants but still a huge quantity of gases are leaked or released.
7. Tougher Emissions and Efficiency Standards: Most of the harmful gases are released either by automobiles or power plants. Many countries have already put strict rules in controlling the emissions. Power plants are facing pretty tight requirements of air pollution. The rate of emission is 10% lower than 2005 level and it will supposedly be dropped more.
8. Experimenting the Earth: From many years, the experiments are done on various fields which includes Earth as well. Yes, there are many experiments being done on the Earth which might control the climate change. Many ideas are already put forward, many are being planned and many have been executed. Some ideas like, Geo-engineering, radical interventions to either block sunlight or reduce greenhouse gas are probably the last chance to control the climate change. You won’t believe to know that the following ideas are already into consideration:
- Releasing sulfate particles in the air to mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption
- Placing millions of small mirrors or lenses in space to defect sunlight
- Covering portions of the planet with reflective films to bounce sunlight back into space
- Fertilizing the oceans with iron or other nutrients to enable plankton to absorb more carbon
- Increasing cloud cover or the reflectivity of clouds that already form
9. Upgrade in infrastructure: Do you know that the buildings around the world contribute around 1/3rd of all greenhouse gas emissions. The already developed countries like US, contributes 43% of the emissions. Buildings require cement and it is produced by heating limestone giving rise to the carbon dioxide level. Upgrade in infrastructure like, making the roads perfect, improving cement-making processes and investing in new infrastructure or radically upgrading existing highways and transmission lines would cut emission of greenhouse gas and control climate change.
10. Personal Solutions to Global Warming: There are many steps which every individual can take in order to control the climate change. A small step by every person can make a big change.
- Drive less and cycle more or pool to car while going to work.
- Make your house more air tight.
- Buy and use a programmable thermostat.
- Eat less meat, especially beef.
- Use power strips in your home office.
- Upgrade your refrigerator and air conditioner, especially if they are more than five years old.
- Change light bulbs to LED lights.
- Wash clothes in cold water.