Global Warming vs. Climate Change
Let’s start with the basics! Do you know the difference between global warming and climate change?
Global warming refers to the recent and ongoing rise in global average temperature. It is caused mostly by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Global warming causes climate patterns to change.
Thus, climate change includes major shifts in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.
There has never been a global economic problem as complicated as climate change. It is the toughest public policy problem that humanity has faced.
How Climate Change Occurs
When fossil fuels are burnt to produce energy, they release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Because of this, the layer of greenhouse gas is getting thicker, which is in turn making the Earth warmer. Thus, the ongoing unlimited burning of fossil fuels is the primary driver of climate change.
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the threat of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising more rapidly than predicted and consequently the world is warming more quickly.
Even our daily activities, however mundane, also entail tremendous ecological impact.
– We emit carbon dioxide through the electricity we consume to power our homes, schools, and offices.
– We emit carbon dioxide when we burn fuel to power our vehicles.
– We emit carbon dioxide whenever we fly. Did you know that the aviation sector contributes nearly five percent of the global carbon footprint? It is also the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
-The garbage that piles up on our landfills for decades and even centuries also emit methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
What Are the Impacts of Climate Change?
Take a look at this map, which tracks the paths of storms from 1985 to 2005.
Can you identify which country bore the brunt of tropical cyclones that made landfall within those two decades? Yes, you guessed it right! The Philippines sits at Ground Zero and is highly vulnerable to storms roaring birthed from the northwest Pacific.
The rapid warming of the planet carries with it catastrophic effects.
1) Sea surface temperatures will continue to rise. As a result, it is likely that we will see accelerating ice melt, thermal expansion, and sea level rise.
2) Oceans, which absorb carbon, will acidify. This will affect the productivity of our seas.
3) Extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent, and disruptive.
4) Historic rainfall, flooding, as well as droughts, are likely to increase.
5) It is likely that El Nino will persist as a source of inter-annual variability.
These will impact some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, disrupting food production, and threatening vitally important species, habitats, and ecosystems.
When you change the climate, you change everything.
Through Earth Hour, you can CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE for a better future for millions of Filipinos who are vulnerable to this phenomenon.