Earth overshoot day exceeded, temperature rising in the world, the ice melting faster, Amazonian forest burning, plastic found in the snow,… And there’s so much more to add on this list. Climate is really changing, and it’s changing fast. Some scientists predict that we only have 8 months to act or it will be too late. But how can we fight climate change if we don’t really understand what it is, its causes, its effects? It’s time to take a closer look at climate change and discover some climate actions.
First, we need to clarify two concepts often mistaken for synonyms: climate change and global warming.
Global warming is an increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. It’s generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and other gases.
Climate change is caused by global warming.
What are the causes of climate change?
According to NASA scientists, climate has experienced its most important change during the mid-20th century. When we talk about climate change, we have to talk about the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect increases global warming when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Some gases are the main culprits of this block, let’s see them:
- H20 / Water Vapor : This is the gas we found the most in greenhouse gas and it increases as the Earth’s atmosphere warms.
- CO2 / Carbon Dioxide : One of, if not the well-known polluting gas. Since the late 18th century, atmospheric CO2 concentration have increased by more than a third
- CH4 / Methane : Methane is due to natural causes like ruminant digestion but also to human activities like agriculture or the decomposition of wastes
- N20 / Nitrous oxide : This one is mostly produced by the use of fertilizers in soil cultivation, biomass burning and nitric acid production
- CFC / Chlorofluorocarbon : Wholly produced by industrial activities, Chlorofluorocarbon is today largely regulated in production and release because of its bad effect on ozone layer
As we just have seen, the greenhouse effect does have natural origin but humans have a strong responsibility in the fact that its concentrations constantly increase.
How does climate change affect humanity and the earth?
An uninhabitable Earth. That’s what we can expect if we keep following our polluting rhythm. The temperature will heavily be increased, causing a lot of irreversible effects. Sea levels will rise up because of ice melting and the expansion of oceans induced by higher temperatures. A lot of islands and shores will be overflowed. Some of them will even fully disappear causing millions of climate refugees and a real disaster for biodiversity.
What are the existing solutions to climate change?
There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint in order to tackle climate change. Here are some tips to easily fight pollution in your everyday life :
- Eat less meat and avoid red meat
Greenhouse gas emissions from agribusiness are higher than fossil fuels. Red meat emits 5 times more carbon emissions than poultry because red meat consumes 11 times more water. One pound of beef requires over 5,000 gallons of water. Also, try as much as possible to eat local foods.
- Give preference to public transport
When you can, you must avoid taking your car, especially when you are alone inside. And if you are “allergic” to buses and trains, why not try to walk or take a bike to travel? It’s both good for Earth and your health.
- Try to keep your goods as long as possible
The longer your clothes, devices, and other stuff you own last, the less you will pollute. There are more and more solutions to help you adopt this behavior. And try to repair yourself, don’t buy the last generation of phones or buy second-handed clothes or devices will make you save money as well!
- Be aware of your carbon footprint due to digital pollution
Despite its strong impact, digital pollution remains unknown. Did you know that a single email emits around 10g of CO2 per year? It’s the same amount as a plastic bag as an example. So if you want to get rid of all your useless emails and at the same time, do something good for the environment, try Cleanfox! We will give you more advice to tackle digital pollution in the next article.