The causes of
climate change can
be divided into two categories, human and natural causes.
It is now a global concern that the
climatic changes occurring today have been speeded up because of man's
The natural variability and the
climate fluctuations of the climate system have always been part of the
Earth’s history however there have been changes in concentrations of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere growing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude.
The United Nations, governments and many top scientists around the world
believe that we must act now to stabilise and arrest further changes.
To understand climate change fully, the causes of climate
change must be first identified. Scientists divide the causes into two
categories, natural and human
The earth’s climate
is influenced and changed through natural causes like volcanic
eruptions, ocean current, the earth’s orbital changes and solar
- When a volcano erupts it throws out large volumes of sulphur
dioxide (SO2), water vapour, dust, and ash into the atmosphere.
Large volumes of gases and ash can influence climatic patterns for
years by increasing planetary reflectivity causing atmospheric
cooling. Tiny particles called aerosols are produced by volcanoes.
Because they reflect solar energy back into space they have a cooling
effect on the world. The
greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is also produced
however the CO2 produced is insignificant when compared to emissions
created by humans.
(see also featured article -
Do Volcanoes cause climate change)
- The oceans are a major component of the climate system. Ocean
currents move vast amounts of heat across the planet. Winds push
horizontally against the sea surface and drive ocean current
patterns. Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere can also
produce phenomena such as El Niño which occur every 2 to 6 years.
Deep ocean circulation of cold water from the poles towards the
equator and movement of warm water from the equator back towards
the poles. Without this movement the poles would be colder and the
equator warmer. The oceans play an important role in determining the
atmospheric concentration of CO2. Changes in ocean circulation may
affect the climate through the movement of CO2 into or out of the
Earth orbital changes
- The earth makes one full orbit around the sun each year. It is
tilted at an angle of 23.5° to the perpendicular plane of its
orbital path. Changes in the tilt of the earth can lead to small but
climatically important changes in the strength of the seasons, more
tilt means warmer summers and colder winters; less tilt means cooler
summers and milder winters. Slow changes in the Earth’s orbit lead
to small but climatically important changes in the strength of the
seasons over tens of thousands of years. Climate feedbacks amplify
these small changes, thereby producing ice ages.
- The Sun is the source of energy for the Earth’s climate system.
Although the Sun’s energy output appears constant from an everyday
point of view, small changes over an extended period of time can
lead to climate changes. Some scientists suspect that a portion of
the warming in the first half of the 20th century was due to an
increase in the output of solar energy. As the sun is the
fundamental source of energy that is instrumental in our climate system
it would be reasonable to assume that changes in the sun's energy output
would cause the climate to change. Scientific studies demonstrate that
solar variations have performed a role in past climate changes. For
instance a decrease in solar activity was thought to have triggered the
Little Ice Age between approximately 1650 and 1850, when Greenland was
largely cut off by ice from 1410 to the 1720s and glaciers advanced in
Current global warming
however cannot be explained by solar variations. Some examples are
evidenced such as since 1750, the average amount of energy coming from
the Sun either remained constant or increased slightly.
If global warming was caused by a more active sun, then scientists would
expect to see warmer temperatures in all layers of the atmosphere. They
have only observed a cooling in the upper atmosphere, a warming at the
surface and in the lower parts of the atmosphere. This is due to
greenhouse gasses capturing heat in the lower atmosphere. Also climate
models that include solar irradiance changes cannot reproduce last
century's observed temperature trend without including a rise in
"It has been
demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the climate is changing
due to man-made
greenhouse gases. We are already committed to future
substantial change over the next 30 years and change is likely to
accelerate over the rest of the 21st century."
The Met Office,
Hadley Centre, UK
"The Hadley Centre
holds an unique position in the world of climate science. No other
single body has a comparable breadth of climate change science and
modelling, or has made the same contribution to global climate
science and current knowledge."
"There is strong
evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century
has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of
fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and
The Royal Society
The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century saw the large-scale use of
fossil fuels for industrial activities.
Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas supply most of the energy
needed to run vehicles, generate electricity for industries and
households. The energy sector is responsible for about ¾ of the
dioxide emissions, 1/5 of the methane emissions and a large quantity of
Carbon dioxide is undoubtedly, the most important
greenhouse gas in the
atmosphere. Changes in land use pattern, deforestation, land clearing,
agriculture, and other activities have all led to a rise in the emission
of carbon dioxide.
Methane is another important
greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It is
released from animals such as dairy cows, goats, pigs, buffaloes,
camels, horses and sheep Methane is also emitted during the process of
oil drilling, coal mining, leaking gas pipelines, landfills and waste
The certainty of
global warming can be seen through some of the natural
phenomenon like the effect on crops and
extreme weather conditions
around the world. It is especially clear in the dramatic change of the
polar caps, i.e. the Arctic ice cap is shrinking and the Antarctica ice
shelf is melting.
According to the UK Government the main
contributors of man made causes of climate change in the UK are:
* 4% of carbon emissions come from industrial processes
* 7% come from agriculture – for example methane emissions from
livestock and manure, and nitrous oxide emissions from chemical
21% carbon emissions from transport
65% come from the use of fuel to generate energy (excluding
About 40% of carbon emissions in the UK are the result of decisions
taken directly by individuals. The biggest sources of emissions for most
people are likely to be:
energy use in the home (the main use is heating)
driving a car
There other elements of people's homes
that contribute to
climate change indirectly.
Everything, from furniture to computers, from clothes to carpets, all
use energy when it is produced and transported – and this causes
to be released.
Want to learn more on the causes
of climate change? Then take a look at the video below.
Agriculture as a Contributor to
the Causes of Climate Change
According to the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the three main causes of the
increase in greenhouse gases observed over the past 250 years have been
fossil fuels, land use, and agriculture.
cause of climate change is when agriculture alters the Earth's land
cover, which can change its ability to absorb or reflect heat and light.
Land use change such as deforestation and desertification, together with
use of fossil fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of
Deforestation as a contributor
to the Causes of Climate change
It is important, first to understand what a precious resource
rainforests play in our world. They form part of a delicate ecosystem
that has taken millions of years to evolve.
Rainforests every year
help to absorb almost 20% of man made
CO2 emissions therefore
deforestation can be classed as a major contributor to the causes of
climate change. Cutting down rainforests faster than they can be
replaced has a devastating effect on the carbon emission cycle producing
an extra 17% of
greenhouse gases. Remember trees absorb CO2. More
deforestation means more CO2 build up in the atmosphere.
Deforestation by means of cutting down and burning these tropical
rainforests usually pave the way for agriculture and industry which
often produce even more CO2.
Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, a
biodiversity specialist, (UNO, Mongla, Bagerhat) says, "that
change and forests are interlinked. The increased destruction of the
rainforest forming a precious cooling band around the Earth's equator,
is recognised as one of the main causes of climate change. Forests trap
and store carbon dioxide, playing a major role in mitigating climate
change. On the flip side of the coin, forests become the sources of the
greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide when destroyed or over-harvested and
burned. Forests , if not harmed ensure that they are enabling to
continue to produce the benefits; to mitigate the effects of a changing
climate; and to compensate for fossil fuel emissions through carbon
storage; and to enhance ecosystem health, sustainability, and
greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. 20% of
global greenhouse gas emissions result from deforestation and
degradation of forest, more than all the world's cars, trucks, ships and
planes combined. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
contributing to global warming and
climate change. Forest alleviates
this change by converting carbon dioxide to carbon during
photosynthesis. The world's forests contain about 125 percent of the
carbon found in the atmosphere. This carbon is stored in the form of
wood and vegetation through "carbon sequestration".
Trees possess about 20 percent carbon by weight and biomass of forest
acts as a "carbon sink." The soil organic matter produced by the
decomposition of dead plant material also acts as a carbon store.
Consequently forests store enormous amount of carbon: in total, the
world's forests and forest soils currently store more than one trillion
tons of carbon, twice the amount found floating free in the atmosphere,
according to FAO studies.
carbon dioxide concentration in the pre-industrial era
was 280 ppm. Right now the level has risen to 375 ppm, a 30% increase.
It is predicted that the level will be 450 ppm in 2050 resulting in
1.8-3ºC increase in temperature eventually. Therefore, global warming
will produce a sharp upswing followed by a deep plunge into a glacial
period several thousands years from now. A myriad of potential
such as increased cyclone intensity; melting of polar iceberg and
glaciers; increased salinity and changes in oceanic currents sea level
rise and inundation of low lying cities like Venice, Cairo, New Orleans,
Lagos, Amsterdam, etc.; coral bleaching and mortality of coral reef;
colonization of invasive species and species migration; changes in
ecosystem; mass extinction; ozone layer depletion; water shortage; and
spreading of diseases -- is predicted. "
The causes of climate change
Increase in global temperatures - Inter-government Panel
The most recent
assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
says that the earth’s average temperature has risen by 0.74 degrees in
the period from 1906 to 2005, and that the average temperature will
continue to rise.
The greenhouse effect is
a natural mechanism that retains the heat emitted from the earth’s
surface. The earth’s average temperature is at the moment around 14
degrees celsius (57 degrees fahrenheit). If the natural greenhouse
effect did not exist, the average temperature would be around minus 19
degrees celsius (minus 2 degrees fahrenheit).
The greenhouse effect is caused by a range of different gases in the
earth’s atmosphere. Water vapour makes the most significant contribution
to the greenhouse effect, followed by
CO2. The atmospheric content of
greenhouse gases – in particular CO2 – and the consequences for the
climate are being discussed because the content of these gases in the
atmosphere has risen precipitously in a period covering approximately
the latest 250 years, and especially the last 50.
At present the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 385 ppm
(parts per million). Before industrialization it was about 280 ppm.
Analyses of air contained in ice from the Antarctic ice cap show that
there is far more CO2 in the air today than at any time in the last
The consequence is that the greenhouse effect is becoming stronger, and
therefore the earth is becoming warmer. How much warmer has, however,
been a matter of dispute. The most recent assessment report from the
IPCC is from 2007. It concludes that the earth’s average temperature has
risen by 0.74 degrees in the period from 1906 to 2005. The warming is
stronger over land areas than over the sea, and accordingly it is
strongest in the northern hemisphere. At the same time occurrences of
heat waves and violent downpours have also increased, the
risen, and the ice at the world’s poles and on its mountains has begun
to melt. All of these effects are predictable in the event of
The IPCC’s most recent assessment report concludes that the
temperature will continue to rise, but that the extent and the duration
of this rise, and the severity of its consequences, depend on how
quickly and how effectively emissions of
greenhouse gases can be
restricted and, over time, reduced.
Shattering some of the Green
myths that contribute to the causes of Climate Change
(diapers) are as bad as disposables, a study by the Environment Agency
found. While throwaway nappies make up 0.1 per cent of landfill waste,
the cloth variety are a waste of energy, clean water and detergent
Paper bags cause more global warming than plastic. They need much more
space to store so require extra energy to transport them from
manufacturers to shops
Diesel trains in rural Britain are more polluting than 4x4 vehicles.
Douglas Alexander, when Transport Secretary, said: “If ten or fewer
people travel in a Sprinter [train], it would be less environmentally
damaging to give them each a Land Rover Freelander and tell them to
Burning wood for fuel is better for the environment than recycling it,
the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs discovered.
Organic dairy cows are worse for the climate. They produce less milk so
their methane emissions per litre are higher.
Someone who installs a “green” light bulb undoes a year’s worth of
energy saving by buying two bags of imported vegetables, as so much
carbon is wasted flying the food to Britain.
Trees, regarded as shields against global warming because they absorb
carbon, were found by German scientists to be major producers of
methane, a much more harmful
Shattering some of the Green myths that contribute to the causes of
Climate Change: Defra; How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, by Chris Goodall;
Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers Association; The Times; BBC
The Causes and Effects of
Climate Change in Ethiopia
A recent report released
by Oxfam International shows that small-scale farmers and pastoralists
in Ethiopia are likely to bear the brunt of the negative
climate change in the region, which will include increased poverty,
water scarcity, and food insecurity. Farmers, who form the majority of
the Ethiopian population, continue to cry foul over inconsistent
While Ethiopia has always suffered from great climatic variability,
including droughts that have contributed to hunger and even famine in
the past, the report details how
climate change is set to make the lives
of the poorest even harder.
During the recent Earth Day celebrations, journalists came face to face
with disgruntled farmers who decried the negligence of the international
community in mitigating the effects of climate change. Many Ethiopian
publications and notably weblogs have highlighted grim stories of
disillusioned farmers whose lives are at stake, as a result of
warming. Farmers and pastoralists around the country have shared with
journalists the toll that climate change is having on their communities,
from ruined crops to dying cattle.
Existing Work and Knowledge
regarding climate change indicates that:
A lack of citizen
understanding regarding the basics of climate science is an almost
universal finding worldwide even though knowledge has increased over
time. Especially notable is confusion between causes of climate
change and ozone depletion, and confusion between weather and
Americans know far less about
climate change than their counterparts
in the developed world
Accurate and complete understanding of information is not a
pre-requisite for concern.
Concern is widespread around the world, but it may also be inversely
correlated with the wealth and carbon footprint of a nation.
In some studies, more informed respondents reported less concern or
sense of responsibility towards
People stop paying attention to global climate change when they
realize that there is no easy solution for it. Many people judge as
serious only those problems for which they think action can be
The Royal Society's 2010 Report
looks at the science behind the causes of Climate Change
The Royal Society
acknowledges climate change and the causes continues to be a area of
immense scientific research and public debate. The
changes in climate are significant to everyone now and for future
generations. Humanity depends on the balance of the world's ecosystems.
The Royal Society agrees
that global warming has occurred over the past 50 years and is largely
caused by human activity. What causes climate change is highlighted by
human actions such as the the burning of fossil fuels and changes in
land use, including agriculture and deforestation.
The Royal Society state
there is still some uncertainty on the size of future temperature
fluctuations and other aspects of climate change however the risks
associated with these changes are substantial.
The Royal Society's
latest report aims to summarise current scientific evidence on climate
change and the causes of climate change. The report sets out where the
science is established, where there is a wide consensus but continuing
debate. The document does not tackle the
impacts of climate change but
the causes of climate change are considered.
This document draws upon
recent evidence and builds on the Fourth Assessment Report of Working
Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
published in 2007, which is the most comprehensive source of climate
science and its uncertainties.
US (United States) scientists have revealed
Nitrous Oxide better known to the public as laughing gas is very much overlooked
when it comes to greenhouse gases. It is believed to be the third most important
gas that contributes to global warming.
The major study, published in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Science say that climate scientists and the
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change have not paid enough attention to
other causes of climate change but have largely focussed on CO2 as the main
Nitrous Oxide is produced alongside Dinitrogen, a
harmless gas, as a by-product of a microbial process working on nitrogen. As
human activities such as intensive agriculture and the
burning of fossil fuels
have hugely increased, therefore so has the concentration of the element in the
environment. Generally, research has surrounded the effects of the process of
agricultural soils which has been published in over 1,000 studies on this
subject. The US study concludes that the occurrence in rivers and streams is
responsible for at least 10 per cent of emissions of nitrous oxide caused by
human activities. This is three times more than estimated by the IPCC.
When compared to
CO2, nitrous oxide molecule for molecule, is 300 times more
potent when it comes to warming up the earth. Although less is emitted than CO2,
so it may be classed as a smaller contributor to climate change, however
concentrations in the atmosphere have risen by some 20 per cent (20%) just in
the last 100 years. It is increasing by over 0.2 per cent each year. It is also
believed to be the leading remaining threat to the Ozone layer. Although it
seems less talked about than
Climate Change these days, the Ozone layer plays an
essential part in protecting the human race and all life on this planet from the
sun's highly dangerous ultra violet radiation. Good progress has been made
worldwide on eradicating CFC's and HCFC's by phasing them out but could nitrous
oxide be the new threat.
Dr Henry Gholz, programme director in the
National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology, believes the
results of the research are “startling", and “clearly establishes streams and
rivers as important sources of nitrous oxide” . They are important because you
have to know where a problem originates before you can tackle it.
The IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has produced
assessment reports on Climate Change in 1990, 1995, 2001 and the latest fourth report "Climate Change 2007 The
Physical Science Basis". This fourth assessment report is the most comprehensive and up to date scientific assessment of past, present and climate change
in the future.
Their 2007 Synthesis
Report is based on the assessment carried out by the three Working
Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report gives an integrated view of climate change as the final
part of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and its topics cover:
Topic 1 summarises observed
changes in climate and their effects on
natural and human systems, regardless of their causes.
Topic 2 assesses the
causes of the observed changes.
Topic 4 discusses
adaptation and mitigation options over the next few decades and
their interactions with sustainable development.
Topic 5 assesses the
relationship between adaptation and mitigation on a more conceptual
basis and takes a longer-term perspective.
Topic 6 summarises
the major robust findings and remaining key uncertainties in this
This 2007 report is the latest assessment of the IPCC and again will form
the standard scientific reference for all those concerned with
climate change, its causes and consequences, including students and
researchers in environmental science, meteorology, climatology,
biology, ecology and atmospheric chemistry, and policymakers in
governments and industry worldwide.
The IPCC are
currently working on a 5th Assessment Climate Change report which is
due to be finalised in 2014.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
full reports are
Change and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) in 1988.
The IPCC’s Fourth
Assessment Report (AR4) and latest was released in 2007. It was compiled
by contributions from over 3,500 experts from more than 130 countries
contributed. It provided over 90,000 review comments from 450 Lead
Authors, 800 Contributing Authors, and 2,500 expert reviewers.
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) terms of reference
1. To assess available
scientific and socio-economic information on
climate change and
impacts and on the options for mitigating climate change and adapting to
2. To provide, on
request, scientific/technical/socio-economic advice to the Conference of
the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC). From 1990, the IPCC has produced a series of
Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies and
other products that have become standard works of reference, widely used
by policymakers, scientists and other experts.
NASA's Earth Observation System
monitoring the changing climate
NASA plays an important part in monitoring the
oceans, land, atmosphere, biosphere and cyrosphere. They have at least 14
satellites in orbit around the earth and plan to launch many more in the next
The spend by NASA last year on climate science
amounted to $1.3 billion and in 2004 the overall climate science budget exceeded
all other federal agencies combined.
The scientists of NASA have an international
presence in the media wordwide as climate experts. They have been helping to
identify the causes of climate change and supply information on solar activity,
rises in sea levels around the world including the temperature of the oceans.
The agency also focuses on air pollution, rises in atmosphere temperatures, they
monitor the ozone layer and changes in ice in the sea and land especially at the
In 2007, over 17 space missions also collected
data on the climate. NASA also provides funding through sponsorship for field
experiments which assist in providing "ground truth" data which is then used to
check space instrument performance.
climate change from natural sources
such as volcanoes and dust storms and man made sources such as from
fossil fuels were first globally recorded by NASA's satellites, Terra and Aqua.
Using 30 years of satellite solar and atmospheric
temperature data greatly assisted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
to reach the conclusion in 2007 that "Most of the observed increase in global
average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the
observed increase in anthropogenic
greenhouse gas concentrations."
NASA have confirmed that " Earth-orbiting
satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the
big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and
its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many
years reveal the signals of a changing climate".
What if the key factors in the causes of climate
change were cows, pigs and chickens?
In their published report Robert Goodland and
Jeff Anhang believe that the life cycle and supply chain of animals raised for
food has been an area greatly underestimated in the production of
They account for at least half (50%) of human caused
They argue if this is true, a better strategy in
reversing climate change would be to find better alternatives by replacing
livestock with other food sources.
This approach would have far more of a rapid effect on
greenhouse emissions and their atmospheric concentrations therefore the rate on
which the climate is warming and the unnecessary urgency to replace fossil fuels
It is widely accepted that Livestock are known to
contribute to greenhouse gases.
The Livestock’s Long Shadow, 2006 report by the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 7,516 million
metric tons per
year of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), or 18 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse
gases, are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs,
With that amount
this would easily qualify livestock as an important area for ways to address
climate change. Analysis shows that livestock and their by-products actually
account or at least 32,564million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent
of annual worldwide
Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy at the
University of Waterloo and author of The Brain and the Meaning of Life. He
explains climate change denial as a result of motivated inference, in which
people's beliefs are biased by their goals. He believes it is a good explanation
why some politicians and oil company executives ignore the substantial evidence
for global warming resulting from human
carbon emissions. But a new book
provides an alternative explanation that applies very well to denial of climate
change problems by ordinary people.
Kari Marie Norgaard is an American sociologist
who spent a year in a small city in Norway interviewing people about their
beliefs and attitudes concerning climate change. Her new book Living in Denial
provides a sophisticated account of why a group of people, who are largely well
informed and politically progressive, nevertheless tend to deny that
change is a serious problem. She points to psychological and social processes
that are different from Paul's motivated inference explanation.
Learn more about causes of climate change denial
United States Global Research Climate Program - human activities
Global Research Climate Program - "human activities have increased
additional heat-trapping gases"
Human activities have
played a significant part in releasing additional heat-trapping gases.
This has intensified the natural
greenhouse effect and changed the
The United States Global Research Climate Program report says, a variety
of factors influence the climate which are either human-induced or
The most important and
key factor causing global warming over the past 50 years is the
increased build up and concentration of CO2 otherwise known as
The build up of
the Earth's atmosphere started during the industrial revolution around
the mid 18th century which saw the burning of fossil fuels such as coal,
oil, natural gas and the clearing of forests. Trees help to reduce
carbon dioxide by absorbing it during the night, producing oxygen during
For hundreds of thousands, to millions of years,
the Earth’s temperature and
weather patterns change naturally over time.
But how is the climate defined? Statistics
gathered generally over a period of 30 years are analysed and averaged. The
climate can never be static and is subjected to continuous disturbances perhaps
occasionally minor in nature and effect but sometimes times much larger. These
changes can be gradual and other times abrupt according to The Geological
Where does this evidence come from? Evidence for
the natural causes of climate change can be found and is preserved in a wide
range of geological settings, including marine and lake sediments, ice sheets,
fossil corals, stalagmites and fossil tree rings.
The advances in field observation, laboratory
techniques and numerical modelling allow geoscientists to show, with increasing
confidence, how and why climate has changed in the past.
For example, cores drilled through the ice sheets
yield a record of polar temperatures and atmospheric composition ranging back to
120,000 years in Greenland and 800,000 years in Antarctica. Oceanic sediments
preserve a record reaching back tens of millions of years, and older sedimentary
rocks extend the record to hundreds of millions of years. This vital baseline of
knowledge about the past provides the context for estimating likely changes in
Over at least the last 200 million years the
fossil and sedimentary record shows that the Earth has undergone many
fluctuations in climate, from warmer than the present climate to much colder, on
many different timescales. Several warming events can be associated with
increases in the
greenhouse gas, CO2.
There is evidence for sudden major injections of
carbon to the atmosphere occurring at 55, 120 and 183 million years ago, perhaps
from the sudden breakdown of methane hydrates beneath the seabed. At those times
the associated warming would have increased the evaporation of water vapour from
the ocean, making CO2 the trigger rather than the sole agent for change.
During the Ice Age of the past two and a half
million years or so, periodic warming of the Earth through changes in its
position in relation to the sun also heated the oceans, releasing both
water vapour, which amplified the ongoing warming into warm interglacial
periods. That process was magnified by the melting of sea ice and land ice,
darkening the Earth’s surface and reducing the reflection of the Sun’s energy
back into space.
The geological record contains an abundant
evidence of the ways in which Earth’s climate has changed in the past. That
evidence is highly relevant to understanding how it may change in the future.
You can find out more about this geological
record helping which admirably explains some of the causes of climate change at:
Black carbon now second largest cause
of climate change and key human contributor to global warming
A comprehensive study and analysis has found that
Black Carbon, commonly known as soot, has now been elevated to the second most
important human contributor to
Black carbon or soot speeds up warming of the
atmosphere by heat being absorbed by ultra small particles. These particles in
the air darken snow and ice. Although some lighter coloured particles can have a
cooling effect because they block sunlight other black carbon sources have a
warming effect because they absorb it.
Glacier melting and regional
patterns can be disrupted.
Black Carbon is produced by diesel engines and
caused through the burning of wood and and coal. The analysis has pushed
methane, which comes from landfills and other sources into third place as a
human contributor to global warming.
Piers Forster a professor at the University of
Leeds School of Earth and Environment and one of the soot study’s authors of
this and mark study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres,
said in a statement that reducing black carbon can help address rising
“There are exciting opportunities to cool climate by reducing soot emissions,”
Forster added that cutting emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and
coal fires is “a no brainer” because it would improve public health and the
climate. Fine particles cause heart and
respiratory problems, leading to
premature death, as well as asthma and other illnesses. These
would produce an immediate cooling effect, the authors estimated.
Key findings of the report include:
Black carbon has twice the direct
than reported in previous assessments
Black carbon ranks as the second most important individual climate-warming agent
after carbon dioxide
Cleaning up diesel engines and some
wood and coal combustion could slow down
global warming immediately
The full report published in the Journal of
Geophysical Research: Atmospheres can be found
Greedy Lying Bastards - a powerful
film about the people who cast doubts on the causes of climate change
Filmmaker and political activist Craig Rosebraugh
Producer Daryl Hannah on 8th March 2013 have released a powerful documentary
film about the people and organisations in the United States who cast doubt
about the human causes of climate change.
It documents an industry that has put profits
before people and who have waged a campaign of lies and deceit to bring down the
climate science and efforts to combat climate change.
Millions of dollars are spent each year by oil
and related interests to fund scientists, think tanks and US politicians in a
campaign of deceit as highlighted in the film.
The film Greedy Lying Bastards further focuses on
how ExxonMobil has spent over $27 million to squash claims of global warming
despite the consensus of the scientific community . The film also claims the
Koch brothers operating the conglomerate Koch Industries provided over $67
million of funding between 1997 to 2012.
This is a real "must watch" film investigating
the reason behind the stalled efforts to tackle climate change in the United
Joint science academies’ statement on
the Global response to climate change and causes
In 2005 the National Science Academies of 11
nations urged the countries of the world to take immediate and prompt action to
reduce the causes of climate change at the 2005 meeting at the Gleneagles G8
The National Science Academies included Academia
Brasiliera de Ciências from Brazil, Royal Society of Canada, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Academié des Sciences from France, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher
from Germany, Indian National Science Academy, Accademia dei Lincei from Italy,
Science Council of Japan, Russian Academy of Sciences, Royal Society from United
Kingdom and National Academy of Sciences from United States of America.
The Science Academy's statement highlights the
need to reduce the causes of climate change as the scientific understanding of
climate change is sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.
They believe that countries should identify cost effective steps that they can
implement now to make an impact in the reduction of
The development of economies and nations during
the next 25 years energy demand is estimated to increase by 60%. The bulk of
carbon dioxide emissions is produced by human activities such as the burning of
These valuable resources are projected to provide 85% of this demand. It is
therefore of paramount importance that every effort is made to minimise the
amount of carbon
dioxide reaching the atmosphere through cost effective technology.
Their statement reminds the world that Carbon
dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for many decades. By even lowering
impacts of climate change will still be
the 21st century and beyond. Not reducing emissions will simply make taking
appropriate action harder in the future.
science academies, we commit to working with governments to help
develop and implement the national and international response to the
challenge of climate change. G8 nations have been responsible for
much of the past
greenhouse gas emissions. As
parties to the UNFCCC, G8 nations are committed to showing
leadership in addressing
climate change and assisting
developing nations to meet the challenges of adaptation and