climate change global warming

Climate Change




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Video: Climate Change



“Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Our planet is heating up, fast, causing long-term changes to our weather. That’s basically what we’re talking about when we say climate change.

Forest Fire Victim: “It was overwhelmingly terrifying.
Ecologist: “The damage is immense.”

It’s been linked to extremes, from devastating fires to torrential rains and record-breaking temperatures.

Some now say this is our last real chance to tackle the problem.

But what’s brought us to this point?

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Throughout the Earth’s history, its temperature has changed. But the rapid rise we’re seeing now is down to us, humans.

From the nineteenth century, coal, oil and gas, known as fossil fuels, have transformed the way we live.

But it was only later that we discovered the problems they caused. And by then, we had TVs, planes, cars, computers and microwaves.

Burning fossil fuels releases gases that trap heat from the sun: that’s why they’re known as greenhouse gases. And carbon dioxide is one of the major offenders.

There’s now more of it in the atmosphere than there has been for millions of years.

Issues like deforestation are making the problems worse. Look at these satellite images showing trees cut down in the Amazon over just ten years, from 2003 to 2013.

They are releasing the carbon they once stored.

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The world’s average temperature is now 1.1 Celsius higher than it was in pre-industrial times.

Sounds small?

It’s not.

It’s already changed our planet.

Take the Arctic. Half of the volume of sea ice has been lost since the late seventies.

And the temperature is still going up.

Even with our current climate policies, the world is heading for a temperature rise of more than three degrees by then end of the century.

That means the Arctic would see ice-free summers, and the rising sea levels would put hundreds of millions living in coastal cities at risk.

There would be more deadly heat waves, droughts, fires, intense rainfalls and floods.

So can we stop it?

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Well not completely, but we can slow it down significantly.

Remember the Paris Climate Agreement?

Well, back in 2015, world leaders promised to tackle the problem, to try and limit temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

This would stop the worst effects.

But it also requires enormous changes to the way we live.

We’d need greenhouse gas levels to be net zero by the end of 2050.

That means any emissions we did release would have to be removed. It means swapping fossil fuels for renewables, using electric cars and trains and drastically cutting down on flying.

We’d also have to change the way we heat our homes and the food we eat.

And so soak up any excess carbon, we’d need to plant more trees, or develop technology that could do the same job.

Right now, countries just aren’t doing enough to achieve the Paris targets.

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So why do these deadlines matter?

The United Nations has warned that the window to act on climate change is closing. And in 2021, world leaders will have to set out, in the greatest detail yet, how they plan to cut their emissions, ahead of a a major climate meeting in Glasgow in November.

It’s only then we’ll find out if their commitments are ambitious enough.

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Arctic, Tundra, Polar Climate. The Earth’s climate is changing. True or false? Are winters getting colder and snowier, while summer are becoming cooler?

Antarctic. Will there only be more drought and dryness?

Forest, Woods. According to most scientists, global warming is due to sun spots or solar flares. Is this right or wrong?

Mountains, Hills. Why is the world getting warmer? Why is the average global temperature rising?

Valley. Are people planting more trees than is being cut down or burned?

River, Stream. Only temperate, tropical, desert and Mediterranean regions will get hotter; northern Europe, Canada, Greenland and Siberia will remain very cold. Is this right or wrong?

Lake, Pond. Can only science and technological advances solve climate change? What should people do to reduce global warming?

Desert, Arid. Should people ignore warnings? Should people and governments begin solving global warming in 2030?
Semi-Arid, Steppe, Prairie. The temperature is getting hotter. What do you think? What do your grandparents say?

Tropical Rain Forest, Jungle. Have there been changes in rainfall and the size of lakes, streams, ponds and rivers? Have there been more, less or the same amount of rainfall?

Temperate Rain Forest. Do people complain about the weather?

Shrub, Scrub. Is there much debate, discussion and argument about climate change?

Mediterranean Climate. Do people care about global warming? Or, people don’t care about climate change?

Subtropical Climate. What might happen in the future?

Tropics, Tropical Climate. What should people, businesses and governments do?

Temperate Climate, Four-Seasons. Are people willing to drive less and walk and ride bicycles more? Are people willing to eat less meat and live in cold homes during winter?

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