Climate Change: The Environmental Pandemic

 The environment, over years, has gone through phases of changes as a result of the impact-induced on it by anthropogenic activities. It can be said that the first dwellers of the earth would considerably find it inhabitable if they were to be on earth again. This argument alludes to the obvious effect of global warming impacting the environment with climate changing. This is evidenced in the varying weather patterns, flooding and droughts which are impacting human living, causing extreme hardships.

Source: Unsplash, Patrick Hendry

Climate change is chiefly because of anthropogenic activities. Therefore if one would look into the issues surrounding climate change, one would not be doing a thorough job without looking into the human activities that impact the climate. In a submission made by the Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness (CLEAN), it says that “there is overwhelming evidence that human activities, especially burning fossil fuels, are leading to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, which in turn amplify the natural greenhouse effect, causing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and land surface to increase.” 

This gives credence to the overwhelming human involvement in the release of greenhouse gases found in the atmosphere. While it is true that the majority of the greenhouse gases (GHG) occur naturally, scientific findings, as revealed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report reveals that since the year 1950, anthropogenic based emissions have caused 100% of the global warming. 

Amnesty international gives corroboration to this, stating that, “there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is mostly man-made: 97% of climate scientists have come to this conclusion.” 

The concentration of some GHG emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide, are experiencing a steady rise in the atmosphere. CO2 takes the lead of all emissions caused by human activities as it is responsible for over half (about 64%) of the anthropogenic global warming and currently, it is higher by a margin of 40% in the atmosphere if compared to when industrialization started. It has lesser heat-trapping abilities than other greenhouse gases. Nitrous oxide, for example, has a potency of 262 times above that of CO2. However, due to its high concentration and longevity in the amount of time it stays in the atmosphere, it is often the most worrisome of the greenhouse gases. 

The anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, on trapping heat have a resultant effect which can be called the “enhanced greenhouse effect”, contributing largely to global warming. Ordinarily, the greenhouse effect is a natural process through which the earth’s surface is warmed up. It happens via the radiation of the Sun’s energy, which on touching the earth’s atmosphere, has some of it absorbed and some reflected back into space. The absorbed insolation is in turn radiated again by the greenhouse gases located in the earth’s atmosphere. This absorbed energy is useful to the earth, making the earth’s temperature about 33°C higher than it would have been. This aids life on earth, therefore suggesting that greenhouse gases are not in themselves bad, but quite useful to human life. Howbeit, a rapid generation of these gases influenced by a growing population that culminates in an increase in energy demand has resulted in what was earlier called the enhanced greenhouse effect, as the more greenhouse gases are found in the atmosphere, the warmer the earth becomes.


Climate change and global warming are oftentimes considered to refer to the same things, however, this isn’t true. Simply, one is a cause while the other is an effect. Climate change, according to Wikipedia, refers to the difference in the global climate of the earth over a period of time which is a significant challenge, particularly for those in colder countries. It is important to know that it is inclusive of both the warming and cooling of the globe, otherwise known as global warming and global cooling. Climate change is a term, descriptive of the atmospheric state over long periods of time which could range from decades into millions of years. Changes involved could be caused by earth activities, which chiefly today are caused by human activities. 

Global warming, according to Wikipedia, refers to the “temperature of the earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere going over tens to thousands of years.” According to scientists, September 2020 has been the highest one in terms of global land and sea surface temperature, in a 141-year record. The temperature was 0.97°C (1.75°F) above that of the 20th century which averaged at 15.0°C (59.0°F). The month makes the 44th September in a consecutive succession and also the 429th consecutive month in which temperatures were nominally above the average total temperature of the entire 20th century. The last ten years have recorded the warmest September, since 2005, of which the last seven have been the warmest, from 2014–2020.
Source: September Temperature Anomalies
The effect of global warming threatens the entire human race as there has been a significant rise in sea level, floods caused by excessive rainfall, melting of glaciers, shortened life spans that have resulted from climate change due to global warming. Furthermore, scientists have calculated that global temperatures will continue to be on the rise into decades to come, given the rate of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC, made of a large number of environmental scientists, predicts that the earth will temperature rise of -16.39°C to -12.22°C over the next 100years.

The possible future effects of climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration of rainfall and intense level tropical storms. Source:  Left - Mellimage, Center - Montree Hanlue

Owing to the environmental gasp for breath and the ultimate victim being man, there is a call for the safety of the environment. Due to the huge amount of task to eradicate climatic change, GHG emissions can be reduced to a more stable point. The usage of the Gas stove in place of firewood, refusal to drive in a car that generously emits CO2, and investing in renewables as a reliable and clean source of energy. It has become necessary for government, coalition groups and even individuals to now make a stronger and wider general awareness of the task of constantly saving the environment as it was from the start as this is a matter that concerns us all.

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