Climate change involves some complicated concepts. Ever wondered how the greenhouse effect works, or the causes and effects of global warming? What's Your Impact to the rescue! Our team has created a series of infographics to help explain these topics, so take a look to learn more. Feel free to use them as posters or graphics to spread the word!
Since the Industrial Revolution, human sources of carbon dioxide emissions have been growing. Human activities such as the burning of oil, coal and gas, as well as deforestation are the primary cause of the increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Increases in total CO2 emissions are coming from 3 main human sources:
- Industrial processes
- Land use changes
- Fossil fuel combustion
The main effect of increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations is global warming. Increases in the different greenhouse gases also have other effects apart from global warming including:
- Ocean acidification
- Changes to plant growth and nutrition levels
- Smog and ozone pollution
- Ozone layer depletion
The current cause of global warming is the increasing quantity of greenhouse gases in the our atmosphere produced by human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels or deforestation. These activities produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions which is causing global warming.
Many of the impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world. Some of those effects include changes with respect to weather patterns and extreme weather events.
Flooding is occurring more frequently, and droughts are becoming longer. Climate change is increasing the chances of cold waves and heat waves. Storms, cyclones and hurricanes are becoming more intense in recent years. The amount of rainfall is rising in high latitudes and decreasing in most sub-tropical and temperate land areas.
Global warming is damaging the Earth's climate as well as the physical environment. One of the most visible effects of global warming can be seen in the Arctic as glaciers, permafrost and sea ice are melting rapidly. Global warming is harming the environment in several ways including:
- Increased melting of snow and ice
- Sea level rise
- Stronger hurricanes and cyclones
The greenhouse effect increases the temperature of the Earth by trapping heat in our atmosphere. This keeps the temperature of the Earth higher than it would be if direct heating by the Sun was the only source of warming. When sunlight reaches the surface of the Earth, some of it is absorbed which warms the ground and some bounces back to space as heat. Greenhouse gases that are in the atmosphere absorb and then redirect some of this heat back towards the Earth.