What is climate change? Climate change speaks to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer. Global warming speaks to the recent and ongoing rise in global average temperature near Earth’s surface. It is caused mostly by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Global warming is causing climate patterns to change. However, global warming itself represents only one aspect of climate change.
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We all have noticed that climate change is happening. The temperatures have increased over the years. Statistical data have been released whereby it was noted that the earth’s average temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees in the past century. Although these changes seem small in nature overtime they will cause major changes in the climate and weather. There has been a great shift on the weather, in some parts of the world there has been heavy downpour, other parts drought, in recent years there has been major heat waves lasting for a longer period of time. The temperature on Earth heavily relies on the balance of energy in the planet. We are seeing the earth’s ocean being affected by being warmer and the high level of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean is changing the chemistry of the seawater. Ice glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising. The culprit of this global warming is predominantly due to human activities which have caused to be released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are derived from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil to produce energy. The greenhouse gases are emitted into the air which forms a blanket around the Earth, the energy is disbursed around the atmosphere and it gets warm. This “greenhouse effect” is vital for the survival on earth. Also, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased the greenhouse gases. As a result of this built up of greenhouse gases it can change the Earth’s climate.
How is climate change being addressed globally?
As per the 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate Change (UNFCCC) which states that every country commits to implement modifications to help lessen the impact of climate change. The target is meeting was to limit warming of 2 Celsius; this will be accomplished only by a reduction of 41% in total energy related to carbon dioxide emissions, and 70% reduction in power sector emissions. Every country will be facing different challenges due to their limited economic development, access to the developed energy infrastructure, access to cheap domestic fossil resources and renewable energy potential. The commitment includes the omission of fossil fuel and changing on how we use land. The energy challenge for the future will be to meet the challenge of achieving the world’s growing energy needs in a reliable and competitive way at the same time help to fight against climate change. The plan is to curtail the three quarters of global GHG emissions, which are energy related, as such major changes and transformations are necessary in order to satisfy the UNFCCC agreement. In order to meet the 2C deadline we must consider utilizing nuclear power as among the energy sources and technologies available today that could meet the climate-energy challenge. Transformation of the energy sector will play an important role in accomplishing to meet the 2C requirement; energy is the primary contributor to environmental warming gases, but the energy transition plays a key factor to a cleaner and more secure energy future. The transitions of energy companies by implementing improvements in low-carbon energy technologies are dropping costs of renewable energy. The implementation for onshore wind and new utility-scale solar panel installations has improved the decrease of the impact on climate change. Action that must be taken in order to achieve the 2C requirement is to ensure that we address the coal and gas fired power plant emissions since coal and gas power plants generate 63% of today’s global electric supply. The use of renewable sources might solve this problem instead of using fossil fuels. In California, the utility company PG&E made a commitment that they by 2031 will be 55% using renewable energy, and will be closing their Diablo Canyon Plant. The use of renewable resources is one of the ways to fight against climate change.
Another option will be the utilization of nuclear energy to mitigate further the cause of global warming. The application of nuclear energy where it utilizes electron beam irradiation, are effective for the removal of gaseous pollutants, including harmful gases such as dioxide, nitrogen oxide which are emitted in Carbon fuel power plants. Nuclear energy can be useful to mitigate the problem of pollution in the ocean. Recently it was reported that European scientists developed a multi-band gas sensor (i.e. Miregas) which can be used to detect poisonous gases in the atmosphere. This device uses a novel light source to detect dozens of emissions effectively. They hope that this gas sensor will be able to help to reduce global warming by detecting harmful gases at a faster rate; this project is estimated to be in its final stage of completion by 2020.
Many countries have taken action to accelerate their plans to adopt procedures to address climate change in the wake of president elect Donald Trump. President elect Donald Trump during his campaign has on numerous occasions took the stance that any increase in global warming is not due to human intervention today, president elect Donald Trump has changed his outlook and commented that he thinks that there is some connection between human activity and climate change. Trump has made energy one of the hottest topics in his run for presidency. He has committed to undo President Obama climate change initiatives. One of the ways is that Trump has declared that he will fight to remove the U.S. from the agreement signed at the UNFCCC by President Obama. Trump has stated that he will throw out the Clean Power Plan, where it was implemented in order to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, predominantly those plants which were using coal. Trump also has stated that he will bring back coal and will create many jobs; this action will put U.S. back many years in the fight against climate change. Canada has announced earlier this week that it is planning to move up the transition from traditional coal power to clean energy by 2030 and will result in an improvement of air quality and an increase in health of the Canadians citizens. China has become the forefront in satisfying their commitment to clean energy by the production of huge amounts of solar panels. Countries are being held accountable for their commitment to implement proper strategies to deliver a greener future. It is estimated that 60% of global energy demand growth over the next 20 years will come from either gas or zero-carbon fuels such as wind and solar. If U.S. goes back to revitalizing the use of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas it will mitigate the work that has been done to date to provide clean energy.