The Seed of Life Foundation

Thursday, October 7, 2021

EVIDENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

 In this chapter we will look at how to know the effects of climate change. How do we know that the climate is changing. We shall just browse through some of the scientific evidence. 

Direct observations made on and above Earth’s surface show the planet’s climate is significantly changing. Human activities are the primary driver of those changes.

Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization.

1. GLOBAL TEMPERATURE RISE 

The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit (1.18 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and other human activities. Most of the warming occurred in the past 40 years, with the seven most recent years being the warmest. The years 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record.

2. WARMING OCEAN 

The ocean has absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 100 meters (about 328 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.33 degrees Celsius) since 1969. Earth stores 90% of the extra energy in the ocean.

3. SHRINKING ICE SHEETS 

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 279 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2019, while Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons of ice per year.

4. GLACIAL RETREAT 

Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska, and Africa.

5. DECREASED SNOW COVER 

Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and the snow is melting earlier.

6. SEA LEVEL RISE 

Global sea level rose about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and accelerating slightly every year.

7. DECLINING ARCTIC SEA ICE 

Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.

8. EXTREME NATURAL EVENTS 

Increase in natural disasters each year.

9. OCEAN ACIDIFICATION 

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30%. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the ocean. The ocean has absorbed between 20% and 30% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in recent decades (7.2 to 10.8 billion metric tons per year).


The evidence of climate change is overwhelming, urging us to climate action. Here are some of the opinions from our Instagram & Facebook family: 

FACEBOOK

Sprut Krankle  - 

"The Sahara going green."

Prachi Jain  -

" 16% above expected levels, forest wildfires, rains."


INSTAGRAM 

@_real_rizwana - 

"Unpredictable weather."

@_nussy_ -

"Global temperatures rise, warming ocean, decreased snow cover, glacial retreat & ocean acidification."

@sumaiyaharunani - 

" So many!!! Wildfires, drought, typhoons, ice on Kilimajaro is almost over. Heat waves, intense drought, rise of sea levels, melting glaciers, extreme weather conditions. "

@its_winnie_cheche - 

"Floods and droughts."

@breathenmoments -

"Increased erratic weather."

@blue_earth_organization -

"Rise in sea levels, abrupt change in weather patterns."

@dafina_bread -

"No rain. Prolonged drought. "

@zainab_akadir -

"Temperature fluctuation and melting of ice peaks."


REFERENCES:

  • https://climate.nasa.gov/
  • Vostok ice core data; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record
  • Gaffney, O.; Steffen, W. (2017). "The Anthropocene equation," The Anthropocene Review (Volume 4, Issue 1, April 2017), 53-61.
  • https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/indicators.php
  • https://crudata.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/​
  • http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp
  • https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index3.html
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • World Glacier Monitoring Service
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • R. S. Nerem, B. D. Beckley, J. T. Fasullo, B. D. Hamlington, D. Masters and G. T. Mitchum. "Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era." PNAS, 2018 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717312115
  • http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment.

The effects of human-caused global warming are happening now, are irreversible on the timescale of people alive today, and will worsen in the decades to come.

As climate change transforms global ecosystems, it affects everything from the places we live to the water we drink to the air we breathe.

Let us list a few of these effects as seen in our world today: 

  • Global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities.
  • Extreme Weather; As the earth’s atmosphere heats up, it collects, retains, and drops more water, changing weather patterns and making wet areas wetter and dry areas drier. 
  • Air pollution and climate change are inextricably linked, with one exacerbating the other. 
  • According to the World Health Organization, “climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year” between 2030 and 2050. As air pollution worsens, so does respiratory health—particularly for the 300 million people living with asthma worldwide; there’s more airborne pollen and mold to torment hay fever and allergy sufferers, too. Extreme weather events, such as severe storms and flooding, can lead to injury, drinking water contamination, and storm damage that may compromise basic infrastructure or lead to community displacement.
  • Rising Seas. The Arctic is heating twice as fast as any other place on the planet.
  • The earth’s oceans absorb between one-quarter and one-third of our fossil fuel emissions and are now 30 percent more acidic than they were in preindustrial times. This acidification poses a serious threat to underwater life, particularly creatures with calcified shells or skeletons like oysters, clams, and coral. It can have a devastating impact on shellfisheries, as well as the fish, birds, and mammals that depend on shellfish for sustenance.
  • Climate change is increasing pressure on wildlife to adapt to changing habitats—and fast. Many species are seeking out cooler climates and higher altitudes, altering seasonal behaviors, and adjusting traditional migration patterns. These shifts can fundamentally transform entire ecosystems and the intricate webs of life that depend on them. As a result, according to a 2014 IPCC climate change report, many species now face “increased extinction risk due to climate change.” And one 2015 study showed that mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and other vertebrate species are disappearing 114 times faster than they should be, a phenomenon that has been linked to climate change, pollution, and deforestation—all interconnected threats. 
So what are the effects of climate change in the future? Let's browse through some of them. 
  • Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions.
  • Temperatures will continue to rise
  • Frost- free season (and growing season) will lengthen 
  • More droughts and heat waves
  • Hurricanes will become stronger and more intense 
  • Sea levels will rise drastically 
  • The Arctic likely to become ice free! 

We asked the same questions on our social media and here are some of the answers we received from our Instagram family: 

baus_taka_enterprise: 

"Drought, icebergs melting, fires, global warming, landslides, floods." 

sumaiyaharunany: 

"Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, heatwaves, frequent and intense droughts, storms."

phoenix_marketing_solutions:

"Temperature rises, sea level rises, drought." 

zainab_akadir:

"Global Warming."

_real_rizwana: 

"Temperatures and natural caused disasters."


REFRENCES: 

1. https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/


Friday, August 20, 2021

CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Geological records show that there have been a number of large variations in the Earth’s climate. These have been caused by many natural factors, including changes in the sun, emissions from volcanoes, variations in Earth’s orbit and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Global climate change has typically occurred very slowly, over thousands or millions of years. However, research shows that the current climate is changing more rapidly than shown in geological records.

The mechanics of the earth’s climate system are simple. When energy from the sun is reflected off the earth and back into space (mostly by clouds and ice), or when the earth’s atmosphere releases energy, the planet cools. When the earth absorbs the sun’s energy, or when atmospheric gases prevent heat released by the earth from radiating into space (the greenhouse effect), the planet warms.

 A variety of factors, both natural and human, can influence the earth’s climate system.

The main driver of climate change is the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth’s surface. When the Sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases.

Some gases in the Earth's atmosphere act a bit like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun's heat and stopping it from leaking back into space and causing global warming.

Many of these greenhouse gases occur naturally, but human activity is increasing the concentrations of some of them in the atmosphere, in particular:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • methane
  • nitrous oxide
  • fluorinated gases
NATURAL CAUSES
  • Sun's Intensity
  • Volcanic Eruptions 
  • Changes in Earth's Orbit, Axial Tilt & Precession 
  • Quality of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere
  • Ocean Currents 
  • Changes in Land Cover
  • Meteorites Impact
CAUSES FOR RISING EMISSIONS ( HUMAN INDUCED) 

  • Burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
  • Cutting down forests (deforestation). Trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. When they are cut down, that beneficial effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect.
  • Increasing livestock farming. Cows and sheep produce large amounts of methane when they digest their food.
  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen produce nitrous oxide emissions.
  • Fluorinated gases are emitted from equipment and products that use these gases. Such emissions have a very strong warming effect, up to 23 000 times greater than CO2.

Thank you to all those who responded to our question on our social media platforms. Here are some of the answers we got as being causes of climate change: 

eaglewingorganization (Instagram)-
"Human activities are the leading causes of climate change...from deforestation to make a living, improper use of fertilisers especially those containing nitrogen, burning coal and use of gas emitting devices."

earthlab (Instagram) -
"Climate change is a combination of natural factors and human activities."

Amina Shah (Whatsapp)- 
"Our own actions. We burn the forest and we don't plant back, we create a lot of plastic items, we manufacture harsh chemicals which in turn affect the lands and the oceans, the list is endless."