Climate change – A few years ago it was thought that global warming was only the rise in temperatures, melting ice and rising sea levels occurring in the long run.
Today we know that the issue is much more complex, risky, and closer to us: there are many signs of the changing climate, which we can already measure and which are told in thousands of articles in the most prestigious international scientific journals, and summarized every 6 years from the thousands of pages of the volumes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN committee on climate.
Today we know so much about the problem of climate change:
the planet is heating up and will continue to heat up in the coming decades of human activities – in particular the burning of coal, gas and oil – is the main cause;
floods, droughts, heatwaves, or what experts call extreme events, are intensifying in different parts of the world and irregularly and jeopardize the idea of stability we are used to.
Destroyed communities, economic damage to people and entire production systems, and unfortunately also dead and injured.
350.org founder Bill McKibben recently said: “The effects of climate change that we are already seeing are unlike anything else we have seen so far,”
it’s happening right now.
From Mongolia affected by drought to Thailand hit by floods, from Australia devastated by fire to the Himalayan communities threatened by the melting of glaciers, every time we take the newspaper we read about calamities that less and less we can define as “natural”.
Climate change isn’t a future problem – it’s happening right now.
The effects of climate change are beginning to show up everywhere but since the world is so big, and each of us has its own view, it is difficult to see the links, to understand how much a truly global and important problem is.
So what is happening to the climate?
According to IPCC studies, the planet has warmed up (just under a degree as the global average) and we are heading towards an increase in the average temperature of the globe which, at the end of the century, could be, if not decidedly taken, even between 4-5 degrees centigrade.
This increase in temperature is due to the continuous growth and concentration of greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (or CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. This climate change will be faster and more relevant than the temperature changes that have occurred in the past ten thousand years, that is, how long our civilization has existed.
Climate change has always affected the Earth. Until a few centuries ago they were slow, if due to natural phenomena such as the oscillations of the Earth’s axis, or lasted a few years, if due to volcanic phenomena.
What is different this time?
Two very important things:
it is mankind who is responsible for it this time! According to the fifth report of the IPCC “the influence of man on climate change is unquestionable” In fact, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by 40% due to the massive use of fossil fuels in human activities, the concentration of methane gas has increased by 150% and the concentration of nitrous oxide is grown by 20%.
The ongoing climate changes are so rapid that they endanger the adaptability of living beings.
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