Climate is warming and changing due to a human-induced greenhouse effect. By the human effect, the climate has already warmed approximately 1 degree from the year 1880 to 2010 and IPCC have predicted that climate can warm 1.8 to 4.0 degrees by the year 2100.
Finnish meteorological centre researcher Antti Lipponen has produced a video of climate warming in different countries and continents from the year 1900 to the year 2016.
What causes climate change?
The main cause of climate change is human expansion of greenhouse effect. Without human effect the greenhouse effect is not a problem. In fact it is critical for life on earth that greenhouse effect is warming our planet. Without greenhouse effect temperature on earth would be approximately 33 degrees colder.
Due to human-based enforcement greenhouse effect is “overheating” the earth, which we call climate change or global warming. Humans are affecting to earth in several ways, but the most well-known reason is fossil fuels. The problem is that when fossil fuels are being burnt they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which enforces greenhouse effect and hence makes global climate warmer. Therefore, it is crucial to cut down carbon dioxide emissions in order to restrain climate change. Nevertheless, carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas which has been released as a result of human activity. For instance, methane is being released to the atmosphere as a result of livestock raising.
This NASAs website contains basic information of how the greenhouse effect works. It also explains in a nutshell how human impacts the greenhouse effect
Impacts of the climate change
A couple of degrees warmer climate might not sound such a bad thing but it can have a devastating effect on life as we know it. Rising temperatures will have a massive effect on our ecosystems. Warming by two degrees will cause 30 % of species to be threatened with the extinction. It goes without saying that the most sensitive ecosystems are the firsts to be threatened. For instance, warming by only two degrees will cause widespread coral bleaching, and climate warming more than that will cause widespread coral mortality. Sea levels will rise by the year 2100, depending on the prediction, from 0.2 to 2.0 meters by the melting ice sheets from polar areas and the seawater expansion. This will leave large inhabited coastal areas and islands underwater and increase the risk of flooding on inland. Rising climate temperatures might also cause droughts and shortage of fresh water at mid-latitudes. Overall the risk of water stress will increase globally. Climate warming by over 2 degrees will also affect the agriculture by decreasing cereal productivity especially at low latitudes but also on some regions, on mid and high latitudes. Rising temperatures will also increase mortality caused by natural phenomena such as heat waves, floods, and droughts.
This PDF-file is IPCC´s summary of Policymakers of climate changes impacts, risks and vulnerability it creates. Chapter A will give you information of what kind of impacts climate change is already making and how it is causing vulnerability. Chapter B will give you information of future risks that the climate change is causing. Chapter C covers ways we can manage risks that the climate change is causing
Climate change mitigation
Even though climate is warming due to human actions we are trying to correct our errors and change our behaviour to the right way. At year in 2015 the United Nations held a climate meeting in which the aim was to make a decision which would limit the global warming well below 2 degrees. The Paris climate agreement was drafted at the end of the year 2015 and it came into effect on 4 November 2016. As the European Union says the contract is a confirmation to the EU´s path towards low carbon economy. By October 2017, besides the European Union, 195 countries has signed the climate agreement.
First PDF-file is the Paris climate agreement. Second PDF-file will give you some information of the EU’s attitude towards the Paris climate agreement.