What is climate change and how is it changing?

The long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns is referred to as climate change. While these shifts have been natural for the longest period of humanity, human activities have become the main driver of climate change since the 1800s. This is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal oil and gas, which then produces heat-trapping gases to alter the delicate equilibrium governing the Earth in a negative fashion.

What Causes Climate Change?

There are lots of factors that contribute to Earth’s climate. However, scientists agree that Earth has been getting warmer in the past 50 to 100 years due to human activities.

Certain gases in Earth’s atmosphere block heat from escaping. This is called the greenhouse effect. These gases keep Earth warm like the glass in a greenhouse keeps plants warm.

Human activities — such as burning fuel to power factories, cars and buses — are changing the natural greenhouse. These changes cause the atmosphere to trap more heat than it used to, leading to a warmer Earth.

When human activities create greenhouse gases, Earth warms. This matters because oceans, land, air, plants, animals and energy from the Sun all have an effect on one another. The combined effects of all these things give us our global climate. In other words, Earth’s climate functions like one big, connected system.

Thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. NASA’s Earth observing satellites collect information about how our planet’s atmosphere, water and land are changing.

By looking at this information, scientists can observe how Earth’s systems work together. This will help us understand how small changes in one place can contribute to bigger changes in Earth’s global climate.

Credit : Climate kids 

Pictyre Credit : Google 

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