Some Of The Concepts We Will See In This Section:
- Intergovernmental Panel on climate change: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program, to assess the risks of climate change caused by human activities.
- ppm: (parts per million) is the name given to one unit per million. 1 unit substance per million of the total amount of substance in any mixture is called 1 ppm. It is known as the concentration unit.
Today, “Global Climate Change” is at the top of the list of the most critical and important problems of our world. This week’s attention-grabbing corner will also address this global problem. In this section, we will examine the causes and effects of global climate change.
What Is Global Climate Change?
Greenhouses are structures that people use for their agricultural activities. The interior of greenhouses is always warm because the sun’s rays inside are protected by nylon or glass and cannot go out. The atmosphere is like a greenhouse. Almost half of the sun’s rays reaching the earth are reflected from the Earth. With the impact of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone nitrogen oxide, our atmosphere sends a certain part of the sun’s rays reflected from the Earth back to the Earth. Thanks to greenhouse gases that act as a cover, the average temperature on earth plays an important role in the survival of living things and reaches 15°C. In the absence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the average temperature of the Earth could reach -18°C, which could lead to different species of living beings dying as a result of failing to adapt to climate and weather conditions. The effect of the greenhouse gases we are talking about on temperature and climate change is called the “greenhouse gas effect”. As a result of increasing the density of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global climate change occurs.
What Has Caused Global Climate Change?
The climate system is a complex and interactive system that encompasses living and inanimate beings. This system changes slowly over time, under the influence of its own internal dynamics, or due to changes in external factors (called forcing). External forces include natural events such as volcanic eruptions and changes in the surface of the sun, as well as human-influenced changes in the composition of the atmosphere.
If human beings were not effective in nature, today, we would not hear such concepts as global warming and global climate change so often. The event that enabled these concepts to take a place in our lives was the “Industrial Revolution” that began in the 1750s. The proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere began to increase after the Industrial Revolution, with carbon dioxide increasing by 40%, from 280 ppm to 405.5 ppm (2017). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the main reason for the increase in carbon dioxide is the use of fossil fuels. Another factor is deforestation and change in land use. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that the observed increase in greenhouse gas emissions as a result of human activity has led to an increase in global average temperatures.
Before moving on to the next subtitle, let’s look at some of the greenhouse gases that cause an increase in global temperatures and the proportions of these gases in the atmosphere:
Carbon dioxide (CO2): CO2, which is an important factor in global warming, is permeable to the sun’s rays, absorbing them when they hit the Earth and reflect. Concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere were between 280-290 ppm in the 18th and 19th centuries; as a result of the use of fossil fuels, today, it has increased to approximately 407.8 ppm. As energy use in the world is constantly increasing, it is expected that the density of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase, despite Coronavirus measures.
Methane (CH4): Methane gas, the ratio of which has been constant for thousands of years, has doubled in the last few centuries. Methane affects the world as much as CO2, as it is 21 times more persistent than CO2. Many of the organic garbage, which is quite large in Western countries and especially in America, decomposes and releases large amounts of methane which causes explosions and burns in landfills that are not controlled. Every day, the amount of methane released into the atmosphere increases, and the greenhouse effect becomes more dangerous.
Nitrogen oxide: Nitrogen and oxygen form nitrogen oxide that react chemically at a temperature of 250ºC. Nitrogen oxide is formed during agricultural and industrial activities and the combustion of solid waste and fossil fuels. This gas coming out of the exhaust of cars causes environmental pollution.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): CFCs consist of a mixture of chlorine, fluorine, carbon and mostly hydrogen. Most of these gases are products of the 1950s and are used today in refrigerators, air conditioners, sprays, fire extinguishers and plastic production. Scientists have proven that these gases cause significant climate and weather changes by destroying ozone. These gases are DDT, dioxin, mercury, lead, Vinylchloride, PCBs, sulfur dioxide, Sodiumnitrate and polymers.
|Greenhouse Gas||Approximate Rate Of Presence Among Greenhouse Gases|
|Carbon dioxide (CO2)||%72|
|Dinitrogen Monoxide (N2O)||%6|
Hydro-fluoro-carbons (HFCs) Perfluoro-carbons (PFCs) Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
Global Consequences Of Global Climate Change
Global consequences of global climate change include rising air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and glaciers, and rising sea levels. In addition, regional changes have been observed, including temperature and glaciers in Antarctica, ocean salinity rates, wind patterns and droughts, rainfall and tropical cyclones.
According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) data, 2020 is considered the warmest year after 2016 and 2019. Compared with the previous 1300 years, temperatures in the last half-century are quite unusual. The last time the polar regions were warmer than today was 125,000 years ago, and there was a rise of 4 to 6 meters at sea level.