Climate change initiativeproject – Nuclear EnergyBy:AbdulRobert,Fardeenand MatiaClimate change- background infoWhat is climate change?Climate is the average weather of a place varying from season to season. Like, for anexample a place might be very hot and in summer but this same place could be very cold inthe winter. Climate change is the change in these weather averages regionally andglobally.
(3)What causes climate change?Natural factors:There are many natural factors which can influence earth’s climate (All the world’sclimates combined),which causes climate change. There are 3 primary natural factors thatcause climate change:1. Earth’s orbital change and change in earth’s axis of rotation – We allknow that the earth orbits around the sun , and change in this oribatcan cause climate change. As sometimes this orbit becomes more of anegg shape which makes it so that at times during its orbit the earth iscloser and other times further from the sun. These orbital changes,change earth’s climate (colder or hotter).
Next, change in earth’s axis ofrotation can also cause climate change as over about 41 000 yearsearth’s angle of rotation 21.3 degrees to 24.5 degrees and then backagain. As the angle increases summers get hotter and winters getcolder. (1)2. Solar irradiance- or in other words the sun’s energy output. Meaning ifsolar activity (sun’s energy out) is increased its gets hotter and whendecreased it gets colder. But satellite information show that solarirradiance is not the reason why we are facing current global warmingtrends as there has only been a slight drop in solar irradiance meaningthis is not the reason for recent warming trends.
(1)3. Volcanic Eruptions – are another natural factor which causes climatechange as major volcanic eruptions release gases such sulphur dioxideand carbon dioxide. When sulphur dioxide is in the stratosphere itconverts to sulfuric acid which then condenses into sulfate aerosols.Sulfate aerosol increases the reflection of radiation (sunlight) back in tospace, thus cooling earth’s lower atmosphere (troposphere).
Next,carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which can increase global warmingbut these co2 emissions are no where no the amount humans put intothe earth.(4)Other natural factors that cause climate change are ocean current, as ocean currents carryheat around the earth and when the direction of these current is changed, different areas canbecome cooler or warmer. Little change in the earth’s ocean current can cause a big effect onthe earth and coastal climates. This happens because oceans can store a lot of heat.(1)Human factorsThe greenhouse effect is a natural process and life on earth depends on it.
Thegreenhouse effect involves , sunlight a form of radiation passes through the earth’satmosphere (only about half passes through atmosphere), and hits the ground where mostof it is absorbed and the rest is reflected back into the atmosphere where the greenhousegases absorb about 90% of the reflected energy and radiate it back to earth which is warmedto 15 degrees celsius which is idle for life. But us humans ever since the industrial revolutionhave injected more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere thus increasing the greenhouseeffect and casing climat (5). Some example of these greenhouse gases are:? Nitrous oxide?- the source for this greenhouse gas is burning of fossils fuels(coal,oil,natural gas) and nitrogen based fertilizers. The contribution of thisgreenhouse gas is 4%. (3)? Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs)?- These greenhouse gas are chemicals used inrefrigerators,air conditioning, cleaning solvents ,insulation and making of plastic foam.
These chemicals contribute 11% to the overall total of greenhouse gases.(3)? Carbon dioxide (CO2)?- This greenhouse gas is produced when fossil fuels are beingburned such as coal , oil, and natural gas. The contribution of this greenhouse gas is60% which makes it the main greenhouse has, one of the reason for this is that weused fossil fuels on a daily basis, about 85% of the things we do require burning offossil fuels.
(3)? Methane (CH4)?- is the result of decomposition of organic matter .eg. raising oflivestock, dump sites. Methane contributes 14% to the total greenhouse gases. (3)