This is an essay on “Climate Change and its Effects” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases. So climate change has a diverse effect all over the world including Pakistan. So to analyze its effects and major factors, here is a complete essay on the topic of “Climate Change and its Effects” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.
In this essay, you will learn about the causes, effects, and major factors of climate change in Pakistan.
Essay on “Climate Change and its Effects”
- Change in climate due to increasing of temperature
- Industrial Revolution and the use of fossil fuels
- Role of Intergovernmental Penal on Climate Change (IPCC)
Causes of Climate Change
- Industrial Revolution and setting up industries
- Use of greenhouse gases
- Release of chemicals and other gases
- Plate tectonics
- Depletion in the Ozone layer
- Solar energy
Effects of Climate Change
- Increasing global temperature
- Thawing Glaciers
- Rising sea levels
- Warmest years
- Relentless hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, etc
- Heavy rainfalls
- Higher temperature and process of decomposition
- Growing long season
- Losing Earth Fertility
Combating Climate Change
- Controlling global temperature
- Earth Summit 1992
- Kyoto Protocol 1997
- Bali Summit 2007
- Copenhagen Summit 2009
- Durban Summit 2011
- Fifth IPCC 2014 Report
- Paris Summit 2015
How is Pakistan affected by climate change?
- Heavy rainfalls
- Melting of glaciers and floods
- Extreme weather in winter and summer
- The rising sea level of the Indian Ocean
- Loss of infrastructure, human loss, etc
- Floods and impact on the economy
- Least contributor towards global warning but hard hit
Suggestions to Control Climate Change
- Reducing fossil fuels
- Growing more forests
- Using alternative sources of energy
- Introducing zero-carbon technology
- Green transportation
- Geothermal energy
- Solar energy
- Latest Technology
Essay on “Climate Change and its Effects” for CSS, PMS and Judiciary Examinations
“We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.” -Al Gore Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007
Global Wanning is the expected slow, gradual warming of the lower layers of the Earth’s lower atmosphere by slowly increasing concentrations of man-made greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, and to lesser extent methane. These gases trap infrared radiation, which is the “heat radiation” that cools the Earth. The burning of fossil fuels, mainly petroleum and coal, produces carbon dioxide as one of the by-products. As of 2003, the concentration of carbon dioxide is over 50% higher than it was before the start of the industrial revolution in the late 1800s. This has become a major threat to all forms of life on earth and the situation is worsening each passing day.
In view of the devastating effects that global warming has started to have on life, the problem has become a global concern forcing attention from all concerned. To bring all this information together, the United Nations formed a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. The IPCC meets after some years to review the latest scientific findings and write a report summarizing all that is known about global warming.
Here is ambiguity in the minds of the students about global warming and climate change. Global warming” as it is commonly used refers to the increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature, due to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Climate change” is used in a broader context that refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and precipitation.
Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature will probably rise a further, 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the twenty-first century. The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions.
The devastation of Global Warming is far terrible than it is generally perceived to be Al Gore. Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007, underlined the possibility of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or in West Antarctica, either of which could raise global sea levels by approximately 20 feet (6 m), flooding coastal areas and producing 100 million refugees.
Melting water from Greenland, because of its lower salinity, could then halt the currents that keep northern Europe warm and quickly trigger dramatic local cooling there. It also contains various short animated projections of what could happen to different animals more vulnerable to climate change.
Causes of Climate Change
Following are the causes of Climate change:
More and more industries and factories are set up in this modem world to meet the needs of human beings. These big factories need a large number of fuels like coal, petroleum for power, and electricity required by the machines to work. The burning of these fuels releases a large amount of carbon dioxide which absorbs the harmful radiations from the sun making it warm, hence global warming.
The smoke that is produced from these factories is mixed with the air, making it harmful for breathing. One of the first things scien8sts learned is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming, and man-made vehicles emit them in a variety of ways. Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production. The gas responsible for the most warming is carbon dioxide, also called CO2.
Other contributors include methane released from landfills and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals), nitrous oxide from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes, and the loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2, Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F). The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36-70 percent of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9-26 percent; methane (CH4), which causes 4-9) percent, and ozone (O3), which causes 3-7 percent.
Fossil fuels are burnt on a day-to-day basis and they contain a high percentage of carbon, coal, and petroleum, and many other gases. So burning of these fuels releases a large amount of extra carbon which has been entombed inside the Earth millions of years ago. The carbon that is emitted by burning these fuels is the extra carbon which is not a part of the cycle. So carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is provided in excess in the atmosphere which again leads to global warming.
The use of forests for fuel (both wood and for charcoal) is one cause of deforestation, but in the first world, our appetite for wood and paper products, our consumption of livestock grazed on former forest land, and the use of tropical forest lands for commodities like palm oil plantations contributes to the mass deforestation of our world. Forests remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and this deforestation releases large amounts of carbon, as well as reduces the amount of carbon capture on the planet.
Deforestation increases the severity of global warming as well. Carbon dioxide is released from the human conversion of forests and grasslands into farmland and cities. All Jiving plants store carbon dioxide. When those plants die and decay, carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. As forests and grasslands are cleared for your use, enormous amounts of stored carbon enter the atmosphere.
In the last half of the 20th century, the use of chemical fertilizers (as opposed to the historical use of animal manure) has risen dramatically. The high rate of application of nitrogen-rich fertilizers has effects on the heat storage of cropland (nitrogen oxides have 300 times more heat-trapping capacity per unit of volume than carbon dioxide) and the run-off of excess fertilizers creates ‘dead zones in our oceans. In addition to these effects, high nitrate levels in groundwater due to overfertilization are a cause for concern for human health.
Over the course of millions of years, the motion of tectonic plates reconfigures global land and ocean areas and generates topography. This can affect both global and local patterns of climate and atmosphere-ocean circulation. The topography can influence climate. The existence of mountains (as a product of plate tectonics through mountain-building) can cause orographic precipitation. Humidity generally decreases and diurnal temperature swings generally increase with increasing elevation.
Mean temperature and the length of the growing season also decrease with increasing elevation. The ozone layer is the layer outside the atmosphere that protects the surface of the Earth from the harmful Ultra-violet and infrared radiations causing dangerous diseases like skin cancer. Ozone layer depletion is also one of the causes of global warming; entering of harmful gases which help in heating up the Earth but other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, that help in heating up and also tear up the ozone layer making an “Ozone Hole”.
Mostly the CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon) damages the ozone layer. So the ozone layer depletes due to these gases which allow the UV radiations to enter the Earth making the Earth more warm than normal and affecting the temperature leading to global warming.
Over the following approximately 4 billion years, the energy output of the sun increased and atmospheric composition changed, with the oxygenation of the atmosphere being the most notable alteration. The luminosity of the sun will continue to increase as it follows the main sequence. These changes in luminosity, and the sun’s ultimate death as it becomes a red giant and then a white dwarf, will have large effects on climate, with the red giant phase possibly ending life on Earth.
Volcanism is a process of conveying material from the crust and mantle of the Earth to its surface. Volcanic eruptions, geysers, and hot springs are examples of volcanic processes which release gases and particulates into the atmosphere. Eruptions large enough•t6 affect climate occur on average several times per century and cause cooling for a period of a few years. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the second-largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century affected the climate substantially.
Presently, the scientific consensus on climate change is that human activity is very likely the cause for the rapid increase in global average temperatures over the past several decades. Consequently, the debate has largely shifted onto ways to reduce further human impact and to find ways to adapt to change that has already occurred. Of most concern in these anthropogenic factors is the increase in CO, levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion, followed by aerosols (particulate matter in the atmosphere) and cement manufacture. Other factors, including land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture, and deforestation, are also of concern in the roles they play – both separately and in conjunction with other factors – in affecting climate.
Effects of Climate Change
Following are the effects of Climate Change:
- Global temperatures will increase between 2 and 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit (I.I and 8.4 degrees Celsius) by the end of this century over pre-industrial levels.
- A best-guess temperature rise is between 3.2 and 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius), though the high end remains possible.
- Sea levels are projected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century.
- If recent melting in Greenland and Antarctica continues, sea levels could rise an additional 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters).
- Temperatures and sea levels will continue to rise for centuries even if greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized today.
- Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record, which stretches back to 1850.
- Observational evidence suggests an increase in hurricane strength in the North Atlantic since 1970 that correlates with an increase in sea surface temperatures.
- In some projections, Arctic sea ice will disappear m the late summer by the later part of this century.
- It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy rains will continue to become more frequent.
- The Gulf Stream, which brings warm waters to the North Atlantic, may slow.
- Higher air temperatures will also be felt in the soil, where warmer conditions are likely to speed the natural decomposition of organic matter and to increase the rates of other soil processes that affect fertility.
- Conditions are more favorable for the proliferation of insect pests in warmer climates. Longer growing seasons will enable insects such as grasshoppers to complete a greater number of reproductive cycles during the spring, summer, and autumn.
In recognition of the threats mentioned above, the global has finally started responding to the phenomenon of Global Warming and is slowly_ but surely taking necessary steps. In this regard, several international forums are of key importance. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in 1992 known as Earth Summit 1992. 172 governments participated, with 108 sending .their heads of state or government. The issues addressed included:
- A systematic scrutiny of patterns of production – particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals.
- Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked -to global climate change.
- The new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities, and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog.
- The growing scarcity of water.
Combating Climate Change
An important achievement was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of July 2010, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol.
Under the Protocol, 37 countries commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member countries give general commitments. These countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level. Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bali International Conference Centre, Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia, between December 3 and December 15, 2007. Representatives from over 180 countries attended, together with observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
The conference encompassed meetings of several bodies, including the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13), the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 3 or CMP 3), together with other subsidiary bodies and a meeting of ministers.
Negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol dominated the conference. A meeting of environment ministers and experts held in June called on the conference to agree on a roadmap, timetable, and concrete steps for the negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement by 2009. It has been debated whether this global meeting on climate change has achieved anything significant at all. Initial EU proposals called for global emissions to peak in 10 to 15 years and decline “well below half of the 2000 level by 2050 for developing countries and for developed countries to achieve emissions levels 20-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
The United States strongly opposed these numbers, at times backed by Japan, Canada, Australia, and Russia. The resulting compromise mandates “deep cuts in global emissions” with references to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference took place at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 18, 2009, known as Copenhagen Summit 2009. According to the Bali Road Map, a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012 is to be agreed upon there.
The key points of the Copenhagen Accord are the following:
- A commitment “to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C” and to achieve “the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible”
- Developed countries must make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and developing countries must report their plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions to the UN by 31 January 2010
- New and additional resources approaching $30bn” will be channeled to poorer nations over the period 2010-12, with the sum of $100bn envisaged by 2020
- A Copenhagen Green Climate Fund will be established under the UN convention on climate change, 10 direct some of this money to climate-related projects in developing countries
- Projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries will be subject to international monitoring if they are internationally funded
- Implementation of the accord will be reviewed in 2015 and an assessment will be made of whether the goal of keeping global temperature rise within 2°C needs to be strengthened to 1.5°C
The essential points of the deal were brokered by US President Barack Obama with representatives of China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. Mr. Obama also consulted with the leaders of France, Germany, and the UK. Most countries at the conference gave it their support, but some countries were resolutely opposed, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Cuba.
A primary focus of the Durban Conference (2011) was to secure a global climate agreement as the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012) was about to end. It was also expected to focus on finalizing at least some of the Cancun Agreements reached at the 2010 Conference, such as co-operation on clean technology, as well as forest protection, adaptation to climate impacts, and finance – the promised transfer of funds from rich countries to poor in order to help them protect forests, adapt to climate impacts and green their economies.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its Fifth Assessment in 2014, summarizing the work of thousands of scientists across the· world. The message was, in the panel’s own words, “unequivocal”. Concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are now higher than they have been for nearly a million years, long before human society began.
The burning of fossil fuels is the main reason behind this increase. Without strong action, temperatures are very likely to exceed the 2o C target that governments have committed to. This will result in serious consequences including sea level rises, heatwaves, loss of snow and ice cover, disruptions to agriculture and food production, and greater extremes of drought and rainfall.
In its 2013 report, for the first time, the IPCC put a number on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted while keeping within the 2o C target. Keeping within this limit would require the emission of no more than 880 gigatons of carbon. This is, in effect, a global carbon budget. Yet, by 2011, 530 gigatons, or nearly two-thirds of the total budget, had already been spent. Emissions must peak soon, and then decline steeply, to stay within the 2o C limit.
At the Paris summit in December 2015, 196 countries met to sign a new climate change agreement. But how likely is it that it will be meaningful and make a difference to climate action on the ground? Not only is a deal possible but, with the right political leadership, it can lead to ambitious outcomes that will have a real impact on tackling climate change.
Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a landmark agreement on December 12 in Paris, charting a fundamentally new course in the two-decade-old global climate effort.
Culminating a four-year negotiating round, the new treaty ended the strict differentiation between developed and developing countries that characterized earlier efforts, replacing it with a common framework that commits all countries to put forward their best efforts and to strengthen them in the years ahead. This includes, for the first time, requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and implementation efforts, and undergo international review.
The agreement and a companion decision by parties were the key outcomes of the conference, known as the 21″ session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or COP 21. Together, the Paris Agreement and the accompanying COP decision:
- Reaffirm the goal of limiting global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius, while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees;
- Establish binding commitments by all parties to make “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), and to pursue domestic measures aimed at achieving them;
- Commit all countries to report regularly on their emissions and “progress made in implementing and achieving” their NDCs, and to undergo international review;
- Commit all countries to submit new NDCs every five years, with the clear expectation that they will “represent a progression” beyond previous ones;
- Reaffirm the binding obligations of developed countries under the UNFCCC to support the efforts of developing countries, while for the first time encouraging voluntary contributions by developing countries too;
- Extend the current goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in support by 2020 through 2025, with a new, higher goal to be set for the period after 2025;
- Extend a mechanism to address “loss and damage” resulting from climate change, which explicitly will not “involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation;”
- Require parties engaging in international emissions trading to avoid “double counting;” and
- Call for a new mechanism, similar to the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, enabling emission reductions in one country to be counted toward another country’s NOC.
Suggestions to Control Climate Change
Following are the suggestions to tackle global warming.
Dramatically reducing our use of fossil fuels especially carbon-intensive coal-is essential to tackle climate change. There are many ways to begin this process. Key action steps include: not building any new coal-burning power plants, initiating a phased shutdown of coal plants starting with the oldest and dirtiest, and capturing and storing carbon emissions from power plants.
While it may sound like science fiction, the technology exists to store carbon emissions underground. The technology has not been deployed on a large scale or proven to be safe and permanent, but it has been demonstrated in other contexts such as oil and natural gas recovery. Demonstration projects to test the viability and costs of this technology for power plant emissions are worth pursuing.
Taken together, tropical deforestation and emissions from agriculture represent nearly 30 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions. We can fight global warming by reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and by making our food production practices more sustainable.
Using alternative sources of energy is more efficient and meets the problem of global warming. The energy produced from solar, wind, tidal, biomass is more clean and renewable. They are least effective if we produce electricity from alternative sources of energy. Multiple studies have shown that renewable energy has the technical potential to meet the vast majority of our energy needs. Renewable technologies can be deployed quickly, are increasingly cost-effective, and create jobs while reducing pollution.
Because nuclear power results in few global warming emissions, an increased share of nuclear power in the energy mix could help reduce global warming-but nuclear technology poses serious threats to our security and, the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan illustrates to our health and the environment as well. The question remains: can the safety, proliferation, waste disposal, and cost barriers of nuclear power be overcome?
Research into and development of the next generation of low-carbon technologies will be critical to deep mid-century reductions in global emissions. Current research on battery technology, new materials for solar cells, harnessing energy from novel sources like bacteria and algae, and other innovative areas could provide important breakthroughs.
The counties of the world-from the most to the least developed-vary dramatically in their problem of climate change and in their responsibilities and capacities to confront it. A successful global compact· on climate change must include financial assistance from richer countries to poorer countries to help make the transition to low-carbon development pathways and to help adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The energy used to power, heat, and cool our homes, businesses, and industries is the single largest contributor to climate change. Energy efficiency technologies allow us to use less energy to get the same-or higher-level of production, service, and comfort. This approach has vast potential to save both energy and money and can be deployed quickly.
The transportation sector’s emissions have increased at a faster rate than any other energy-using sector over the past decade. A variety of solutions are at hand, including improving efficiency (miles per gallon) in all modes of transport, switching to low-carbon fuels, and reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart growth and more efficient mass transportation systems.
Geothermal energy’s been used for thousands of years in some countries for cooking and heating. It is simply power derived from the Earth’s internal heat. This thermal energy is contained in the rock and fluids beneath Earth’s crust. It can be found from the shallow ground to several miles below the surface, and even farther down to the extremely hot molten rock called magma. These underground reservoirs of steam and hot water can be tapped to generate electricity or to heat and cool buildings directly.
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