How Can We Reduce The Effects Of Climate Change – Climate change is real, and the evidence is all around us. Although changes in the world’s climate are nothing new, it is clear that recent impacts have had a devastating impact on many people, places and wildlife. If you want to know what climate change really is and why it matters, keep reading to learn more about the causes, effects and practical solutions to stop it.
You’ve probably heard the terms climate change and global warming used interchangeably. Because both describe changes in the world’s climate. While global warming refers to the rising average temperature of the planet, climate change generally refers to changes in rainfall, wind patterns, and temperature over time. Measured climate changes last for a few years, decades, or millions of years.
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Climate change has occurred as long as the Earth has existed. It remains in place for a measurable amount of time when the world’s climate patterns change. This is especially evident in natural cycles of cooling and warming. Before human causes begin to change the global climate, five major factors interact as climate changes occur. These five factors include: 
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American Association for the Advancement of Science, “The scientific evidence is clear: Global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now and is a growing threat to society.” 
Greenhouse gases play an important role in the world’s climate cycles. When a planet is hit by the sun’s rays, some of the energy is absorbed and the rest of the energy and heat is reflected back into space. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere capture the reflected energy, redirecting it to Earth and ultimately contributing to global warming. Various gases perform this role, including:
Some greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, are naturally occurring, while others, such as CFCs, are synthetic. CO2 is released into the atmosphere by natural and man-made causes and is the largest contributor to climate change. CO2 is increasing at an alarming rate and has the potential to remain in Earth’s atmosphere for thousands of years if not absorbed by the ocean, land, trees and other sources.  However, as CO2 production has gradually increased, the world’s natural resources to absorb it have also decreased. This is already happening in many ways as Eath’s resources are disappearing from things like deforestation. Some studies predict that plants and soil will be able to absorb less CO2 as the fall continues to warm — possibly accelerating climate change even more. 
As mentioned above solar activity plays a role in the world’s climate. Although the Sun goes through natural cycles, increasing and decreasing the amount of energy it emits to Earth, solar activity is unlikely to contribute significantly to global warming or climate change. Since scientists began measuring the energy of the Sun hitting our atmosphere, there has been no measurable upward trend.
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There are many important ways in which agriculture affects climate change. From deforestation in places like the Amazon to transportation and livestock to support agricultural efforts around the world, agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, agriculture is an area that is making huge strides to become more sustainable. As productivity increases, less carbon is being emitted to produce more food. Agriculture has the potential to act as a carbon sink, ultimately absorbing as much CO2 as it emits. 
Deforestation and climate change often go hand in hand. Climate change not only increases deforestation through wildfires and other extreme weather events, deforestation is also a major contributor to global warming. According to the Earth Day Network, deforestation is the second largest contributor to global greenhouse gases.  Many people and organizations fighting climate change suggest that reducing deforestation is one of the most important issues that must be addressed to slow or prevent climate change. 
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most significant contributor to climate change in the United States is the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation. Of these factors, transportation in the form of cars, trucks, ships, trains, and airplanes emits the largest percentage of CO2 – which accelerates global warming and is a significant cause of climate change. 
Although they are related to many of the agricultural and deforestation issues we have already discussed, they play a significant role in climate change in the form of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. According to a study, “Livestock and Climate Change,” global livestock accounts for 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 
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From melting glaciers to more extreme weather patterns, people everywhere are realizing the real effects of climate change. While some nations around the world are taking action with initiatives like the Paris Climate Agreement, others are continuing business as usual – pumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere year after year. Although the long-term effects remain to be seen, for now, climate change poses severe weather and security and economic challenges on a global scale.
Perhaps the most significant impact of climate change on the average person is changes in weather. One reason for this is the economic impact that extreme weather events can have. So far in the US in 2019, there have been six weather disasters, most of which cost more than $1 billion.  According to the National Climate Assessment, extreme weather events will continue to increase in frequency and intensity as climate change continues.  Extreme weather affected by climate change includes:
In 2014 the US Department of Defense released a report stating that climate change is an immediate and serious threat to national security. According to former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, “Increasing global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict.” 
In addition, climate change is likely to create economic challenges in many parts of the world. By some estimates the US is already spending about $240 billion a year on human-caused climate change, and future costs are expected to rise even further.  However, it is difficult to put an exact number on the true costs of climate change when you consider the enormous costs of the loss of natural resources such as clean air and water.
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The long-term impact of climate change could be devastating for the planet and for everyone and everything that lives on it. If the world continues on its current trajectory, we will continue to see more impacts in everyday life.
Climate change can affect human health in many ways. Depending on age, location and economic status, climate change is already affecting the health of many and could affect millions more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health risks associated with climate change may include: 
Ecosystems are interconnected networks of living organisms that help support all forms of plant and biological life. Climate change is already altering seasonal weather patterns and disrupting the supply of food for plants and animals around the world, potentially leading to mass extinction events. Some studies estimate that about 30% of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction if global temperatures continue to rise. 
Climate change can have a significant impact on food and water supplies. Harsh weather and rising temperatures limit crop productivity and increase water demand. With demand for food expected to increase by nearly 70% by 2050, the problem is likely to worsen. 
Planning Tools Reduce The Effects Of Climate Change On Agricultural Production.
Rising sea levels can have far-reaching effects on cities and coastal habitats. Rising ocean temperatures and melting ice caps have consistently contributed to rising sea levels globally. At current rates, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that sea levels will rise at least 8 inches by 2100, increasing flooding and reducing ocean and wetland habitats. 
As they contribute to rising sea levels, shrinking ice sheets present their own unique problems, including increased global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change has fueled the summer melting of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica, with an increase of about 30% since 1979.
The ocean is one of the main channels through which CO2 is absorbed. Although this may seem like a net positive at first glance, increasing human CO2 is pushing the world’s oceans to their limits and causing increased acidity. As pH levels in the ocean drop, shellfish find it difficult to reproduce and much of the ocean’s food cycle is disrupted. 
Although the effects of climate change look bleak, there is still hope. By taking immediate action to curb climate change, we will never see the worst effects. Likewise, as the world adopts cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions, millions of new jobs and billions of dollars could be created.
What Is Climate Change?
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