Table of Contents
There has been a paradigm shift on environmental awareness over the past two decades. Most of such awareness pivots around sustainable development and mitigation of risk factors that lead to climate change. Climate change refers to the fluctuations in statistical or predictable distribution of weather patterns over extended periods of time. Such fluctuations impact both biotic and abiotic components on the earth and limits sustainable development. Studies reflect that there is a paradoxical relation between increased environmental awareness and climate change. Although our awareness and knowledge regarding climate change has increased, however; such awareness has not been translated into its mitigation. On the contrary, there have been wide fluctuations in the global climate during the past two decades. Most of such fluctuations are attributed to anthropogenic causes, while the rest are attributed to natural causes (Boykoff & Boykoff, 2004). Anthropogenic causes are speculated to modulate and potentiate the natural causes of climate change. The present article portrays the changes in the global climate as a function of environmental awareness, and it is based on an argumentative approach and reflects evidence-based data to support the relevant argument/s.
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The first argument on climate change pertains to global warming. Increased environmental awareness should have led to a reduction in global warming. However, data suggests that there has been a significant increase in the mean surface temperature of the earth during the past decade. The main causes of global warming are attributed to increased production of green-house gases. Green-house gases have caused trapping of harmful UV radiation on the surface of the earth. Increased global warming has led to melting of the polar ice-caps. In fact, geologists and historical data suggest that global warming could predispose the risk of “mini-ice age.” Melting of the polar ice-caps increases the risk of floods and famines (Ramanathan & Carmichael, 2008). Environmental awareness should have addressed the rise in surface temperature of the earth. On the contrary, industrial and human activities have contributed to the genesis of green-house gases. Global warming has been acknowledged as one of the major issues threatening the human race. The menace of global warming has received so much attention that global leaders have formulated a joint action plan to overcome the issue. The “Paris Protocol” has mandated that both developed and developing countries should stringently control the emission of green-house gases. The effectiveness of such strategies could be only answered in the near future.
The second major issue that threatens climate change is environmental pollution. Environmental pollution is considered as one of the major risk factors for the loss of biodiversity that is witnessed all across the globe. Biodiversity is a key phenomenon to ensure the viability of biotic and abiotic communities on the earth. The major pollutions that threaten the climate of any given place include water and air pollution. Air pollution refers to the changes in the intrinsic quality of air that threatens biotic communities. On the other hand, air pollution leads to the genesis of green house gases which eventually translates into global warming. On the other hand, water pollution reduces aquatic yield and leads to increased temperature of the water bodies. An increase in thermal gradient of the water bodies induces climatic changes in the surrounding regions. Such climatic change could influence the distribution of local flora and fauna (Spracklen, Bonn, & Carslaw, 2008).
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Population explosion was a global concern during the past decade. However, increased awareness and socioeconomic limitations have helped to address the issue. Population explosion leads to impaired resource allocation and poor resource partitioning. Such issues once again impact the different ecosystems and threaten sustainable development. For example, increased consumption of trees and forests reduce gross primary productivity. On the other hand, a reduction in gross primary productivity threatens increased carbon-dioxide concentrations in the ambient air. Hence, population explosion indirectly adds to the menace of global warming and climate change respectively.
Different evidence supports that the global climate has changed drastically during the past few decades. The prevalence of debilitating diseases like asthma and obesity is on the rise. The melting of the ice-caps has threatened rise in level of different water bodies. On the other hand, the seasonal variations have altered the distribution of flora and fauna across different geographical locations.
The present article clearly reflected that the global climate has changed during the past few decades. Until and unless we take a holistic approach, the issue of climate change and global warming would remain unaddressed. The holistic approach should include policy makers, scientists, technologists, and legal stakeholders. Policy makers and legal frameworks should frame stringent laws to control the emission of green house gases at the level of countries, industries, and household. Scientists and technologists should innovate and invent alternate sources of energy for addressing the fluctuations in global climate. Perhaps an honest and candid effort from the relevant stakeholders could save this planet from the wrath of nature. However, the will and wish of the respective stakeholders is most important to address the menace of climate change.
- Boykoff, M., & Boykoff, J. (2004). Balance as bias: Global warming and the US prestige press. Global Environmental Change Part A., 14(2),125–136
- Ramanathan, V., & Carmichael, G. (2008). Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon. Nature Geoscience, 1(4), 221–227
- Spracklen, D. V., Bonn, B., & Carslaw, K. S. (2008). Boreal forests, aerosols and the impacts on clouds and climate. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366(1885), 4613–26