WHAT IS CLIMATE?
Climate is defined as an area’s long term weather pattern, the simplest way to describe climate is to look at the average temperatures and precipitation (rainfall) over time. Useful elements for describing climate include timing of rainfall, humidity, temperature, average wind speed and direction.
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change, commonly known as global warming refers to a long time change in the Earth’s climate brought about by an increase in the atmospheric temperature.
WHAT CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE?
The earth orbits close enough to the sun to receive a lot of energy, but far enough away not to be scorched. The earth is protected by a blanket-like layer of gases (including carbon dioxide) called greenhouse gases. This layer acts like a blanket, keeping the earth warm and shielding it from the cold of universe, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the greenhouse effect. If this layer (blanket-like) gets thick due to activities happening on the earth it leads to the retention of more heat within the earth’s atmosphere hence the rise in the atmospheric temperature causing climate change.
The change in Climate is therefore caused by factors such as biotic processes (e.g. cutting trees, keeping livestock etc), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities like use of fossil fuel (coal) and poor waste management have been documented to contribute to climate change. Use of fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide gas which is the main driver of greenhouse effect. Shifting weather patterns attributed to climate change threaten food production through increased unpredictability of rainfall, rising sea levels, contaminate coastal freshwater reserves and increased risk of catastrophic flooding, and a warming atmosphere that aids the spread of pests and diseases.