Essay Example Dedicated to the Problem of Climate Change

Published: 2022-07-11
Essay Example Dedicated to the Problem of Climate Change
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Climate change
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1362 words
12 min read

It is difficult to ignore the global environmental changes that have been manifest over the past century. The changes range from the increased rate at which the earth's surface is warmed to the significant change in the global hydrologic cycle, the declining glaciers, and the increased rate of ocean acidification (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). Climate scientists are yet to find evidence that would attribute these changes to natural climate variability. Even so, this clear shift in the earth's energy balance calls for a critical examination into the factors that contribute to the recurrent events that depict an increased rate of climate variability.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Since the industrial revolution kicked off over two decades ago, various human activities have contributed to the increased emission of climate-active pollutants into the atmosphere. Human activities such as the production of electricity, transportation, and other industrial processes have added to the discharge of active climate pollutants that register longer lifetime in the atmosphere and have the ability to trap heat during their half-lives in the atmosphere (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015). This is the premise upon which the tenets of climate science account for the unexplained increase in climate variability that cannot be passed as a natural cause.

Up to 97% of climate scientists believe that climate change is currently underway. Based on the contemporary structure of the planet, it is apparent that the impacts and progression of climate change result from human activities (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). The following paper, while relying on the principles of climate science, identifies evidence that accounts for climate change, highlights the human and non-human aspects that account for the shift in the earth's energy balance, and determines the immediate effects and the potential results of such change. The paper also explores the measures that can be taken to mitigate the impacts, adapt to the impacts, and maintain resilience in response to the threats posed by imminent effects of climate change.

The Human-Related Causes of Climate Change

The prevailing state of climate change is primarily driven by human activity. For instance, the production of electricity, transportation, and other industrial processes cause and accelerate the impact and progression of climate change (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015). These activities involve incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and the subsequent emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. The GHGs have varying ability to trap heat in the atmosphere (Global Warming Potential). These gases, for example, carbon dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous oxide have long half-lives and may stay in the atmosphere for many years. For instance, while carbon dioxide's lifetime in the atmosphere ranges from 50 to 200 years, Nitrous oxide's half-life in the atmosphere for more than 115 years (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). The combination of their global warming potentials and their lifetime in the atmosphere results in the global warming effect. This is where the heat energy received from the sun is not reflected space but remains trapped in the atmosphere by these gases (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). Thus, the increased use of fossil fuels in transportation, industrial processes, and production of electricity for human consumption cause climate variability, hence climate change.

The Non-Human Causes of Climate Change

The earth's climate system is to a greater extent determined by the circulation of the atmosphere, oceans and currents or winds that distribute heat and moisture across the planet (Carson, 1998). These circulations are also driven by energy from the sun. Thus, the variations in these circulations may result in natural climate variability that accounts for the current state of climate change. The natural causes of climate change, therefore, include; disparity in the energy emitted from the sun, the Milankovitch cycles, volcanic pollution, and the El Nino phenomena (Carson, 1998).

Regarding variation in the sun's output, climate scientists have established that the change in the amount of energy emitted from the sun accounts for climate change (Carson, 1998).The long-term cyclic fluctuation in the number of sunspots are linked to fluctuations in the sun's output, hence, climate change. To this end, sunspot activity has been adduced to account for warming since the commencement of the 20th century. Similarly, climate scientists allude to the nature of the earth's orbit and rotation to account for the prevailing long-term climate change (Watkiss, Downing, Handley, & Butterfield, 2005). Over times scales of a thousand years or more, the change in the character of the earth's orbit around the sun has affected the distribution of energy from the sun by latitude (the Milankovitch effect) (Carson, 1998). Based on climate record, the cyclic changes caused by this effect are responsible for inducing change from the ice age to the interglacial conditions over a period of 10 000 to 100 000 years (Carson, 1998).

The Potential Results of Climate Change

According to the European Commission, climate change may have catastrophic effects on human systems and various aspects of the ecosystem. Besides the current effects of climate change, the potential results range from an increased rate of rising in the sea level and subsequent loss of coastal wetlands, deterioration of human health resulting from cold-related and heat-related effects, increased drought and flooding, and damage of infrastructure resulting from events of storm damage and extreme weather (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015). Take for instance the intensifying droughts and floods related incidentally to El Nino events; it is apparent that there shall be a significant decline in agricultural activities and produce in drought- and flood-prone areas (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). Similarly, it is anticipated that higher temperature maximums shall be recorded from increased hot days and more events of heat waves that are likely to increase the mortality rate and emergence of serious illnesses among the aged. Other potential results of climate change span from increased precipitation events, increased intensity of tropical cyclone peak winds and severe mid-latitude storms.

Climate Change as a Human-Caused Event

Indeed, climate change is a human-caused event. Climate scientists have established, to certainty, that the impacts of human activities have accelerated the progression of climate change. However, the scientific evidence available to account for climate change as a result of natural climate variability is controversial and not established to certainty. The main features of climate variability such as increased global temperatures can only be attributed to increased emission of active climate pollutants incidental to human activity. Since the natural caused of climate variability manifest over periods ranging from 10 000 to 100 000 years, it would suffice to infer that the current accelerated effects of climate variability experienced over the last two centuries is a human-caused event.

Reducing the threat of climate change

Having established that the impacts and progression of climate change are attributed to human activities, it, therefore, follows that human intervention is key to the reduction of the threat of climate change. The impacts of climate change already experienced in the world today may be neutralized through mitigation. For example, mitigation strategies such as adopting means of transportation with low carbon emission, changes in agricultural practices and limitation of deforestation may cut down the speed of future climate change (Watkiss, Downing, Handley, & Butterfield, 2005). On the other hand, strategies may as well be deployed by adjustment to the beneficial opportunities incidental to the effects of climate change. For instance, the planting of trees and the use of air conditioning are effective strategies for reduction of the effects of the increasing global temperatures and frequent heatwaves. Finally, resilience strategies may also be devised in anticipation and response to the looming threats of climate change to the environment, economy, and the people's social welfare.


Carson, D. J. (1998). Seasonal Forecasting. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 1-26.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2015). Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Retrieved August 29, 2018, from

U.S. Global Change Research Program. (2014). Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved August 29, 2018, from

Watkiss, P., Downing, T., Handley, C., & Butterfield, R. (2005). The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change. Oxford: Stockholm Environment Institute.

Cite this page

Essay Example Dedicated to the Problem of Climate Change. (2022, Jul 11). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism