Climate Change

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Global Challenge of Climate Change

Global Challenge of Climate Change


The average global temperature rose by 0.74°C during last century. This is the largest and fastest warming trend in the history of the Earth that scientists have been able to discern. Current projections show that trend will continue and will accelerate. The best estimate indicates that the Earth could warm by 3°C during the 21st Century (Edwards, 22-41). Scientists are now certain that most of the change is due to human activities that emit greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, of which CO2 is the most important, trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, leading to the overall rise of global temperatures, which are liable to disrupt natural climate patterns. Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the 12 warmest in the last 150 years. The warming trend has already affected all continents and oceans .


The challenge now is to develop a fairer and more effective global response to address this global problem. Some of the worst scenarios outlined by the IPCC can still be avoided by taking immediate action (Edwards, 22-41). This requires concerted efforts by all countries, especially industrialised countries and major emerging economies, to significantly reduce the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Since climate change is already negatively affecting people in many areas, it is necessary to develop methods that will allow people and communities to adapt to the realities imposed by climate change. Developing countries will be the most affected and are those with the most limited resources - a combination that will require collective efforts to address (William, 08-13).

The “blanket” of greenhouse gases that occurs naturally in the atmosphere serves the vital function of regulating the planet's climate. Since the start of the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, emissions of greenhouse gases have been making this blanket thicker at an unprecedented speed (William, 08-13). This has caused the most dramatic change in the atmosphere's composition since at least 650,000 years ago. Unless significant efforts are made to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, the global climate will continue to warm rapidly over the coming decades and beyond.

The IPCC - created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme - provides the most authoritative and comprehensive assessments of the state of knowledge on climate change every five years. These assessments also provide the basis for international policy-making on climate change. The IPCC does not ...
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