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What Is Climate Change

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									What is Climate Change
Climate refers to the average weather experienced over a long period of time, and includes temperature, wind and rainfall patterns. The climate of the Earth has changed many times during the planet’s history in response to a range of natural causes, but it is now changing rapidly due to human influence. The emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) is the main human influence on the world’s climate. The build up of these gases in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect, which occurs when the heat generated by the sun’s rays entering the atmosphere is retained, causing global warming. The greenhouse effect is necessary for life to exist, though human actions have exaggerated its effect to a level which is highly dangerous not only to our future economic, social and environmental growth, but the planet’s ability to support life as it is now. The increased use of fossil fuels and ensuing carbon dioxide emissions (carbon dioxide equivalent, which includes all greenhouse gases) has disturbed the carbon cycle of the Earth. Supplies of fossil fuels take millions of years to regenerate, and oil supplies are now in decline. Deforestation has exacerbated the situation – with fewer trees to ‘soak up’ the carbon dioxide emitted, more of the gas is held in the atmosphere. As you can see in the diagram, farming cows on land where trees used to be doesn't help either - since they respirate, or breathe and fart, they are releasing more methane into the atmosphere. For more information and insight into climate change, carbon offsets and energy - or simply to download the Spanish feed in tariffs visit our educational climate site here: http://hotclimate.wikidot.com


								
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