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Climate change or Global Warming

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					Climate change or Global Warming
• What is global warming?
Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising the past years. The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.1 The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable. We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing. 1 According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), this era of global warming "is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of the global climate."

consequences
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Effects, Observations:
The number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2 Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3 The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4 At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5 If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences. Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.6 Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7 Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense. Droughts and wildfires will occur more often. The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8 More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9
Source: climatecrisis.org

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And now?
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Take action:

First, in order to identify the steps to be taken, one must calculate his carbon emissions: Go to :www.climatecrisis.org and select :” calculate your impact” Or (for French speakers) www.actioncarbone.org Things you can do at home: -Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb CFLs use 60% less energy -Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. -Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases Look for the energy star label on new appliances (categories A,B,C ..) -Use less hot water It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead,wash your clothes at 40 degrees insteads of 90. -Turn off electronic devices you’re not using Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. -Be sure you’re recycling at home You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. -Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Food:-Buy locally grown and produced foods , Buy fresh foods instead of frozen (10 times more energy used to produce frozen food), Avoid heavily packaged products (it will cut down your garbage by 10) Eat less meat :Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters Switch to green power.

Credits: Yann-Arthus Bretrand,source : www.climatecrisis.org


				
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posted:4/27/2008
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