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Climate Change

Report by : SUIJI-JP-Ms, Nahdia, Ehime University, Hasanuddin University

Introduction

Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the
mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically
decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or
to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land-use (IPCC,
2007).

The two most important factors that determine an area’s overall climate (climate The typical
weather patterns that occur in a place over a period of years ) are temperature— both average
temperature and temperature variability—and both average and seasonal precipitation. Latitude,
elevation, topography, quantity and types of vegetation, distance from the ocean, and geographic
location all influence temperature, precipitation, and other aspects of climate. Other climate factors
include weather conditions such as wind, humidity, fog, cloud cover, and, in some areas, lightning.
Unlike weather, which changes rapidly, climate generally changes slowly, over hundreds or
thousands of years.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global temperatures in
those years may have been the highest in the last millennium. (Although widespread thermometer
records have been assembled only since the mid-19th century, scientists reconstruct earlier
temperatures using indirect climate evidence in tree rings, lake and ocean sediments, small air
bubbles in ancient ice, and coral reefs.) The last two decades of the 20th century were its warmest
(figure 1.)

Figure 1. Mean annual global temperature 1960.


Data are presented as surface temperatures (°C)
for each year since 1960. The measurements,
which naturally fluctuate, show the warming
trend of the past several decades. The dip in
global temperatures in the early 1990s was
caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in
1991.

Causes of the global climate change

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and certain trace gases, including methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofl
uorocarbons (CFCs), and tropospheric ozone (O3), accumulate in the atmosphere as a result of
human activities. The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from about 288
parts per million (ppm) approximately 200 years ago (before the Industrial Revolution began) to 390
ppm in 2009 (Figure 2). According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, burning carbon-
containing fossil fuels accounts for about 70 to 75 percent of human-generated CO2 increase. The
remaining 25 to 30 percent is released through deforestation, particularly when people fell or burn
tropical rain forests. By 2050 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 may be double what it was in
the 1700s.

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Figure 2. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
atmosphere,
1958 to present. Note the steady increase in the
concentration of atmospheric CO2 since 1958,
when measurements began at the Mauna Loa
Observatory in Hawaii. This location was selected
because it is far from urban areas where
factories, power plants, and motor vehicles emit
CO2. The seasonal fluctuations correspond to
winter (a high level of CO2), when plants are not
actively growing and absorbing CO2, and summer
(a low level of CO2), when plants are growing and
absorbing CO2.

Global climate change occurs because these gases absorb infrared radiation—that is, heat—given off
by Earth’s surface. This absorption slows the natural flux of heat into space, warming the lower
atmosphere. Because CO2 and other gases trap the Sun’s infrared radiation somewhat like glass
does in a greenhouse, they are called greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases (including water vapor,
carbon dioxide, methane, and certain other gases— that absorb infrared radiation) accumulating in
the atmosphere as a result of human activities are causing an enhanced greenhouse effect
(Figure 3).
Figure 3. Enhanced greenhouse effect.
The buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) and
other greenhouse gases warms the
atmosphere by absorbing some of the
outgoing infrared (heat) radiation.
Some of the heat in the warmed
atmosphere is transferred back to
Earth’s surface, warming the land and
ocean.

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)


from agriculture
The share of agricultural emissions
in total GHG emissions in 2000 was
13 percent. In developing
countries, such emissions are
expected to rise in the coming
decades due to population and
income growth, amongst other
factors. Within the agricultural
sector, fertilizer application, live-
stock and manure management,
rice cultivation, and savanna
burning are the major sources of (a) (b)
emissions. Figure 4. (a) Projected agricultural emission by sector. (b) Percentage
change in sector emissions in develop and developing country groups,
1990 to 2020. Source: Drawn from data presented in USEPA 2006.
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Effect of climate change

In addition to melting land and ocean ice, already considered in the chapter introduction, some of
the observed and potential effects of global climate change include sealevel rise, changes in
precipitation patterns, and impacts on agriculture, human health, and other organisms. Several
Effect of climate change following below :

- Will change ecosystem. Ecosystem will move and ecosystem will change.
- Floods. Increase warmer temperature from land and ocean it will be more evaporation around
5-10% increase.
- Heat waves. Increase the number of heat waves and their intensity. Shift temperature related
mortality from winter to summer.
- Warmer winter. Colder-related deaths might be avoided, growing season will last longer.
Evidence in Europe springs plants blooming about 6 day earlier and fall colors coming about 5
days later.

How to slow the rate of climate change

a. Because most of the CO2 that human activities result from burning coal, oil, and natural gas,
climate change is essentially an energy issue. Developing alternatives to fossil fuels offers a
solution to warming caused by CO2 emissions. We address alternatives to fossil fuels, including
solar, hydroelectric, wind, and nuclear power. Reducing energy use (for example, by driving less)
and increasing efficiency (for example, by switching to hybrid cars) will reduce our output of
CO2, and will help mitigate global climate change.

Planting and maintaining forests also mitigates global climate change. Like other green plants,
trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and incorporate the carbon into organic matter
through photosynthesis. Reasonable estimates suggest that trees could remove 10 percent to 15
percent of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, but only through enormous plantings, so such
efforts should not be considered a substitute for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.
Additional strategies to mitigate climate change include the following:
• Planting trees on degraded land
• Increasing effi ciency of coal-fi red power plants
• Replacing coal-fired power plants with nuclear power, hydropower, wind power, or even
natural gas
• Increasing fuel economy of motor vehicles
• Redesigning cities to reduce reliance on singleoccupant vehicles
• Insulating buildings to reduce the need for heating in the winter and cooling in the
summer
b. For agriculture. The technical potential for GHG mitigation in developing country agriculture by 2030
indicates significant opportunities for emissions reductions, together with an enhanced income
earning potential for farmers, and associated benefits from lower natural resource degradation.
• Carbon sequestration. Sequestration activities enhance and preserve carbon sinks and
include any practices that store carbon through cropland management “best practices”,
such as no-till agriculture, or slow the amount of stored carbon released into the
atmosphere through burning, tillage, and soil erosion. Sequestered carbon is stored in
soils, resulting in increases in soil organic carbon (SOC). However, SOC is seen approaching
a new equilibrium over a 30 to 50 year period and will therefore ultimately be limited by

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saturation. In addition, there is potential for the re-release of SOC into the atmosphere
through fire or tillage, which raises concerns as to the “permanence” of SOC storage.
• Crop land management (N2O and CO2) including N2O from fertilizer reductions, soil
carbon sequestration through no-tillage only, and split fertilization, in each case under
both rain fed and irrigated conditions for rice, soybeans, and wheat. Smith et al. (2007a)
expand the subject of cropland management for soil carbon sequestration to include a
broader range of practices, such as reducing bare fallow and residue management.
Considering a broader spectrum, the economic potential for soil carbon sequestration is
seen increasing up to 800 Mt CO2eq in 2030.

Figure 5. Economic potential for GHG agricultural mitigation by 2030 at a range CO2-eq (source:
Smith et al. 2007).

References

Linda R. Berg, Mary Catherine Hager, David M.Hassenzhl. 2007. Visualizing Environmental Science
Third Edition. Chapter 9. 217-224. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Publisher. United States of America

Smith, P., D. Martino, Z. Cai, D. Gwary, H. Janzen, P. Kumar, B. McCarl, S. Ogle, F. O’Mara, C. Rice,
B.choles, O. Sirotenko (2007a) Agriculture. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of
Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2006) Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse


Gases. Office of Atmospheric Programs, Washington DC, USA.

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