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Climate change is seen as any long-term change in the statistics of weather over a specific time period; this time period can range from decades to millions of years. Climate change can be expressed in several different ways, such as a change in the weather conditions, the probability of extreme conditions, or any other part of statistical weather distribution. Climate change can take place across the whole Earth, or only parts of the Earth, like in a specific regions.

When does Climate Change occur?

The weather condition that is climate change occurs when the average temperature of the Earth shows a dramatic change over time. Due to the fact that the ecosystem of the Earth is dependent on a very delicate balance, as little as one or two degrees is considered as a dramatic climate change; this means that even small shifts can have a much more far-reaching impact than we realize. Climate change can also occur due to a drop in average temperature; however, the term global warming is used widely these days to explain a drop in average temperature.

 

What are the Causes of Climate Change?

Humans are considered the big sinner which encourages climate change through their activities. The burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil, which produces byproducts such as carbon dioxide gas, is a common human activity. Trees and other plants are responsible for transforming the emitted carbon dioxide into oxygen. However, unfortunately there are not enough plants on Earth to perform this critical function, which means that the carbon dioxide remains in the Earth’s atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Through a process known as the greenhouse effect, the carbon dioxide traps solar heat, which leads to the warming of the Earth.

Other causes of climate change which are the result of human activity are deforestation, or the widespread cutting of trees, as well as methane gas production. Methane is produced in large amounts through landfills, mining, rice paddies, and large scale livestock farming. Fertilizers which give off nitrous oxide also contribute to pollutant levels which ultimately lead to the weather condition called climate change.

 

What are the Effects of Climate Change?

The melting of permafrost near the North Pole which are then responsible for rising sea levels, are one effect of climate change which can be seen already. Shrinking island land masses and coastlines are also the result of rising ocean levels.

Reduced wildlife populations is another effect climate change brings about. Certain animal species, like the polar bear, are slowly losing their icy habitats; for this reason they have shown smaller populations over the last couple of years.

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