CLIMATE CHANGE: DEFINITION AND FACTS
We’ve all been aware of the climate change protests going on around the world lately.
“Climate change” refers to any long-term change in Earth’s climate, or in the climate of a region or city. This includes warming, cooling and changes besides temperature.
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history (the last ice age was only 7.000 years ago), however there is enough proof to acknowledge the human influence in the current situation.
These are the clear signs of global warming:
- Sea level rise: on average, 3 mm per year.
- Temperature rise on a global scale.
- Warming oceans.
- Ice sheets keep on decreasing in Antarctica and Greenland.
- Arctic Sea ice is declining rapidly.
- Glaciers are retreating around the world.
- Intensification of extreme events: hurricanes and tsunamis among others.
- Ocean acidification: carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the waters.
- Snow cover has significantly decreased in the Northern Hemisphere.
Source: NASA’s Global Climate Change site.
DOCUMENTARIES AND MOVIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE
From the Heart of the World: Elder’s Brother Warning was broadcasted on BBC in 1990. In the early 2000’s Al Gore tackled the global warming challenges in the acclaimed documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Since then, other relevant documentaries and movies have been released:
Chasing Ice (2012):
Scientist James Balog and his team give enough proof of the climate change by filming the Extreme Ice Survey results.
The Age of Stupid (2009):
A British film portraying a devastated future for humankind in 2055.
It’s a follow up to From the Heart of the World: Elder’s Brother Warning.
If You Love Your Children (2014):
An Award Winning Canadian Short Film available on YouTube .
Merchants of Doubt (2014):
A documentary that explores the relationship between professional “skeptics” and corporations that hire them.
Racing Extinction (2015):
Discovery’s Channel documentary focusing in the mass extinction of wildlife.
Before The Flood (2016):
Leonardo DiCaprio visits various regions of the world, exploring the effects of global warming. The film was released in October 2016 on the National Geographic Channel. Watch the trailer here.
Greenpeace’s initiatives regarding the climate change issues are remarkable. Check their site for more info.
Campaign Against Climate Change is a UK based organisation that’s working at different levels (local, national and international).
WWF focuses in the animal species facing extinction. See the list of endangered species here.
In 2016, after long negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change reunited almost 200 countries. The treaty has been ratified by 125 nations so far.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Although this is a global problem, there’s a lot you can do in your daily life:
- Reduce your electric energy consumption by: unplugging unused devices, buying energy-efficient appliances, using LED/ CFL lighting and installing thermostats (check if your home is properly insulated first).
- Use solar systems and renewable energies.
- Invest in eco-friendly transport: bike, public transport and electric vehicles are the way to go.
- Eat healthy: more fruits and veggies (locally produced) and less meat.
- Join or sponsor a group or association.
- Consider organizing campaigns and signing online petitions.
- Keep yourself informed and updated, there are easy ways.
Climate change matters, be part of the group that raise awareness.