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Climate change is unavoidable, but there are many things individuals can do to assist in lessening its effects. Here's a quick reference guide to the most effective tactics.
The world's leading climate scientists issued their most stern warning yet in a new report released in September 2018: our present measures will not be adequate to fulfill our 1.5°C warming target. More needs to be done.
Climate change is a fact of life, and we're beginning to realize how it affects us.
It raises the risk of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, endangers millions of people who live along the Brahmaputra River in north-eastern India, and alters plant and animal reproduction.
So we don't have to wonder if climate change is occurring – or if humans are to blame. Rather, we should ask, “What can we do?”
Global Warming Importance
Global warming is significant because it influences future climate predictions. Latitude can be used to predict the possibility of snow and hail reaching the surface.
You may also find out how much solar thermal energy is available in a specific location.
The scientific study of climates, which is defined as the average weather conditions across time, is known as global warming. It is a subfield of atmospheric sciences that considers the variables and averages of short- and long-term weather situations.
The unmistakable and continuous rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system is known as global warming. 90% of the warming has occurred since 1971.
Despite the oceans' main role in energy storage, "global warming" also refers to increases in average air and sea temperatures at Earth's surface. Global air and sea surface temperatures have risen by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since the early twentieth century, with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.
Since 1850, each of the last three decades has been warmer at the Earth's surface than the previous decade. Global Warming uses the OMICS Group's Publication of Climatology and Weather Forecasting, an open-access journal that attempts to publish issues quarterly and is keen on publishing new research on the subject of Global Warming.
The Global Warming Uses goal is to create a venue for the publication of new research on environmental concepts and technologies.
Our principal research goal at the moment is to encourage and support the development of better and faster environmental activity metrics.
We produce our own Global Warming measures in circumstances where we believe we can assist directly rather than by highlighting the efforts of others.
What can you do that will have the biggest impact? Here’s our guide:
What is the most important thing mankind needs to do in the coming years, and how does this affect me?
What is the most critical objective? Reducing the usage of fossil fuels like oil, carbon, and natural gas in favor of renewable energy sources while increasing energy efficiency.
Daily decisions within your control, like driving and flying less, moving to a "green" energy source, and changing what you eat and buy, are all part of the shift.
Of course, your purchasing and driving habits will not solve climate change – though many experts think that they are significant and can inspire others to make adjustments as well (more on that later).
Other adjustments are required that can only be implemented on a larger, system-wide scale, such as overhauling our energy and food subsidy systems, or establishing new regulations and incentives for farming, and waste management.
The importance of this can be seen in the case of refrigerants. Drawdown, an advocacy coalition of researchers, businesspeople, and NGOs, discovered that eliminating HFCs (chemicals used in refrigerators and air conditioning) was the most effective policy for reducing emissions.
This is because they can generate up to 9,000 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2.
The good news is that we've made progress globally on this, with 170 countries agreeing two years ago to phase out HFCs in 2019.
This is critical because, according to the IPCC report, “unprecedented changes in all parts of society are required to address climate change.” Debra Robert, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the committee assigned with the report, says, "Everyone will have to be involved."
Changing the way industries are operated or subsidized does not appear to be something I can have an impact on... can I?
You certainly can. Individuals must exercise their rights as citizens and customers, according to Robert and other experts, exerting pressure on their governments and corporations to achieve the necessary systemic reforms.
Another method is to ‘divest' funds from polluting activities, such as avoiding investments in fossil fuels or banks that invest in high-emission businesses.
This is increasingly being done by universities, faith groups, and, more lately, even at a national level.
Organizations can take climate action while still reaping economic rewards by eliminating financial instruments linked to the fossil fuel industry.
Other than that, what’s the best daily action I can take?
Nicholas of Lund University co-authored a 2017 study that assessed 148 individual climate change interventions based on their impact.
Going car-free was the most effective step a person could take (apart from not having children, but more on that later).
Cars pollute the environment more than alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, or taking public transportation.
Getting rid of your car can save 2.5 tonnes of CO2 in developed countries like Europe, which is nearly one-fourth of the average annual emissions (9.2 tonnes) supplied by each person in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's developed countries (OECD).
Maria Virginia Vilarino, the co-author of the IPCC's newest report's mitigation chapter, adds, "We should choose more efficient automobiles and, whenever possible, move directly to electric vehicles."
But isn’t renewable energy extremely expensive?
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are actually becoming more affordable all around the world (although final costs are subject to local circumstances).
By 2020, several of the most regularly utilized renewables, such as solar, geothermal, hydropower, and onshore wind, will be on a level with or cheaper than fossil fuels, according to the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). Some are already less expensive.
Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many families in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, thanks to a 73% decrease in the cost of utility-scale solar panels since 2010.
Onshore wind and solar in the United Kingdom are competitive with gas and will be the cheapest source of electricity generation by 2025.
Some critics contend that this pricing ignores the expense of integrating renewables into the power grid; nonetheless, recent evidence demonstrates that these costs are "small" and manageable for the grid.
Could I make a difference by changing my diet?
That's a major one as well. In fact, the food business – particularly the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, second only to fossil fuels.
Cattle, after China and the United States, would be the world's third-highest emitter of greenhouse emissions if they were their own country.
In three ways, the meat business contributes to global warming. To begin with, cows' burping from the digesting of food emits a lot of methane, which is a greenhouse gas.
Second, we feed them other potential food sources, such as maize and soy, resulting in a very inefficient process.
Finally, they necessitate a lot of water, fertilizers that emit greenhouse gases, and a lot of land, part of which comes from the deforested area, which is another source of carbon emissions.
To make a difference, you don't have to go vegetarian or vegan: progressively reduce your intake and become a "flexitarian."
You may reduce your carbon footprint by more than 40% by cutting your animal protein consumption in half.
An example of a larger-scale strategy would be a corporate-wide beef ban, like the office-sharing business WeWork adopted in 2018.
The World Resources Institute's (WIR) explanation on sustainable diets and its lengthier companion study answer more issues concerning food and carbon emissions.
How harmful are my flying habits?
Planes are powered by fossil fuels, and we haven't yet devised a viable alternative. Although some early attempts to fly around the world using solar panels were successful, commercial solar-powered flights are still decades away.
According to Nicholas' study, a typical transatlantic round-trip aircraft emits roughly 1.6 tonnes of CO2, which is nearly equal to the average annual emissions of one person in India.
This also emphasizes the inequity of climate change: while everyone will be affected, only a small percentage of people fly, and even fewer fly frequently.
There are several scientists and members of the public who have decided to stop or reduce their flying.
Virtual meetings, vacationing in nearby locations, and using trains instead of aircraft are all strategies to save money.
Do you want to know how much your travel contributes to global warming?
This calculator, developed by academics at the University of California, Berkeley, allows you to calculate your carbon emissions.
Should I be shopping differently?
Almost certainly. That's because everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in terms of how it's made or how it's delivered.
For example, the apparel industry accounts for around 3% of worldwide CO2 emissions, owing to the energy required to manufacture clothing.
Fast fashion's frenetic pace contributes to this figure, as items are abandoned or fall apart after a short amount of time.
International transportation, such as maritime and aviation shipping, has an impact as well. Groceries shipped from Chile and Australia to Europe, or vice versa, have greater "food miles" and, therefore, a larger carbon footprint than produce grown locally.
However, because some countries grow out-of-season crops in energy-intensive greenhouses, eating food that is both locally grown and seasonal is the ideal solution.
Even yet, eating vegetarian is preferable to buying exclusively locally produced goods.
Should I think about how many children I have (or don’t have)?
According to Nicholas' research, having fewer children is the most effective strategy to lessen your contribution to climate change, saving about 60 tonnes of CO2 per year.
However, this result has sparked debate — and it raises new questions.
The first is whether or not you are responsible for children's greenhouse gas emissions, and the second is where these babies are born.
Are your parents accountable for your emissions if you are responsible for your children's?
And if you aren't, how should we think about the fact that as the population grows, so will carbon emissions. We could also consider if having children is an unquestionable human right.
And we should wonder if having children is always a negative thing when it comes to fighting climate change: our problems may require more problem-solvers in future generations, not less.
What we do know is that no two persons emit the same amount of carbon dioxide.
Although the average person emits about 5 tonnes of CO2 per year, each country's circumstances are very different: developed countries such as the United States and South Korea have higher national averages than developing countries such as Pakistan and the Philippines.
Richer persons emit more even within national borders than people who have less access to goods and services. S
So, if you decide to consider this subject, keep in mind that it's not just about how many children you have; it's also about where (and who) you are.
But it's just me, so how much of a difference can I really make if I eat less meat or fly less?
It isn't just you, though. According to social scientists, when one individual makes a sustainable decision, others follow suit.
The following are four examples:
- When told that 30% of Americans have started eating less meat, customers at a US diner were twice as likely to order a vegetarian lunch.
- According to an online study, half of those who knew someone who had given up flying due to climate change claimed they flew less as a result.
- Households in California were more inclined to install solar panels in areas where they already existed.
- When community organizers tried to persuade others to install solar panels, they were 62 percent more successful if they had panels installed in their own homes.
This, according to social scientists, happens because we constantly examine what our peers are doing and modify our beliefs and actions as a result.
Individuals infer that people like them value sustainability and feel inspired to act when they observe their neighbors doing environmental action, such as conserving electricity.
What if I just can’t avoid that flight, or cut down on driving?
If you can't make all of the necessary changes, consider offsetting your emissions with a reputable green project - not as a "get out of jail free card," but as another option in your toolkit to compensate for that inevitable flight or vehicle journey.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change maintains a portfolio of hundreds of initiatives around the world to which you can contribute.
You can use their carbon footprint calculator to figure out how many emissions you need to ‘buyback.
There's no denying that global warming will alter our climate in the coming century. So, what are the options for dealing with global warming? First and foremost, an international political solution is required. Second, because all economic development is predicated on increasing energy demand, investment for creating affordable and clean energy generation must be expanded.
We cannot place all of our expectations in global politics and clean energy technologies; instead, we must plan for the worst and adapt.
Many of the expenditures and damage that could be caused by changing climate can be minimized if implemented now.