According to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change is a change in the climate, attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere, and that adds to the regular changes that naturally occur on the planet.
The Earth has natural cycles that occur from time to time, among which are climate changes. For instance, about 10,000 years ago, the climate of our planet was colder than the present one, and glaciers occupied a large percentage of the Earth’s surface; little by little, changes occurred that put an end to that last glacial period.
However, in the last decades all living beings have participated in the acceleration of this process, which occurs naturally. In view of the seriousness of this occurrence, the scientific community studied all the possible causes of climate change.
Their conclusions showed that the abrupt variations in climate are associated with various industrial processes that require the burning of fossil fuels, massive logging and the use of fertilizers, among others.
Below, we will give you details of the causes and consequences of climate change.
Causes of Climate Change
The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of different gases whose function is to maintain a temperature appropriate for life. This natural phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect.
It is necessary that there is a balance in the emission of greenhouse gases to maintain its fair proportion. However, human activities have increased the production of these gases causing the so-called global warming, the main cause of climate change.
The human being is responsible for climate change and its emissions of greenhouse gases that heat the planet, as we will see later. The best known gas is CO2, which causes 63% of global warming, but there are other causes:
Deforestation: the lumber industry, agriculture, mining and livestock are the main economic activities dedicated to the cutting of trees.
Disproportionate increase of greenhouse gases: caused by the use of fertilizers, chemical activity for the treatment of waste water, the burning of fossil fuels, transport, heating and urban planning.
Accelerated population growth: the increase in the number of inhabitants influences the production of gases that exacerbate the greenhouse effect.
Consequences of climate
The consequences are affecting vital natural processes. In the case of ecosystems, wetlands, for example, are at risk of disappearing. Another important point is the increase in the average temperature and the decrease in rainfall, which is creating an ideal breeding ground for fires. Below, we show you more consequences of climate change:
Acidification and water pollution due to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air.
Devastating weather phenomena such as hurricanes, cyclones, rain, extreme drought or floods.
Death, migration and extinction of different animal species. In the case of the sea, there are many species that witness the destruction of their habitat. The presence of plastics and other contaminants in the sea, overfishing and other destructive fishing practices contribute to their disappearance.
Alteration of the water cycle
Rise in sea level and global temperature due to melting ice.
Emergence of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria
Exhaustion of natural resources necessary for human life.
There is much scientific evidence that shows the serious causes and consequences of climate change on our planet. That is why it is time to open our eyes to this imminent reality and start fighting to build a better world.
How to reduce the effects of climate change?
At Fundación Aquae we promote collective participation to combat climate change. To do so, we carry out projects that contribute to this objective and to the development of the circular economy.
The Sowing Oxygen project is the most important of our proposals for the fight against climate change. This plan was born in 2015, and since then we have planted more than 10,000 trees all over Spain. Additionally, with the help of our talents in scientific research, we designed a campaign to reduce our carbon footprint in order to compensate our CO2.
We define the carbon footprint as the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted, directly or indirectly, by an individual, organization, activity or product. You can discover your carbon footprint with our Aquae calculator.
Aquae tips to reduce and compensate your CO2
- After charging your phone, unplug the charger. This will save energy.
- For short distances walk or use a bicycle. In short, use sustainable, non-polluting transport.
- Reduce meat consumption: the meat industry produces a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions, as stated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The sector’s emissions at a global level already represent 14.5%.
- Buy a thermos bottle for your water consumption. In one year you can save up to 167 plastic bottles on average. To give you an idea, every hour 25 million plastic bottles are thrown away in the United States alone.
- Don’t use plastic straws, as they take up to 500 years to decompose.
- Use cloth bags for your shopping. They take up little space and are very resistant. One cloth bag can replace more than 100 plastic bags.
- Make responsible use of the heating and keep the thermostat as low as possible.
- Plant a tree. It produces oxygen, purifies the air, captures water for the aquifers, reduces the temperature of the soil…
Join our work, collaborate with the Earth and start taking small steps that will bring about big changes in the future.