The Science Behind Climate Change

Climate change is one of the major issues being discussed globally for a long time.  It is now more certain than ever, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. But what is science behind the phenomenon of climate change? Basil Mathew, former Associate Director of Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory ( NPOL), Kochi writes all about it.

“Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities”The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change reported.climate-change-11

Most of the Governmental and Non Governmental organisations around the world are now agree to the findings that global warming in recent decades could be more attributed to human activities. Recent climate changes cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming. 

During the 21st century, global warming is projected to continue and climate changes are likely to intensify. Scientists have used climate models to project different aspects of future climate, including temperature, precipitation, snow and ice, ocean level, and ocean acidity. Depending on future emissions of greenhouse gases and how the climate responds, average global temperatures are projected to increase worldwide by 0.5°F to 8.6°F by 2100, with a likely increase of at least 2.0°F for all scenarios except the one representing the most aggressive mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Earth’s temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and leaving the planet’s system. When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by the Earth system, Earth warms. When the sun’s energy is reflected back into space, Earth avoids warming. When absorbed energy is released back into space, Earth cools. Many factors, both natural and human, can cause changes in Earth’s energy balance. Let us examine the science behind this phenomenon that affects the whole mankind.

(Read the full part of this article in the April issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2016)

Author: SubEditor

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