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Climate Change — A Big Challenge To Our Planet

Ali, 25, is a farmer in south Asia. He lives in a region with extremely hot conditions. The summers are getting longer, hotter, and unbearable. The highest recorded temperature last summer was 48 degrees Celsius(118.4°F)

The region experienced devastating floods during the summer. Thousands of people have died in the floods. Many people have been left homeless and many cattle have drowned. Crops have been damaged and roads and bridges have been left destroyed.


Why has this happened? Why is the temperature getting higher over a period of time? Why are floods hitting the region? The answer is climate change!


What Is Climate Change?


Climate change represents the long-term shifts in the weather and the temperature of the planet. These shifts may be natural such as changes in the solar cycle, movement of tectonic plates, and volcanic activity; but since 1800, human activities are the main driver of climate change. The primary human activities include the burning of fossil fuels. Climate change took place slowly after hundreds of thousands of years, but human activities are currently speeding it up.




Climate refers to the average weather conditions in a particular region over a long period of time. The shifts in these average conditions cause changes in climate.




Weather is the condition of the atmosphere which includes humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, and cloudiness. The weather constantly changes as frequently as every hour and can continue to last for a long period of weeks. 

Difference Between Climate and Weather


The main difference between climate and weather is the measure of time. Weather consists of the short-term changes in the atmosphere while climate represents the pattern of weather for relatively long periods of time.


Climate is what we expect in seasons such as summers or winters while the weather presents conditions like a hot sunny day with pop-up thunderstorms in summers and a cold day with snowstorms in winters. Some scientists consider climate as the weather pattern usually tracked for at least 30 years.


What Is Causing Climate Change


Climate change is the big crisis of our time but unfortunately, the world is not doing enough to combat it. Our world is getting more extreme weather like storms, floods, and droughts. There has been a spike in the world’s temperature that has never happened before. These unusual changes have made us wonder why we are experiencing climate change, to begin with.


Green House Effect

The main cause of climate change is a phenomenon known as The Green House effect. Greenhouse Gases (GHG) like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and water vapors in the atmosphere allow sunlight to shine on the earth’s surface but trap the solar radiation in a planet's lower atmosphere. These gases then reflect back the heat up into the atmosphere. In this way, they act like the glass walls of a greenhouse.emission of carbondioxide, environmental protection agency

The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon. It keeps the planet warm enough to sustain life. However, human activities are driving up the earth’s temperature and fundamentally changing the world around us.  According to scientists, there is a 95% chance that human activity is the cause of climate change. 


Global Warming


Human activities from pollution to overpopulation are causing the hype in earth’s temperature. 

The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas to power homes, factories, airplanes, and cars releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Cutting down forests also release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a striking rate.


The human population has grown three times in the past seventy years. Consumption of animal products releases another pollutant, methane, into the atmosphere.


The more greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the more heat gets trapped, strengthening the greenhouse effect and increasing the earth’s temperature, a term known as Global warming. 

Record emission of  CO2


The world started breaking CO2 records in 1950, and it has not stopped since. The burning of fossil fuels has increased the amount of CO2  in the atmosphere by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution in the nineteen century. 

“Carbon dioxide emissions have been going up the last year by two percent so that's actually above the average of the last ten years,” John Christensen, lead author of the United Nations (UN) 2019 Emissions Gap report, said. “So it started to increase again and it does not look too good.”


The rapid increase of  CO2 in the atmosphere has warmed the planet at an alarming rate. While the earth’s climate has fluctuated in the past, atmospheric CO2  has not reached today’s levels in hundred of thousand of years.

enivronmental protection agency

According to climate scientists, global warming should be kept at 1.5C by 2100. According to the UN, our world is about one degree hotter than it was in pre-industrial times around 1800. If it warms by 1.5C, before the end of the century, it will be fine. Two degrees will probably be alright. But the problem is speed. 


The world is on track to hit 1.5C in only ten years. If it is not slowed down, it could result in disasters in our life or in our children's. We have all started to get a taste. Europe being colder than the Arctic, recent floods in Pakistan, and the droughts in Somalia are all examples of climate change.

According to Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the UN, Natural disasters are “becoming more and more intense, more frequent with devastating consequences,” and action from the people is advised.

“The dramatic impacts of droughts occur in different parts of the world, all of this is creating a situation that is real threat to humankind and we are not doing enough,” Guterres said. BBC


Consequences Of Climate Change


Climate change has different consequences on our earth. 


  • Sea levels are rising about three millimeters in a year. Sea water expands as the temperature gets warmer.

  • Melting ice sheets and glaciers in places such as Greenland and Antarctica add trillions of tons of fresh water to the ocean causing coastal cities to be at risk. Entire coastal cities such as Miami, the US, and Osaka in Japan would be underwater within 80 years. Whole islands in the Pacific could disappear

  • Changes in weather like intense major storms, floods, heavy snowfall, and, drought pose challenges to mankind. 

  • Warmer temperatures also make weather more extreme.

Challenges To The World


“Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.”

-Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft


Our world is facing many challenges as a result of climate change. Climate change is putting many challenges to food production. Growing crops have become difficult. The yield growth of wheat, maize, and other crops is declining because of extreme weather conditions and droughts in some countries.


Rising temperatures affect food sources, access to water, and much more. Ecosystems may become uninhabitable for certain animals, forcing them to migrate outside of their habitats in search of food and livable conditions, while causing other animals to die off and taking some others to the brink of extinction.  

Extreme temperatures can also increase the risk of wildfires. France and Germany had about seven times more land burnt between January and the middle of July 2022, compared with the average


Climate change can affect people's physical health. In urban areas, the warmer environment creates an environment that traps smog. Smog contains ozone particles which increase rapidly at higher temperatures that can cause asthma, lung cancer, and heart diseases.


What The Governments Are Doing


In 2016, world leaders signed an agreement in Paris. The agreement includes commitments from all countries to reduce their emissions and work together to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

In this agreement, world leaders decided to limit the emission of  CO2   and keep the world temperature at  1.5C by the end of 2100. But three years after the agreement, CO2 levels are still rising. 


There are no ambitious targets in the first place for the big countries in cutting off  CO2  emissions. USA, Russia, and China are emitting  CO2  at a faster speed. Turkey and Poland are using coal as fuel for powering plants.


On the other hand, there is positive momentum as well. Some countries like Morocco, Gambia, and India are using renewable resources for their massive projects. Many countries are making public transport free to get people out of their cars. People are encouraged to use bicycles, and trains and take fewer flights. 


Though poor countries are contributing a small amount of  COemission into the atmosphere but are facing a lot of challenges from climate change. East Africa faced low or no precipitation in 2022, leading to one of the worst droughts and food crises in history. This has killed livestock and destroyed extensive farmland. Pakistan faced catastrophic floods and landslides due to heavy monsoon rains which caused millions of deaths and billion-dollar losses to the economy.   

Struggling hard with their economy, rich countries must come forward to help them with these challenges.




While humans are responsible for climate change, they are the ones who can combat this. If fossil fuels are replaced by renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which do not emit greenhouse gases, we might be able to prevent some of the worst effects of climate change.


Ali is now in his 60s. He had lost his home and family members in the recent devastating flooding in his area. He has become a victim of climate change with many others. He is living as a climate refugee in a tent. We can be like Ali if we do not play our roles in preventing changes in climate. The world is our home and we have to adapt to all possible changes to make it suitable for living.


There is a famous Native American Proverb:


“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”


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Tags: #famine #globalwarming #climatechange #floods #airpollution #droughts #smog #weatherchanges #snowstorms #causes #ParisAgreement #threattotheworld #greenhouseeffect #carbondioxideemission #consequences


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