Natural Environment Blog

Blogging for the Natural Environment

Month: February 2013

Global Warming vs Climate Change

The terms- global warming and climate change are usually misinterpreted in the media while getting discussed; however, these remain distinct to each other, a fact which is often ignored.

Both of these terms refer to two different physical phenomenons.

Global warming is basically a long term trend, erupting due to the constant global temperature rise owing to the greenhouse gases usually from the fossil fuel burning.

Whereas climate change is all about the changes seen in the global climate, which is actually the outcome of increasing average global temperature.

Though both of these physical phenomenons are usually related to each other, yet they remain two distinct things. Let’s look at the comparison between the two.

Both Terms Have Been in Use for a Long Time

Many people argue that the term global warming was used much before and climate change came into picture in the recent years.

But the fact is it is simply a false claim.

For instance, if you look at the seminal climate science project carried out by Gilbert Plass in the year 1956, his own study was seen using this term wherein he was seen discussing climate sensitivity. Similar in the year 1971 when different researchers like Gast and Barrett were seen discussing this issue using the very same terminology, whereas in 1977 the most popular journal Climate Change started its publication, which is seen till today.

The popular agency IPCC taking care of this subject deals more with climate change than global warming.

In this way, you can find a number of examples that vouch for the fact that both these terms have been in use for many decades and cannot be termed as a newly introduced trend by researchers.

Global Warming

If you look closer to global warming, it could be defined as the increasing warming up of the Earth owing to the rise of greenhouse gases especially the ones coming from the fossil fuels burning events. The increasing warming of the earth can be gauged in the Earth’s ocean and atmosphere.

You can find good evidence for global warming, which includes retreating ice caps, increased habitat reductions for different animals, dry lakes, shifts seen in weather, global temperature rise, seal level rise, coral bleaching, etc. Global warming could be called as a human induced global temperatures rise.

Climate Change

If you look at climate change, it is termed as the natural changes seen owing to the global temperature rise over the years of time.

Speaking more specifically, the change found over the earth’s energy budget could give the result in terms of both increase and decrease in the global temperatures.

The climate is always seen changing, which is an important fact that people usually ignore when they are seen talking about this issue.The climate change is seen often occurring over the planet earth for a number of reasons. These include things like volcanic eruptions, Milankovitch cycle, ocean circulation changes, natural variance, tectonic activity and albedo.

Interchanging the Term is Basically the Mincing of Words

In the media, you often would see the term global warming being interchanged with climate change or vice versa. This is mincing words.

And if you club both these terms, you simply end up getting global warming as a climate change, which is induced by the human beings. There are people who doubt or go against global warming often termed as anti warming activists are seen mincing the two terms simply by detracting both the issues.

However, bringing out a standard definition is simply impossible since the fact is climate change always occurred and is going to be there in the future as well, while global warming is a theoretical concept.

However, this helps the experts to definition of this particular theory. This is the very juncture where you will find a number of non scientists going wrong. Theories are basically scientific evidences and proofs, which are collected all these years and often get accepted by the people as a suitable explanation to these evidences or proofs.

Theories are very much different than the scientific laws and hypotheses.

Hypothesis could be defined as an intelligent guesswork, which is often based on knowledge and information; however, this requires a consistent testing for your further development. At the same time the laws are basically scientific facts, which are very much virtually incontrovertible. For example, if you throw anything at the upper direction, it is bound to come down due to gravity, which is basically a law of science.

Final Word

Though both terms are seen interchanging, these issues remain the most contagious problems of the modern times. Global warming and climate change have now become a matter of concern basically due to the industrialization taking place in the world, which has wrecked havoc over this planet. The amount of disruption caused to the ecosystem due to these issues is certainly going to harm the animals, trees and even human beings.

About The Author: Alia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing travelling and reading books. She recently contributed to this article by Zachary Zeitzeff.

The 10 Easiest Ways to Green your Home

A green home is a happy home. Not only do you feel better about yourself for trying to do what you can in order to preserve our planet, but it is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint.

There are a lot of extremely easy ways that you can help to make your home greener friendly. It does not always cost a lot of money, and a lot of times it takes little to no effort.

Below is a list of the top 10 ways that you can easily make your home green friendly.

  1. Recycle– This is extremely easy, and most cities even provide you with a bin to do it. All you have to do is throw your cans, bottles, papers, and cardboard into a separate bin. Most cities will pick the bin up from the curb, and they do not even require you to clean out the recyclable materials.
  2. Green your Appliances– You may think this is an expensive investment, but few appliances last forever. When it comes time to replace them look to the energy efficient version. You can purchase water saving energy efficient washing machine for close to the same price of a standard one. More often than not your utility supplier will even give you a rebate for investing in these appliances.
  3. Limit Your Utilities– You may think that the house feels perfect at a cool 72 degrees, but you could really live with it at 78. Make these small adjustments. Not only is it better on the environment, but it also is easier on your wallet.
  4. Conserve Water– It is important to be conscientious of your water use. You may enjoy hand-washing your dishes, but if you leave the water running at full blast and have an energy efficient dishwasher chances are it is better to wait until your dishwasher is full and run a single load. Limit how often you water your lawn, and keep up with your plumbing. Small leaks in plumbing can waste a great deal of water every day.
  5. Clean Friendly– There are quite a few products that were created in order to be a little more friendly to the environment while still being able to clean your home. Invest in these green friendly products.
  6. Conserve Paper– Most places will take digital copies of pieces that you formally had to print. These include tickets, passes, coupons, or even directions. When there is a digital option take it. Save the paper and save some trees. This includes using towels and cloth in place of paper versions too.
  7. Rinse & Reuse– Instead of investing in a huge case of water every week invest in a water filtration system and carry reusable bottles. There is quite a large variety of travel mugs, glasses, and cups that you can pick from that will help reduce the amount of plastic that is used on a daily basis.
  8. Light the Way– Change your lighting in order to be more energy efficient. This could mean reducing the amount of lights that are on in your home, installing energy efficient lighting, or simply using natural lighting whenever possible.
  9. Use Your Green Thumb– Not only does growing your own fruits and vegetables save on the amount of pesticides that are used in order to produce a larger group in the grocery store, but you can fertilize your own garden with leftover waste from your home. Compost is created through placing your leftover scraps such as eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc into a compost bin. You can create fertilizer through your own kitchen waste and grow a delicious garden that can keep you in fruits and veggies through the harvest season.
  10. Shop Bamboo– Bamboo is considered to be the greenest of the woods. When you are considering installing hardwood floors or purchasing furniture opt for the bamboo option.

Author Bio: By this article Jason Phillips has described various steps to go green. He also prefers using a recycling bin at his home. Jason is guest author at many sites.

Living Green: Lessons From Medieval Times

Once upon a time, the average person didn’t create over 1,600 pounds of garbage in a single year, and there wasn’t a behemoth heap of trash the size of Africa floating in the Pacific Ocean. Those were the days. . . the Middle Ages?

Ok, ok, so maybe the Middle Ages doesn’t conjure the most delightful of images for everyone. They did have the Black Plague and the crusades and the perils of a feudal system under an absolute monarchy, but they also got a lot right behind-the-scenes.

Modernity doesn’t always have to equal superiority, and the wisest people are those who learn from history adapt what works and improve on what doesn’t.

However, somewhere between The Greatest Generation and the laziest one, our country became infected with over 1,305 Superfund sites- and our world is rapidly running out of resources. Colonizing Mars or finding a new planet to sustain us seems a bit more costly and difficult than simply looking to the past for green solutions that have been right in front of our faces all along.

The Medieval Times were far from perfect, but they did have some earth-friendly practices worth learning about.

Garbage Reduction

Researching trash collection in Medieval times is a difficult task, because they didn’t produce very much trash. Granted, towns and large cities struggled with terrible sanitation issues, they didn’t actually produce very much disposable rubbish. One of the most complete Medieval rubbish pits, discovered in Southampton, England revealed little more than seeds, fruits, pottery, glass and fabrics.

A rubbish pit that lasted years held only a small amount of organic, biodegradable material. This is a practice most of us could learn a thing or two from, considering the U.S. uses and disposes of approximately 1,500 plastic water bottles every second, according to TreeHugger.com. Although it’s nearly impossible to live a total biodegradable life in today’s world, there are some minor changes you can make and teach to others that can have a massive, positive impact in the long run.

  • Try not to use disposable dishes. If you do, don’t throw away after one use. Wash and re-use them.
  • Look for clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton or wool, not poly-something (they’re also better for your skin).
  • Cleanwith washable, cloth rags. Papertowels aren’t as biodegradable as they might seem.
  • Avoid products with excessive packaging, there’s no purpose for it whatsoever except to grab your attention. Don’t fall victim to marketing gimmicks!

Toxin Tamers

While Medieval ladies may have endured the unfortunate trend of slathering their faces with poisonous lead makeup, toxic substances at large weren’t much of a factor or a byproduct in Medieval times. Their food wasn’t jam-packed with unintelligible ingredients, and they were much more self-sustainable than most of us can imagine. Their lifestyles didn’t require billion-dollar clean ups by remediation companies like Sevenson Environmental, or any sort of EPA or Greenpeace-esque organizations.

We’ll never be able to get back to that point now that more than 11 million people live within one mile of a Superfund site. We can, however, make changes in our own lives and, most importantly, educate our friends, children and neighbors about environmental concerns in our areas. Knowledge is power (which would have been very helpful for plague doctors) and we can use it to our advantage before it’s too late. The EPA provides some excellent information that can help you educate and protect your community against potential effects of toxic Superfund sites in your area.

  • Play an active role by learning the national priority list (NPL) of clean-up schedules.
  • Check out the publication Superfund Today for insights into what you can do and what’s going on.
  • Make calls, send letter, post fliers (on recycled paper of course) in your area to help spread the word.

This article was contributed by Patric Kowalski. Patric is a full-time high school environmental sciences teacher and a part-time novelist, Patric gets his inspiration from being a single dad.

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