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Category: Climate Change (Page 1 of 7)

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.

Did the Australia Carbon Tax Initiative Really Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Generally, plants and trees need carbon to survive in contrast to animals and humans who need oxygen to live. However, the increasing amount of carbon in the atmosphere has led to changes to the environment, such as a shift in weather pattern and the rise of atmospheric temperature all over the world. So, to bring back balance to Earth’s atmosphere, governments began to implement green initiatives, including carbon tax, designed to reduce carbon emissions caused by burning gas, coal or crude oil from manufacturing plants and other industrial sites.

A Significant Drop in Carbon Emissions Index

The Australian government introduced its carbon tax in July 2012 after years of debate. According to BBC News, around 300 firms were levied at $23 Australian dollars per tonne of greenhouse gases they create. When the country’s top industries include mining, steel manufacturing, and energy generation, this legislation can be an alarming threat. The opposition branded it as “toxic tax” that will cost people their jobs and increase the cost of living in the country.

However, after nearly four months since its implementation, reports from ABC News and other local media revealed positive results. Victoria alone has had a 8.7 percent reduction in its carbon emissions since July. All over the country, the fall in record emissions reached down to 7.6 percent, according to a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Hopefully, this trend continues until the year 2020 and meets the government’s goal of reducing carbon levels by five percent or less in all regions.

But, what does this mean to consumers and businesses? Will the Australia carbon tax lower power rates, supply enough energy for a growing population, and still attract investors to the mining and energy sector? Nobody knows for sure how far and wide the benefits of the levy would go ten years or twenty years from now. One thing’s certain though: consumers and small business owners end up reaping the benefits of getting energy from abundant sources.

Carbon Tax Led to a Surge in Power Costs?

Of course, it’s too early to predict the downfall of the energy and mining industries of Australia as result of the levy. Naturally, an increase in power rates began almost immediately after implementation. Energy firms had to cover the cost of paying taxes for every tonne of pollutants they release into the atmosphere. On one hand, these discouraging power rates shifted public attention to more efficient technologies, such as hydroelectric turbines and solar panels. Although the demand for renewable energy hasn’t begun to surge yet nationwide, the huge investments of companies and their high production expenses has nudged clean energy prices a bit closer to traditional rates.

The AEMO report also admits that other possible factors may have contributed to the decrease in the Carbon Emissions Intensity Index (CEII) during the months of June through August. Before the carbon tax, floodwaters in Gippsland, Victoria stopped operations for the Yallourn power plants, which supply most of the energy to that region. They had to go offline for emergency cleanup and repairs. These power generators run on coal fuel and their temporary absence may have led to a significant decrease in carbon levels. In short, the policy has definitely been successful in curbing the atmospheric levels of carbon over large regions in Australia, but there were negative effects from paying too much taxes too soon and to the energy sector’s mad scramble to provide more clean energy options to consumers.

This article was provided by Gene Armstrong. Gene has worked as a consultant for industrial firms on and off for eight years specializing in energy-efficient technologies and green energy policies. He also contributes to online media regularly with articles and blog posts that share effective money-saving advice for households and businesses. Most data and news reports shared in this article came from http://www.switchwise.com.au where you’ll learn more about carbon tax and how it works.

Historic Drop in U.S. Carbon Emissions: Experts Skeptical of Impact to Slow Climate Change

A recent article in New Scientist reports that even though carbon emissions are lower than they have been in twenty years, climate change is not slowing down. The price of natural gas has decreased due to hydraulic fracturing, and natural gas has been a preferred source of energy based on its inexpensive price tag. This has caused reduced carbon emissions, but is not likely to have an effect on climate change. Along with people at the grassroots level, those in major corporations, universities, and governments, are making significant advancements in energy conservation and clean energy.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Some people see gas as a good transition fuel that can be used in the interim until sufficient wind farms and solar arrays are constructed. Kevin Anderson of the University of Manchester, UK, believes that gas cannot be used as a lesser evil energy while making a transition to greener fuels. He thinks that in order to achieve the 2° C goal, we need to make a rapid transition to low carbon energy.

The Energy Collective has written a humorous article comparing America’s energy consumption behavior to that of someone with an eating disorder, advising that weight loss is healthy when it takes place over the long term and with discipline. In some respects our carbon weight is like real weight, and while we are at a long term low, natural gas is no substitute for clean energy. Utilizing recycling services at republicservices.com will help you contribute to energy and waste reduction.

Heating Things Up

Earthsky.org reported that this past summer was the third-hottest in recorded U.S. history, and a mild winter earlier in the year should have been an indicator that this year was going to heat up. The U.S. is failing to create the necessary choices to adequately reduce carbon consumption. According to The International Energy Agency, gas will cause a disaster if aggressively consumed over the medium-term.

Recent national carbon reduction is an excellent development, but it doesn’t replace adherence to a healthy energy policy. When coal companies can push their product to eager consumers in a multitude of foreign countries, planet Earth is still affected. It is essential to stay on the path of clean energy without distraction by less inferior products.

Stats Speak For Themselves

The 2012 Benchmarking Air Emissions report looked at 2010-2011 data to determine trends in the following power plant pollutants: sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), mercury (Hg) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). One hundred utilities operating 2,500 power plants were included. These plants produced 86% of electricity generation and 88% of all emissions in the U.S. The good news is that three of the four pollutants studied experienced significant decline.

This improvement was attributed to cleaner energy replacing coal as a result of an increase in natural gas as well as wind and solar energy. Since 2004 utilities have doubled renewable energy sources. Currently 5% of our energy is renewable. Natural gas and coal each provide about 32% of all U.S. electrical generation.

Going Solar

As an example of transition from dirty to much cleaner, Southern Company –a utility in the Southwest with 43,000 MWs of generating capacity– is one of the most intense coal power producers in the country. Southern will increase its natural gas consumption for the first time in its long history. It also owns and operates the largest U.S. biomass plant. In a partnership with media mogul Ted Turner, Southern owns a 30 MW solar PV plant in New Mexico, and they have just purchased yet another solar facility.

This article was contributed by Aubrey Boone. Aubrey studied in Los Angeles with some of the finest chefs. She started documenting her experiences and now contributes to various foodie blogs.

Thermal Imaging at Home: To Save Your Planet and Money

The innovation of ‘Thermal Imaging’ has impressively changed the pre-learned concepts and theories of people.

‘Thermal Imaging’ with the help of infrared radiations, helps us to notice the density differences and temperature fluctuations in any tangible thing around us. Till today, this method has been generally used to detect biological upsets in delicate body organs and sometimes by property owners to track out the hidden causes of safety issues within the house. The temperature fluctuations or the structure tempering detected by a thermal imaging camera are not possible to be noticed with bare eyes.

Now assuming that seventy percent of the world population understands the catastrophic effects that global warming is having on the earth, we have come up with diverse ways to seek out solutions to this problem. And the solution is not just about using air, water and sun for primary energy needs, it embodies every particular aspect of the way we live in and behave. Here we introduce the very new concept of thermal imaging.

But the new benefit that is credited to this technology is being beneficial to the environment. Of course, on close scrutiny, we find that thermal imaging points out sources of abnormal heat loss in a particular area that is different from its surrounding area. We all know that heat radiated out from constructions is a potent source of global warming. Any unwanted source of heat due to an unseen leakage could be an additional cause that would aggravate the problem although with utter paucity.

Secondly, the technology is a potent application for those who wish to buy themselves a piece of livable property. Remember, thermal imaging cameras help to detect flaws which go unseen by human eyesight? So now, before you start working on your dream house, you have all the resources to make sure that the same does not become a liability to your pocket in the future. Any kind of construction mishap could not only need to be repaired urgently in the future, thus adding to your costs, it could also pose to be a threat to the safety of the residents of the house. For example, a weak insulation in the wall could lead to short circuit. It would remain unnoticed, but it cannot be ignored via a thermal imaging camera.

Thirdly, thermal imaging facilities provided by many companies, keeps the user informed about the leakages in the building structure. Still, if you have not switched to the advance thermal imaging facility, then it is the right time to do so. It is always better to bear a few additional costs rather than facing innumerable difficulties and repeated expenditures in the future. This will result in long term gain in terms of peaceful and hassle free life-style. Moreover, it will also contribute a lot in sustaining the atmosphere and the planet resistant with many global warming related issues.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger who is a tech freak. She has a weak side for gadgets and bikes. Beside this she is trying her hands on two totally different topics i.e. In vitro fertilization and Gi Joe Action Figures.

Earth Vs Global Warming… Your Vote Counts!

In six days, the world will have a global election. There are two candidates:

  1. Candidate 1: Earth
  2. Candidate 2: Global Warming

Earth Hour is when you need to cast your vote. Earth Hour 2009 is being held on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30pm (your own local time).

How Do I Cast My Vote?

Voting is easy.

  • To vote for Earth, turn your lights off for an hour between 8:30pm and 9:30pm
  • To vote for global warming, keep your lights on

Show Your Support

If you intend to vote for Earth on Saturday, you can show your support by downloading a banner, poster, badge, and more.

Here’s a sample of some of the badges you can display on your own blog or website to show your support for Earth.

VOTE EARTH VOTE EARTH
VOTE EARTH VOTE EARTH
VOTE EARTH VOTE EARTH
VOTE EARTH VOTE EARTH
VOTE EARTH VOTE EARTH

 

For more information on how to support Earth on Saturday, see the VoteEarth2009 website.

Earth Hour Exceeds Target Of 1,000 Cities

VOTE EARTHLast year I mentioned that this year’s Earth Hour will be the biggest to date, but it’s also turning out to be even bigger than the organizers expected. 

No less than 1,539 cities and towns in 80 countries will participate in this year’s Earth Hour 2009. 

This number, which will almost certainly grow over the next eleven days, exceeds the organizers’ target of 1,000 cities. 

With more and more cities and towns signing up every day, the event organizers say that the success of Earth Hour 2009 is limited only by the will of the global community to want a say in the future of their planet.

“Earth Hour is an opportunity for the global community to speak in one voice on the issue of climate change, while at the same time coming together in celebration of the one thing every single person on the planet has in common – the planet” said Earth Hour Executive Director, Mr Andy Ridley.

“Whether it’s joining your community in a town square to watch the city lights go dark or hosting a lights out party in your own home, I encourage everybody across the world to be a part of this historic occasion. Turn off your lights, celebrate the planet, enjoy the moment and cast your vote for Earth,” he added.

With increased involvement from populous countries such as China, it is hoped that Earth Hour 2009 will be observed by over 100 million people around the world.

Earth Hour 2009 to be Much Bigger than 2008

Earth Hour 2009 will be at least 3 times bigger than 2008 with more than 76 cities officially participating. These before/after photos were taken during Earth Hour 2007 in Sydney. Photo: madradish.

Earth Hour 2009 will be at least 3 times bigger than 2008 with more than 76 cities officially participating. These before/after photos were taken during Earth Hour 2007 in Sydney. Photo: madradish.

Earth Hour 2009 stands to be the biggest Earth Hour to date. Last year, 26 cities officially participated in Earth Hour. The current count for 2009 is almost 3 times that figure – and we’re still more than 3 months away from the event.

Furthermore, organizers anticipate that over 1 billion people will take part in 2009 – up from 50 million in 2008. This is largely due to China’s involvement in 2009, where populous cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will participate

The official number of cities to participate in Earth Hour 2009 currently stands at 76 cities.

Official Cities To Particpate In Earth Hour 2009

Here are the cities currently listed for participation in Earth Hour 2009. Note that this figure is sure to increase over the coming months as more cities are announced.

Australia

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane 
  • Canberra 
  • Darwin 
  • Hobart 
  • Melbourne 
  • Perth
  • Sydney

Bolivia

  • Santa Cruz de la Sierra 

Bulgaria

  • Sofia

Canada

  • Toronto 

China

  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai

Costa Rica

  • San Jose

Denmark

  • Aalborg
  • Copenhagen
  • Odense

Federated States of Micronesia

  • Ponphei

Fiji

  • Suva

Finland

  • Espoo
  • Helsinki

Guatemala

  • Guatemala City

Italy

  • Bologna
  • Florence
  • Milan
  • Naples
  • Palermo
  • Rome
  • Turin
  • Venice

Jordan

  • Amman

Mexico

  • Mexico City

New Zealand

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch
  • Hamilton

Norway

  • Oslo
  • Tromso
  • Trondheim

Phillipines

  • Manila

Poland

  • Gdansk
  • Lodz
  • Poznan
  • Torun
  • Warsaw

Portugal

  • Lisbon

Russia

  • Moscow
  • Petropalovsk-Kamchatsky

Singapore

  • Singapore City

South Africa

  • Cape Town

Sweden

  • Ekero
  • Gothenberg
  • Kalmar
  • Kiruna
  • Lilla Edet
  • Malmö
  • Mullsjo
  • Nassjo
  • Norrkoping
  • Orebro
  • Sodertalje
  • Ulricehamn
  • Vaxjo
  • Ystad

Turkey

  • Istanbul

United Arab Emirates

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai
  • Fujairah
  • Sharjah

United Kingdom

  • London

United States

  • Chicago
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Miami 
  • Nashville

Note that China has already indicated that more chinese cities will be announced in the future.

About Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change.

China to Join Earth Hour in 2009

On Monday, WWF officially announced that China will participate in Earth Hour in 2009.

Back in April,  WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) indicated that China would have more involvement in Earth Hour next year, but the extent of its involvement was largely unknown.

Hong Kong is already on the list of cities to take part in Earth Hour 2009. On Monday it was announced that Beijing and Shanghai would also participate.

WWF has also indicated that more Chinese cities will be announced in the future. 

2009 To Be Bigger Than 2008

In 2008, 26 cities were officially part of Earth Hour (although more than 370 cities, towns and councils took part unofficially). 

For 2009, the official count currently stands at 76 cities across 62 countries. It is anticipated that more than 1,000 cities, towns and councils will participate unofficially in 2009.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change.

The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. In 2009, it is anticipated that more than 1 billion people in 1,000 cities will participate in Earth Hour.

Climate Change Conference Begins in Poland

Delegates attend the opening of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at this years UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland. Photo: UNFCCC.

Delegates attend the opening of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at this year's UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland. Photo: UNFCCC.

The 12 day United Nations Climate Change Conference began in Poznań, Poland yesterday.

Delegates from 190 countries have gathered to try to agree on a treaty to be signed next December in Copenhagen.

“The protection of the climate requires global solidarity,” said Donald Tusk, Poland’s Prime Minister, as he addressed the delegates.

“All of us must show maximum understanding with each other, and must show patience with each other,” he continued “but this patience must be have its own horizon – a common goal.”

Shared Vision

Although the full text of a treaty won’t be agreed on at the conference, it is important that the member nations agree on a shared vision.

“What is the shared vision? It’s two 2 things,” says Brice Lalonde head of the French delegation.

“One is having a goal of reduction of emissions and agreeing on that goal, and the other is how do we have a cooperation of all the nations of the world?”

…Or Not

But the United States has a different view.

Regarding the possibility of agreeing on a fixed 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the US was noncommittal.

“I don’t think many parties are ready to sign onto any range at this time,” says Harlan Watson, head of the United States delegation.

“My own opinion is that that’s going to occur in the end game” in Copenhagen.

“We’ve seen in past discussions of this that a number of parties aren’t prepared to agree to a long-term goal until other parties are coming forward with a 2020 or a near-term goal, and a number of parties, including the United states, are not willing to come forward with that yet.”

Message From Environmentalists

Environmental groups are urging the UN member nations to reduce their dependency on coal. Coal is the single greatest threat to our climate  – coal burning contributes more to climate change than any other fossil fuel.

With coal-fired power stations producing 11 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, environmental groups are pushing for the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

Furthermore, green groups are pleading with governments to stop the approval of new coal plants. A coal plant built today will emit CO2 pollution for at least the next 40 years.

As the Climate Change Conference gets underway, Greenpeace has set up a Climate Rescue Station on the edge of a coal mine in Poland to highlight the true cost of coal.

Greenpeace wants to see the following outcome from this year’s climate change conference:

  • A “climate vision” that will address what the science requires: global emissions peaking by 2015
  • A draft negotiating text on the table and a detailed workplan to get this completed by Copenhagen in December 2009
  • Developed countries to agree greenhouse gas emission reduction targets at the upper end of 25-40%, as identified by the IPCC

How You Can Help

This year the world is watching the UN negotiations and demanding that governments make good on their promise to come up with an action plan in Copenhagen next year.

You can help by uploading your photo to show that you are watching the UN carefully this year. Uploaded photos will be projected at this year’s UN meeting. 

About the United Nations Framework on Climate Change 

The United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a treaty by most of the world’s nations to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable.

Initiated in 1992,  the treaty set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual nations and contained no enforcement provisions; it is therefore considered legally non-binding. Instead, the UNFCCC treaty includes provisions for updates – called “protocols” – that would set mandatory emission limits.

The principal update (or protocol) is the Kyoto Protocol, which has become much better known than the UNFCCC itself. The Kyoto Protocol has more powerful (and more legally binding) measures than the UNFCCC.

Marine Reserves Do Not Guard Against Climate Change

Marine reserves currently provide coral reefs with little protection against global issues such as climate change and disease outbreaks.

Marine reserves currently provide coral reefs with little protection against global issues such as climate change and disease outbreaks.

Marine reserves, while effective at protecting coral reefs against local issues, are not protecting them against global issues such as climate change, according to Associate Professor John Bruno from the University of North Carolina.

Professor Bruno presented his findings to the Ecological Society of Australia’s annual conference at the University of Sydney.

18 Years of Data

In a speech entitled Climate change and coral reef resilience: are we expecting too much from marine reserves?, professor Bruno and former graduate student Elizabeth Selig compared 18 years worth of data collected from 8,540 coral reefs in the Indian, Caribbean and Pacific regions between 1987 and 2005. 

They found that, while marine reserves are important for protecting fish populations, maintaining coral reef food webs and protecting against anchor damage, they are unlikely to prevent coral loss due to increased sea temperatures.

“We found that while coral loss was reduced in marine reserves, the rate of coral decline with warmer temperatures was just the same in marine reserves as in highly fished areas,” professor Bruno explained.

Largest Threat

Bruno believes that regional and global issues are the largest threats to marine reserves. 

“The biggest stresses put on coral reefs are ocean warming and disease outbreaks,” he says. “These stresses are regional and global in scale and local protection through marine reserves is unlikely to help these reefs resist such changes.”

Older Reserves Are More Resilient

Although marine reserves don’t directly guard against regional and global issues, professor Bruno did find that older reserves are in a better position to protect against coral loss than younger reserves.

“We don’t know the reason for this result, although we can speculate that it could be due to longer-term marine reserves being better managed or established,” he says.

Future Protection

Bruno believes that we need to think long term and establish marine reserves that can protect coral reefs from unknown future threats.

“Restoring and protecting corals from climate change requires urgent implementation of regional and global strategies to deal with the root causes of climate change, including reducing carbon emissions.”

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