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The Causes Of Climate Changes In Australia

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Climate Change in Australia states that climate is the average weather underwent at a region over a period time, recording from months to thousands of years in terms of temperature, rainfall and wind. According to OVO Energy, climate change is a change of climate pattern that mainly caused by greenhouse effect. There are several changes globally or regionally. These change the nature and causing extreme weather conditions. For example, an increase of sea level, changing rainfall pattern, melt of glaciers, thunderstorm, hurricane, flood, wildfires and drought. All of these problems can damage resources and occupy a large amount of cost and money to fix and repair.

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Climate change can affect a country’s economy and agriculture. Crops could be damaged as drought or flood may occur. Moreover, Climate Council states that for every 2°C increase in temperature every year, 75% of the world’s coral reefs will be bleached. Also, a 1.5°C rise of temperature can lead to 20-30% of species to extinct, particularly in Arctic (OVO Energy). As reported by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions(C2ES), Texas and California have each experienced10 times of drought from 2000 to 2017. Therefore, climate change brings a great impact on ecosystems and biodiversity.Carbon Footprint

As shown from my Carbon Footprint results data, my carbon footprint is 14.74 tons per year and it’s 6.26 tons lower than US average of 21 tons. Furthermore, household has occupied the most in my carbon footprint for almost three forth followed by transportation and travel. By comparing to other countries, my carbon footprint is approximately a double of Europe and the world at 8 tons and 7 tons respectively. My own country, China has the least carbon footprint at 4 tons which is 4 times less than my carbon footprint.

The high consumption of electricity by turning on the lights for long time or television have properly led to the most carbon dioxide production. In order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced, I should use higher energy star rating household appliances like refrigerator and washing machine. I avoid using dishwasher, I hand wash my dishes every day. Moreover, I never use tumble dryer, instead, I line dry my clothes under the sun during the day. At the same time, lights should be made sure is off at night or when not at home. In winter, using a hot water bag can reduce the chance of turning on a heater.

Human Induced Climate Change

Greenhouse gas has been the main reason leading to climate change. The main greenhouse gases generated by human activities are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbon and ozone. State of New South Wales and Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) explains that 47% of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases come from the production of energy like burning coal in power stations. Transportation accounts for 18% while 12% and 11% are from coal mining and agriculture respectively. Human plays the significant role in the production of greenhouse gases every day by different activities.Combustion of coal, gas and oil has been the major problem causing climate change due to the large amount of carbon dioxide being produced.

According to the Parliament of Australia (2010), deforestation and urbanisation alter the reflectivity and texture of the land surface could reduce the land absorption and the capacity of carbon dioxide. This also increases biomass decay. On the other hand, vehicles and industrial activities produces aerosols pollutants which affect the atmosphere’s reflection or absorption of solar radiation. The surface albedo could also be changed when the aerosols are deposited onto the land surface. Trails of vapour for planes, soot from combustion and waste from livestock all tend to change the climate (The Guardian, 2011).

The Parliament of Australia (2010) found that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 260 to 280 parts per million for the 10,000 years before the Industrial Revolution two hundred years ago. Since then, it has rocketed to approximately 383 parts per million and continues to rise.Natural Induced Climate ChangeThe nature also leads to climate change in different ways. Weathering, the change of energy coming from the sun, volcanic eruption, continental drift and ocean circulation are some of the causes to greenhouse gases emission and climate change (Enviropedia). The intensity of the sunlight reaching the Earth can cause either warming or cooling.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2017) claims that changing Earth’s orbit shape and the position of Earth’s axis affect the sunlight intensity. Absorbing sunlight increase the temperature of Earth’s land, ocean as well as atmosphere. Evaporation of water produces water vapour which is the largest quantity of greenhouse gas that contributes to the natural greenhouse effect. Moreover, The rate that the ocean releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is slower than absorbing.

Volcanic eruption due to continental drift releases a large amount of carbon dioxide. At the same time, during carbon cycle, respiration of animals and plants also take part in the carbon dioxide emission. A solid particle, black carbon absorb sunlight and infrared radiation warm up the atmosphere. The surface of snow and ice will be darken when black carbon deposits on them. Therefore, the snow takes up sunlight quicker and speeds up the melting (EPA, 2017). Last but not least, weathering of rocks gives rise to the atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolving into rainwater which can then form acid rain. Ocean catches acid rain can interrupt marine life and coral leaves (Phys.org, 2012). Lastly, it is suggested by the Earth System Research Laboratory that aerosols can interact with clouds, different number of cloud influences the formation, dissipation, reflectivity, and precipitation rates. Thinker and denser cloud can heat up the planet.

Conclusion

Climate change is mainly due to the excessive amount of greenhouse gases and this can be caused by both human and nature. However, human contributes to more greenhouse gases emission than nature does. Burning coal or other fuels for energy production by human is the major reason arousing climate change. In the nature, greenhouse effect is aroused when the earth absorbs solar energy and atmospheric gases prevent heat loss by the earth from radiating into space. The planet then warms up and climate is changed. Lastly, climate change brings remarkable consequences such as raising water level, disrupting biodiversity and ecosystem, extreme weather causing natural disaster like hurricane and flood. It is important for individuals to maintain low carbon footprint.

11 February 2020

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