Global warming vs climate change. Global warming and climate change are related concepts, but they have different meanings.
What is Global warming?
Global warming refers specifically to the long-term increase in Earth’s average surface temperature, primarily due to the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
What is climate change?
Climate change, on the other hand, refers to the broader range of impacts that result from global warming, including changes in precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and more frequent and severe weather events.
Here are some examples of the current and projected impacts of global warming vs climate change:
Temperature rise: The global average temperature has already risen by about 1.1°C (2°F) since the pre-industrial era, and is projected to increase by another 1.5°C (2.7°F) to 4°C (7.2°F) by the end of this century, depending on future emissions scenarios.
Arctic sea ice decline: Arctic sea ice has been declining at a rate of about 13.4% per decade since satellite records began in 1979, and is expected to disappear completely during the summer months within a few decades if warming continues.
Sea level rise: Global sea level has risen about 8-9 inches (21-24 cm) since 1880, and is projected to rise by another 1-4 feet (0.3-1.2 m) by 2100, depending on future emissions scenarios.
More frequent and intense heatwaves: Heatwaves have become more frequent and intense in many parts of the world, and are projected to become more severe in the coming decades, with more frequent occurrences of deadly heatwaves.
Increased frequency of extreme weather events: Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe in many parts of the world, and are projected to become even more frequent and severe in the future.
Ocean acidification: As the oceans absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they are becoming more acidic, which threatens marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of people who depend on them.
The trend expected in the future is that these impacts will continue to worsen unless significant action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.
Is possible to interact on global warming?
The world government has been taking various measures to mitigate global warming and combat climate change. Here are some examples of the current and future plans:
- Paris Agreement: In 2015, almost all countries in the world signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F). As of 2023, 195 countries have ratified the agreement.
- Carbon pricing: Many countries have implemented carbon pricing policies, which put a price on greenhouse gas emissions to encourage industries and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. Examples include the European Union’s Emissions Trading System and British Columbia’s carbon tax.
- Renewable energy: Many countries have set targets for increasing their use of renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and hydropower.
The European Union aims to achieve a 32% share of renewable energy by 2030, while China aims to have renewable energy account for 35% of its electricity consumption by 2030.
- Electric vehicles: Several countries have set targets for phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. Norway aims to have all new cars sold as zero-emission vehicles by 2025, while the United Kingdom plans to phase out new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030.
- Reforestation: Many countries have launched reforestation projects to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and restore degraded ecosystems.
Brazil has pledged to restore 12 million hectares of forest by 2030, while China aims to increase its forest coverage to 26% by 2035.
- Energy efficiency: Many countries have implemented policies to promote energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, and industry.
The United States has set energy efficiency standards for a wide range of products, and the European Union has set energy performance standards for buildings.
The plans for the future include increasing the ambition of existing policies and implementing new ones to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Many countries are working to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, which means reducing emissions as much as possible and offsetting the remaining emissions through measures such as carbon capture and storage or reforestation. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021 was a major opportunity for countries to announce their new commitments and plans to tackle climate change.
How to stop climate change?
Climate change is a broader term that encompasses a range of impacts beyond global warming, including changes in precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and more frequent and severe weather events. Here are some examples of the measures that the world government is taking to combat climate change:
Adaptation plans: Many countries have developed plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as building sea walls and flood defenses, developing drought-resistant crops, and improving early warning systems for extreme weather events.
International agreements: In addition to the Paris Agreement, there are several other international agreements aimed at addressing climate change, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Disaster risk reduction: Many countries are investing in disaster risk reduction measures to reduce the impacts of climate-related disasters. For example, Japan has invested in earthquake-resistant infrastructure, and Bangladesh has developed early warning systems and flood shelters.
Sustainable agriculture: Sustainable agriculture practices can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change impacts such as drought and flooding. Examples include conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and integrated crop-livestock systems.
Green infrastructure: Building green infrastructure such as green roofs, rain gardens, and wetlands can help mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing stormwater runoff, improving air and water quality, and providing habitat for wildlife.
Research and innovation: Governments are investing in research and innovation to develop new technologies and solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Examples include research into carbon capture and storage, renewable energy technologies, and sustainable building materials.
How ordinary people can stop global climate change?
Global climate change is a complex and pressing issue that requires collective action from individuals, businesses, and governments. While one person alone cannot stop climate change, ordinary people can take actions to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a sustainable future. Here are some interesting facts and statistics on how people have changed:
Renewable energy is growing: In 2020, renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 72% of all new power capacity installed worldwide, with solar and wind energy leading the way.
Electric vehicle adoption is increasing: Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have grown exponentially in recent years, with a record of over 3 million EVs sold globally in 2020.
The world is using less coal: Coal consumption has been declining in recent years due to the increased use of renewable energy and natural gas. In 2020, coal consumption fell by 4%, which is the largest decline since World War II.
Plastic waste is decreasing: The world has made significant progress in reducing plastic waste. For example, in 2019, the European Union (EU) voted to ban single-use plastics such as straws and cutlery, which is expected to reduce plastic pollution significantly.
People are taking climate action: There is a growing awareness of the importance of taking action to combat climate change, and more people are taking action.
The youth-led climate strikes that began in 2018 have mobilized millions of people worldwide to demand action on climate change.
Deforestation is slowing down: While deforestation remains a significant challenge, some countries are making progress in reducing forest loss.
Brazil’s annual deforestation rate decreased by 21% in 2020, which is the lowest rate since 1991.
Global warming vs Climate change Conclusion
addressing global warming requires a collective effort from individuals, communities, and governments, but it is possible to make a positive impact through individual and collective action.