Science

Page - October 18, 2006
Climate change is real and the first signs are already noticeable. Our world is hotter than it has been in two thousand years and this is undoubtedly attributed to human activities. If current trends continue, the global temperature will likely climb higher than at any time in the past two million years. The three hottest years on record were all in the 1990s (1990, 1995 and 1997). While the end of the 20th century may not necessarily be the warmest time in Earth's history, what is unique is that the warmth is global and cannot be explained by the natural mechanisms that explain previous warm periods. Since we are in large part responsible for this catastrophe, it is also our responsibility to start making choices that will decide the climate of the future.

Temperature change 1765-2100: Graph excerpted from the IPCC's Third Assessment Report showing past and predicted changes to global temperature.

 Energy is a very important subject at the moment because our sources right now such as oil, coal and gas when burned, releases the global warming gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Other, even more potent, greenhouse gasses are also playing a role, as is massive deforestation. Thus, it is urgent that we switch to a renewable and efficient energy. If we do not, we will face shortages in the future and this will mean hardship for all of us. 

  Here are some key facts:      

  • Certain gasses, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere create a "greenhouse effect", trapping heat and keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life as we know it.
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  • Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.) releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Although not the most potent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is the most significant in terms of human effects because of the large quantities emitted.
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  • Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are now the highest in 150,000 years.
  • The 1990's was most likely the warmest decade in history, and 1998 the warmest year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

    

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          Asia Clean Energy Now There is also widespread agreement that: