Climate is defined as the long-term (30+ years) weather patterns in a given area. This includes temperature and average precipitation. An increase in the amount of greenhouse gasses can cause more thermal energy to be trapped in the troposphere. This will cause an increase in the average global temperature. If the average global temperature increased by even one degree it can cause widespread environmental changes. These changes can make the environment uninhabitable to human and animal populations.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed in 1988 as a group of 3,000 scientists with the goal of working together to assess climate change. IPCC’s goal is to determine the environmental and economical impact potential of climate change. IPCC scientist have developed an in-depth understanding of how increasing carbon dioxide dictates temperature increases and the environmental consequences of these changes.
The chart above depicts the increase in CO2 production by the individual countries and as a group. Overall, the industrialization of nations creates a demand for energy. This energy is primarily generated from the burning of fossil fuels and results in a sharp increase in CO2.
Changes to The Environment
Increasing global temperatures are expected to have a large range of impacts to the environment. Some of these effects include:
Rising sea levels
Melting ice sheets
Disease vectors spreading
Extreme weather events including droughts and flooding