Climate Change

The Earth’s climate has changed continually since it was formed 4,600 million years ago. The rate of climate change has increased dramatically during the Twentieth Century. Rising global temperatures will bring changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather.

Natural causes
The Earth's climate varies naturally as a result of interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, changes in the Earth's orbit, changes in energy received from the sun and volcanic eruptions.

Human causes
The main human influence on global climate is likely to be emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). At present, about 6.5 billion tonnes of CO2 is emitted globally each year, mostly through burning coal, oil and gas for energy. CO2 is present naturally but human activity is increasing concentrations in the atmosphere.

In Northern Ireland:

Projections for future climate change indicate that:

Consider how today would be different if annual temperatures rise. Think about how our lives might change.

Consider what effects this could have.

 Consider why this might happen.

Research what causes malaria.

Sources

EST

“Zero Carbon City: Reaction to Climate Change” British Council briefing sheet 30. Research conducted by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research

“Securing the future – delivering UK sustainable development strategy” document, page
72. Available for download on the UK government’s sustainable development web-site

First Steps towards sustainability: A Sustainable Development Strategy for NI, DoE 2006

Defra funded research, Nicholls R.J.,2004 ‘Coastal Flooding and Wetland loss in the 21st Century
Global Environmental Change’ Volume 14

“Zero Carbon City: Reaction to Climate Change” British Council briefing sheet 30. Research conducted by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research