Climate Change. IV. Action

Action is taking place all over the world. Okay, at least that’s what it looks like…o_O. We have agreements signed and documents ratified (feels so nice to use that word…ratified). There’s the Kyoto Protocol, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and locally we have the National Climate Change Response Strategy.

We need to understand that climate change is a natural process that is being hastened (like a crawling child running in a 100 metre sprint) by anthropogenic (human) activities such as deforestation. There is hope though, especially if you choose to plant a tree. Or two trees. Or a forest. Keep planting trees when you find the opportunity to. Trees act as carbon sinks so they reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Choose to recycle, reduce and reuse. This would mean that industries would produce less and again reduce the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere and also reduce the amount of waste released into our waterways which are already under stress.

Choose to use renewable energy. There’s so much to choose from. Solar, Wind, Biogas… I can proudly say that Kenya is a leader in this sector. The Climatescope 2015 report, places Kenya at position 6 in the world and only South Africa and Uganda compete with Kenya at position four and nine on the continent, in the top 10 list.

and/or

Choose to use energy efficiently and energy efficient products. Switch off lights when not in use, use energy saving bulbs, buy products that have an energy efficiency rating (the closer the rating is to A, the better). This will also save you a few coins. 😉

Choose to harvest rainwater for household uses such as loo flushing, house cleaning and garden use. It reduces the growing strain and stress on surface and ground water.

Choose to speak out against actions that are not sustainable. We need to leave this earth better than we found it. Not just because nature is beautiful but for our children and our children’s children. If our great great  grandparents had the same habits that we have today…. Hmmmmm… Wacha tu…

It’s not all gloom and doom if we make the right choices… 🙂

Enjoy the video below… 😀

 

Just Imagine

Studies show that the sex of turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs during a certain period of development. With rising global temperatures, there is a concern that male turtles will become rare.

surprised

Just Imagine!

Climate Change. III. It’s real

This is going to be a very short post with a few examples of how real climate change is.

Around me :

Globally:

  • Heat waves all over the world
  • Remember the polar vortex?
  • As the temperatures climb, there is a rise in the sea levels; one, because of the melting ice from the polar regions; two, because the ocean waters are expanding because of the rising temperatures

Read more here, here and here. 🙂

Also, when you find time, please watch An Inconvenient Truth.

 

 

 

Just Imagine

In 1936, there was a skiing competition on the slopes of Mount Kenya!

In the last few decades, the 17,057-foot (5,199 metres) mountain which is located along the equator, has lost more than half of its glaciers. In addition to that, scientists say that its ice is thinning and may all disappear by 2050. This is proof that mountain environments are vulnerable to the effects of global warming, climate change and unsustainable human activities.

Just Imagine!

surprised

 

 

Climate Change. II. Causes

Causes of climate change can be classified into natural and anthropogenic (human caused) factors. Today’s post will focus on the anthropogenic factors; the contributions that you and I make towards these changes/variations in climate.

The earth’s temperature is highly dependent on the balance between the energy entering and leaving its system. The earth warms when it absorbs the energy and cools when the energy is reflected back to space. Some of the things that can change this balance include:

  • Changes in the sun’s energy reaching earth.

The sun follows a natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs in intensity, but the effect on Earth’s climate is small. (US EPA)

  • Changes in the reflectivity of the earth’s atmosphere and surface.

When sunlight reaches the earth, it is either absorbed or reflected depending on the surface and atmosphere. Light coloured surfaces such as snow and clouds tend to reflect the most sunlight (this is known as surface albedo) while dark coloured surfaces such as the ocean, forests and soil absorb more sunlight.

Land use changes and global warming as a result of the green house effect (see below) have affected reflectivity. Land use changes such as deforestation for human activities (settlements and agriculture), means that less energy is absorbed on land and also means that less carbon is absorbed by forests. More carbon in the atmosphere translates to the greenhouse effect which then translates to warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming translates to melting of the ice caps which means that in the polar regions, more sunlight is absorbed by the oceans. Warmer oceans means a change in the weather (stronger hurricanes)… Domino effect…

  • Changes in the greenhouse effect

A blanket is formed in the earth’s atmosphere by an excess of greenhouses gases (GHGs) such as:

  • Water Vapour which mostly occurs naturally and has the least contribution to the blanket.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation (Forests act as carbon sinks, they absorb CO2,so when they are cut down, less carbon dioxide is absorbed and more is released into the atmosphere).
  • Methane (CH4)  is produced from the decomposition of organic matter from landfills and agriculture. It absorbs more heat that CO2 but is less abundant in the atmosphere.
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) has its main source in the agriculture sector (organic fertilizers) and in the burning of fossil fuels. 

These gases absorb that energy making the atmosphere retain heat. This process is known as the, ‘greenhouse effect’.

Read more about the causes of climate change here, here and here

If you are a visual person, these kiddie videos below can help you understand the causes better:

and

and finally

Next week, we’ll have Climate Change. III. It’s real

 

 

 

Just Imagine

A few… Okay, many years ago I shared this in a Geography class and they thought I was mad.

Studies show that the Sahara, one of the largest, driest and hottest deserts in the world was once green. Cave paintings have been found in different countries that the desert covers, showing the presence of animals such as lions, giraffes and hippos which are not normally found in deserts.

Just imagine!

surprised

Read more about this here, here and here. 🙂