Climate change is a problem that is becoming bigger and bigger in the world which we live in. The reason for this is the increased pollution in our atmosphere and this can be traced back all the way to the industrial revolution if not further. There are ways that you can help deal with this but what is the history of it.
During the 18th and 19th centuries climate change was not really noticed but it was in this time that the problems that now cause climate change were first recognised. In 1753 a man called Joseph Black discovered Carbon Dioxide which is obviously a main factor behind the problems of today. Coincidently this is roughly when the industrial revolution began and people began using machines and factories began pumping out smoke. It wasn’t until 1827 that a man called Joseph Fourier discovered the problems that we will face. He found that with an atmospheric effect that we have is making the earth warmer than it actually would be. What he didn’t realise was that it was what our race were doing that was causing this.
In 1896 Svante August Arrhenius finally found out that the humans were causing the warmer atmosphere. He said that the burning of coal in the factories was causing the carbon dioxide to be released which was then causing warmer temperatures. But the severity of this happening was not well known which is why things carried on the way they did. This is where the Greenhouse effect came from as he was the first scientist to explain why the earth went through ice ages and how the various levels of carbon dioxide could influence the earth’s surface temperature.
At the time not many people took notice of Svante’s theories but they were right. Then in 1950 scientists began measuring the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and this was done on a mountain top in Hawaii. Over the next decade the same scientist returned to the same place several times to check the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). These checks did confirm that the CO2 levels in our atmosphere were in fact rising. This then led to a computer simulation that which predicted that the surface temperature on earth could rise by as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit depending on CO2 levels. Then from this climate models developed and guaranteed the link between CO2 emissions and the earth’s surface temperature. This was later confirmed when an ice core that was pulled form that Antarctic showed that carbon dioxide levels had been rising for 1000s of years and this has been causing the ice to melt which means the temperature in the atmosphere has been rising for a while now. This obviously intensified when the industrial revolution began.
Governments from around the world then began to take note and in 1979 the first international climate science conference was help and this went over the problems with the atmosphere. As this developed the governments decide to take action and so did the United Nations (UN) which led to them setting up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was meant to report any findings about the climate. They signified that everyone needed to take significant action to reduce our carbon footprint so this problem does not get much worse.
In 1992 an earth conference was held in Rio De Janeiro where the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was developed and signed by 154 countries so everyone could help to tackle climate change. In this Countries agreed to stop dangerous emissions warming are planet in the Greenhouse effect. Surprisingly the United Kingdom was one of few countries that actually met these voluntary targets. As many countries did not meet these targets it was decide that these targets had to be legally binding. This was set up in the Kyoto agreement in 1997 where countries had to meet certain targets. This was signed by 178 countries which shows progression as more countries got involved. The conditions in this agreement came into force in 2005.
This may be too little too late as in 2007 the IPCC announced that the earths surface temperature had risen by 0.75 degrees Celsius. As well as this they were 90% sure that the increase within the last 50 years was all because of human activity. A year later more countries had agreed to negotiate a new deal to help everyone lower their emissions. This included the poorer countries that were granted funding so they could go “low carbon”.
There are thing that’s everyone can do to deal with climate change as temperatures in the earth look set to continue to rise. This is why governments from around the world have decided to do whatever they can to tackle global warming.
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