The environment is a set of natural and social elements that are closely related.
The environment is a concept that has different definitions depending on the context in which it is being used. The word “environment” comes from the Latin ambient, which means “that surrounds.” The first definition says that the environment is the environment or fluid surrounding a body. The ambient temperature is a clear example, which can account for the air or atmosphere state. In biology, the word environment is also used to refer to the set of conditions that surround a living being.
Another meaning of the term environment refers to the conditions or circumstances of a place, a time, or a group. In addition, it is used about a group or a social sector, not only to the group itself but also because of their attitudes towards someone or something. Saying that an environment is good or bad implies knowing if the comforts and conditions are adequate for each individual who is in the place or not.
On the other hand, in Latin America, the word environment is commonly used to refer to a room in a house, and we generally find it in expressions such as “I live in a two-room apartment”; that is, your home has two rooms, a kitchen and dining room. In turn, these spaces can be set, providing a place with an environment appropriate to the situation, thanks to lights or decorations.
A concept closely related to that of “environment” is that of “environment.” The environment is the environment that surrounds human beings and conditions them. It is a system made up of natural elements (provided by nature) and artificial ingredients (such as the society and culture of a particular place and time closely related and modified by human action.
The environment includes physical factors (such as climate and geology), biological factors (all living beings, such as flora, fauna, and the human being itself), and socioeconomic factors (work activity, urbanization, and social conflicts). Currently, society is over-exploiting the resources of nature, which has had an enormous impact since the natural environment has been destroyed over the years.
It is essential to consider different measures that can be implemented to protect the environment and correct or mitigate (as far as possible) the damage that has already been caused.
We explain what climate change is and the causes of this phenomenon. Its effects, consequences, and possible solutions.
What is climate change?
We call climate change the variation of stable weather patterns over a long period, ranging from a few decades to millions of years. It is usually accompanied by climatic rearrangement processes that often involve extreme weather events, which can significantly impact the ways of life of flora, fauna, and humanity.
The climate is the set of environmental conditions of a given place. It is characterized by being the average of the weather states, calculated through observations made over a long period (between 10 and 30 years).
The geological exploration of different terrains of our planet has revealed that its climatic conditions in previous times were quite different from the current ones. For example, areas considered deserts today were underwater, and others that are currently lush prairies were deserted. This evidence confirmed that the climate is not a fixed instance but varies over time. In addition, scientists have determined the factors that accelerate this change.
In recent times, the term “climate change” has gained currency to also refer to the impact of human activities on the chemical and physical balance of the planet, which would have influenced global warming (due, among other factors, to the “greenhouse effect”). ” produced by the abnormal accumulation of certain gases in the atmosphere) and, indirectly, in the change of the Earth’s climatic conditions.
The debate on climate change is constant: some sectors sound the alarm of the imminent climatic disasters to come (some of which would have already been perceived: longer than regular hurricane seasons, earthquakes, unforeseen floods, and droughts, etc. ), accusing the hand of man and industry as being directly responsible for the rise in global temperature.
Other sectors, on the other hand, believe that the real impact of humanity is minimal in terms of planetary history and that, in reality, we are simply witnessing an ice age that is coming to an end. Hence, global warming and climate change are part of a natural stage in the planet’s meteorological process. According to these same sectors, it is not true that it is imperative to implement a radical change in humanity’s ways of life and energy production.
The causes of climate change can be classified into two groups, according to their origin, external and internal.
External causes of climate change
External causes are those that come from outside planet Earth, such as:
Solar variations. Changes in heat and energy emissions from the Sun, according to its stellar cycles (11 years).
Orbital variations. The Earth’s orbit presents very slight variations that, accumulated over time, alter the distribution of solar radiation on its surface, thus allowing the appearance or end of ice ages and interglacials.
Meteorites. The impact of massive objects from space on Earth is powerful enough to alter the climate, raising large amounts of dust, ash, and greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere, thus blocking access to sunlight for years ( artificial glaciation) or destroying the atmosphere and allowing direct entry.
Internal causes of climate change
Internal causes are those that are due to factors within planet Earth, such as:
Continental drift. The movement of the tectonic plates on the planet alters the position of the continents and brings climatic changes to them.
The atmospheric composition. The presence of gases that destroy the ozone layer (allowing direct solar entry) or prevent the elimination of heat from the atmosphere (greenhouse effect) affects global warming.
Human intervention. According to some specialists, a century and a half ago, the human industrial activity would have thrown enough polluting gases into the atmosphere and waters to speed up global warming.
Effects and consequences of climate change
Climate changes affect life directly since life adapts to its environment and gradually varies along with the climate.
The drastic and immediate changes are the most worrying: the imbalance of temperatures and atmospheric pressures can generate many violent and destructive climatic phenomena such as cyclones, hurricanes, storms, or prolonged droughts.
Another worrying phenomenon is the melting of the planet’s ice poles and reserves, whose content would add to the ocean water and eventually submerge a significant portion of the land, destroying entire cities.
Does climate change have a solution?
Some measures that man can take about climate change are:
- The reduction of the burning of fossil fuels that release CO2 into the atmosphere and its replacement by clean alternative energies (called
- Sustainable alternatives for obtaining power (such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy) are developed.
- The result of sustainable agricultural patterns that do not imply the accumulation of large quantities of cattle (and the methane from their emissions, the main gas that causes the greenhouse effect).