In late January 2019, countries like the USA and Canada have experienced the coldest weather in the last twenty years due to the cold wave caused by Arctic polar vortex.

Climate is the average weather condition at any particular location observed over a period of time, generally 30 years. Meteorological variables such as temperature, humidity, wind, atmospheric pressure, and precipitation, etc. are recorded to define the climate for a long duration. Due to different weather conditions on the planet, the climate is not the same everywhere. The tilted axis of rotation, with the sun, created weather on the earth. Climate consists of the hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), cryosphere (ice, rock, and soil), biosphere (living beings) and lithosphere (earth’s crust and stuff inside ground). Different plateaus on the planet have unlike climate, as shown in the world map of climate in Fig. 1.

ClimateMap_World

Climate change is experienced frequently in the last few years, this happens due to climatic variations over a few decades. The earth absorbs heat energy coming from the sun and cosmetic background, and reflects back some into space. When incoming energy is greater than the outgoing energy, we feel the heat and the earth  becomes warmer. This term is known as Global Warming that we are facing today! However, the earth experiences a cooling effect when incoming energy from the space is more than outgoing energy. Thus, incoming and outgoing energy must be balanced for stable climatic conditions on the Earth.

There are natural reasons for climate change over period of time, such as volcanoes, tectonic plate slides, and solar output, etc. But, the change occurred due to these reasons don’t  influence global warming. This rapid and unwarranted climate change is the cause of industrialisation and urbanisation in the past 50 years that has increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The level of carbon dioxide gives us evidence of climate change as the graph shown on the NASA website (Ref: Fig. 2).

Climate_carbon level graph

Due to the man-made activities, the level of greenhouse gases has increased which absorb the outgoing energy from the earth, and reflects it back on the earth, ultimately warming the earth’s surface. In late January 2019, countries like the USA and Canada have experienced the coldest weather in the last twenty years due to cold wave caused by Arctic polar vortex. This is one of the signs of severe climate change, and its impact on lives on the planet which can be seen by a number of deaths occurred during the period of unusual cold/hot waves on the planet.

Nature has demonstrated its wrath; you can understand how important role the climate plays! The heat that we can’t resist is a result of  our own actions which demands adoption of a lifestyle which will not harm the environment. 

Edited by: Anomitra Dey

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
  4. https://www.nasa.gov/
  5. https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
  6. https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

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