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Climate change initiative
project – Nuclear Energy
By:
Abdul
Robert,
Fardeen
and Matia
Climate change- background info
What is climate change?
Climate is the average weather of a place varying from season to season. Like, for an
example a place might be very hot and in summer but this same place could be very cold in
the winter. Climate change is the change in these weather averages regionally and
globally.(3)
What causes climate change?
Natural factors:
There are many natural factors which can influence earth’s climate (All the world’s
climates combined),which causes climate change. There are 3 primary natural factors that
cause climate change:
1. Earth’s orbital change and change in earth’s axis of rotation – We all
know that the earth orbits around the sun , and change in this oribat
can cause climate change. As sometimes this orbit becomes more of an
egg shape which makes it so that at times during its orbit the earth is
closer and other times further from the sun. These orbital changes,
change earth’s climate (colder or hotter). Next, change in earth’s axis of
rotation can also cause climate change as over about 41 000 years
earth’s angle of rotation 21.3 degrees to 24.5 degrees and then back
again. As the angle increases summers get hotter and winters get
colder. (1)
2. Solar irradiance- or in other words the sun’s energy output. Meaning if
solar activity (sun’s energy out) is increased its gets hotter and when
decreased it gets colder. But satellite information show that solar
irradiance is not the reason why we are facing current global warming
trends as there has only been a slight drop in solar irradiance meaning
this is not the reason for recent warming trends. (1)
3. Volcanic Eruptions – are another natural factor which causes climate
change as major volcanic eruptions release gases such sulphur dioxide
and carbon dioxide. When sulphur dioxide is in the stratosphere it
converts to sulfuric acid which then condenses into sulfate aerosols.
Sulfate aerosol increases the reflection of radiation (sunlight) back in to
space, thus cooling earth’s lower atmosphere (troposphere). Next,
carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which can increase global warming
but these co2 emissions are no where no the amount humans put into
the earth.(4)
Other natural factors that cause climate change are ocean current, as ocean currents carry
heat around the earth and when the direction of these current is changed, different areas can
become cooler or warmer. Little change in the earth’s ocean current can cause a big effect on
the earth and coastal climates. This happens because oceans can store a lot of heat.(1)
Human factors
The greenhouse effect is a natural process and life on earth depends on it. The
greenhouse effect involves , sunlight a form of radiation passes through the earth’s
atmosphere (only about half passes through atmosphere), and hits the ground where most
of it is absorbed and the rest is reflected back into the atmosphere where the greenhouse
gases absorb about 90% of the reflected energy and radiate it back to earth which is warmed
to 15 degrees celsius which is idle for life. But us humans ever since the industrial revolution
have injected more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere thus increasing the greenhouse
effect and casing climat (5). Some example of these greenhouse gases are:
? Nitrous oxide?- the source for this greenhouse gas is burning of fossils fuels
(coal,oil,natural gas) and nitrogen based fertilizers. The contribution of this
greenhouse gas is 4%. (3)
? Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs)?- These greenhouse gas are chemicals used in
refrigerators,air conditioning, cleaning solvents ,insulation and making of plastic foam.
These chemicals contribute 11% to the overall total of greenhouse gases.(3)
? Carbon dioxide (CO2)?- This greenhouse gas is produced when fossil fuels are being
burned such as coal , oil, and natural gas. The contribution of this greenhouse gas is
60% which makes it the main greenhouse has, one of the reason for this is that we
used fossil fuels on a daily basis, about 85% of the things we do require burning of
fossil fuels. (3)
? Methane (CH4)?- is the result of decomposition of organic matter .eg. raising of
livestock, dump sites. Methane contributes 14% to the total greenhouse gases. (3)

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