Climate Change: The phenomenon

Αθλητισμός και περιβάλλον

During the last years, climate change has emerged as a top tier concern of governments, companies, and society. The validity of the science supporting climate change is no longer debated. The atmosphere is warming, and human activity—principally the burning of fossil fuels— is a primary cause.

  • There is though an established common belief among scientists that the global warming is now occurring, and that the human activities are a major factor for this temperature increase. A warmer climate may have harmful or beneficial effects for the habitats, the humans, ecosystems and other species, depending mostly on how rapidly the changes occur. Some areas will benefit because of the warmer winters, more precipitation in dry areas, less precipitation in wet areas, though there would be an increase in food production. On the other hand some areas will suffer due to excessive heat, lack of water and decreased food production. As the IPCC, and other institutions noted poor people and wildlife species in tropic areas will suffer the most.
  • More alarming than the temperature rise itself is the rate at which it may occur—leaving little time for adaptation to a hotter climate. Even a rise by 2100, at the lower end of the projected range for the next century, would represent more than a doubling of the rate of warming in the 20th century. Warming, at the upper end of the range, would represent an eight-fold increase in the rate of warming. While humans have considerable ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, many natural ecosystems are not nearly as flexible and could be irreparably damaged. Greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the climate changes and as we can see below there are several business sectors that contribute..
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The impacts

The impacts of climate change are considered to be:

• Impacts of sea level rise, erosion, loss of land/coastal wetlands, and need for coastal protection;
• Effects on agriculture;
• Effects on energy use (including heating and cooling);
• Effects to human health from changes in cold related and heat related effects
• Effects to human health from the disease burden (and other secondary effects);
• Effects on water resources, water supply and water quality;
• Changes to tourism potential and destinations;
• Effects on ecosystems (loss of productivity and bio-diversity);
• Impacts from drought;
• Impacts from flooding;
• Impacts from storm damage and extreme weather (including costs to infrastructure);
• Socially contingent effects (arising from multiple stresses and leading to migration, famine, etc)