Tag: climate

The endangered Mediterranean species
The endangered Mediterranean species

Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas (like the Amazon, the Arctic, the Galapagos, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea Basin) could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change. This is what WWF fears on the basis of a research published on the Climatic Change journal in which are examined the impacts of climate change on nearly 80,000 plant and animal species in 35 of the world’s most diverse and naturally wildlife-rich areas. Nearly 30% of Mediterranean species like marine turtles and tuna are at risk of extinction even if we keep global warming to 2°C; this rises to 50% with no action at all.

The Mediterranean is among the areas most exposed to climate change. High temperatures in the future will rapidly exceed those experienced in the recent years, leading to dangerous heat stresses on natural and human systems. Increasing sea and sand temperatures are expected to disrupt and severely threaten the survival of the most marine species like marine turtles, cetaceans, bluefin tuna, whales and sharks. This will happen in a marine ecosystem already put under pressure from rampant overfishing, unsustainable tourism and energy and transport developments. We urgently need to shift to sustainable energy and economic models in order to protect our ocean and our livelihood.

Five questions on global warming
Five questions on global warming

Earth is warming up—and fast.

The average climate reported throughout the entire planet is called “Global Climate”. Scientists and all of us are very concerned because global climate is changing. The earth’s average temperature is rising – and faster that in any other period scientists have studied in earth’s history.

What’s “climate”?

“Climate” describes weather over a long period and in large regions.

Climate is the big picture of temperatures, rainfall, wind and other conditions over a larger region and a longer time than weather. For example, the weather describes a specific situation  for example it was rainy in Phoenix, Arizona, last week. But rainfall in this city is only about 7 inches per year. So the climate for Arizona is dry. Much of Southern California and North Africa also have a dry, desert climate. Brazil and regions of Southeast Asia have a tropical climate, because it’s warm and rains there a lot.

Weather is local and temporary.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could control Earth’s temperature with a thermostat like at home? Not possible! The most we can do is predict what the weather will be like in the next few days. The scientists who study the weather are called meteorologists and they are the ones that try to foresee what  is going to happen next. Will a storm over the ocean turn into a destructive hurricane? What about that giant cloud over London? Will it rain there or go to Dover before letting loose? Tornado conditions are just right, will any form? and where?

Weather events like snow, rain, wind, hail are local and temporary

Should we care if Earth is getting warmer?

Yes, after all, Earth is our spaceship.

It is a self-containing vessel that has all the air, water, and food we needand it carries us on a 938-million-kilometere cruise around the Sun every year, and not only! The earth has its own magnetic field that protects us from killer radiation and brutal solar wind.

We should consider ourselves like  astronauts on a long space voyage, we have to check and control our “ship’s” vital functions and keep our Earth a healthy place to live in.

Does whatever we do matter much?

Yes! Everything that happens in one place affects something in another.

Earth has its own regulation system. The oceans, the land, the air, the plants and animals, and the energy from the Sun all work together in harmony.  Changes in one place can affect things in another faraway place. The total effect is our global climate.

What is making Earth’s climate warmer?

Why is Earth getting warmer?

Human activity is one of the causes, scientists say.

How did they find that out? How could we be changing the global climate? How could it change so fast? What is going to happen to people, animals and plants if the earth gets warmer? Can we do anything to stop global warming or slow it down?