Definition and Effects of Climate Change

The term "climate change" is sometimes used to refer to all changes in the earth's climate, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a larger scale change. In some cases, climate change has been used hand in hand with the term, global warming ; scientists however, tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.

Climate change is considered a 'buzz' word and slips off the tongue very easily with many people not knowing fully what the term includes or really means. Climate change is widely recognised as the most serious environmental threat to our planet. Left unchecked, it could have an increasing effect on weather patterns globally. The amount of flooding and drought could increase, sea levels could rise further and there could be severe impacts on coastal zones and other land areas, including those used for agriculture. Current science indicates a link between climate change over the last century and human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels. However this is not fact! If you asked many people they would most probably not realise this but this common misconception needs to be addressed globally. It is hard to work out what to believe about climate change. Below is a web page that clears up the facts and fictions of climate change:

Climate change is a natural occurance, and is all part of nature, but recently humans have started to realise a lot can be done to help prevent or decrease the rate at which our climate is changing. Much of the change to our earth is also obviously man made, with buildings being erected every day where forests once stood. Change does happen, and is part of our society, but we can all make small changes to our daily lives which can reduce emission levels and if enough of us make these changes, then we can help slow down global climate change and save our planet for future generations.

Pollution produced by humans that could be to
blame for the sudden surge in climate change:




A catastrophic possibility of Climate Change:



Climate Change in the UK and Canada

Climate change is a global issue, but when we think of it, do we see it as somewhat distant, and something that does not affect our own lives. I know that from time to time I myself believe this. But looking further into the changes that are happening in the UK and Canada, it is easier to realise that the change is closer to home (in the case of Citizens of Canada and the UK, and I am sure where ever you live) then i first anticipated. Why not look yourself into the changes you are making to your country. I am sure you may be shocked, as we were, to see what is going on right at our doorsteps.

For example, the supply of an abundant resource will be resticted and a crop we take for granted will have an economic affect on North America. Wheat productions in North America will be affected greatly because of temperature increases. Present wheat production areas will be to hot to grow crops, and the growing area will be shifted dramatically north, into places that are currently freezing but by 2050 will be much warmer. Also look at the cut back on production, the area where wheat will be grown in 2050 is about half the size of our present productions.

Ontario's Climate
Where we live, work, and play, how and what we build, and how we travel are all affected by weather events and climate. Many decisions we make routinely every day are affected by the weather: what we wear, how we travel, and how we use our recreational time. Many things we depend on in our day-to-day lives are affected by climate.

Scientists now estimate that Ontario will warm an average of 2°C to 5°C within the next 75 to 100 years. Temperature increases will be greater in the winter than in the summer and that we will see more frequent and severe weather storms. This deadly and unmerciful weather is something we should expect to endure in our near future.

Experts anticipate:
  • fewer extremely cold days and more extremely hot days; (A warmer climate and longer frost-free seasons may permit the spread of new diseases from warmer climates, such as Lyme disease, malaria, and West Nile virus)
  • more severe thunderstorms, which can cause injury and property damage;
  • more frequent freezing rain events.

However, even though Ontario is affected by climate change, this is issue is clearly a global problem. With the most dramatic temperature changes happening in the artic (10-15 degrees C), we can predict that the weather patterns will only be more intense than Ontario's already dramatic weather. Temperature changes in the north will impact our climate, and environment.
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Did you know?
Winter and summer temperature extremes are responsible for more deaths than are more violent weather events such as tornadoes, blizzards, or floods.

With the increase in temperature, Onatrio Great Lakes will also be affected. By 2050, lake levels will be lower than they are now and perhaps by more than one metre. This could have a significant impact on fisheries and biological systems. As the climate gets warmer and drier, demand for water used for irrigation of farms and watering household lawns and gardens will increase. This, combined with greater levels of evaporation, will reduce the amount of water in streams and lower the water table, leaving less and warmer water for us to use. Warmer water may be great for swimming, but will likely lead to problems with water quality.
Did you know?
The Great Lakes region is home to 25% of Canada's population, 45% of Canada's industries and provides the foundation for $150 billion in annual Canada/U.S. trade.

Did you know?

Canada's per capita water use is the second highest in the world. In 1996, households in Ontario used 270 litres of water per person per day.

Did you know?
The Great Lakes system is the largest system of fresh, surface water on Earth. Only 1% of the Great Lakes volume is renewed on an annual basis. Using more than 1%, in a year will reduce the lake levels beyond natural renewal. Don't think its important?? think again... here's why....


Weathering the changes: Climate change and Onatrio Forests

The Threats
Existing forest species will have to decline and die before new species, can get established to suit climate changes. Forests and the on_07_03_e.gifwildlife it supports will be greatly affected. As a result, we will need to manage these natural resources to aviod depletion.
As with agriculture, the health and productivity of our forests are dependant climate. Because trees have such long life cycles, forests are vulnerable to long-term change. Forests will be subjected to more frequent, extreme storms and wind damage, greater stress because of drought, and more frequent and severe fire and insect disturbances.
Did you know?
Although most communities that depend entirely on the forest industry are in the north, thousands of jobs in southern Ontario also depend on forest products such as paper, lumber, and firewood.
Did you know?
Every year in Ontario, about 1500 forest fires destroy over 290 000 hectares of forest....Now imagine what our forests will like with a temperature increas??

Take a look at some things going on in the world:

So, in a nutshell, climate change is natural, but we can all do something to slow it down and prevent it! The fact is climate change does, and will continue to effect everyone, and we need to do something!