SUBJECT : Facts of Climate Change 


101 Facts of Climate change


Is it hot what?

The warmest year in the twentieth century was 1998. The decade of the nineties has been recorded by scientists was the warmest since 1861.


Sinks in oceans and forests

Did you know that some areas scientist as having the capacity to absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide? These areas are known as natural sinks. Dense forests and oceans, which are believed to be natural sinks, can by taking in the greenhouse gas emissions.


Chill-out zone

Polynyas are sea lakes in the polar regions. These can remain unfrozen for the entire duration of winter. Amazingly, life continues to thrive in these Arctic oases all through the harsh winter. This makes these lakes very important for the earth’s ecosystem.


H2O just seems  more

Water covers 75 percent of the earth’s surface: 97.5 percent of this water is salty, while the remaining 2.5 per cent is fresh water. Of this fresh water, 87.5 percent is ice, 12 percent is subterranean water (found in springs), 0.04percent is atmospheric water vapour and humidity, and 0.5 per cent is surface water. Surface water is what we use in our daily lives.


The issue that is grave

The distribution of water in our planet is not even. Some areas have too much water and suffer from floods. Other areas have too little and suffer severe droughts. The problem of water availability is most serious in Africa and west Asia. If water consumption continues at its present rate, by 2025, two-thirds of the people in the world will not have enough water for their basic needs.


Floating your way

A buoy is an object5 that keeps afloat on water and is used to warn boats and ships about the dangers zones in an ocean or a river. Some buys carry special instruments that are used to measure temperature and other parameters to determine weather conditions.


Signs of ageing

The age of a tree can be determined by the number of rings it has, as a new ring is formed every year ! Tree rings tell us more than that. They enable us to find out how much rain, snow or any other form of precipitation fell each year on the place where the tree stands.


What’s that smell

The word ‘ozone’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘smell’ ! Ozone has a very characteristic smell, which distinguishes it from any other gas. That is how it got its name.


Two’s company, three’s protection

Ozone, which is chemically written as O3, is nothing but a combination of oxygen atmos ! Each molecule of ozone contains three oxygen atoms, while oxygen gas contains two. Ozone protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun , but if its concentration goes up at the ground level , it can do  a lot of harm to human beings, animals, and plants.


There is a hole

The ozone hole can be described as a large-scale reduction of ozone in the ozone layer. The ozone layer prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from entering the earth. The ozone hole, last measured in September 2000, is an as astounding 28.3 million square kilometers in size! It was discovered in 1985 over Antarctica.


A belch can be harmful

Livestock, also known as ruminants, like cows, sheep, and goats release methane, a harmful gas. Their food-mostly grass and hay-contains cellulose. This is digested by special microbes. When these animals belch, methane is released. There are 1.3 billion cattle on the planet, and each cow may emit more than 225 grams of methane into the air in one day.


Trapped in  the earth

In 1827, Jean Baptists Fourier explained that the earth maintains its temperature because certain gases in the atmosphere trap energy from the sun. Just as in greenhouses, the air around the earth filters in sunlight and traps the warmth to make the earth liveable. Otherwise, the earth would have been  freezing at minus seventeen degrees Celsius.


Volcano Woes

When Volcanoes erupt, they emit large volumes of sulphur dioxide, water vapour dust, and ash. These eruptions partially block the incoming rays of the sun leading to cooling. In April 1991, when Mount Pinatoba erupted in the Philippines, millions of tonnes of sulphur dioxide was released into the atmosphere, causing a 0.8 degree Celsius drop in global temperature for two years.


Like pieces of a Jigsaw

Continents drift into separate land masses over a very, very long period of time. This drift in continents, or the continental drift, changes the flow of ocean currents and winds, thereby affecting the global climate.


Danger in abundance

Methane and carbon dioxide may be called the most dangerous greenhouse gases, as they make up the largest share of such gases in the atmosphere. These two gases account for nearly nine-tenths of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere.

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Saving the Taj

Acid rain is a mixture of wet and dry deposits containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulphuric acids. These acids are formed by the reaction of water with oxides of sulphur and nitrogen released by polluting factories. Acid rain corrodes stone, paint, and metals such as bronze. The Taj Mahal had begun losing its sheen due to acid rain. The polluting industries in and around the Taj were shut down, and the beauty of the Taj was restored.


Rain killing life

Often phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizers used in farming are washed away by rain into rivers, lakes, and oceans. This causes eutrophication-a very rapid growth of plants in waterbodies, which reduces the supply of oxygen to fish and other forms of marine life leading to its decline!

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Going, going…gone

Thousands of fishes and other animals live in coral reefs. But today, these life-sustaining structures, which are five thousand to ten thousand year old, are endangered and may die out soon if climate change remains unchecked.


Melting ice caps

Scientists are of the opinion that in the next fifty years, the earth will be three to five degrees hotter than it is now. This is bound to cause environment-related problems. For instance, such global warming would lead to the melting of far larger chunks of polar ice caps. Sea levels could rise more than four metres, causing many islands to disappear!

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History in ice

An ice core is a cylindrical section of ice removed from a glacier or an ice street. It is used by scientists to study climate patterns of the past. Through chemical analysis, it is possible3 to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases present in the atmosphere at a given time!


Titled for warmth

The earth as you know is titled on its axis. Due to the tilt, as the earth moves towards and away from the sun, there is a variation in the amount of sunlight that reaches the earth. This affects the climate patterns on the earth. These orbital variations are known as Milankovitch cycles. 


Calm before the storm

One consequence of meteorological disturbance is a change in electromagnetism. This can often be seen in a thunderstorm. And the interesting thing is that the lull before the storm can often cause mood changes in an individual. The calmness can lead to a mystical-like state at times, leading to paranormal activities and abnormal behavior.


The environment isn’t laughing

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, was used earlier by dentists in anaesthesia! It was first used in 1844 and became very popular in the 1860s. After using this gas as an anesthetic, dentist performed surgery on the patents. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas!


Liquid conservation

Ocean energy is drawn from ocean waves, tides or form the thermal energy, that is , the heat stored in the oceans are the world’s largest solar collectors, as they cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface.


In deep , Water

Scientists have projected that the average temperature of our planet would rise by 1.4 - 5.8 degrees Celsius in this century! Global sea level is projected to rise by 0.09 -0.88 metres between 1990 and 2100.This will happen because of the thermal expansion of oceans, and melting of glaciers and ice caps. Between 1990and 2025, sea level would rise 0.03 - 0.14 metres, and between 1990 and 2050, the projected rise in sea level is 0.05 - 0.32 metres!


A chain reaction

The current state of climate reflects not only the inputs but also the history of how it got there. For example, a decade of dry conditions may cause lakes to shrink, plains to dry up, and deserts to expand. These conditions, in turn, may lead to less rainfall in the years that follow. In short, climate changes can be a self-perpetuating process because different aspect of the environment  respond of different rates and in different ways to the fluctuations that inevitably occur.


Methane mire

Methane, a greenhouse gas, is far more harmful than carbon dioxide. It is estimated that methane has a much larger global warming potential. Although carbon dioxide is present in the largest concentration (76 percent) in our atmosphere, methane traps twenty times more heat than carbon dioxide!


Little boy changes temperature

One of the most phenomenal ocean occurrences that lead to climate change is the El Nino, which occurs in the Pacific Ocean. It chiefly refers to the change in the temperature of the Pacific waters as a result of atmospheric changes in the area. The trade winds blowing across the Pacific slow down and warm water accumulates at the ocean surface. This leads to changing weather patterns, which causes storms, floods, droughts, and forest fires in different parts of the globe! El Nino is also known by the name of ‘little boy’!


White is the new green

Climate change has an influence on the distribution of civilization! for example, the Vikings migrated from Scandinavia to Greenland more than ten centuries ago in search of greener postures, literally. Greenland at that time was warmer and enabled them to set up farmlands. Greenland was ‘green’ rather that ‘white ‘ of that point in time, and that is how it got its name!


Green forests clean air, clean air

Forests are essential for preserving our ecology and cleaning up the air by absorbing harmful gases like carbon dioxide. When forest land is diverted for other purposes such as building houses or setting up factories, greenhouse effect gets enhanced, as the burning or decomposition of the wood releases carbon dioxide. With the trees  gone, photosynthesis stops and carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere, as its absorption cannot take place.


A burning change

By burning fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, we contribute to climate change. The large amount of dioxide released as a result of burning fossil fuels adds to the green house gases in the atmosphere.


Three degrees to extinction

The slightest changes in earth’s temperature can make a lot of difference to life on the planet. Just a little over a one-degree rise in temperature in the last 10,000 years has led to the extinction of many species of animals like wooly mammoth. It is estimated that if the earth’s temperature rose by another three degrees, more than 33 per cent of the total animals and plants may disappear from the face of the earth!


Rained In

Climate change does not refer to just the warming of the planet .It also means a change in the rainfall patterns .It is interesting to see that while some areas on the  earth will receive torrential rains over a long period of time ,there will be others that would experience long and terrible periods of drought!


Shifting base

Different species are dealing with climate change differently. By 2005, the quiver tree, used  by the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert to make quivers, was dying due to climate change Ne trees of this species are now growing away from the  equator at higher elevations . This phenomena is called the poleward range shift.


The steady meltdown

Excluding the ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica regions, the total surface area of glaciers worldwide has decreased by 50 percent since the end of the nineteenth century. Currently, the rate of glacial retreat has been increasing in the Andes, Alps, Pyrenees, Himalayas, Rocky Mountains, and North Cascades.


Daying Ganga

The source of water for the River Ganga is the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas. Due to the impact of climate change, the Gangotri Glacier is melting at a rate of about thirty metres per year, causing drastic changes in the River Ganga.


On the brink of extinction

Many species are unable to cope with changing temperatures. Environmental experts say that if global warming continues of its current role, one-fourth of the earth’s species may become extinct in the next forty years.


Disaster in the making

Climate change is largely responsible for the spread of pets that carry diseases such as  dengue fever, malaria, lyme disease, and West Nile virus. Climate change is also linked to stronger hurricanes, more drought, and increased coral deaths due to bleaching.


Enough danger at hand!

How serious do you think is the effect of carbon dioxide that has already been released into the atmosphere? Even if all carbon dioxide emissions were stopped now, the amount of gas already released will result in on enhanced greenhouse effect for a least the next fifty years!


Worse than volcanoes

Volcanoes emit a large amount of carbon dioxide, but did you know that the gas released into the atmosphere due to human activities is 130 times more than that released by volcanoes!


The okay sort!

A massive quantity of chlorine is released from oceans and volcanoes, but it does not lead to ozone depletion, as it is easily dissolved in water. It mixes with water when it rains, thereby causing absolutely no damage to the ozone layer!


Protecting the young

Different animals and birds have different ways of adjusting to the changing climate. The3 emperor penguins of Antarctica tend to their eggs not by building nests but by carrying the eggs on their feet while moving about.


Too much CO2

About 3.2 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere annually! Even though the plants and trees present on the planet absorb 6.1 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually to make their food through photosynthesis, a large amount is still left behind!


A whopping drop

Due to rising global temperatures, human beings are facing a huge risk to their health and life. There is increased danger of succumbing to heatwaves as well as infectious diseases. Failing crops can lead to a major food crisis. With every one-degree-Celsius increase in temperature above the required levels, the yields of crops like wheat, rice, and corn drops by 10 per cent!


The thin white line

The largest glacier in the Andes Mountains in Peru was retreating by 4.3 metres every year for the past twenty years. Shockingly, today, it is shrinking of the rate of 30.3 metres annually! The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest glacier in the world and is presently becoming thinner of the rate 0.9 metres per year.


Mystical ice there

Ice buried below the surface in Anarctica’s ice caps contains ice caps contains bubbles of air, which were created when the ice contains bubbles of air, which were created when the ice was first formed. These samples of fossil air date back to about two hundred thousand years! The shallow segments contain air that is about a few decades old and beneath it is another layer of air, which is a few decades older. This second layer indicates that the carbon dioxide level was 25 percent lower than what it is today.


Persistent gases

Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of harmful gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous  oxide, that trap the heat near the earth’s surface. These gases persist in the atmosphere for a long time, hence increasing the risk of continued changes in climate.


Fear of drowning

The marine life in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica is being destroyed by over-fishing and hunting activities. Together with global warming, these activities are leading to the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and are affecting the climate and biodiversity of the Arctic. If the entire Antarctic ice sheet were to melt, it would raise the sea level by sixty metres.


A costly hurricane

Hurricane Katina that struck in 20058 has been the most devastating and costliest of the several hurricanes that rocked the Atlantic. It killed more than 1,100people, and the United States suffered damages worth seventy-fived billion dollars! Did you know that Katrina, like all other hurricanes, was triggered by a rise in the surface temperatures of sea due to global warming?


A fuming issue

The noxious fumes emitted by petrol-and diesel-run vehicles are a major cause of urban air pollution. Carbon monoxide gas is emitted due to incomplete combustion, or burning, of carbon in the carburetor of an automobile engine. Inhaling carbon monoxide released by such vehicle may lead to various types of eye, ear, nose, throat, and lung disorders.


A home unsafe for home

Some Pacific Ocean island nation, such as Tuvalu, are concerned about the possibility of an eventual evacuation, as flood defence mechanism may become economically unviable for them. Tuvalu already has ad hoc agreement with New Zealand to allow phased relocation.


High on emissions

The Industrial Revolution saw an enormous rise in the burning of fossil fuels, which causes atmospheric pollution. The United States contains only 5 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for 22 per cent of the world’s carbon emission! Over 20 per cent of carbon emissions in the United States are caused by personal cars and trucks.


Deer in trouble

Increased rainfall in snow-covered areas can have awful consequences for the reindeer that inhabit regions like Scandinavia, Siberia, and Alaska. The increased rain leads to the formation of layers of ice crusts. These ice crusts are hard to break through, and the reindeer find it impossible to reach the food that lies below the crusts.


Slow Poisoning

All living beings carry at least seven hundred man-made chemical contaminants in their bodies. According to scientists, this is due to the presence of effluents in our rivers, toxic waste dumps on fields, and poisonous chemicals in the groundwater, air, and food.


Struggling to Survive

Rising temperatures are beginning to have a noticeable impact on birds and butterflies. They have shifted their ranges northward by two hundred kilometers in Europe and North America. In Britain, spring butterflies are appearing an average of six days earlier than two decades ago.


Building block of disaster

A major source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is the process by which cement is manufactured. Cement is made by mixing together limestone, clay and sand. These are then heated and mixed with gypsum. Among all human activities and industrial processes, cement manufacturing is the third largest source of carbon dioxide emission!


Too much heat can freeze you

Glo9bal warming is not just warming up the earth. It cold, if unchecked, bring back another ice age in north-western Europe. For, if the Arctic ice caps melt, water flowing south from the Arctic would slow down and even halt the warm Gulf Stream currents. If only cold water reaches Britain’s coasts, land temperatures would plummet. The Rhine River in Germany would freeze. Many life forms would disappear.


Constantly on a rise

Human beings contribute to the emission of methane into the atmosphere in more ways than one. It is estimated that over half of the atmospheric pollution is due to atmospheric pollution is due to emissions from landfills, natural gas, and petroleum systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, waste water treatment, stationary and mobile combustion, and certain industrial processes. With such human activities on the rise, experts say that over the last two and a half centuries, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has increased by 143 per cent!


Killer heat

Major cities of the world like Chicago, New Delhi, Athens, and Paris have come under the attack of heat waves in recent times. The summer heat wave that swept across Europe in 2003 killed more than 14,800 people in France alone!


A bleach too deep

Coral bleaching is a direct result of a warming. When corals are unable to bear the rising sea temperatures, the algae around them break loose. The bare algae are shorn of the green-blue hue around them and appear as if they have been bleached white! Climate change experts expect bleaching rates to go up by close to 70 percent.


Less could cause more

Fluorinated gases such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride-used in refrigerators and air conditioners are also known as high GWP, or global warming potential gases. This is because these are very potent artificial greenhouse gases, which are produced through industrial processes and cause a lot of damage to the environment. They are believed to be 140 to 23,900 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in terms of the3ir potential to trap atmospheric heat over a period of hu7ndred years!


From sinks to sources

In the Northern Hemisphere, the southern part of the Arctic region (home to four million people) has experienced a temperature rise of one degree Celsius to three degrees Celsius over the last fifty years. Canada, Alaska, and Russia are experiencing initial melting of permafrost. This may disrupt ecosystems, and the increasing bacterial activity in the soil turns these areas into carbon sources instead of carbon sinks.


Losing their way

Climate change is affecting about two-thirds of the world’s 9,600 bird species Migratory birds, which depend on the weather and food sources along their migration routes, are suffering too. This is because a change in climate results in an alteration of the feeding points and changes the local weather along the traditional migration routes.


Sundarbans under threat

The Sundarbans, spread over parts of West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh, are under the threat of extinction due to global warming. The Sundarbans is a large group of islands and is renowned for the mangrove forests, which are the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger . Due to rising sea levels, two of the 102 islands have already been submerged in the Bay of Bengal!


Insecure about food

Global warming can bring about changes in production patterns due to higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns. This poses a big threat to global food security, or the availability of food.


Showers of acid

Acid precipitation is one of the greatest threats to the environment. Acid precipitation refers to acid pollution found in a variety of precipitation forms like rain, snow, hail, and fog.Some very dangerous acids such as nitric acid and sulphuric acid are produced when pollutants  nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide come in contact with water. Their mixing with water and falling as rain is called acid precipitation, or simply, acid rain.


Towards a cause

The first major step towards a global agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was taken in the Earth Summit held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.The summit also acknowledged for the first time that the atmosphere is a natural resource, and it is very important for all of us to try and make it clean and pollution-free.


Thick and thin

The unit for measuring the concentration of ozone is the Dobson unit (DU). A Dobson unit may be described as the physical thickness of the ozone layer if it were brought to the surface of the earth. If the total amount of ozone in any area is less than 220 Dobson units, the area falls under the ozone hole. That is definitely the case with Antarctica!


Heat from within

Geothermal energy refers to the energy found below the surface of the earth, in hot rocks and naturally occurring geysers and volcanoes. The use of this non-polluting source of energy can help in reducing environmental pollution and the greenhouse effect, which cause ozone depletion. Italy was the first country to use geothermal energy to generate power!


A great invention

The Dobson ozone spectrometer was invented by Gordon M B Dobson, who was a researcher at the University of Oxford. This instrument measures ozone from the ground and helps scientists determine the areas that are under greater threat due to ultraviolet emissions.


The spirit of cars

We normally use gasoline and petrol to run our cars. Did you know that alcohol can be used as an excellent alternative! Henry Ford’s first car also ran on alcohol. His most preferred alcohol was ethanol!


Recycle and save

One of the many ways you can contribute in protecting the environment is by buying recyclable products. Recyclable products are made out of things that already have been used. The energy required to make3 recyclable products is much less than that required to make new ones.


Growing for a benefit

Besides being a home for animal and plants, forests maintain and conserve soil for agriculture, help regulate climate conditions, and regulate water cycles to ensure continuous water supply. Forest provide us with timber, aid in agricultural activities, provide ingredients for the production of medicines and drugs, help promote ecotourism, and give employment to researchers, scientist, and carpenters, apart from providing other benefits.


A guiding star

Have you seen products with the ENERGY STAR label on them? You can spot them on computers, televisions, stereos, and other such electronic items. Products that have such a label use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.


The tallest one

The use of wind is one of the most environment –friendly ways of energy generation. Wind power may be generated at areas known as wind forms, where many wind turbines together are used to generate pollution-free electricity. The De Noord windmill in Shiedam, Holland, is the tallest windmill in the world!


Go green

You can contribution to the reduction of felling of trees and deforestation. Use less paper and reduce wood consumption by using recycled paper; use products with minimal packaging; and plant trees. You can also adopt methods to cope with and lessen the environmental problems in the urban areas. Participate in waste clean-up campaigns and recycling projects. Ask your teachers to talk about the problems, and discuss how the youth can help solve it.


Ultra harmful

People wear sunglasses to keep the harmful rays of the sun from affecting their eyes. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause many types of diseases such as various forms of skin cancer and weakening of the human immune system, which fights micro-organisms that cause disease.


Living on the edge

Greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere whenever we watch television, use an air conditioner, turn on a light bulb, use a hair dryer, drive a car, play a video game, listen to a stereo, wash or dry clothes, use a dish washer or use a microwave oven!


The sun is shining bright

India is among those countries that are blessed with clear, sunny days. In fact, with three hundred clear, sunny days in a year, India has the potential to produce over five thousand trillion kilowatt-hours of energy per year. This amount of energy is more than the total energy consumed by the country in a year.


More than a technical glitch

The materials that batteries and other gadgets like mobile phones and handycams are made of are manufactured by industries that run on electricity. And these industries generate pollution-causing gases that contribute to climate change!


Grow more, save more

Biomass energy is a substitute for energy produced by burning fossil fuels. It is the energy that is generated when biomass materials such as wood is burnt. Carbon dioxide is released when biomass is burnt. But handling the process in a sustainable way does not increase the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That means that you have to allow the re-growth of biomass, which would absorb as much carbon dioxide as is emitted from burning biomass.


Sun: the giver of life

Among nature’s bounty to mankind, perhaps the single-most important offering is solar energy! Apart from keeping us warm in cold winter days, the energy from the rays of the sun is non-polluting and renewable. It greatly helps in reducing the greenhouse effect and can help us make our environment cleaner.


Science has a solution

The world community is doing its bit to overcome the problem of climate change. The intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body sponsored by the United Nations, has brought together 2,500 scientist s from across the globe. Established in 1988, the IPCC assesses scientific, technical, and socio-economic information relevant to climate change and suggest workable solutions to curb environmental problems.


Compressed greenery

CNG, or compressed natural gas, is considered environment friendly. In other words, CNG causes much less atmosphere pollution than other fuels. Vehicles that run on CNG emit the least amount of toxic gases. CNG also prolongs the life of the engine, as it causes less wear and tear.


Saving the ozone layer

The “Montreal protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer” is a highly successful international agreement that controls the production and consumption of substances that can cause ozone depletion. In fact, the production and consumption of such substances has been reduced at a much faster pace than that required under the protocol.


`An eco-friendly barter

The Kyoto protocol has a system known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Under the CDM, industrialized countries like the United Kingdom and the United States can put their money in projects that lead to a reduction of greenhouse emissions in developing countries.


Pollution under control

The smoke that cars emit adds to the atmospheric pollution. But there are cars that don’t pollute the environment! The e3lectric car, for example, runs on electricity that is generated from the energy from the sun, and from the sun, and from hydroelectric and other renewable and non-polluting sources.


Chopping down life

Forest lands are being cleared to make way for highways, dams, mining activities, commercial logging, settlements, and so on are being destroyed is causing droughts, floods, soil erosion, desertification, changes in climate, leading to global warming, loss of plants and animals, loss of jobs, disputes and conflicts over fertile lands, and famine and poverty!


Sleeping for Survival

Aestivation is similar to hibernation! If hibernation is called ‘winter sleep’ aestivation is called ‘Summer sleep. In summer, when the mercury soars, some animals such as crocodiles became inactive, or dormant, for the entire summer season. This prevents severe changes in their body temperature and metabolism, which can otherwise be harmful for the animals.


Telling Weather

Scientist use balloons to find out weather conditions! Such balloons are called weather balloons are called weather balloons and are released into the atmosphere. These balloons carry special instruments that send weather-related information to scientists on the ground.


The shield

The ozone layer protects us from the harmful ultraviolet radiations. The ozone shield is present in the stratosphere, beyond the atmosphere, and lies between ten kilometers and forty kilometers above the surface of the earth.


Small steps for saving the earth

Some of the important measures that need to be taken to prevent global warming and protect our environment are increased recycling, more afforestation, greater efforts to protect animals, more use of renewable energy, greater environmental awareness, tough pollution-control measures, increase in the use of natural food products, and increase in the use of natural food products, and increased protection of rainforests.


On the road to extinction

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 150,000 people die every year in different parts of the world due to the effects of climate change! Another study suggests that if the climate continues to change the way it is currently changing, one-fourth of all land animals and plants will be extinct over the next fifty years!


A global check

A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently set up global monitoring stations in developing countries. The purpose of these is to collect date on the various pollutants that have a role in global warming. The primary aim of these stations is to make the people aware and sensitive to the idea that the earth is warming up and all of us need to do our bit to reverse this trend.


Governments for green

There is a lot that governments can do to help combat climate change. They can participate in, as well as lead, campaigns and international agreements that work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and can make laws that prohibit the use of highly polluting fuels. They should promote the use of renewable sources of energy like solar and geothermal energy. It is also their duty to educate people about the terrible effects of climate change and encourage them to save the environment and the flora and fauna.


Antarctic intact

The Antarctic Treaty signed by twelve nations in 1959 is a model for international cooperation and goodwill. This treaty stipulates that the continent of Antarctica will be conserved as a wildlife and scientific preserve for research. The nations have agreed that it is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue, forever, to be used for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.


City of dreams

The government of Abu Dhabi, World Wide Fund for Nature, Bio Regional’s  One Planet Living Programme, and architects Foster and Partners have come together to create the first zero-carbon and waste-free city in the world, Masda, in Abu Dhabi. It will recycle 99 per cent of its waste, grow organic vegetables, and will have pollution-free transport. 


Dying heritage

Climate change is also affe3cting our architectural heritage. While acid rain is eating away monuments like the Parthenon in Greece, Scott’s Hut in Antarctica is being destroyed by ice melt. British explorer Robert Scott built this hut in 1911.The hut still has Scott’s scientific equipment that he left behind.


Leading the way

The United States government is investing a lot reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. It has established the Climate Change Technology Programme (CCTP), which has helped it become the leader in climate technology research and development.


Energy from Nature

Renewable energy is the energy that is harnessed fr4om the environment. It is perennial and sustainable, as it comes from the natural environment. Examples of common forms of clean renewable energy are solar, wind, water or mini and micro hydro, biomass, ocean and tidal, and geothermal energy. Such energy is considered clean, as it does not release any harmful by-products.


The Grass is Green

Forage crops such as grasses and legumes are good for the environment! These crops are useful in reducing soil erosion and the use of fertilizers and pesticides in farmlands.




Source: ENVIS Library