Climate Change : Factfile

There are 8 documents in this section.

  • Sources of greenhouse gases

    1 April 2009

    The climate system has inherent natural fluctuations in which global cooling and warming occur. Natural factors like volcanic eruptions and El Nino alter the climate system; however, since the turn of the 20th century, the quantities of greenhouse gases from human actions pumped into the atmosphere have increased substantially, feeding into global warming.

  • Snow, ice and permafrost

    1 April 2009

    Regions on Earth where water is either in snow or ice form are called the cryosphere. The cryosphere includes snow, ice, sea ice, glaciers, ice shelves and icebergs, and permafrost. If current warming trends continue, sea levels could rise by 9 and 88 centimetres within 80 years depending on human action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near future.. A sea level rise of 50 cm would represent an increase of 1.5 to 3.5 times on the historic rate of sea level rise occurring without man's interference.

  • The most vulnerable to climate changes

    31 March 2009

    Climate change will affect regions differently, but the most vulnerable to climate change are the developing countries and the poor. They are the least able to adapt to severe changes in their environment and to their livelihoods. Yet they also have the most need for adaptation assistance.

  • Land and the carbon cycle

    31 March 2009

    Land cover affects the amount of solar energy absorbed and reflected by the Earth as well as the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the global carbon cycle. Forests perform significant roles in greenhouse gas absorption, and tropical forests are sequestering one-fifth of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion. Prevent forest degradation and promoting reforestation and afforestation are strong options for mitigating climate change.

  • Health, disease and climate change

    30 March 2009

    Climate change - whether natural or man-induced - will inevitably have an impact on the distribution patterns of diseases, especially those which are transmitted by insects and other fauna whose range is determined by climatic factors such as temperature and seasonal changes.

  • Population and climate change

    30 March 2009

    As population continues growing, so do greenhouse gas emissions. It is a major factor in climate change, yet it receives little attention. Overpopulation is also a grave concern because not all of the Earth's sources are renewable or remain renewable under greater stress.

  • The Kyoto Protocol

    30 March 2009

    The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

  • Oceans and iron fertilization

    24 March 2009

    Neither the safety nor the effectiveness of ocean fertilization - adding iron or other 'micronutrients' to the sea to encourage plankton to grow - have been established and the method should not be touted as a cure for climate change until they have been.