What is climate change?

Overall definition:

 

Climate change is the change in a region or Earth's overall climate. For example, one region might have a drastic heat change, or maybe another had a change in rainfall. The problem with climate change, though, is that the climate is changing for the worse.
 

What is global warming?

 

Global warming is pretty self-explanatory from a definition standpoint; the Earth is warming. However, read on to the next section for way more detail.
 
 
 

What is the greenhouse effect?

 

The Earth is warming, yes, but how? When greenhouse gases (gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and ozone ) are released into the air in large quantities, caused by humans, it destroys the natural (good) ozone in the atmosphere. Why does ozone matter? Ozone is the gas that makes up our atmosphere. It lets the Sun's heat and light in, and most back out, with only a bit left inside for a perfect balance and heating the Earth. However, gases like the ones listed above, let the sunlight in, just like ozone, but don't let it back out. This warms the Earth too much, to the point that humans will not have a habitable place anymore.
 
As mentioned before, there are different greenhouse gases that are released.
 
Carbon dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide is the pollutant you hear about the most. That is because it stays in the atmosphere one of the longest times. 65% of the carbon dioxide escapes the atmosphere in about 200 years. The rest takes hundreds of thousands of years, doing extensive damage along the way. While the carbon dioxide makes up a small percentage of the atmosphere, that is still significant because of all the gases that are not heat trapping.
 
Water Vapor (H2O): Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas, but importantly, it acts as a feedback to the climate. Water vapor increases as the Earth's atmosphere warms, but so does the possibility of clouds and precipitation, making these some of the most important natural ways to stop climate change. This means that the water vapor can be removed from the atmosphere within hours.
 
Methane (CH4): Methane is the most potent and also most short-lived climate pollutant. Methane is a hydrocarbon and is not very abundant. Methane is released from the atmosphere within 10-100 years.
 
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's): CFC's are a wide array of different gases. However, they are all entirely industrial and human-made. Therefore, they are very strictly regulated and therefore is not a very prominent greenhouse gas. The different CFC's stay in the atmosphere for different lengths, ranging from 1 year all the way to thousands of years. 
 
Nitrous Oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is released by human activities and is removed after about 114 years.
 
There are hundreds of more greenhouse gases.
 
 

What is the difference between good ozone and bad ozone?

 

In order not to get good and bad ozone confused, there are 2 types of ozone. Stratospheric, which protects earth from the sun's UV rays, and tropospheric ozone, which is a harmful smog, and one of the harmful greenhouse gasses.
 
 
 
 

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