- July 09, 2021
Climate Change 101: definition, causes & top 10 solutions
In this whiteboard animation, I explain what is climate change, what causes it and I present the 10 mot impactful (and perhaps unexpected) solutions suggested by Project Drawdown.
Definition of climate change
Climate change usually refers more specifically to anthropogenic change of our climate, meaning the rapid rate at which the temperature of our planet and its atmosphere have been increasing over the past century due to human activity, in particular since the industrial revolution. It is NOT about individual weather events, although it can result in large-scale shifts in weather patterns.
Some gases present in our atmosphere make it work like a greenhouse so we call them greenhouse gases (GHG): The higher their concentration, the more they trap heat. This is great for starting your tomatoes during a chilly spring but this is not good for human beings on this planet. These greenhouse gases include the well known carbon dioxide of course but also methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, HFCs), etc. Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning a lot of fossil fuels (such as oil, coal and natural gas), therefore our human activities have contributed to a 45% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm in 1750 to 415 ppm in 2019. But there is a correlation between CO2 concentration and temperatures (as we found out in my video about ice cores in Antarctica) therefore as CO2 emissions increase so does the global average temperature on Earth.
Ok, so greenhouse gases cause climate change but more precisely, which sectors are these emissions coming from? The IPCC breaks down our carbon emissions like this. A few things are interesting here. Although GHG emissions and global warming are often pictured as cars and airplanes, you can see that it would be more accurate to draw them as fields, steaks, concrete buildings with heaters and air conditioners and factories building things as these three sectors combined represent about 76% of our global GHG emissions. Although we often talk about emissions, another issue from a climate change perspective is the reduction of carbon sinks, like deforestation which reduces CO2 absorption.
Resources & credits:
More videos on climate: Vostok ice cores, The LIES of oil companies about Climate Change since 1959.
Click here for all my videos on sustainability.