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Matric No : A131973
Lecturers :

Global warming is primarily a problem of too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere
which acts as a blanket, trapping heat and warming the planet. As we burn fossil fuels like coal,
oil and natural gas for energy or cut down and burn forests to create pastures and plantations,
carbon accumulates and overloads our atmosphere. Certain waste management and agricultural
practices aggravate the problem by releasing other potent global warming gases, such as methane
and nitrous oxide.
CO2 survives in the atmosphere for a long timeup to many centuriesso its heat-trapping
effects are compounded over time. Of the many heat-trapping gases, CO2 puts us at the greatest
risk of irreversible changes if it continues to accumulate unabated in the atmosphereas it is
likely to do if the global economy remains dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. To put
this in perspective, the carbon we put in the atmosphere today will literally determine not only
our climate future but that of future generations as well.
The causes of global warming
The causes of global warming are merely as follows:
Climate change and natural disasters of unprecedented proportions
The primary cause of global warming is a cyclic process that occurs in the Universe over
The beginning of a destructive phase which will increase in intensity over the next 5-10

The Effects of Global Warming
Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earths poles. This includes mountain glaciers,
ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.
Sea level rise became faster over the last century.
Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average.
Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger.
Floods and droughts will become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are
already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years.
Some diseases will spread, such as malaria carried by mosquitoes.
Species that depend on one another may become out of sync. For example, plants could
bloom earlier than their pollinating insects become active.

Mitigation and Adaptation
Climate mitigation is any action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk
and hazards of climate change to human life, property. Climate adaptation refers to the ability
of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate
potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences.
The IPCC defines adaptation as the, adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or
changing environment. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human
systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm
or exploits beneficial opportunities. Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including
anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned
For people today, already feeling the impacts of past inaction in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, adaptation is not altogether passive, rather it is an active adjustment in response to
new stimuli. However, our present age has proactive options (mitigation), and must also plan to
live with the consequences (adaptation) of global warming.
The idea that less mitigation means greater climatic change, and consequently requiring more
adaptation is the basis for the urgency surrounding reductions in greenhouse gases. Climate
mitigation and adaptation should not be seen as alternatives to each other, as they are not discrete
activities but rather a combined set of actions in an overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas
Mitigation Strategies

Climate change involves complex interactions between climatic, environmental, economic,
political, institutional, social, and technological processes. It cannot be addressed or
comprehended in isolation of broader societal goals (such as equity or sustainable development),
or other existing or probable future sources of stress.
In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) three conditions
are made explicit when working towards the goal of greenhouse gas stabilization in the
1. That it should take place within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally
to climate change;
2. That food production is not threatened and;
3. That economic development should proceed in a sustainable manner
To eliminate or reduce the risk of climate change to human life and property, both policy
instruments and technology must be used in the context of sustainable development.
Adaptation Strategies

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change refers to adaptation in several of
its articles: Article 4.1(f): All Parties shall Take climate change considerations into account, to
the extent feasible, in their relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions, and
employ appropriate methods, for example impact assessments, formulated and determined
nationally, with a view to minimizing adverse effects on the economy, on public health and on
the quality of the environment, of projects or measures undertaken by them to mitigate or adapt
to climate change.
But there are limits to adaptation. Small island developing states threatened by sea level rise have
fewer options to adapt. Sea defences are particularly costly for low-lying islands , and may do
little to protect the tourism and fisheries that sustain the local economy.
Development and diversification are still important strategies wherever possible, but ultimately
the international community will have to find ways to support alternative responses, including
the managed resettlement of some people in these states. This will bring many challenges,
particularly for those people that must move. There will be much greater pressures if unabated
climate change leads to sea level rise that threatens much larger populations in low-lying coastal