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UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE

CHANGE
HELEN NNEKA OKPALA
Venue:
Date:
Time:

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Wednesday - 9th December, 2015.
12:00pm- 2:00pm.

Contact:
www.helenokpala.co
www.facebook.com/helen.eke
m
@helenekez
www.phreeinfo.blogspot.com.ng

“The climate is changing faster than our efforts
to address it.
The alarm bells keep ringing. No nation is
immune. Worldwide, this summer was the hottest
ever recorded, with global carbon emissions still
on the rise. We are the first generation to feel
the impact of climate change and the last
generation that can do something about it”.

Climate Vs Weather?
• Weather – Can change from season to season, day to
day, even hour to hour. Sometimes when you least
expect it! Weather reflects short-term conditions in
the atmosphere.
• Climate - the average temperatures and precipitation
rates over an extended period of time. When these
rates change over time, it can result in profound
impacts on our planet. Impacts like rising sea levels,
more extreme weather events, like droughts and floods,
melting glaciers, shifts in ecosystems, as well as many
others. In other words, real problems.

CLIMATE CHANGE IS…
• a change in global or regional climate
patterns, in particular a change
apparent from the mid to late 20th
century onwards and attributed
largely to the increased levels of
atmospheric carbon dioxide
produced by the use of fossil fuels.

• Climate change affects us all and
will continue to do so unless we
collectively take actions now to
reduce emissions. We are at a pivotal
moment in time, where our actions
now will have long-lasting impacts.
We may also be the last generation
that can stop climate change — this
provides us with a huge opportunity
to transition and transform our world

Energy sources take many forms, including
fossil fuels, like oil and gas and coal, and
renewable sources, like solar, wind and
hydropower. These primary energy sources
are converted into electricity, a secondary
source, which then flows through power lines
to our homes and businesses. Today, fourfifths of all electricity in southern and eastern
Africa is generated from fossil fuels. And as
we learned, burning these fuels produces
carbon dioxide emissions which trap the sun’s
energy, and this makes our Earth too warm
and contributes to extreme weather events.

SIGNS AND CAUSES OF
CLIMATE CHANGE

Green House Gases - Several
chemical compounds found in the Earth’s
atmosphere which would trap heat
that would normally be released out to space.
Some of these compounds occur in nature,
such as carbon dioxide and methane.
However, others are exclusively human-made
and are found in sources like hair spray,
paint fumes and aerosol sprays.

SIGNS AND CAUSES OF
CLIMATE CHANGE
Too

much human-generated
greenhouse gas emissions
upsets the planet’s natural
balance, leading to an increase
in warming.
Over the past 100 years, the
amount of greenhouse gasses in
our atmosphere has been
increasing.

Why the increase in Green
Gases?
• This is largely due to carbon dioxide
emissions from the burning of fossil fuels,
such as coal, oil and gas. When these
fuels are burned, carbon stored in them for
millions of years is released in an instant —
directly into the atmosphere — as carbon
dioxide. Think about it!

• Human activity currently releases over
30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into
the atmosphere every year!

• Greenhouse gas
concentrations in our
atmosphere will continue to
increase, continuing to warm
the Earth — unless all nations
reduce the billions of tons of
greenhouse gas we produce
each year.

The world is finally waking up
to
this global challenge, and there
is much we can do to reduce
our reliance on fossil fuels.

10 THINGS WE CAN DO TO ADDRESS
CLIMATE CHANGE?
1. Green your Transport

2. Use sustainable energy: Using
sustainable energy in your home helps
prevent carbon emissions and has various
co-benefits, like saving money.
3. Support sustainable agriculture and
diets Sustainable agriculture can help
mitigate climate change and build food
security.
4. Raise your voice and awareness: Take
the course, “Understanding
Climate Change” course, and then start
conversations with others about climate

10 THINGS WE CAN DO TO ADDRESS
CLIMATE CHANGE?
6. Save water: have shorter showers; ensure your
garden is water-wise and indigenous; collect and use
rainwater; consider grey water recycling; and repair
leaky taps.
7. Protect oceans and coasts: Oceans help reduce
climate change by storing large amounts of carbon
dioxide, and coastal ecosystems can help minimize
the impacts of climate change.
8: Collaborate and share:
9. Support climate innovation Innovative
technologies that will help us mitigate and adapt to
climate change are becoming ever important in
helping to accelerate climate action. Give your support
to climate entrepreneurs and inventors to develop
innovative technologies and ideas.

BRAINSTORMING SESSION
• How does Climate Change
Affect your Community?

• As a Librarian (in the
making), how would you
get involved in this
environmental movement
?
• When do you

Unless you empower
people, you inform
them, and you help
them understand that
these resources are
their own, and they
must protect them.”
Now is the time to put
those words into
action!

How do I help?
• Consuming less energy helps reduce air pollution
• Turn the lights off when you leave a room
• If alternative energy sources such as solar or wind
are available, use them.
• Use nonpolluting stoves. Avoid using kerosene to
cook, heat or provide light
• Paint with a brush instead of a sprayer.
• Plant a tree to help purify the air.
• Turn off office equipment (i.e., computers, printers
and fax machines) after hours.
• Start an environmental program yourself

Now that you’ve learned about
the science behind climate
change, please go to
www.yali.state.gov to
learn more, test your knowledge,
and earn a YALI Network
certificate.

ABOUT YALI
• YALI – Young African Leaders Initiative
• #YALILearns, #YALIGoesGreen is a Network-wide
initiative to promote collaboration among YALI
Network members
• #YALIGoesGreen, a Network-wide initiative to spur
climate change awareness and action.
• https://yali.state.gov/resources/meet-up/ YALI
Face2Face
• Mandela Washington Fellowship https
://yali.state.gov/category/washington-fellowship /

• https://yali.state.gov/climate

Visit:
1. https://
yali.state.gov/climate