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Climate change is the change in the weather looked at it over a long period of time. There are two factors causing it- natural and man-made. Natural, we cannot stop it from happening but man-made is something to look upon.

People are not aware that their day-to-day life has a severe impact on the environment. The biodiversity also has been adversely affected. A large amount of GHGs (Green House Gases which are the main causes of global warming) is produced by humans. Already evidences like:

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Increase in temperature- Has increased about 0.3-0.6oC

Increase in sea level- Has increased by 17 cm in the last century. Increased temperature melts ice. Already many species have been threatened.

Source-http://today.lbl.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/BLISS1.jpg

These show that climate change is occurring which may result with severe consequences. Now I am going to present how people’s lifestyle may affect the climate.

Usage of coal for electricity production

China is the largest user of coal for the production of electricity. About 81% is produced from coal. One ton of coal produces about 2.86 tons of CO2. It means it produces about 2984000000 tons CO2 every year. According to the World Bank report the per capita consumption of energy was 2631.40 while for Ghana it was less than 300kwh in 2009. This is likely to even increase because the population as well as the industries are increasing.

Deforestation

Trees take CO2 reducing the level but deforestation is a common practise in Brazil. Many square km of forest is cleared out every year.* Between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometres of forest—an area larger than Greece—and since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometres (232,000 square miles) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed.

Causes For Deforestation in The Brazilian Amazon (2000-2005)

Percent

Cattle ranching

65-70%

Small-scale agriculture

20-25%

Large-scale agriculture

5-10%

Logging

2-3%

Others

1-2%

Source- *http://www.mongabay.com/brazil.html

N2O production due to human activities

People use synthetic nitrogen fertilizers for their crops is one of the main sources of N2O. From the total sprayed, about 30% is used and rest is washed away by rain or left unused in the soil. There it undergoes some chemical reaction and N20 is produced. Each molecule of N2O has a warming potential 300 times than CO2. Below is a table showing production of N2O in the US.

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Kylie Garcia

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