2.0 What is Climate Change?
This chapter defines what climate change is, the causes of climate change and the relative impact of climate change on the ecosystem. Using China as a case study. A recent major report from shows that China’s climate change is posing a terrible treat to its planet as well as its people. This chapter also discusses sustainability issue in China and how China is struggling to strike a balance between the three elements of sustainability which are; social, the economy and the environment.
2.1 Climate change refers to a variation in the following conditions:
· The normal weather observed in a particular location
· The amount of rainfall a location gets in a year
· The normal temperature of a place for a time of year
· Earth’s climate
· The location on Earth where rain and snow frequently drops (NASA, 2005)
Science 2003 agrees that Climate is a measure of the average weather condition of a particular place over a long period of time. Weather is a change in the atmospheric condition of a place within a short period of time. (Science, 2003) (NASA, 2005). A typical length of time used to calculate an areas climate is precisely thirty years. (Science, 2003) (Elizabeth & Kitchen, 2010)
Climate Change is also referred to as global warming. Human actions, such as the use of fossil fuels and ruining forests results in greenhouse gases. (Media, 2018) According to Beacon 2018, a greenhouse gas is one that absorbs and releases energy in the form of infrared, popularly known as thermal heat. Some examples of green house gases are; Carbon dioxide (CO2), Surface level ozone (CO), Water vapour, Nitrous Oxide and fluorinated gases. (California, 2018) (J James, 2015). Within the atmosphere these gases trap heat and its relative impact on the ecosystem includes drought which makes a piece of land prone to vegetation fire, extreme weather and an increase in sea level due to flood. (Media, 2018) (GreenPeace, 2012). Media 2018 believes that many climate scientists supports that these human actions earlier mentioned and there resulting impacts are the main cause of climate change. (Media, 2018)
2.1.1 Climate Change in China
China’s industrial sector has improved drastically over the past few decades making China come top on the list of greenhouse gas emitters. However, a reasonable percentage of its citizens have experienced financial freedom despite the negative concerns that this economic thrive poses. China’s main focus has been on economic growth in these past years and the impact is a deteriorating environment, human-health problems due to contaminated air, as well as, economic setback in the long run. (Media, 2018) (GreenPeace, 2012)
Sustainability refers to the usage and conservation of natural resources for the purpose and the benefit of future generations. Sustainability strives to create a balance between economy, environment and social wellbeing. Making sure that the activity of one does not negatively impact the other. Sustainability concentrates on future benefit. Take for instance, a country that disposes oil waste in a river instead of using a proper waste channel, will save cost immediately, but will cause a long term damage to the fishes and other habitats that live in that river. (INVESTOPEDIA, 2018)
2.2.2 Sustainability and China
Brubaker 2012 agrees that, China’s issue has nothing to do with small scale consumption, but highly related to the industrial technology that supports her economy. The problem is expanding at an increasing rate and will get worse if adequate measures are not taken to curb the effect. China does not see radiation discharge as a high priority issue that requires immediate attention. It focuses more on her economy rather than the potential long term damages it’s economic growth is bringing upon her people and the environment. (Brubaker, 2012)
Brubaker, R., 2012. China and sustainability: connecting the dots between economy and ecology. Online Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/china-sustainability-economy-environment-ecology Accessed 21 January 2018.
California, U., 2018. Beacon(The Berkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network). Online Available at: http://beacon.berkeley.edu/GHGs.aspx Accessed 21 January 2018.
Elizabeth, R. & Kitchen, C., 2010. Bright Hub. Online Available at: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/96369.aspx Accessed 15 January 2018.
GreenPeace, 2012. GreenPeace Asia. Online Available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/climate-energy/problems/ Accessed 15 January 2018.
INVESTOPEDIA, 2018. Sustainability. Online Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sustainability.asp Accessed 21 January 2018.
J James, 2015. Environmental Science. Online Available at: https://socratic.org/questions/what-are-examples-of-greenhouse-gases-and-what-are-their-sources Accessed 21 January 2018.
Media, P., 2018. Take Part. Online Available at: http://www.takepart.com/flashcards/what-is-climate-change/ Accessed 15 January 2018.
NASA, 2005. Climate. Online Available at: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html Accessed 15 January 2018.
Science, G., 2003. What is a Climate? – Definition & Examples. Online Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-a-climate-definition-examples-quiz.html Accessed 15 january 2018.
Zhang, J., 2013. Is Environmentally Sustainable Economic Growth Possible in China?Is Environmentally Sustainable Economic Growth Possible in China? Online Available at: https://thediplomat.com/2013/01/is-environmentally-sustainable-economic-growth-possible-in-china/ Accessed 21 January 2018.