What is climate change

One definition of climate change is that it represents long-term changes to weather patterns and temperatures around the world.

While climate change can be caused by natural factors, such as the solar cycle, as it was prior to the 19th century, after the Industrial Revolution humans started relying more and more on factories and industrialized processes for manufacturing more and more goods.

What causes climate change

These technological advancements meant that greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, started to rise, which in turn grew temperatures slowly around the world.

Methane is another greenhouse gas that has the potential to warm the planet 82 times more than carbon dioxide for up to two decades.

It is responsible for around half of the total emissions coming from agriculture.

Using petrol-powered cars for commuting and generating energy with the help of gas and coal-powered plants are also major contributors to climate change.

Rising temperatures is one of the main reasons for climate change, as this alone is enough to disrupt ecosystems, which are interconnected, and cause things like droughts, wildfires and melting glaciers.

Deforestation for things like wood and extended building or farming locations are also important factors when it comes to climate change, as destroying one of our strongest weapons against global warming isn't helping the cause.

Places affected by climate change

Climate change affects most places on Earth in different ways, such as fires and droughts in tropical and temperate areas and also powerful storms around the same places.

Climate shifts is also why glaciers are melting and why sea levels are rising, which endangers coastal communities around the world.

Through droughts, wildfires and powerful storms, nearly every place on Earth feels the effects of climate change one way or another.

However, there are places on the planet that might vanish in the near future for good if we don't do anything to stop global warming.

Tokyo, New York City and Osaka are among the cities that will be first underwater as a result of climate change.

There are larger communities that are vulnerable to sea levels rises, such as those located on islands, which can't move to safer locations as easily.

The Maldives, a popular tourist location, is one example of around 1.200 islands that might disappear in the future if we don't stop global warming.

This represents an issue also because these locations are usually the inhabitants' source of income and if they disappear, their lifestyle will also be affected.

Europe also felt some of the worst effects of climate change this summer, which was one of the hottest in history and caused some of the worst droughts in the past 500 years.

These climate disasters meant lower crop yields, less energy production capacity and wildfires, among other issues.

Infrastructure problems and many deaths among European residents were also big concerning results of climate change.

High risk of drought has been recorded in countries such as France, Italy, Romania and Spain, according to experts.

Read more about climate change-related extreme weather events and how they can affect our lives.

How can we stop climate change

There are a number of ways by which we can reduce the rate of global warming and as a result, climate change, one of them being to adopt plant-based alternatives for foods.

This is important, as the farming sector, especially livestock growing, is one of the main factors that contributes to rising temperatures.

By reading our analysis on plant-based food prices against meat variants, you will see that going green when it comes to your food isn't necessarily more expensive, and in some cases, it can even save you some money.

Plant-based foods can have health benefits as well, being tasty and nutritious at the same time, so you can save the planet in style.

Another alternative, which is going to become more popular around the world, is eating insects, as there are people around the world doing this for centuries now, replacing chicken and cattle with grasshoppers and scorpions, for example.

Changing the way we commute is also important and it isn't only about short-distance travels, where you can use local public transport, hybrid or electric cars or an electric scooter, for example.

These things definitely help, especially in a city or metropolis, as it drastically reduces emissions and even helps with traffic jams, but there are times when long-distance travelling can be more sustainable.

Taking the train instead of the plane can be a more sustainable way of travelling and can help with climate change, as it means lower emissions and even cheaper prices, more often than not.

For example, travelling from London to Amsterdam by plane costs about 54 euros and releases 58 kg of emissions, while going by train is almost 20 euros cheaper and contributes with only 3 kg of carbon emissions.

Travelling times shouldn't be too different, either, depending on where you plan to go to, but the point is that we should seek more sustainable alternatives whenever possible to avoid worsening climate change.

Energy efficiency, the secret weapon against climate change

Being more sustainable at home is also great for saving the environment, as climate change is also affected by what electronics and appliances we use at home and how often we use them.

Turn off the computer, the TV or air conditioner if you don't need to use them at that very moment and try to buy as efficient devices as you possibly can, which is not only going to help with limiting the rate of global warming, but will also save you on your next energy bill.

Protecting our forests and encouraging plantation of new trees is incredibly important, since trey act as carbon sponges, meaning they absorb carbon emissions from the atmosphere, releasing oxygen.

Forests also provide cooler and fresher air and green spaces in general, which are useful especially in busy cities, since they can be oasis for residents who want to lay back and relax.

Algae can also be great carbon absorbers and we can even eat them, which is why there are projects in Europe aiming to diversify our food system.

These are just a few of the things we can do in order to limit the rate of global warming and climate change as a result of it, which we need to do in order to protect vulnerable communities around the world and ensure a safer future for the next generations.