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One of the most basic issues that is up for debate is whether the current trend of warming is in fact caused by man. The general public, in my mind, has accepted the idea that we are responsible, but the levels of responsibility that are accepted vary person to person. If in fact it is our fault, then clearly we ought to do something about it. If it isn't, well then let's just keep driving SUV's!!
One of the other major issues is the split between developing and developed countries. Developing countries are sometimes seen as exempt from the requirements of trying to fight CO2 emissions because they need to develop and grow before doing so. Developed countries say it isn't fair that all the blame and the onus for change is on them, particularly because they feel it will be expensive to change.
'Climate' is defined as the average weather conditions of a region over a period of time, so 'climate change' is nothing but variations in these weather conditions for a particular region over a period of time.
However, when we use the term 'climate change' today we refer to the changes that are taking place in the average weather patterns all over the world. Hence 'climate change' today is a global phenomenon.
There are various natural and man made reasons for climate change.The movement of the tectonic plates, orbital variations, and changes in solar output are some of the natural causes. Burning of fossil fuels by man which releases excess amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the main reason for the acceleration of climate change.
Climate change refers to the changes in statistical distribution of weather over a period of time. Such changes may refer to changes that take place over varying periods ranging from just a decade to a few million of years. These changes may affect the climate of regions of varying size from a small local area to the entire world. This term is sometimes used specifically for climate changes due to human activity. For example, the United Nations defines climate change as:
a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods."
The climate changes are caused by many factors such as variations in solar radiations, deviations in the Earth's orbit, mountain building and continental drift, and greenhouse effect changes. Also climate changes may cause environmental changes that can amplify or diminish the initial effects
The current global issues related to climate change are primarily concerned with controlling and reducing the atmospheric pollution causing global warming through greenhouse effect. Irrespective the place of origin of such atmospheric pollution, the global warming affects the entire globe and threatens serious damage to all the countries of the world. Therefor major initiatives have been taken in tackling this problem with cooperation of all the countries in the world. However the major bone of contention in these joint efforts is the basis of fixing responsibility for controlling pollution. Currently, the developed countries of the world produce very high per capita pollution. On the other hand, other countries are likely to contribute more to further increase in pollution, in process of their economic and industrial development. In this situation, the developed countries are reluctant to reduce their pollution level substantially, or to contribute to the extra cost developing countries need to incur for development based on low polluting technology. While the developing countries are not willing to accept any reduction in their rate of development.
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