Sceptre Group – Global warming & climate change FAQ

This FAQ serves as a basic introduction to the topics of global warming and its effects on climate.

polar bear What is global warming?

Global Warming describes the current trend in average temperatures around the world increasing as a result of human activity. Using temperature measurements from historical records and current land and sea stations, in conjunction with satellite data, any doubt as to whether our planet is warming has been dispelled. Sea ice is retreating, glaciers are melting, species are migrating or disappearing and spring temperatures are arriving earlier each year.

What is the greenhouse effect?

The Greenhouse Effect is related to global warming in that it’s the reason why excess heat from the surface of the Earth isn’t dispersed into space. The glass on a greenhouse allows one type of radiation in, but reduces the amount another type can escape; causing the interior of the greenhouse to remain warm. This is what we are experiencing on our planet – gases such as carbon dioxide and methane act as the glass; allowing solar radiation in, but preventing heat from escaping.

Has global warming occurred in the past?

Yes, it has – while the earth has cooling and heating cycles, what we’re currently seeing is a much more rapid change in temperature which is giving plants and animals far less time to adjust.

What human activities are linked to global warming?

Unfortunately, just about everything connected with modern society is a contributor. The cars we drive spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as does coal powered electricity generation, production processes for many of our goods. Even the millions of livestock we keep for food play their part by producing methane.

Why are trees part of the answer to global warming?

During parts of a day, trees ingest carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Mass deforestation has seriously compromized our planet’s carbon dioxide recycling and conversion system.

ethical investments Plant more trees and problem solved right?

Not quite. Nature maintains balances and humans are continually trying to override those rules. We haven’t realized that this approach is endgame for the species. We need to soon. Trees are only part of the answer – we need to reduce our consumption and also commission more green energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal electricity production. By buying green tags to offset your cars emissions and the emissions generated by your electricity supply, it helps investment into and supply of green energy.

How is carbon increasing global warming?

It isn’t. People talk about carbon reduction, carbon emissions as a shortening of the term “carbon dioxide”. We need to take carbon dioxide out of the air to allow some more heat from the planet to escape and convert it back into carbon; such as is stored in trees.

How hot is it going to get?

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that our planet’s average surface temperature will increase between 2.5° and 10.4°F (1.4°-5.8°C) between the 1990 average temperature and what it will be in 2100.

But it was cold last month! What gives?

There is a distinct difference between weather and climate. Weather is a set of meteorological conditions over a short span whereas climate is the average of those conditions over a longer period.

Hotter weather sounds good, what’s the problem with climate change?

Remember that Nature maintains a fine balance for a reason. Sudden changes in climate related to global warming will included

    * rapid melting of glaciers – loss of freshwater for humans, plants and animals that rely upon a steady flow
    * extinction of plant and animals species that are very sensitive to temperature and unable to migrate
    * tropical pests moving further south, bringing disease with them such as malaria
    * low lying communities and countries being inundated by the see
    * increased cyclones and hurricanes in some areas, severe drought in others.
    * loss of habitat for animals such as the polar bear
    * increased conflict among humans due to competition for resources

To read the full article by Michael Bloch visit

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