CLIMATE CHANGE IN CANADA

 

Climate system is a highly complex global system consists of atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Climate is defined as the average weather over 30 years and weather is determined by the oceanic currents and topography of the location. In Canada the majority components are cryosphere and hydrosphere. There should be an energy for the climate system to work and the energy is provided by the sunlight. The energy gets absorbed by the ocean and land and some of it is reflected back into the earth. The earth’s lower atmosphere absorbed and reemits some of the radiations which causes greenhouse effect.  The important aspect of the climate system is non uniform distribution of sunlight leading to different weather in different areas. For example, in equator the sunlight is intense when compared to tropical and polar areas. The difference in the temperature leads to oceanic currents moving from high to low temperature zones. Oceanic current is formed thus to maintain an equilibrium between hot and cold areas. Precipitation, evaporation, atmospheric circulations are also accompanied with this process. And this whole process is defined as weather (Government of Canada, 2015). Climate change is defined as the drastic change of long term weather. In this current period climate change is also known as global warming. In the earth’s climate history lot of climate change have been occurred throughout the period. The global warming is caused by the greenhouse gases mainly carbon dioxide and methane. The major producers of carbon dioxide and methane are combustion of fossil fuels. The global warming leads to melting of ice glaciers and thus increasing the sea level. There are some substances which pushes the climate into warmer or cooler leading to climate change, they are known as climate forcers. Carbon dioxide and other hydro carbons are the main substances of climate forcers which pushes the climate to warmer or cooler temperature. Due to industrialization, deforestation occurs and thus more greenhouse gases are produced which increased the sun radiations to 50 times. These all started by the actions of human being who is only one responsible for the climate change. Due to industrialization revolution, there was an enormous increase in the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture. This is where the reason for this environmental issues started. Carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of fossil fuels as a long term effect on atmosphere because it’s a long lived gas. Other factors of climate forcers are agricultural and forest related activities and industrial process. Carbon dioxide gas nitrous gas are last long lived gas which also contribute to long term climate change. Other substances are short lived when compared to these two so it has a short term effects. When the short lived climate forcers are increased at a higher rate which exert a climate forcing. Similarly when the rate is reduced the climate forcing also get reduced. Sulphate aerosols is a short lived climate forcer which indulges the climate cooling effect. While combustion of fossil fuel it emits sulphate dioxide into atmosphere in addition to carbon dioxide. The Sulphur dioxide combines with the water vapor and reflects the sunlight thus it produces a cooling effect it only remains for a few days and it does not have a long term effect. Climate change can cause natural causes also. Climate can be affected by two factors mainly and they are climate system factors and external factors like volcanic activities and solar output. When comparing the natural factors with the industrial revolution the addition of gases by industrial revolution is 50 times greater. The major impact of climate change is sea level rising due to the melting of ice which is harmful for the living beings. The global warming also increase the average oceanic temperature. Within the last 20 years, 20 centimeters of water level rose in the sea. According to studies, it shows that sea level increase will be greater if the historical emissions increase. The coastal and low lying areas in Canada are at risk even at one meter sea level rise. The other impacts of climate change are droughts, heat waves and extreme storms. Canada emits 2 percent of the global emission but the per capita emission of Canada is very high when compared to other countries. This large emission is because of mainly two factors: Canada is a large and cold country and high number greenhouse gas intense sectors especially the energy industries. Canada plays an important role in global warming in future year because it holds the world’s largest remaining fossil fuels resource. By exploiting the resource the global temperature can increase 2 degree Celsius more which is very high for less populated nation. Many provinces in Canada took certain actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, in Ontario coal fired plants are substituted with natural gas power plants in 2002 and 2014 (Davidson, 2018, Government of Canada, 2019, Causes of climate change).

There are mainly 5 ways Canada could decrease the climate change.

Mindset: Canadians should support and help to implement the policies and norms properly in all levels of government that is municipal, provincial or territorial, and federal level. People should be aware about the current environmental issues. Sustainable development is a good model of development by not harming the environment but also fulfilling our dreams. It reduces the overexploitation of the resources and also reserving it for the future generations. People should have a mind to sacrifice their greed and to select ecofriendly development model.

Transportation: Use public transportation rather than private. For example, if 10 person take the same energy as 30 person which is more useful. So for our convenience and enjoyment we use the private transportation and if the same thing is done by 30 people what will it result. So use public transit and walking more reduce the combustion of fossil fuels.

Housing: There is no house in Canada without a cooler and heater. Even though it is very important we could reduce its over usage. Other fast fixes to extend a home’s proficiency are using compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs and checking for cracks in walls, doors and windows and sealing or insulating them properly to maintain a warm atmosphere.

Shopping: Shopping is the new trend in the society. When we buy a thing we don’t think about its origin and production. We are just buying for our satisfaction but it may contribute to ruin the whole world. In Canada, the reduction of usage of red meat itself reduce the greenhouse effect created by the food shopping. According to Simon Donner, an associate professor of climatology at the University of British Columbia, the energy used to produce red meat takes more than to produce the same amount of chicken, pork, vegetables or grain. People should start to shop locally as well as create a mini farms or small farms in every house to reduce the grocery shopping where we could get healthy and organic food as well as to reduce the food’s travel.

Energy use: The conservation of energy should be done from the lowest and simplest level and that is at home. Turning on the charging stations even though it is not useful are common in every house. Some steps to reduce the wastage of energy are to unplug the electronics when it is fully charged, hang to dry clothes, walk rather than spending time on TV or computer, create a charging station for all hardware with a power bar, and as it were turn it on when something has to be charged, renewable energy sources and buying less energy efficient household appliances (Sagan, 2015).

Government of Canada climate change science activities encourage the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Pan Canadian system on clean development and climate alter is an arrange created with the territories and domains and in meeting with the indigenous people to meet the emanations decrease  targets, develop the economy and construct strength to a changing climate. It estimates the carbon combination and measure to attain decrease over all divisions of the economy. It points to drive advancement and development by expanding innovation advancement and selection to ensure Canadian businesses are competitive within the worldwide low carbon economy. Moreover, it incorporates activities to development climate alter adjustment and construct strength to climate impacts over the nation (Government of Canada, 2019, Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change). They detect the activities of 13 departments and agencies on their climate change science activities which are both natural and social sciences. They are

?        electricity

?        forestry, agricultural and waste

?        , building climate resilience through infrastructure

?        transportation

?        built environment,

?        reducing climate hazards and disaster risks

?        industry

?        fundamental and cross cutting activities

?        , protecting and improving human health and well being

?        governmental leaderships

?        , translating scientific information and traditional knowledge into action

?        supporting particularly vulnerable regions

?        Research grants and funding for post secondary institutions (Government of Canada, 2018).

 

 

Ontario has made noteworthy advance to address climate change with 22 percent decrease which is great compared to rest of Canada where it  increase by 3 percent at the same time. They released a new project Made in Ontario Environment Plan which protect and conserve the planet for future generations. They address climate change by mainly three methods.

  1. Building resilience: help families and communities to prepare the cost and impacts of the climate change by ensuring the nature, society, businesses and municipalities.
  2. Making polluters accountable: guaranteeing that polluters pay their reasonable share for their greenhouse gas emissions and also ensuring that industries proceeds to form propels to assist Ontario accomplish its share of reduction.
  3. Activating the private sector: private sector has the capital, capability and know how to convert the clean innovative markets and move Ontario to a low carbon economy. They have the clear methods to drive emanation decreases at the most reduced taken a toll to citizens (Government of Ontario, 2015).

Due to the colonization the indigenous Canadians were impoverished and deny the access to their resources. They are the mostly affected people due to the environmental changes. Their habits were changed which will destruct their culture and tradition. Gradually these all will affect every living beings. The introduction of materials economy which includes the extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal is the key source of the weather today. Extracting natural resources up to its depletion and making toxic contaminated products by mixing harmful chemicals with the resources are in trend as the demand for these products are high. In the modern era, people are not realizing how much our planet sacrifice for the production of single product which we may change in 1 week after the purchase of it. Planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence are new two strategies of this economy to make the people to shop more which increase the distribution, consumption and disposal. For instance, we run behind the trend and buy the things that of latest versions. My uncle used to keep on changing his iPhone when its versions get upgraded. Here his phone is perfectly useful but for his satisfaction he dumps the phone to buy a new one. But there are cases we were force to replace the items. For example, if we are not able to run a software in our computer as our version is old, we were forced to change the whole system even though it is perfectly good. These kinds of tricks in the economy increase the demands just for the income but we are not thinking of the resources depleted due to it. I choose this environmental topic because this is not an issue where only one country is involved or one person is involved, it is a common issue for our survival. We could solve this issues just by making small changes in our habits like planting trees (afforestation), use tap water to reduce the use of plastics and pollution, use ecofriendly products, use public transit or walking to reduce the pollutants, use local and organic foods to cut down its production and refrigeration. The 3R concept that is reduce, recycle, reuse should be implemented properly among the community as well as in the market economy. As the human beings are the problem and they are the only solution. It is quite strange to remodel our life by reducing what we had before. But for a long lasting earth we need to do some sacrifices (the story of stuff, 2009).

REFERENCES

Davidson, D., Climate Change (2018). In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/climate change

Government of Canada (2018). Science activities related to reducing emissions and increasing climate resilience. Retrieved from canada.ca: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan canadian framework/science activities reducing emissions.html

Government of Canada (2019). Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Retrieved from canada.ca: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan canadian framework.html

Government of Canada (2019).Causes of climate change. Retrieved from canada.ca: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment climate change/services/climate change/causes.html

Government of Canada (2015).Climate system. Retrieved from canada.ca: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment climate change/services/climate change/climate system.html

Government of Ontario. (2015). Climate change. Retrieved from Ontario.ca: https://www.ontario.ca/page/climate change 

Sagan, A. (2015, December 15). COP21: 5 ways Canadians can help reduce climate change. CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate change reduction what can people do 1.3363878

Additionally video from CMS 

The story of stuff, 2009

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