Earth Day 2020: What is Climate Change? How can we help slow down Climate Change?
What is Earth Day and why is it important?
Earth Day has been celebrated every April 22nd since 1970. The main aim of Earth Day is to raise awareness on the negative impact our actions as mankind have on our environment and earth as a whole, and is a day for political action and civic participation.
“On Earth Day, April 22, 2020, we have two crises: One is the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The other is a slowly building disaster for our climate.
We can, will and must solve both challenges. The world was not prepared for the novel coronavirus. But we still have time to prepare — in every part of the world — for the climate crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic does not shut us down. Instead, it reminds us of what’s at stake in our fight for the planet. If we don’t demand change to transform our planet and meet our climate crisis, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk.”
The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.
What is the theme for Earth Day 2020?
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.
Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
What is Climate Change?
Geological records stretching back millions of years indicate a number of large variations in Earth’s past climate. These have been caused by many natural factors, including changes in the sun, volcanoes, Earth’s orbit and CO2 levels.
However, comprehensive assessment by scientists shows that it is extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th Century.
What is causing climate change?
Greenhouse gas emissions
Evidence that CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming is very robust. Scientists have known since the early 1800s that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat.
Global CO2 emissions from human activity have increased by over 400% since 1950. As a result, the concentration of CO2 in the air has reached more than 400 parts per million by volume (ppm), compared to about 280ppm in 1750 (around the start of the Industrial Revolution).
The Earth’s natural climate cycle
Over the last 800,000 years, there have been natural cycles in the Earth’s climate, between ice ages and warmer interglacial periods. After the last ice age 20,000 years ago, average global temperature rose by about 3°C to 8°C, over a period of about 10,000 years.
We can link the rises in temperature over the last 200 years to rises in atmospheric CO2 levels. Greenhouse gas levels are now well above the natural cycle of the last 800,000 years.
The sun is the primary source of Earth’s heat, so relatively small changes in solar output can affect our climate.
Satellite observations since the late 1970s have shown a slight decrease in the sun’s total energy output. However, instead of cooling, the Earth has warmed over this period.
Also, warming from the sun would heat all of the atmosphere, including the lowest few kilometres (the troposphere) and the layer above (the stratosphere). Observations show that the stratosphere is in fact cooling while the troposphere warms. This is consistent with greenhouse gas heating and not solar heating.
What is PyroCore doing to help?
Our technology uses Pyrolysis, a transformative process using high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to break down waste to small volumes of inert ash and release its energy in the form of Syngas.
Pyrolysis typically reduces volumes of waste by 90-95%.
Eliminating vehicle movements associated with waste removal and energy offsetting can deliver large carbon reductions. The overall process has a very low emissions profile, and we are driving towards zero emissions equipment by 2021.
This article contains key information from The Comittee on Climate Change, an ‘Independent advice to government on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change’ and World Earth Day, who’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.