Within the field of geography, the issue of climate change is one that has aroused a significant amount of public debate, especially over the past few decades. There have been about as many theories on climate change as there are scientists out there, and this has made the debate largely an argument over information, for example, how to interpret evidence such as the ice caps melting. Climate change is a debate that has placed science at odds with politics and economics. The risks are evident, as the public has been overrun with warnings of what is to come if the world does not collectively get its act together and change the way it interacts with the natural environment the ice caps will melt, the sea levels will rise, we will have terrible natural disasters, blistering summers and ongoing droughts. It has gotten to the point where there is so much conflicting information about global warming that people do not know who to believe, and this can be said to have led to certain complacency among people and the way that they treat the natural environment.
[...] The notion of climate change is also different for a geographer and a regular person who is concerned not about climate change over millions of years, but climate change over their lifetime and likely the lifetime of their offspring for a few generations. The way in which this of humanity lives in the near future will be dependent on how well he confront the challenge of abrupt climate change. Slowing down the acceleration of the climate that humans have created will be no easy task, and will take a concerted global effort, but regardless of how humanity confronts this challenge, one thing is certain, the earth will survive long after humanity. [...]
[...] In light of what has already been outlined in this paper, the idea of climate change is one that refers to the abrupt climate change that is occurring in the world today, and the environmental shifts that are likely to take place as a result. The reality is that, despite what we are led to believe in the news and on television, we will never truly be able to control the climate, as the climate goes through its own stages of warming and cooling, and humans will have to adapt to this as they always have. [...]
[...] climate change as a broader phenomenon that has been active since the earth was created, while everyone else will understand it in the context of short-term and abrupt climate change that is being accelerated by the pollutants that humans are putting into the atmosphere. Before beginning to put the topic of climate change into perspective, it is important to note how long the earth has been around approximately 4,600 million years. The process of the earth's creation is a complicated one, and not directly relevant to this paper, but what is important is that the world has been experiencing an ever-changing cycle since it was created, and scientifically and geographically speaking; the world has never been stagnant and today is no exception. [...]
[...] As can be seen these periods of climate change take place over thousands and millions of years, and humans did not begin to inhabit the earth until mere thousands of years ago. Humans are thought to have first emerged in Africa about 170,000 years ago and when that number is placed against the age of the earth, about 4.6 billion years, it can be seen how new we are. (de Blij, 2005: 59). The history of the world's climate is significant when trying to understand climate change because for millions of years the world has gone from hot to cold, and cold to hot repeatedly. [...]
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