What is climate change?
Climate change refers to changes in the Earth's climate, including changes which are the result of human activities.
Climate change is often referred to as global warming and is commonly associated with rising temperatures. However, it is also leading to extreme and unpredictable weather events that are already having an impact on our planet.
The Earth's atmosphere is made up of greenhouse gases. These gases act in a similar way to the glass in a greenhouse, allowing sunlight to pass through from the outside and trapping the heat inside, keeping the earth at a relatively constant temperature.
Some of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are naturally occurring. However, over the last 100 years, human activity has caused a rapid increase in the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. This has made it more difficult for solar radiation to escape, leading to steadily rising temperatures.
The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas, agriculture and deforestation all contribute extensively to climate change. Scientists agree that the increase in global temperatures and extreme weather events that have been observed over the last 100 years is consistent with the increase in greenhouse gases associated with human activity.
Impacts of climate change
Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has increased by between o.2·c and 0.6•c. While this may seem insignificant, the effects of this change have already been observed in increasing global air and ocean temperatures, rising global sea levels, and widespread reduction in snow and ice cover.
We will continue to see more extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, heatwaves and bushfires and further increases in global temperatures and sea levels, which will have devastating effects on Earth's delicate ecosystems.
Australia is a signatory to the Paris Agreement (2015) which includes a global goal to hold the average temperature increase to well below 2•c and pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C.
Making a difference together
At Greenfleet, we believe in taking practical action to fight climate change.
We plant native forests to absorb carbon emissions from the atmosphere and protect our climate. This is a nature-based climate solution. As they grow, our native forests capture carbon emissions from the atmosphere, provide habitat for native wildlife, conserve biodiversity and contribute to climate change resilience.
By offsetting your carbon emissions with Greenfleet, you will be donating to plant native trees and directly supporting our reforestation projects.
How can you take action?
Climate change is already happening, and we need to take urgent steps to reduce its impact.
At Greenfleet, we believe that we need to avoid and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible. Any emissions that can't be avoided or reduced should be offset by revegetating cleared land with biodiverse native forests.
Figure 1: The Greenhouse Effect - Source: www.climatechange.vic.gov.au