Global warming refers to the observed since the mid-19th century rise in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere and the oceans. The calculated warming trend over the last 50 years in the amount of 0.13 ° C per decade (0.10 to 0.16 ° C) is almost twice as large as that over the last 100 years.
This process is much faster than any known warming phases of the last 65 million years. The temperature increase 1880-2012 is according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 0.85 ° C.
The IPCC writes in his 2013 published the fifth progress report that it is extremely likely that the observed warming of more than 50% is caused by man.
Man made gasses contribution to Green House effect
Cause of Climate Change
Climate change refers mainly to the global temperature increase due to the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect is the entrapment of thermal radiation between the atmosphere and the earth`s surface.
Solar irradiance consisting of visible light radiation is naturally radiated to earth`s surface where is emitted back to the atmosphere as infrared radiation. Certain atmospheric gasses / greenhouse gasses absorb infrared and the re-radiate back to earth resulting to an elevation of the earth`s average temperature. The atmospheric gasses responsible for climate change are:
Consequences of Climate Change
Temperature increase will cause polar ice melt, change in microclimate affecting the biodiversity, desertification, droughts, sea level rise and several extreme weather phenomena such as hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, flooding. Sea level increase resulted to an increase the salinity of fresh water mostly in deltaic and non-deltaic aquifers forcing the inhabitants to migrate elsewhere.
Carteret Islands inhabitants are the first climate change refugees whereas IPCC estimates 200 million climate refugees until 2050.
International agreements to reduce climate change
The first international treaty to reduce emissions of climate-damaging substances binding was negotiated in Kyoto in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC) entered into force in 2005. By the end of 2011 it has been ratified by 191 countries, including the EU. The U.S. has not ratified the Protocol and Canada has withdrawn in 2011.
The countries that agreed are obligated to reduce GHG emissions by 18 percent of the 1990`s emissions by 2020.
EU adjustment to the protocol leads to the implementation of legislations promoting non GHG emitters energy sources
• EU LEGISLATION
Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27. September 2001 on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market. Commission Communication of 7 December 2005 “The support of electricity from renewable energy sources”.
Based on the regulations mentioned above, each EU Member State must do his contributions so that the following goals by 2020 can be reached: Reducing by 20% the GHG emissions based on 1990 levels
Promoting renewable energy so that it will gain a 20% of total energy consumption.
Improving by 20% the energy efficiency.