Episode 1: Understanding Climate Change

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Climate change is a universal and complex set of issues. There are numerous natural events and cycles which impact the global climate. For example, volcanic activity, solar variations, axial precession, ocean currents, El Nino-La Nina cycles, and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. These are areas that we will explore during this episode. Then there is what is known as human-induced or anthropogenic climate change. These are changes in the global climate that are attributed to human activities that considerably increase levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (otherwise known as CO2), as well as methane, nitrous oxide (otherwise known as NOx) and fluorinated gases. All of these are gases which prevent heat from leaving our atmosphere and exacerbate what is known as the greenhouse effect. These are also areas that we will be examining during this episode. Our exploration of climate change will be based upon peer-reviewed evidence. During our exploration we will be looking primarily at the practical elements and issues. This episode begins by defining both the terms climate change and global warming, before taking a visual journey to get a glimpse of some of the Earth’s natural environments and of the species who call Earth home. The purpose of the journey is to help lend context to some of the fundamental reasons why we are learning about climate change and how to properly address it. Next, we will look at what the Greenhouse Effect is and how it is changing, before exploring the natural events and cycles that impact the Earth’s climate, oceans and surface conditions. From there we shall examine the anthropogenic impacts on the global climate. Then we will conclude with the effective global efforts that are being made to contend with climate change. Efforts which include technologies, legal frameworks and realistic adaptations to our personal behavior. The overall goal of this episode is to help clarify the fundamentals of climate change and to provide the knowledge of how to contend with it in a meaningful and confident way.

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