Here you can understand easily what is climate change and its consequences, access the most recent news and very useful links.
What is Climate Change? + learn more
Nowadays climate change is one of the major and unfortunately unsolved problems that we have to deal with in order to create a sustainable planet. The simple fact is we can feel and see it more than ever in our daily lives and it is no secret that the weather is not the same as it was only a few decades ago. The number and the intensity of extreme weather events has increased dramatically. For example the increased number of hurricanes and the damage they caused (e.g. Katrina hurricane which demolished New Orleans in 2005), the now common heatwaves like in Paris 2001 when more the 10 000 people died because of it, or the several floods in Europe or the drought in China and in Africa where millions are suffering. All of these meteorological events effect mankind and the reality is that they are all caused by the dramatic increase of the Earth's green house gas level.
Greenhouse-gases keep the Earth warm and without them the average temperature could be 33 degrees lower than it is today, so we do actually need them. But since the industrial revolution the level of these greenhouse-gases has increased from 275 ppm to 395 ppm (ppm = parts per million). This in turn leads to the warming of the earths climate and the phrase global warming was coined. To keep the Earth at a sustainable temperature and stop further damage and risk to the world we live in and indeed ourselves we must stop further warming the climate by cutting and reducing our emissions.
The meteorological measurements clearly show that the Earth's climate has warmed in the last half century. Now it is no doubt that it because of the increasing of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions. The model simulations which were published in the IPCC report in 2007 shows that more degrees global warming expected by the end of the century. The estimated values of the regional warming expected in various regions will be significantly higher than the global average. The Carpathian Basin is an area of high climate sensitive zone. The scientific background of the global climate models has now reached a level that can reliably describe the climate system's global-scale processes.
From the second half of the 19th century a slight global warming can be observed, the near-surface annual mean temperature has now risen by 0.7°C. This anthropogenically induced temperature changes already have a detectable effects on various social and ecological systems. The average temperature shifts associated with increase in the frequency of weather extremes, which might blanche.
What are the consequences? + learn more
The production conditions for good crops and sources of food are heavily influenced by extreme weather conditions. These are expected to increase in frequency and intensity and in recent years, the observations and trends support this. The four most frequently occurring phenomena are: a spring frost, drought (long dry period), extreme heat stress, and the stormy weather (strong winds, hail and intense precipitation). All of these occurred in 2007 in Hungary, and the combined damage to agriculture and forestry amounted to half billion EURs. The greatest damage in recent times has been caused as a result of drought. Drought is expected to be in addition to inland flooding as seasons change. In many cases both scenarios occurred in Hungary within a year. Although the general climate change connect to the warming, the spring frost occurrence can not be ruled out, as it occurred in 2007, which is one of the warmest years since the observations. The frequency and intensity of storms will increase in the future. An indication of this can be observed in recent years. Climate change may increase the frequency of hailstorms, which is difficult to field crops thus protecting against harm.
Pests, plant diseases, weeds
Climate change also influences the spread of pests, plant diseases and weeds - and thus the weight of economic damages. Through the experience of recent years, it is expected that a warmer climate with new plant diseases and pests and weeds will continue. They are often more aggressive compared to those previously experienced and a more intensive battle is also likely. For them to survive is easier in the milder winter (less die), so the next growing season they can cause more damage. The effects of extreme weather events resulting from injuries (eg, uneven cracks caused by water or ice) creates gateways for infection and therefore unexpectedly large infections may develop and wipe out huge crop systems.
Higher temperature’s accelerate plant growth, provided that sufficient nutrients and water are available. However after a certain level this may lead to a slow down in growth or even lead to the death of plants in vital ecosystems. The temperature increase will further the rate of evapotranspiration because as the leaf temperature increases, the plant loses moisture more rapidly and the drier air increases the transpiration. The increased evaporation in the soil makes the plant become thirsty faster, which can further increase heat stress. If the plants evaporate more water than they pick up from the soil, water shortages and crop wilting occurs.
Agriculture and energy
Agricultural and forestry products in the past played an important role especially in the rural population of the energy needs. This has changed considerably to cheap and easily transferable of fossil fuels. Over the past few years the re-appreciation of renewable energies are widely accepted. In the context of climate change in the spring of 2007 the EU set a target to use renewable energy sources by 2020, the EU average should reach the 20% stake, and bio-fuels in the total consumption of 10%.
The biomass' energy efficiency is variable. Relatively low in the crops (sunflower, corn), which is due to that only after serious deliberations should focus their energy use. The woody plants are useful for energy purposes in Hungary, the locust, the poplars, the willows, the alder, hornbeam and linden. Regulatory reasons, however, a distinction should be made between the energy forests (includes forestry) and energy plantations (agricultural use). The use of biomass for energy will likely play a greater role in the future than it is today, but there are limits: the bio-energy production and food ingredients makes limit to each other, the use of firewood in the forest-land thus reduce the CO2 reserve capacity of forests.
Health effects of climate change can be separated into two major groups. The direct effects - such as heatwaves and the health consequences of extreme weather events that are directly caused by the weather conditions. And secondly the indirect effects, they comprise as vectors, as well as drinking water and food-borne diseases, and diseases caused by aero allergenes. More and more evidence shows that climate change affects human health around the world and is contributing to the global burden of disease and premature mortality.
Environmental factors like the temperature has a large influence on general health levels. The rising heat can cause the following issues: skin rash, fatigue, cramps, sudden fainting, exhaustion, heat stroke. Our body in the short term usually needs 3-12 days to able to adapt to the heat, the long-term adaptation to the unusual heat conditions, however, can take several years.
The increased frequency of heat waves that is expected can then be be related to increased air pollution as well the so-called "summer-type smog" situations. In the meteorological situation that causes heat waves, contributing to the degradation of air, the amount of ozone and air pollutants will also increase. Local measurements justify the international experience that during a heat wave a significant increase in air pollution can be found.
The UV radiation has a number of positive and negative effects on the human body. The majority of skin diseases can be directly linked to UV exposure particularly cancers (melanoma), and skin burns,. UV-B radiation can weaken the immune response and consequently reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
Amongst the effect of climate change must be accounted for the spread of allergenic plants in space and time change as well. Studies have shown that the spring pollen season starts earlier in Europe. It can reasonably be assumed that as a result the frequency of allergic diseases caused by pollen will grow. Now, the appearance of invasive plant species, e.g. ragweed, represents a significant health risk in many countries in Europe.
What is Carbon Offsetting? + learn more
The carbon offsetting process is so far the best way on fighting against climate change. A good carbon offset compensates for your harmful footprint by supporting a project to reduce the equivalent emissions somewhere else. Because emissions are dispersed throughout the atmosphere, this compensates for the carbon footprint you weren't able to reduce. Carbon offsets are a cost-effective tool in the fight against climate change, allowing you to balance today's emissions while implementing your longer-term emission reduction plans. Co2ntra is different to others. We only use Certified Emission Reduction certificates (CERs) for carbon offsets. This ensures that every ton of carbon offset purchased is actually achieved. Offsetting balances out greenhouse gas pollution in one place with equivalent greenhouse gas reductions in another place. So for example if you produces 5 tonnes of carbon emissions through the travel and hotel stays, you can offset this by purchasing 5 tonnes of carbon credits to reduce your carbon impact to zero and to became carbon neutral.
What are CERs?
Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) are a type of emissions unit issued by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board for emission reductions achieved by CDM projects and verified under the rules of the Kyoto Protocol. CERs can be used by Annex I. countries in order to comply with their emission limitation targets or by oparators of installations covered by the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in order to comply with their obligations to surrender EU Allowances. CERs can be held by governmental and private entities on electronic accounts. 1 CER is equal to 1 ton CO2 reduction.
How can Co2ntra help me?
We help you measure your carbon-dioxide emission and provide a fast, simple and effective way for you to become carbon neutral. Read our tips how you can further reduce - apart from offsetting - your impact on the environment. For offsetting your emission, Co2ntra uses only CER units, as only these are audited and certified by UN CDM. Each unit of CER applies for 1 tonne decrease of carbon dioxide emission. The CERs some form reduction projects from developing countries, in the areas of renewable energy (e.g. biomass, sun or wind power plants), energy efficiency and foresry. Each of the projects removes a measurable amount of green house gases, or prevents the emissions in the first place, to reduce the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that contribute to climate change. Projects are carefully monitored and verified by the UN so that each tonne of greenhouse gas reduction can be certified as a carbon offset credit. To be carbon neutral, Co2ntra buying an deleting the specific amount of CERs so they are no longer available to others and giving you total peace of mind that your offsetting is transparent and effective.
Climate change in Hungary + learn more
The extreme temperature trends in Carpathian Basin
Studying both the mean temperatures and extreme temperature time series, the parameters from the mid-seventies till today shows a strong warming trend. The decrease in the proportion of cold days, and increase the number of heat days both sign the warming.
The extreme precipitation trends in Carpathian Basin
The primary importance of the agricultural productions is the total amount, the intensity and distribution of precipitation in the region. Both the precipitation and the temperatures trends in the last quarter century are markedly different than the trends of the century. While in the Carpathian Basin in the last 50 years have reduced the extremities precipitation rate, until the last 25 years, the extreme precipitation overall increased.
The 1°C global warming in Hungary
To analyzing the impact of climate change, the closer future would be needed, which are not yet fully available. The temperature shows an obvious warming trend, which is stronger than the 1 ° C global average temperature increasing in Hungary. From the annual rate of 1.4 ° C temperature increase, greater changes expected in the summer and autumn (1.7 ° C and 1.5 ° C) in winter and spring in a somewhat lesser degree (1.3 ° C, and 1.1 ° C).
Links we suggest + much more information
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)