Climate Change: More Than Melting Ice Caps

Climate Change Can Have Different Impacts on Our Planet and Has Been Happening for Years

Our everyday human activities are contributing to climate change

You are probably familiar with the iconic image of a polar bear stranded on an isolated piece of ice representing the global issue of climate change. But did you know that climate change is more than just melting ice caps? Did you know that we have already been impacted by the effects of climate change right here in Vaughan over the last several years?

Every day, human activities are contributing to our changing climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) — like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — are the main culprits.  When released into the atmosphere, GHGs prevent heat from escaping, acting like a big blanket that warms our planet.

Over the last century, activities like fossil fuel burning, land clearing for agriculture and human development have significantly contributed to increased GHG emissions and Earth’s gradual warming.

Evidence of climate change

Climate change can have a range of different impacts on our planet. Evidence of climate change has been observed around the globe, including:

  • Rise in sea levels
  • Rise in global temperatures
  • Warming oceans
  • Declining Arctic sea ice
  • Extreme weather events

Extreme weather in Vaughan

Vaughan has experienced several extreme weather events, including the tornado in August 2009, the December 2013 ice storm and flooding in the summers of 2005, 2011 and 2013.

What’s Vaughan doing to help reduce GHGs?

The City of Vaughan is working hard to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. The Community Climate Action Plan is one strategy that has been developed to identify practical ways that we, as a community, can reduce our GHG emissions. The Community Climate Action Plan has set a target for reducing community GHG emissions by 20 per cent per person below the 2006 baseline level by 2026.

So what can YOU do?

Take a stance against climate change by joining us for Earth Hour Vaughan at City Hall on March 28 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will include a professional energy conservation exhibit, high-school Jeopardy-style game, lantern walk, cycling night ride, refreshments, live entertainment and more!

You can also learn more about Vaughan’s climate change strategies and how to get involved by visiting our website.

Kailyn Smith, MES
Sustainability Co-ordinator

Leave a comment below and share with us what YOU do to conserve energy or reduce pollution or water consumption.



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