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Planet Earth is beautiful, ancient, resilient to interstellar travel and perfectly suited for life. Yet, it is a dynamic system ever-changing both on the inside and on its surface.
Many of the changes that the planet experiences affect the long-term temperature and global weather conditions. These long-term changes we call Climate Change.
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. United Nations
These two terms are often confused creating conflicting opinions and distorting the big picture. The main difference between the two terms is time. Weather happens over short periods of time, usually minutes to months and Climate is measured over long periods of time, usually over 30 years.
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time. NASA
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is part of the United Nations and is in charge of investigating and advising on matters regarding the science related to climate change.
In their 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021 they presented the graphic below providing 5 different scenarios regarding the global surface temperature change relative to 1850-1900. Each Scenario presents an outcome determined by the level of action humanity embarks on to combat global warming.
Visualizing historic data helps in raising awareness towards not only the consequences of inaction regarding Climate Change, but it is also a way to present, analyze and promote different paths to encourage positive change, that may result in a future better world.
The projects we are creating in this guide are learning tools, but they can also be instruments of change.
In the next section, we are introducing the technologies we will be working with. See you in Our Tools.