#YALIGoesGreen: Understanding Climate Change

CLIMATE CHANGE ADVOCACY PROGRAM: 

By: Prince Nwankwo (YALI Ambassador & Green Champion)

Lecturer:  Department of Computer Engineering (Federal Polytechnic, Oko – Anambra state, Nigeria)

CEO: Prince Tech Global Ventures Ltd

Founder: Prince Technology and Community Development Foundation

“The climate is changing, the globe is warming, icebergs melting, the earth is cracking, the sun is scorching, the ozone layer is depleting, all because of the anthropogenic green house gas emission into the atmosphere” – Prince Nwankwo!

We are the first generation to witness climate change, and we are the first generation that must do something about it.

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Climate Basics:

The world’s climate is changing, and the changes will have an enormous impact on our planet’s people, ecosystems, cities, and energy use. Average global air temperatures are already 1.5 degrees higher than they were at the start of the 20th century, and have risen about 1 degree over just the last 30 years.

According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), average global temperatures are likely to rise by another 2 to 8.6 degrees F by 2100. If we take aggressive action to reduce emissions, the temperature change could be modest. If we continue on our present course, however, the amount of change will be substantial. Most experts agree that the changes are anthropogenic — caused by humans — largely from emissions of heat-trapping gases released to the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Carbon dioxide is the most significant of these gases; CO2 levels are at their highest in 650,000 years.

What is the difference between weather and climate?

Climate describes the average or typical conditions of temperature, relative humidity, cloudiness, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and other meteorological factors that prevail globally or regionally for extended periods. Weather describes the hourly or daily conditions that people experience each day.

“Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get.”

People expect the weather to change and experience those changes daily. It’s harder to see how climate is changing because climate is measured over many years rather than as single events. Like weather, climate may change differently in different places. Unlike weather, climate represents trends made up of all the weather variables in a region. Changes in the trends can be subtle, but over time they indicate that what is “normal” is shifting.

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Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400 000 years

Over the last 400,000 years the Earth’s climate has been unstable, with very significant temperature changes, going from a warm climate to an ice age in as rapidly as a few decades. These rapid changes suggest that climate may be quite sensitive to internal or external climate forcings and feedbacks. As can be seen from the blue curve, temperatures have been less variable during the last 10 000 years. Based on the incomplete evidence available, it is unlikely that global mean temperatures have varied by more than 1°C in a century during this period. The information presented on this graph indicates a strong correlation between carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere and temperature. A possible scenario: anthropogenic emissions of GHGs could bring the climate to a state where it reverts to the highly unstable climate of the pre-ice age period. Rather than a linear evolution, the climate follows a non-linear path with sudden and dramatic surprises when GHG levels reach an as-yet unknown trigger point.

What is the greenhouse effect?

The Earth has a natural temperature control system. Certain atmospheric gases are critical to this system and are known as greenhouse gases. On average, about one third of the solar radiation that hits the earth is reflected back to space. Of the remainder, some is absorbed by the atmosphere but most is absorbed by the land and oceans. The Earth’s surface becomes warm and as a result emits infrared radiation. The greenhouse gases trap the infrared radiation, thus warming the atmosphere. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane and nitrous oxide, and together create a natural greenhouse effect. However, human activities are causing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere to increase. Note: Greenhouse gases are mixed throughout in the atmosphere. For pedagogical reasons they are depicted here as a layer.

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The Present Carbon Cycle:

The global carbon cycle shows the carbon reservoirs in GtC (gigatonne= one thousand million tonnes) and fluxes in GtC/year. The indicated figures are annual averages over the period 1980 to 1989. The component cycles are simplified and the figures present average values. The riverine flux, particularly the anthropogenic portion, is currently very poorly quantified and is not shown here. Evidence is accumulating that many of the fluxes can fluctuate significantly from year to year. In contrast to the static view conveyed in figures like this one, the carbon system is dynamic and coupled to the climate system on seasonal, interannual and decadal timescales.

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The Cooling Factors:

The amount of aerosols in the air has direct effect on the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth’s surface. Aerosols may have significant local or regional impact on temperature. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but at the same time the upper white surface of clouds reflects solar radiation back into space. Albedo – reflections of solar radiation from surfaces on the Earth – creates difficulties in exact calculations. If e.g. the polar icecap melts, the albedo will be significantly reduced. Open water absorbs heat, while white ice and snow reflect it.

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YALI- (PRINCE)

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 – How did hosting #YaliGoesGreen Programs benefit me and my community?

This measure encompasses actions that promote awareness for the altered conditions under climate change, global warming and adaptation. More than 90% of my community members are not aware and informed about their vulnerability and the measures they can take to pro-actively adapt to climate change. Hosting the event (#YaliGoesGreen) is therefore an important component of the adaptation process to manage the impacts of climate change, enhance adaptive capacity, and reduce overall vulnerability. The benefits of hosting the event cannot be over emphasized; it addresses my knowledge and that of my community. It ensures that the community understand the impacts of climate change, and take action geared towards reducing it.

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 – Why should other Network members host a #YALILearns event?

Global energy consumption is expected to grow by about 70% in the coming 25 years. The combination of increased energy demand and declining petroleum supply can be a threat to political stability and is likely to lead to a shift towards coal and non-conventional oil. This will further increase carbon monoxide emissions and thus accelerate global warming and life-altering regional climate changes. So I am encouraging other Network members to host a #YALILearns event. This public awareness is important to increase enthusiasm and support, stimulate self-mobilisation and action, mobilise local knowledge and resources, while providing cutting edge information, ideas and innovations geared towards addressing climate change and other global challenges.

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“If not us, who? If not now, when? Advocate for Climate justice, wait with the vision, run with it, because it is the king’s business and the King’s business requires haste” – Prince Nwankwo!!

For every year that we wait, for every hour that we stall addressing issues related to climate change and global warming; we set the continent (World) on a course that will be irreversible.

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Nanostructured Solar cells for Energy Applications:

The Sun is by far the most abundant form of renewable energy available on our planet. The amount of energy that Earth receives from the Sun is immense, in fact, it has been calculated that the amount of solar energy that Earth receives in one minute from the Sun would be enough to satisfy the energy needs of entire human population for one year. The world, however, uses only a tiny fraction of totally available solar energy. Sunlight is made out of tiny energy pockets called photons and that each individual solar cell is designed with a positive and negative layer thus being able to create an electric field (similar to the one in batteries). As photons are absorbed in the cell their energy causes electrons to get free, and they move to the bottom of the cell, and exit through the connecting wire which creates electricity (flow of electrons). The bigger amount of the available sunlight the greater the flow of electrons and the more electricity gets produced in the process. Photovoltaic or solar panels are devices that are used to convert sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic panels consist of numerous solar cells.

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Africa is on a move! we are building a prestigious network of Young African Leaders who are at the forefront of change and innovation in their respective sectors. We are using YALI as a platform to create new connections and collaborations, geared towards establishing a community of young people who have the desire to achieve great things – Every young African Leaders are encouraged to be part of this movement – PRINCE

To be part of this prestigious network of this “GLOBAL” thought leader motivated and inspired to provoke new ideas inspire and actionable result follow the link below to get started:

https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/regional-leadership-centers/

To learn more about YALI, including how to apply for YALI programs or become a partner, visit:

yali.state.gov or send an email to africanleaders@usaid.gov

YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS INITIATIVE (YALI)

The President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur/spark growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Through YALI, the United States is investing in an emerging generation of African leaders by committing significant resources to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another, the United States, and innovative leaders in the private, civic, and public sectors. YALI programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, YALI Regional Leadership Centres, and the YALI Network provide interconnected avenues of opportunity for young Africans to grow their leadership skills.

Join the YALI Network (for free) to take advantage of virtual training, tools, and technology:

Online courses & certificates:

The YALI Network platform has created 13 tailor-made online courses on leadership, business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management featuring U.S. university professors and experts in their fields. The training videos provide tips on everything from creating a business model to developing public-private partnerships, with supplementary guides with discussion questions and developmental actions.

Prince has competed all the eighteen (13) free YALI online courses and has earned personalized certificates in Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, Public Management and Climate change; so what are you waiting for? click on the link below to get started: It is free and you can take the courses on your own pace.  Each lesson offers video, audio and text transcript options – wow!

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Contact Prince Nwankwo on:

Phone: +2348063572001.

E – mail: princetechfoundation@yahoo.com

Website: http://princetechfoundation.com/

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/PRINCETECHINNOVATIONS

 

 

 

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