The COP21 stands for the "Conference of the Parties 21" which in other words means most countries in the world will meet up for 11 days to reach a consensus on what is the best way to keep the world from getting hotter.
Read a little more about here, courtesy of Kristen's post:
What was the deal?The Paris pact aims to limit the global temperature to a 2 degree Celsius increase from pre-industrial times, but aim for only a 1.5 Celsius increase, by the end of the century. 195 countries in the world have agreed to this pact which will start in 2020. The other main goals of this pact are to peak greenhouse gases as soon as possible, make sure there is a balance between sources and sinks for greenhouse gases, and developed countries will give 100 billion a year to developing countries so that they have funds build an energy efficient industry.
Why 2C? That does not seem like a lot?
Not many people think they would feel a difference between being out in 75 Fahrenheit(24 C) than 71.6 Fahrenheit(22 C) weather. Although that is most probably true, this is not about your local weather but the entire Earth's. A global 2 C rise in temperature means that the entire world, atmosphere, water and land, would get that much warmer. It would take a lot of heat for the entire world to get that hot. In fact, it is not something humans are used to for humans have never lived on a planet that's two degrees warmer than it was it was before 1870. Still don't believe that such an increase is not drastic enough? As NASA has stated, "In the past, a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age. A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under a towering mass of ice 20,000 years ago." A 2C different is a lot and could cause the earth to become hotter than any of us really want it.
Why is our world getting hotter? What is the greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse effect is when the Earth's atmosphere absorbs some of the energy from the Sun and then radiates it back out in all directions. The energy that gets sent back to the planet warm both, the lower atmosphere and surface, it is a much-needed effect because without it the Earth would be about 30 C colder. Gases from industry and agriculture are adding to these natural gases which have caused more energy to become trapped, this is also called global warming. As seen in the graph below, CO2 seems to be what we, everyone on Earth, are adding the most of by burning fossil fuels or destroying something that would absorb CO2.
I like warm weather so what's the problem?Well, there are serious repercussions of the Earth getting warmer. There would be a 400-800% increase in wildfires across the United States. Floods and droughts will become more common. There would be an increase in sea level by as much as 10 feet. Global warming would damage our precipitation patterns which would result in a decrease in food supply. Species that depend on one another may become out of sync. Fresh water will not be as readily available. Ecosystems will change and those animals that cannot adapt or move to a more desirable environment will become extinct.
Right now our Earth is at a .8 C increase from the global temperature of the 1870's. Together, I think that we can start the healing from the damage we have done to our Earth.
What are your thoughts on global warming?
Should more funding go into efforts for a greener industry?
Have we done/are doing enough to prevent global warming?
What are ways we can help stop global warming?
How does the car industry play into this?