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Climate is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description of the weather in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over periods of several decades. These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind, but in a wider sense the climate is the description of the state of the climate system. Components of climate system are: (a) The atmosphere, (b) The oceans, (c) The terrestrial and marine biospheres, (d) The cryosphere (sea ice, seasonal snow cover, mountain glaciers and continental scale ice sheets), and (e) The land surface.

These components interact with each other, and through this collective interaction, determine the Earths surface climate. These interactions occur through flows of energy in various forms, through exchanges of water, through flows of various other radiatively important trace gases, including CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane), and through the cycling of nutrients. The climate system is powered by the input of solar energy, which is balanced by the emission of infrared (heat) energy back to space. Solar energy is the ultimate driving force for the motion of the atmosphere and ocean, the fluxes of heat and water, and of biological activity.

Components of the climate system influence global and regional climate in a number of distinct ways:
By influencing the composition of the Earths atmosphere, thereby modulating the absorption and transmission of solar energy and the emission of infrared energy back to space. Through alterations in surface properties and in the amount and nature of cloud cover, which have both regional and global effects on climate, and By redistributing heat horizontally and vertically from one region to another through atmospheric motions and ocean currents.

Figure represents a schematic picture of the climate system.

Human Perturbations to the Composition of the Atmosphere

Humans are altering the concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosols, both of which influence, and are influenced by, climate. The greenhouse gases reduce the net loss of infrared heat to space. The main naturally-occurring greenhouse gases are water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Water vapour is the strongest contributor to the natural greenhouse effect, but it is the most directly linked to climate and therefore least directly controlled by human activity. Ozone also differs from the other greenhouse gases in that it is not directly emitted into the atmosphere; rather, it is produced through photochemical reactions involving other substances referred to as precursors which are directly emitted.

Observed Changes in Earths Surface Temperature and Precipitation

Over the 20th century there has been a consistent, large scale warming of both the land and ocean surface and it is likely that most the observed warming over the last 50 years has been due to the increase in green house gas concentration. The global mean surface temperature has increased by 0.6C (0.4-0.8C) over the last 100 years, with 1998 being warmest year and the 1990s very likely being the warmest decade.
Precipitation has very likely increased during the 20th century by 5-10% over most mid and high latitudes of Northern hemisphere continents, but in contrast rainfall has likely decreased by 3% on average over much of the subtropical land areas.

The figure shows trends represented by the area of the circle, with red representing increases and blue decreases.

The figure shows the period 2071-2100 relative to 1961-90.

Figure indicates the trends represented by area of the circle, with green representing increases and brown decreases.

Steps Taken to mitigate Climate Change

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.
The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


Kyoto is underwritten by governments and is governed by global legislation enacted under the UNs aegis. Governments are separated into two general categories: developed countries, Annex I and developing countries, referred to as Non-Annex I countries. Any Annex I country that fails to meet its Kyoto obligation will be penalized by having to submit 1.3 emission allowances in a second commitment period for every ton of GHG emissions they exceed their cap in the first commitment period (i.e, 2008-2012). By 2008-2012, Annex I countries have to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5% below their 1990 levels. While the average emissions reduction is 5%, national limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union to a 10% emissions increase for Iceland. Reduction limitations expire in 2013. Kyoto includes "flexible mechanisms" which allow Annex I economies to meet their GHG emission limitation by purchasing GHG emission reductions from elsewhere. Only CDM Executive Board-accredited Certified Emission Reductions (CER) can be bought and sold in this manner.

Opposition to Kyoto
The two major countries currently opposed to the treaty are the United States and Australia. Some public policy experts who are skeptical of global warming see Kyoto as a scheme to either retard the growth of the world's industrial democracies or to transfer wealth to the third world in what they claim is a global socialism initiative. The costs of the Kyoto Protocol as outweighing the benefits, some believing the standards which Kyoto sets to be too optimistic, others seeing a highly inequitable and inefficient agreement which would do little to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Indias initiatives
In the last few years several measures relating to environmental issues have been introduced. They have targeted increasing significantly, the capacity of renewable energy installations. Improving the air quality in major cities (the world's largest fleet of vehicles fuelled by compressed natural gas has been introduced in New Delhi). Other similar measures have been implemented by committing additional resources and realigning new investments, thus putting economic development on a climate-friendly path.

The impacts should vary among regions, but they can not yet be predicted accurately, especially for small-scale areas. However, it is expected that, The more the greenhouse gases are emitted, the higher the tendency for the earth to warm, The greater and faster the warming, the more the adverse effects will dominate, And the higher the possibility, although probably remote, of large-scale and possibly irreversible impacts.

Therefore, although an acceptable level for greenhouse gases has not yet been determined, reducing emissions should reduce the risk of adverse effects. Many options for emission reductions are available; their costs need to be balanced with the risks left for future generations.

Books: Environmental Control System by Fuller Moore, Mc-Graw Hill international. Atmospheric science and Environment by S.N.Ghos, Allied Publishers Ltd.

Journals: Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, University of California Journal of Environment and Development Volume 13, Sage Publication.
Websites: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/POSTpn245.pdf http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics.htm http://search.bnet.com/search/clean+development+mechanism.html