What is climate?
Climate, i.e. the weather, is a long-term averaging weather regime, which is characteristic to a particular region. Climate, in turn, can be divided into climate zones, which are formed due to the position of the Sun and Earth toward each other – solar radiation falls on different regions of the Earth under a different angle and warms these places differently.
In addition, macro climate, meso climate and micro climate are distinguished. The climate of a small territory is called micro climate. Meso climate is on a bigger similar territory, while macro climate on a large area of the Earth, for example, in the geographical zone.
Elements of a natural environment influence climate differently. For example, lakes influence micro climate on an area which is not much bigger than the area of the lake itself; ridges influence already meso climate, and the ocean, the global climate.
The Earth climate in general is determined by environmental elements of global and cosmic extent.
Climate is a system which consists of several closely interrelated parts:
- hydrosphere (world ocean and internal water bodies);
- land (continents);
- kryosphere (snow and ice areas);
If one climate element changes, changes also occur in other climate indicators, which are related to the first one. Therefore, a shift appears to occur in the entire system.
Climate agreements and regulationThe 21st century has been a turning point in becoming aware of climate change and offering of solutions. The problem was first reported in Sir Nicholas Strern’s report, which was ordered by Great Britain in 2006, evidencing that fighting with climate change is economically feasible, and inactivity would cost more as a whole.
In order to prevent dangerous disruption of the climate system, the aim of the activities oriented at climate protection both on international and European Union level is to direct the increase of average temperature of the Earth as much as possible below two degrees (by Celsius), when compared to the level prior to the industrial revolution.
The most important agreements, regulating climate change on an international level, are United Nations (UN) Convention on Climate Change, concluded in 1992, as well as the Kyoto Protocol and the joint implementation, issued in 1997 in Japan.
European Union agreements
As a member of the European Union, the possibilities as well as the obligation of Estonia to participate actively in solving the global environmental problem, as is climate change, have extended significantly. EU has developed a climate change and energy packet, which regulates the system of trading with greenhouse gases allowance, the field of renewable power supply, the limits of CO2 emission of cars, fuel quality, the collection, preservation and shared responsibility for carbon dioxide.By 2020, the European Union should:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent;
- increase energy efficiency by 20 percent;
- ensure that 20 percent of the energy need is covered by renewable power supplies.