How can climate change be prevented or reduced?

4 Answers
Aug 10, 2015

It cannot be prevented, only reduced. This is accomplished by reducing the amount of energy from the sun or increase the amount of heat the Earth emits.


Wow, this is a complicated question. Based on what I think you want to know, I am going to answer relating to the warming of the climate.

For starters, reducing the energy from the sun. This is sort of a bit science fiction but it is being looked at. Essentially we would be placing a shield of some sort (imagine a frilly parasol) between the Earth and the sun. There are more than a few things that need to be figured out, like how much energy we should block for example.

The more reasonable solutions have to do with increasing the amount of heat the Earth emits. Basically we can do this by increasing the albedo (reflectiveness) of the Earth, or by reducing the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere. These solutions can be implemented on large or small scale by anyone on Earth. I will give you some examples of what an individual can do.

How do you increase the albedo of the Earth? The simplest thing a individual can do is change the roofing of your house. Black shingles do not reflect much sunlight at all. Light grey shingles do. If you are putting in a driveway do not use black asphalt, try light colored paving stones or light colored concrete. An abandoned asphalt parking lot in your city could be broken up and replaced with vegetation.

How do you decrease the greenhouse effect? One of two ways. First you reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere. Gases like CO2 and CH4 can be reduced easily by operating less combustion engines and eaten less meat (farm animals can produce a lot of methane). The second way is the absolute easiest thing you can do, and there is no major change to you lifestyle at all. Plant a tree. Trees absorb more CO2 than grass over the same area. Another awesome idea would be replacing a fence with a hedge.

Feb 10, 2016

By having global greenhouse gas emissions peak by around 2020, and thereafter head to zero by the end of the century.


An agreement was reached in Paris last year to try and reach this goal and its related temperature goal of no more than 2C of warming. Policy approaches governments are taking include setting up carbon taxes, subsidizing renewable energy and phasing out the use of coal.

Feb 10, 2016



The process of photosynthesis removes #CO_2# from the atmosphere so by planting more trees we can reduce the amount of #CO_2#. The other greenhouse gases are not increasing at the same alarming rate so it is likely that this act alone can solve the problem.

Before people start thinking that this is a simple solution, however, I would like to point out the sheer number of trees that are probably needed. In 1492 the South American rainforest was at it's peak. This is a good period to look at because prior to this time there was no forestry in either North or South America. In the past 500+ years we have removed (and not replanted) about 4 BILLION acres of trees. So every single person on the planet probably would need to plant 100 trees. Obviously that is not likely to happen, but every bit helps.

That amount of trees would remove about 12 billion tons of #CO_2# from the atmosphere every year. That would hit the target of the Kyoto protocol.

Methane has the potential of becoming a much larger problem if we do not get the #CO_2# reduced fairly quickly. Warming of the Earth means thawing of the permafrost. If the permafrost thaws then it will decompose which produces methane. The problem with methane is there is no easy way to get it out of the atmosphere. It is naturally removed by various reactions with other gases. We cannot really speed that up. The other problem with methane is it is 30 (roughly) times more absorptive than #CO_2#.

The moral of the story is plant trees, and do it quickly.

Mar 1, 2016

Reduce the human population drastically and quickly. Using the guideline of other popular benchmarks, why not set a goal of pre-1900 population?


Because much of the concern relates to the impact of the expansion of humans and their activities, the root to the problem is the expansion of human population. Stop and reverse that, and all of the other associated problems will be prevented or reduced.