Glossary | Climate Lexicon T

carbon-connect AG Climate Glossary with common technical terms, abbreviations and explanations on the topics of the environment, climate protection and CO2 compensation.

The 1,5 degree target

The 1.5 degree target refers to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This target was agreed to as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, where member states committed to take action to limit global warming to "well below 2 degrees Celsius" and an aspiration to "1.5 degrees Celsius."

This target is critical to minimizing the negative impacts of climate change, such as floods, droughts, storms and biodiversity loss. A 1.5 degree Celsius increase in global temperature can lead to irreversible climate change, including a shift in global ocean currents and a rise in sea level. To achieve this goal, it is necessary for governments, businesses, and individuals to take comprehensive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Consequences of Rising Sea Levels

Immediate negative consequences of rising sea levels are:

  • Flooding of coastal cities and areas.
  • Loss of coastal settlements and land
  • Changes in the ecosystem and loss of habitats and species
  • Salinization of soils and drinking water
  • Increased risk of storm surges and tsunamis
  • Impairment of fisheries and agricultural production
  • Changes in ocean currents and climate phenomena
  • 8 of the 10 largest cities are located in low coastal areas

Scientists at the research organization (Climate Central) have calculated that global warming of 4 degrees Celsius would put up to 500 million people at risk worldwide. Asia would be most affected.

The Ecological Footprint

The Ecological Footprint is a measure of the impact humans have on the environment. It indicates how much land and sea is needed to produce the resources that a person, city, or country consumes and to absorb the waste that it produces. The ecological footprint is an important indicator of a society's sustainability because it shows whether its consumption of natural resources is within the Earth's regenerative capacity. A high ecological footprint indicates that a society is consuming more resources than nature can regenerate, which can lead to overuse of resources and destruction of ecosystems. Reducing the ecological footprint is an important aspect in the pursuit of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The Fuel Cell

A fuel cell generates electricity from a controlled electrochemical reaction between hydrogen or another fuel and oxygen. Instead of harmful emissions, only harmless water vapor remains at the end. After years of research, Toyota is launching a fuel cell car in 2015. The technology uses hydrogen to generate electricity on board.

Fuel cells are used in many applications, such as space travel, stationary and mobile applications, housing and building technology, and the automotive industry. They have the advantage of being very efficient and having almost no emissions.

One disadvantage of fuel cells is that they cannot yet be mass produced and are therefore more expensive than other energy sources.

There are several types of fuel cells, such as PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cells, SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell), and MCFC (molten carbonate fuel cell). Each has its own applications and advantages.

The PEFC Label

Programs for the endorsement of forest certification (PEFC) is an internationally recognized label and certifies ecological, environmentally friendly, and socially acceptable forest use.

The Stratosphere

The stratosphere is the second "floor" of the Earth's atmosphere and is located from about 12kms altitude to about 50kms altitude. The stratosphere follows the troposphere (the first “floor). The mesosphere is located from 50kms-80kms altitude, and the thermosphere refers to the height of 80kms-400kms. Anything over 400kms altitude is called the exosphere.

Threat Multiplier

The threat multiplier intensifies the negative effects of other factors. Negative consequences of global warming such as food shortages and natural disasters are considered threat multipliers, and can lead to enormous potential for conflict.

The Greenhouse Effect

The Greenhouse Effect is a natural phenomenon that occurs when certain gases in the Earth's atmosphere trap heat from the sun, causing the temperature of the planet to rise. This warming effect is important for life on Earth, as it keeps the planet warm enough to support liquid water and sustain life. However, the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities have released large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect to become stronger and the planet to warm at an accelerated rate. This process is referred to as global warming and is causing significant impacts on the Earth's climate and ecosystems. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the rate of global warming is a critical challenge facing society today.