Surprising Study Finds That Solar Energy Can Also Cause Climate Change

There is no question that the use of fossil fuels, particularly for energy, has had a significant impact on the environment. But, did you know that solar energy can also cause climate change? Solar energy powers most smartphones, tablets, and laptops so, it’s very likely that this form of energy has influenced the global climate more than we think. While it’s not practical to assume that going green is enough, a significant part of being earth-friendly is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. That’s where this study comes in. It’s the first of its kind and was just published in Nature Climate Change. It concludes that while climate change is inevitable, it’s not all bad news as renewable energy can help to mitigate some of the damage.

The Study

The study’s lead author, Professor Christoph Freeland of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, told the BBC that while he and his colleagues had expected solar energy to have a negligible impact on climate change, they were “surprised to find that it’s one of the major factors in changing the climate of the planet.” The study found that between 1880 and 2012, direct and indirect effects from solar energy added up to a global temperature increase of 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. This is approximately equal to the entire global warming caused by humans from burning fossil fuels.

Professor Freeland continued, “What is more surprising is that the change is happening so quickly, especially since solar energy is increasing in tandem with the increase in the use of fossil fuels. We can expect that going forward, humans will continue pumping out more solar energy than ever before and we’re going to see larger impacts on the climate. I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. If we really want to tackle climate change, we need to look at both direct and indirect causes.””

Wondering If Going Green Is Enough To Avoid Climate Change?

The study’s findings won’t come as a great surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the environment for a while. It’s well-established that humans have a significant impact on the climate and that our actions have consequences. While reducing your carbon footprint is an important step to take, it doesn’t remove all of your responsibility. Going green is still not enough; we need to be thinking about actively reducing the effects of climate change.

That’s where being more energy-efficient and switching to renewable energy sources comes in. Unfortunately, these changes are difficult to make so, it’s important that we continue researching and learning more about how to reduce our impact on the environment while simultaneously reducing our energy bill. It seems like this study has revealed just another reason why going green is important. We now know that reducing our carbon footprint is not only good for the environment but also prevents some of the effects of climate change.

What’s Next?

While this study focuses on solar energy, it’s important to remember that the same principles apply to other forms of renewable energy as well. So, if you’re switching to wind or hydroelectric power to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll still have some impact on the environment even if you operate a 100% green energy system. We need to continue researching and learning more about how to reduce our carbon footprint and how our actions impact the environment. Going green can be an important part of the solution but, ultimately, we need to be doing everything we can to reduce the effects of climate change.

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