1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Climate is the most important element in determining worldwide patterns of vegetation shape, productivity, and the makeup of plant and animal species on a global scale. Climate refers to the average weather conditions in a location over a long period of time. While the weather might change in a matter of hours, climate change can take years to occur. The average weather for a given location over an extended period of time, according to Small and Nicholis (2003), is referred to as the climate. It is used to define the totality of all weather that occurs in a certain location over a lengthy period of time. Included in this are ordinary weather conditions, the usual weather season (winter/spring/summer/fall), and exceptional weather occurrences (such as tornadoes) (like tornadoes and floods). This variability in climate has a significant impact on the evolution of natural ecosystems, as well as the human economic and cultural systems that rely on them.
When we talk about climate change, we are talking about average seasonal change over a long period of time. Climate change, according to Igwe (2003), is defined as the fluctuation in global or regional climates across time. Changes in the atmosphere across time periods ranging from a few decades to thousands of years are seen in this graph. According to Nzewi (2009), climate change is defined as a demonstrable rise in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, seas, and landmasses over a period of time. Climate change, according to Ezeudu (2009), is defined as a long-term substantial shift in the average weather conditions that a certain area experiences. As indicated by Nwagu & Nzewi (2009), climate change is defined as a major shift in weather (including wind, precipitation, and temperature) over an extended period of time (over 100 years). As Udenyi (2010) pointed out, global climate change is simply a change in the climatic condition of the globe, and if the change is judged to be on the increasing line by scientists and other relevant authorities, it is referred to as climate change. In the context of this research, climate change is defined as a substantial and observable shift in the global temperature, which is assumed to be on the rise rather than the decline. The climate of the Earth is dynamic and constantly changing as a result of a natural cycle. In any case, what the world is most concerned about is the fact that the changes taking place now are happening faster than they were before due of human activity (Okebukola & Akpan 2009). In a similar vein, Uzochi (2009a) observed that humans have been altering their environment in significant ways ever since they learned how to hunt with weapons, domesticate animals, and farm crops. In addition, humans have modernized transportation and industrial systems, which allow for more convenient movement and manufacturing.
As a consequence of the excessive release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, these human activities have a negative influence on climate change. According to Sjoberg (2002), greenhouse gases are those gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by collecting infrared light and releasing it into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, methane, chloroflorocarbon, water vapour, and nitrous oxide are some of the gases that are produced. According to Igwe (2003), a greenhouse gas is defined as a gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation in the thermal infrared spectrum. As a result of this process, the greenhouse effect is a primary contributor. The greenhouse effect is the increase in temperature that the earth experiences as a result of certain gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, nitrous oxide, and chloroflorocarbon trapping and retaining more energy from the sun. This has resulted in the warming and changing of the global climate that we are currently experiencing.
Furthermore, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulted in the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The ozone layer, which is situated in the stratosphere, is a thin screen that protects the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In addition, it shields earth’s life from the sun’s very damaging radiation. Beginning in the 1980s, scientists started to uncover evidence that the ozone layer was either disappearing or being depleted. In addition, the ozone depletion permits more ultra-violent radiation to reach the earth’s surface, speeding up the pace at which the global climate is changing over time. As the pace of climate change continues to accelerate, it will have serious repercussions such as desertification, droughts, temperature rises, poor agricultural yields, drying up of water bodies, and floods, among other things. (2011); (Oruonye, 2011). Similarly, Igwebuike, Odoh, Ezeugwu, Okparaku, and Opkaraku (2009) itemized the consequences of climate change, which included melting of polar ice, which might result in a rise in sea level, as well as other factors. The rising sea level has the potential to produce flooding disasters (which can wash away farmland and crops, in addition to rendering the affected people homeless). According to Ekezie (2010), an increase in temperature as a result of climate change could result in drought, desertification, a decline in water table, the extinction of some plant and animal species, a decrease in crop yield, and the outbreak of climate-related diseases such as malaria and meningitis, among other things. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), the repercussions of climate change might last for a longer period of time as a result of our continued release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In light of the foregoing, Omotosho (2007), Ishaya & Obaja (2008), Anyadike (2009), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2010) have argued that human continual perpetuation of acts that cause excessive emission of greenhouse gases, such as bush burning, indiscriminate cutting down of trees (deforestation), constant burning of fossil fuel, and other activities, is dependent on the extent to which they are aware that their activities contribute to climate change, among other