Global Warming Introduction
Global warming can be defined as the gradual rise in average temperature Earth’s atmosphere over the past few decades, primarily due to the increased levels of the greenhouse effect caused due to excessive emission of carbon and various other pollutants.
Causes of Global Warming
Global warming is significant aspect of climate change which, in addition to rising global surface temperature, also includes effects such as, changes in precipitation (Form of water from the atmosphere which includes rain, snow, sleet, frost and hail). Several issues contribute to global warming. They can be categorized as ‘Human activities’ and ‘Natural causes’.
Natural causes of Global Warming
The natural variability and climate fluctuations have always been a part of the Earth’s history. Due to natural causes like volcanic eruptions, ocean currents, the Earth’s orbital changes, solar variations and internal variability, the Earth’s climate is influenced and changed.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 caused a 0.6 °C drop in the global temperature. Studies demonstrate that solar variations have performed a significant role in past climate changes. Some people say that global warming in the first half of the 20th century was due to an increase in the output of solar energy. Furthermore, some changes in the climate are caused by interactions within the climate system itself.
Many natural factors affect the climate, but none can compare to the amount of damage caused because of human activities, in the past few decades.
Human activities lead to Global Warming
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) reports in 2013, it is “extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature” between the years of 1951 to 2010 was caused due to the human activities.
These human activities are changing the natural greenhouse, on Earth. Over the last century, the burning of fossil fuels has increased the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
The industrial revolution has played a significant role in this; nowadays we are surrounded by machines that directly or, indirectly use fossil fuel and contribute to the rise of CO2 level of atmosphere.
Besides these, another primary reason for concern is deforestation. Deforestation is the second largest contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, after fossil fuel combustion. Trees are the only natural way by which the carbon dioxide exhaled by millions of humans gets absorbed, and oxygen is emitted In return. The continuation of deforestation is likely to accelerate global warming and have a severe impact on the existence of all living creatures, including man.
Effects of Global Warming
The effect of global warming is expected to be far-reaching, long-lasting, and, in some cases, devastating the planet(Earth). Here is a look at the changes that took place by global warming and possible changes to be expected soon.
One of the most obvious effects is the increase in temperature of the globe. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average global temperature has increased by about 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past century. 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded worldwide, according to NOAA and NASA.
Scientists predict that extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts, blizzards and rainstorms will occur more often and with higher intensity. Climate control models forecast that global warming will cause climate patterns worldwide to experience significant changes, including significant shifts in wind patterns, annual precipitation and seasonal temperatures variations. Since greenhouse gases are likely to remain in the atmosphere for years, these changes are going to last for decades.
One of the primary concerns of climate change is the polar ice melt. As an effect of the ice melt, a significant raise to the sea levels is expected. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the global sea levels have risen about 8 inches since 1870. And in the coming years, it is going to potentially increase. Researchers suggest that by 2100, the average global sea levels could rise by as much as 0.9 meters (3 feet).
Moreover, global warming is expected to have a widespread and profound effect on the Earth’s ecosystem. Many species of animals have already begun moving their range to higher altitudes as a result of the rising temperature. Species including a polar bear, river dolphin, Mediterranean monk seal and reindeer are on the verge of extinction. Additionally, migratory birds are arriving several weeks earlier than they used to, according to the EPA.
The changes expected in human society, maybe even more devastating. The agricultural system is likely to take a blow. The loss of food security may create havoc in the international food markets and could lead to food riots and civil unrest worldwide.
Solution to Global Warming
It is clear that the consistent increase in global temperature would eventually lead to irreversible disasters and eventually total extinction of any life form on Earth. Therefore, global warming cannot be handled by a single solution. It cannot be stopped entirely; at most, it can be slowed down by taking the necessary actions. Some technologies and approaches could be –
Increasing energy efficiency: The energy that is used in households and industries is the most significant contributor to global warming. Energy efficiency technologies make it possible to use less energy to produce the same or, a higher level of service. This approach offers potential saving both in terms of energy and money, moreover, it is quickly deployable.
Renewable resources: Renewable energy such as solar, wind and bioenergy are available around the world and has the potential to provide enough power for the vast majority of our needs. These are not only capable of reducing pollution but also are cost-efficient. Countries across the globe have taken initiatives to cure such global warming. One such effort is the International Solar Alliance. Recently on 10th day of July 2020, the inaugurated Asia’s largest solar power project which shall in resultant produce 750 KW of electricity by using solar energy. The initiative of constructing a dam in Bhutan by India is also under discussion to produce the tidal electricity for both Bhutan and India in place of consideration.
Reducing fossil fuel usage: The most effective way to tackle climate change will be, to reduce the usage of fossil fuels. This is the primary reason for global warming as we already know. Hence, it becomes essential to encourage less use of fossil fuels and seriously consider other less polluting options.
Forests and agriculture: Approximately, 30% of the world’s heat-trapping greenhouse gases are emitted through tropical deforestation and emissions from agriculture. Hence, it is essential to reduce forest degradation and adopt more sustainable practices for food production.
Climate change is not limited to any particular country or, region. Every country on every continent is being affected by it. Emissions in any part of the world can potentially affect people everywhere. The damage done is not limited to that country only.
Therefore, it requires international cooperation. To address this issue, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at COP21 in Paris on December 12, 2015. All the countries agreed to work in limiting the rise in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement came into practice on November 4, 2016.
Conclusion of Global Warming
Therefore, we can conclude that the planet we are living on maybe sustainable for now. But if necessary actions are not taken, global warming can lead to devastating results as severe as the extinction of all living creatures. Hence, it is high time, and we should all put in our best efforts to make the world a better place for all living creatures, including man. It can be done by raising awareness, making small changes in our day to day life such as using less electricity, using fuel-efficient cars, less usage of air conditioners, refrigerators and planting more trees.
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