Global warming or climate change is the rising of the earth’s average temperature day by day caused by the presence of different gases along with carbon dioxide at high levels in the earth’s atmosphere.
Thinking about the preindustrial times, it’s hard to swallow life without cars, planes and home appliances, not forgetting computers. But doesn’t it feel that life back then was way safer and more secure then it is now? There weren’t as many hurricanes and tsunamis and people weren’t as exposed to the hazardous gases in the environment like we are. The earth is badly heating up and this needs to stop because the effects this heat is likely to have on us are terribly beyond our imagination.
The Greenhouse Effect
Before discussing global warming, we need to understand what greenhouse effect is. The ozone layer of the sun is badly affected by the emission of industrial pollutants and gases which are causing holes to the layer. The solar radiations in turn escape the ozone layer and fall on the earth surface, after which they’re bounced back and get trapped in the atmosphere in the form of heat. The fumes and smoke emitted by the industrial process are the main driving force for the release of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and nitrous oxide. These gases are collectively referred to as the greenhouse gases. The gases, mainly carbon dioxide and methane trap the heat very close to the earth surface, which in turn results in warming it up. This phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect which is responsible for global warming.
Impact on the world
Since 1880s, records for global warming have been maintained marking the rise in temperature every decade and there’s no halt in the temperature increase till date. The temperature is calculated to have risen up to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, impacting the overall environmental conditions. As the result of global warming, sea ice and glaciers everywhere, including Arctic, Atlantic and Antarctic oceans are melting causing the overall sea level to rise up to seven inches (176 millimeters).
Sources of greenhouse gases
The greenhouse gases haven’t resulted only from industrialization but deforestation also thrusts the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide release is anthropogenic which means driven by humans, because when trees are cut, tons of CO2 are released on annual basis. Methane is emitted by the consumption of natural gas, landfills and mining. About 60% of methane in the atmosphere results from the human activity.
Besides, it’s predicted that in summers there won’t be any traces of ice in the Arctic region in the next 30 years. The dry areas of the globe will get drier and hotter causing non-preventable droughts and extreme weather conditions. There will be disruption in oceans too because the water will trap the excessive carbon dioxide as oceans are natural carbon sinks. This is actually a good thing for the atmosphere but a deathtrap for marine life.
Preventive Measures to Control Global Warming
The Paris Agreement is a recent initiative that promises controlling the global warming and its impact on the earth. About 159 nations have signed and ratified the Agreement. As per the agreed points under this covenant, the States will aim and try their level best for decreasing the world temperature rise down to 2 degrees Celsius, along with the regulated emissions of the gas house gases by harnessing technologically advanced machinery in industries to curtail the effects of global warming.
Key Facts and Statistics
- The present century has the highest temperatures recorded ever in the world history.
- The chances of the occurrences of typhoons, drought, hurricanes, changes in the general habitat and wildfires are increased global warming and which in turn will affect food and water’s availability.
- Rapid melting of Glaciers and Sea Ice are occurring throughout the world.
- According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, climate change can play the role of “threat multiplier” in the world’s different parts, engaged in long-term conflict.
- Global warming caused the fastest rate of the sea level’s rising in 2000 years.
- Global warming may lead to a rise in sickness and diseases like asthma, diarrhea, malaria and the like.