Global warming is said to have caused a major setback on the global temperature. These global changes seem to have affected the economy, communities and health of people around the world. This mainly occurs due to the greenhouse gases that arise from burning the fossil fuels, deforestation and also the excessive carbon dioxide emissions that are released into the atmosphere. This, in fact, is also called the ‘greenhouse’ effect.The greenhouse gases:
The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can cause problems like global warming. The combination of water and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has the capacity to absorb the infrared radiation and also re-radiate it. This results in the greenhouse effect. So, basically the greenhouse effect is due to the water vapor which raises the temperature of the atmosphere due to the carbon content. The greenhouse effect is the absorption and emission of infrared radiation which raises the temperature levels. The mean warming effect of the greenhouse effect is about 33 degree Celsius.
The industrial revolution and the urbanization are two of the main reasons that cause the greenhouse effect. Also, the gases like methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons have all been the causes of this.
Why does global warming happen?
The earth, as we all know, receives light from the sun and most of it is reflected as infrared rays. But, all the infrared rays do not escape from the earth’s surface. In fact, the earth has a layer that absorbs most of these infrared radiations and the others penetrate into the surface of the earth. Thus, the earth is warmer due to the heat and light that actually comes form the sun. But in recent times, the infrared radiations that reach the earth have increased to a greater extent. This has made our planet extremely warm and resulted in global warming.
The consequences of global warming:
1) Disruptions in the weather patterns:
The global warming has brought in the fear of more destructive hurricanes. In recent years, the hurricanes have all become acutely rapturous and intense. With the increasing temperature of the oceans, the storms have already increased over the last 35 years. In august 2005 hurricane Katrina which was one of the most deadliest, was apparently a result of the global warming. Another problem that has arisen due to changing weather is wildfire and droughts. The temperatures which have been continuously on the rise are the result of wildfires. Around 100,000 fires have been reported and 10 million acres of land which have been burned in these wildfires. The wildfires have also caused droughts in several areas .Moreover, the drought frequency is constantly on the rise as well. Intense rainstorms are another major problem due to the greenhouse effect. These have caused heavier rainfalls which have caused major destruction around the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also estimated that the rainstorms have occurred in greater frequency during the last 50 years which has become the matter of concern in several countries.
2) Threat to wildlife:
We can relate the ‘survival of the fittest’ to this concept. Several of the ecosystems have suffered major threats due to global warming. The species of animals who couldn’t survive in this extreme condition have all faced extinction. It is also said that nearly 1 million of the species may become extinct by the year 2050 if proper measures are not taken to curb this problem. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that nearly 20 to 30 percent of animal and plant species may eventually die out because of the global average temperature rising more than 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Many of the polar bears are said to have drowned due to the fact that they couldn’t swim longer distances. Also, many of the penguins that are found in Antarctic have all disappeared by about 33 percent due to the changes in their habitats. The carbon dioxide emissions have made the oceans extremely acidic and unfit for the survival of aquatic coral reefs, which have hard calcium carbonate shells. It is also predicted by the scientists that nearly 97 percent of the coral reefs present in the oceans would have been wiped out with the conditions increase in temperature.
3) Health problems:
There are a number of heat–related deaths that have occurred around the world due to global warming alone. Nearly 15000 people are said to have died in France, 70000 in Europe due to the extreme heat waves. Also, there is acute health problems like asthma that have come to existence due to this. Pollen allergies are other problems that have arisen due to this. In fact the growth of weeds like rag-weeds has increased due to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmospheres. These are the reasons why pollen allergies are found in several people. Moreover, there are several waterborne illness and infectious disease that are found due to the polluted air and water. In fact food-borne illnesses like salmonella are also a result of the outdoor temperature increasing to a frightful level. Also, there are several intense weather conditions that have caused a plethora of health problems around the world.
4) Glaciers at risk:
The melting of glaciers and ice caps have increased over the last few years .In fact, the ice shelf’s area have also shrunken the polar ice caps have also said to be shrinking at the rate of 9 percent per years which is indeed a startling rate. It is also feared that by the year 2070, all the glaciers that exist in glacier national park would have been all melted. The melting glaciers give rise to another problem of rising sea levels. Melting of the mountain glaciers and Greenland ice caps have caused major risks of flooding in several communities. In this situation, the low lying areas are said to be at stake. Also, there is also another estimation that if at all the Greenland ice caps would melt entirely; the sea level would rise to a frightful height of 21 feet.
Global warming is a massive phenomenon and we need to fight against it strategically. Here’s how you can do it;
1) Drive less:
The burning of fossil fuels cause global warming. This is why you can go cycling or walking to reduce the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere.
2) Always prefer energy efficient products:
Buy household appliances that are energy efficient. Instead of using conventional light bulbs, use LED bulbs which are huge energy savers and efficient.
3) Use heating systems efficiently:
You can save about 2000 pounds of carbon emission just by keeping it 2 degrees lower in winter and 2 degrees higher in summer.
4) Reduce, reuse, and recycle:
Always reduce the usage of products or otherwise reuse. Recycling is another better option. By recycling alone, you can save 2400 pounds of carbon dioxide that might be released into the atmosphere.
5) Plant a tree:
This is the best way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide present in the environment. The trees absorb the carbon dioxide and give out oxygen .It is said that one tree in its entire lifetime can reduce about 1 ton of carbon dioxide present.
We all need to make wiser decisions to curb problems like global warming and help protect our planet earth.