Over the past century, the earth has undergone a major shift in its climate. The industrial revolution and the increasing human life have led to high energy from fossil fuels. However, the more we continue to use this energy, the more the earth’s climatic conditions change. There have been numerous cases of rising sea levels, the introduction of new troublesome pests, heat waves, increased flooding, depletion of coral reefs, and an increase in allergic and infectious outbreaks. However, all these things are now linked to one main culprit, global warming?
The release of the toxic gases is interfering with everything on earth, and the effects are quite devastating. But what exactly is global warming, and how can we stop it?
What Is Global Warming?
It is a phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures on the surface of the earth. The earth’s climate has undergone a major change over the past centuries, with temperatures increasing to alarming levels. As a result, climatic conditions have changed with the severity of drought, rains, hurricanes, and ice, increasing significantly.
What Causes Global Warming?
Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (co2), other air pollutants, and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere. They create a superficial envelope that absorbs solar radiation or solar heat that has bounced off the earth’s surface.
How Does Global Warming Work?
Under natural circumstances, the heat should escape into space. However, the presence of these pollutants makes it impossible. The fact that the pollutants can last for centuries in the atmosphere means that global warming will increase. The trapped heat causes heat on the planet to increase significantly, known as the global warming effect.
How Is A Worldwide Temperature Alteration Connected To Outrageous Climate?
The correlation between temperature alterations and global warming lies in the effects of the former. Rising temperatures result in hotter and longer heatwaves. Besides that, they contribute to powerful hurricanes, heavier rainfall, in addition to frequent droughts.
Increasing temperatures also means that the ocean waters are getting warmer. This is an ideal condition for the development of tropical storms that normally need high levels of energy. Report studies done by scientists indicate that the effect of extreme temperature has led to an increase of hurricanes in the North Atlantic in recent years.
Effects of Global Warming
Global warming and climate change have brought so many effects on the world. These effects can felt economically, socially, and environmentally. Some of the most notable changes include:
- Temperature Extremes
The average temperature on earth has increased significantly. Over the past century, data estimates indicate that global temperatures have gone higher by 0.8 degrees Celsius. 2016 was the hottest year in that period, with the earth’s temperature increasing by 0.99 degrees Celsius.
- Extreme Weather Changes
Recently, there has been an increase in heavy rainfall, floods, typhoons, and hurricanes. Well, all of these are expected to become even more intense as the planet continues to warm up. Sea and cost lines are rising in general, and some cities might be forced to move inland. Snowstorms are also expected to be more intense and frequent.
- Disruption of the Ocean Life
Generally, oceans also act as carbon sinks because they help to effectively excess co2. But with more CO2 emit into the atmosphere, marine life also takes more of this bad gas. This is generally not great for the ecosystem, and it has led to disruption in ocean life.
It should note that CO2 usually reacts with water. So, when it comes into contact with ocean water, it causes a decline in ph. This means that the water ends up becoming more acidic due to a process that’s known as acidification.
High acidity levels end up corroding calcium carbonate skeletons and shells that most ocean organisms usually rely on for survival. This includes the likes of corals, shellfish, and pteropods. The high acidity levels have recently led to excessive coral bleaching, causing most marine organisms’ death.
How the Greenhouse Effect Plays a Role
The greenhouse effect is the main cause of global warming, and it’s a result of the combustion of fossil fuels. When these fuels are utilized, they produce hydrocarbon elements that interact with the earth’s atmosphere and the sun’s radiation. As a result, it creates a greenhouse effect.
You might be wondering how this happens. Normally, we know that when the sun shines, its rays will hit the earth’s surface. Thereafter, the radiation will bounce back to the atmosphere as hear. But instead of heat diffusing into the atmosphere, the gases end up getting trapped, creating an envelope of heat.
Sources of Greenhouse Gases
Fossil fuels are the main sources of these gases. They include the likes of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and also contaminated water vapor. These are the primary gases; however, CO2 contributes to a huge percentage. The average amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in 2019 was 407.4 parts per million, Compared with 280 parts per million at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
Increase of Greenhouse Gases
The increase in greenhouse gases is mainly a result of human activities. Before the industrial revolution took place, there were around 280 parts per million by volume of CO2 in the atmosphere. As we are speaking now, the levels of CO2 have reached more than 380.
Data from the national centers for environmental information indicates that there has been an increase of 1.9 parts per million every year since 2000. This is a massive increase, and it’s due to the use of gas, oil, and coal.
How to Stop Global Warming
The only way we can stop global warming is by joining hands. There is no solitary organization that can single-handedly handle. Individuals, corporate organizations, and all governments must work collectively to ensure that we protect the earth. Some of the most effective techniques that we can use include:
Keep the conversation going? The fact that someone else started the conversation about weather and climate change doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. If you speak up, and someone else does the same, we will keep the conversation active.
There are various channels that you can use to outline your concerns. For instance, you can speak to local environmental communities, environment,mentally-friendly organizations, and other elected officials. Besides that, social media is a great tool in ensuring that you reach a wider audience.
Consider How You Utilize Energy
A lot of people are now going “green”; you should also consider it. For instance, how and when do you use energy? Did you know by unplugging your electronic devices, switching off bulbs when they’re not in use, and also using solar panels can help to save the environment?
Note: if you are in an environment where air-conditioning, heating, and cooling is necessary, consider using sealing drafts. It’s also important that you invest in energy-efficient home appliances.
Consider Your Use of Automobiles and Planes
Vehicles and planes are among the biggest contributors to CO2 gas. The daily traffic snarl-ups, as well as trips abroad, have significantly led to more pollution. And do you know that you also contribute to it?
Well, if you are using a vehicle or train for the daily commute, maybe you can consider using bikes or walking if the distance is close. Besides that, if you frequently fly for businesses and meetings abroad, its time you consider doing online meetings if you can. This is because not everything requires your physical presence.
Consider The Food You Buy and Consume
Make sure that you buy the right amount of food to prevent excessive waste. Research shows that almost 10% of the US’s energy usually goes into cultivating, packaging, and shipping food. However, almost 40% of food usually goes into waste and gets to the landfill.
To stop this and reduce environmental pollution, only buy an adequate amount of food. Livestock products such as dairy and meat are the most resource-intensive to prepare, and you should, therefore, consider how you utilize them.
The industrialization has been good to the life of humankind. The introduction of new commodities and new technologies have definitely improved the overall quality of life. However, the more we use fossil fuels to sustain our lives, the more we are harming the planet.
Global warming has caused a major shift in the life of all living things. From human beings to marine life, we are all experiencing its impact. However, we can at least reduce its severity by going green. Conserving energy and using renewable energy sources are important things we can do to mitigate this problem.
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