For decades societies have been concerned about climate change, and in recent years it has sparked a debate as to whether the earth is warming due to causes by humans or through a natural progression. There are scientists on both sides of the debate, but one thing that they can agree on is that the earth is in fact warming.
Studies have indicated a rise in the carbon dioxide levels (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere that can be attributed to the what is known as the greenhouse affect (Simon, Reece, Dickey, 2007). Natural occurring gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor act as source for trapping heat into the atmosphere, however CFC’s or chlorofluorocarbons are man made synthetics (Simon et al. 2007). These synthetic gases accumulate to the already natural gases and increase the amount of heat that gets trapped in the atmosphere (Simon et al. 2007). Some sources indicate that humans have been increasing to the rise in carbon dioxide and methane levels as well (Stanford Solar Center, 2008). The Stanford Solar Center (2008) also notes that the increase in carbon dioxide levels is due to the burning of fossil fuels and the change in land usage, while methane level increases are a result of agriculture.
Within the last decade are concerns about global warming have heightened and with good reason. The rate at which the earth is warming is what is so alarming, since it can have such a profound negative impact on the ecosystem. Simon et al. (2007) note that prior to the industrial revolution the concentration of CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere was roughly 280 parts per million (ppm), however today’s levels are at 385 ppm and still climbing. The earth’s oceans are always in a constant exchange of carbon d.
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American Geophysical Union. (2007). AGU Position Statement: Human Impacts on Climate. Retrieved from http://www.agu.org/sci_pol/positions/climate_change2008.shtml
Chandler, David. (2009). Climate change odds much worse than thought: New analysis shows warming could be double previous estimates. Retrieved from http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/roulette-0519.html
Natural Resources Defense Council (n.d.). The Consequences of Global Warming on Weather Patterns. Retrieved March 30, 2010 from http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/fcons/fcons1.asp
Simon, E. J. Reece, J. B. & Dickey, J. L. (2007). How Populations Evolve. Campbell Essential
Biology 4th Edition (pp. 242-267). San Fransico, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Stanford Solar Center (2008). Global Warming: Factors. Retrieved from http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html#top
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Autor: people • March 15, 2011 • Essay • 447 Words (2 Pages) • 1,217 Views
What is global warming? As the name suggests, "global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth, happening in oceans and near-air surface". It is argued that global warming is a minor issue not deserving to pay time and resources; however, the dramatically rising temperature of the Earth today has pressed the panic button to the entire world. Understanding global warming causes can give us an overall idea of the dreadful phenomena.
The causes of global warming can be classified under two categories: natural causes and man-made causes. Natural causes are primary factors that lead to global warming; the prominent ones include carbon dioxide, methane release, solar variations and volcanic eruption. According to scientific studies, the rise in the Earth's average temperature is generally caused as a result of the fact that various greenhouse gases trap sunlight. Carbon dioxide and methane, being greenhouse gases, have undoubtedly responsibilities for making the planet warmer. In addition, the changes in the Earth's orbit, specifically at which the planet receives a large amount of sunlight from the Sun, can increase the Earth's temperature to a great extent. Or a single large volcanic eruption releases enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and hence attributes to global warming. Evaluating these natural causes, some scientists are of the opinion that global warming will continue, even without the influence of human activities.
The list of human activities contributing to global warming is extensively long, but some of the major causes can be named. First, pollution, mostly industrial pollution and vehicle pollution, depletes the environment threateningly because fossil fuels are burned to generate powers, releasing various harmful gases into the air. Second, mining activities directly contribute to release a large amount of methane exist under the Earth's surface. Third, deforestation declines the number of trees assisting to absorb carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere; it dangerously fosters the progress of global warming. Fourth, rising population also participates in the increase of the amount of carbon dioxide. These man-made causes are secondary factors that can make global warming become more serious.
Owing to the fact that the Earth's temperature would not increase if there would be no natural causes, the urgency level regarding the causes of global warming remains in argument. Some say that natural causes are more abundant to the warming globe, while some blame it on human activities and the remarkable climate change associated with it. However, further studies of global warming effects on plants, animals, and our very existence on the Earth has called human's actions to save our environment for a better world.
Global warming is the rise of global average temperature that usually happens on the earths near surface air and the ocean in recent years. This has been projected to continue increase with the current rise of the population and industrial activities over the world. According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on their fourth Assessment in 2007, the global temperature has increased in more than 0.74 0 c in the twentieth century (Mani, p.56).
Most of the increased temperature change in the 20th century is the increase of the greenhouses gases that results from the human activities. These activities include use of fossil fuels and deforestation. According to the analysis that was done on the above temperature, it is worrying that the temperature of the globe may increase to as high as 6 0 Cin the course of the 21 st century. The effect is due to the estimated increase in the greenhouse gas emissions. This is projected to have a great effect on the level of the sea level as they are estimated a rise at its level. This will be caused by increased precipitation and deserts are estimated to expand especially at the Arctic region. This is because of the retreat of the glaciers, permafrost and sea ice.
Impact of global warming
There are various impacts that are projected that will be caused by the global warming. Examples of these impacts are as follows.
In course of several years, global warming has been instrumental in the increased temperatures in the world. Therefore, there has been observable effect that comes hand in hand with arctic shrinkage, arctic methane release, release of terrestrial carbon and sea level rise. The temperature is predicted to increase highly causing rainfall pattern change. There will be a lot of climate change over the globe due to increased global warming in terms of the rate, magnitude and duration. Most of the physical impacts are irreversible and are expected to form long period of effects (Maslin, p.56). Such things are deglaciation that expected to be high in the arctic regions making the sea kevel rise.
Effects on weather
Increase in temperature will increase precipitation. However, the issue of effects of the storms is not well known. Extra tropical storms usually depend on temperature gradient, which is usually weak in the northern hemisphere due to higher warming in the polar region than the other part of the hemisphere.
Due to increased temperature, there are likelihood of most of the areas to frequently hit by warm spells and heat waves. There is projected increase of drought in most of the areas as well as intense tropical cyclone activity. The global warming will cause increased high sea level
Increased fresh water flow
The high temperature will cause a lot of ice to melt making fresh water to flow to the sea and oceans. Through precipitation that is likely to increase at high level, there will increases flow of this water to the seawater bodies. According to 2004, research that was done through the help of satellite, the increase of freshwater globally is 18%. Much of this increase is based on the effect of high rainfall that has been caused by the precipitation (Gasper- Gombatz p.78). An example that has happened in 2010 is the Pakistan floods. Local climate change
Regional climatic change varies in nature. Some of tem are rise in temperature that causes local effect such as ice melting. In other places, a change can be associated from a particular ocean current and weather systems. In such circumstances, the effect will be misappropriated and it will not follow a global trend. Some of the examples that will make the regional climate change regionally is melting or forming of ice, changing of hydrological cycle that is precipitating and evaporation and finally change in ocean currents and the airflow in the atmosphere. An ocean as a region will also suffer from severe impact in the sea level rise.
Climatic change has an effect on the carbon cycle where it affects the interactive feedback process. The carbon cycle exists where the initial process triggers the second process that will influence the initial process. Through this, the initial process will intensifies the original process and the initial process increases the initial process. This makes the temperature to increase therefore increasing the global warming.
Glaciers retreat and disappearance
There has been a great decree as in the issue of the glaciers in the northern and southern hemisphere due to the effect of the global warming. This effect has been notable due to the rise of the sea level in the recent past. Due to this, tendencies of change in glaciers it is projected those mountainous places especially in the Europe will suffer from glacier retreat. Changes in precipitation patterns and glaciers are liable of affecting availability of water for agricultural purposes, human consumption a well as production of energy. In polar region, glaciers will decrease in the thickness making it shrink (Lee, p.35).
Climate change will decrease agricultural food production globally due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, elevated temperature, changed precipitation and transpiration. extreme changes of events, modified pest and weed that may be more tolerant to control and more persistent pathogens that will affect the food adversely. This cause will be experienced especially on the lower latitude areas where the yield of the crop will drop.
Human will be affected through being exposed to adverse condition of temperature, precipitation, sea level rise and extreme events occurrence. There is also change in water, air, food quality ecosystem, agriculture, settlement as well as economy. This has made alteration in the distribution of the infectious vectors and has increased heat wave related deaths
According to Kramer, p.58 in IPCC 2007 research, the health of the people will be affected through malnutrition, increased deaths, diseases and injuries following high weather events. There is projected increase in diseases such as diarrhea, cardio respiratory diseases due to increased ground level ozone layer in urban areas.
Mitigation of global warming
Mitigation of global warming is reducing of the intensity of the radioactive forcing associated to the global warming to ensure that the effects of global warming are reduced. The mitigation of the global warming can be done through reducing the concentration of the green house gases through reducing their sources or increasing their sinks. Through human intervention, the sources of the greenhouse gases can be reduced or sinks increased. Some of the main causes of these greenhouses gases are uses of fossil fuels. This is mostly in the industrial processes and in electricity generation. This can be greatly reduced by switching to the renewable energy. Some of this renewable energy is solar energy and wind power. Insulation improvement of the building as well as expanding forest and other sinks to remove greater amounts of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage of carbon dioxide that is mostly produced by the industries, gas, coal power fuel station, and store it preferably under ground.
Political issue about global warming
In developing and developed world, there are various arguments for who is supposed to take the responsibility of the cost of cutting the emissions. The developing country concentrates on the per capita emission that is the amount of the emission that has been divided by the population of the country. However, the industrialized countries, the per capita emissions are above ten times the average size of the developing countries. Therefore, an argument broke that the lifestyle of those who are living in the rich countries are the one who causes more of the emissions that causes global warming.
Total carbon emissions, carrying capacity, efficient energy and the civil and political rights are very important. According to Jacobs p.74 argument, land is not equal in all the places. The debate that has been going on is not only the quantity of the fossils fuel but also the quantity of the energy used. Efficient energy use that support technological change may improve the carbon dioxide on the global scale. The amount of consumption of fossil fuel as well as excessive entertainment is issues that have contentious within the civil and political arena. People from countries that are developed argue that history has failed to prove problems that have been used in the implementation of the rationing program indifferent countries, as there are no global systems of checks and balances and civil liberties.
According to Kyoto protocol 2005, it has set regulations of the emission limits for most of the developed countries. Otherwise, failure of the developing countries to be subjected on the limitations, it made the US not to ratify the treaty.
Global warming is a very thorny issue, as most of the activities that brought it cannot be eliminated in the world. The political issues are the other reasons that will see effects of this not reduce soon. Therefore, to ensure that this brought to rest, all the people including the political people should embrace the mitigation issues.
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