The heat from the sun gets trapped on Earth as a result of greenhouse gas production. As a result, the planet warms. As a result of all the heat that was accumulated throughout the day evaporating, this should be a beneficial thing because it prevents the Earth from freezing up and becoming too cold.
But, we do have a problem. More quickly than at any time in recorded history, the earth is warming up right now!
Weather patterns are shifting as a result of warming temperatures, which is also upsetting the natural order. This puts both ourselves and all other kinds of life on Earth in grave danger.
What is Global Warming?
The phenomenon of a slow rise in temperature close to the earth’s surface is known as “global warming.” Throughout the last century or two, this tendency has been noted.
The gradual increase in the planet’s surface temperature is known as “global warming.” Although this warming trend has been present for a while, it has accelerated dramatically over the past century.
The earth’s climate pattern has been altered by this alteration. Although the idea of global warming is still up for debate, scientists have presented evidence to support the idea that the earth’s temperature is steadily increasing.
The Origin of Global Warming and the Environmental Concerns
The annual global temperature rise during the Industrial Revolution has been a little over 1 degree Celsius, or over 2 degrees Fahrenheit. It increased on average by 0.07 degrees Celsius (0.13 degrees Fahrenheit) per 10 years between 1880—the year that accurate recordkeeping started—and 1980.
The rate of growth, however, has more than doubled since 1981: For the past 40 years, the yearly global temperature has increased by 0.18 degrees Celsius, or 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit, every decade.
A world with unprecedented heat. Since 2005, nine of the ten warmest years on record since 1880 have happened, and the last five warmest years have all happened since 2015.
Deniers of climate change have claimed that the rate of increase in global temperatures has “paused” or “slowed,” however several studies, including a 2018 research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, have refuted this assertion. People all across the world are already suffering from the effects of global warming.
Now, climate scientists have concluded that if we want to prevent a future in which daily life throughout the world is marked by its worst, most devastating effects: the extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, tropical storms, and other disasters that we refer to collectively as climate change, we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040.
All people experience these consequences in one way or another, but the poor, the economically disadvantaged, and people of color experience them the most keenly because these groups are frequently those most affected by poverty, eviction, hunger, and social unrest.
Facts that Global Warming is not a Myth
- The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2021 will be at its highest level in 650,000 years (417 ppm). (According to NASA).
- Since 1880, the average world temperature has risen by 1.9 F (3.4 C).
- Since 1979, when satellite measurements first started, the minimum extent of the Arctic summer sea ice has decreased by 13% every ten years.
- Since 2002, the amount of land ice at the poles has decreased by 428 gigatons annually.
- In the last century, the sea level has increased globally by 7 inches (178 millimeters).
- The American Medical Association has noted an increase in chronic disorders like asthma as well as mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever, most likely as a direct result of global warming. The Zika virus outbreak in 2016 brought attention to the risks posed by climate change.
- Due to the same warming circumstances in the Hindu Kush mountains that are also affecting Pakistan, the World Food Program categorizes both rainfall-related drought and snowmelt-related drought as current concerns. The country’s rainfall has fallen by 40%.
- Bangladesh has spent decades battling the effects of climate change, placing it seventh overall on Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index (CRI) for the cumulative risk between 2000 and 2019. The US suffered 185 severe weather occurrences during this time, which cost a collective $3.72 billion.
- The most remarkable lake in the nation, Lake Chad, has lost 90% of its water over the past 50 years due to rising temperatures, droughts, and human activity, turning it into a dustbowl.
- The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, and it is particularly severe in Kenya. Because of this and the associated losses (the drought was predicted to have cost Kenya more than $708 million in 2019 alone),
Can Global warming wipe out life on earth?
Certainly, global warming can lead to the extinction of all living species. This can happen when we don’t take proactive action to reduce global warming.
If global warming is not dealt with early, it can trigger a chain reaction in which both land and sea organisms are adversely affected causing a disruption in our ecosystem. Since we depend on each other for survival, there would be the extinction of various species one after the other.
Global warming can also lead to the burning of the earth. Imagine Earth is like Venus. Life would be expunged.
Major Causes of Global Warming
The following are the major causes of global warming
Natural Causes of Global Warming
One of the main natural causes of global warming is volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions release smoke and ash into the sky, which has an impact on the climate.
2. Water Vapour
One sort of greenhouse gas is water vapor. As the earth’s temperature rises, more water evaporation from bodies of water occurs and stays in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
3. Melting Permafrost
Under the surface of the Earth, there is permafrost, which is frozen soil that has been trapped in ambient gases for a long time. It can be found in glaciers. The gases are released back into the atmosphere as the permafrost melts, raising the temperature of the planet.
4. Forest Fires
Forest fires and blazes produce a lot of smoke that contains carbon. Global warming results from the release of these gases into the atmosphere, which raises the earth’s temperature.
Man-made Causes of Global Warming
Plants are the primary source of oxygen. They maintain environmental balance by absorbing carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. Because trees release stored carbon when they are cut down for many domestic and commercial needs, clearing forests results in emissions.
An estimated 12 million hectares of forest are burned annually. Destruction of forests reduces nature’s capacity to keep emissions out of the atmosphere because they absorb carbon dioxide.
A considerable percentage of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation, agriculture, and other changes in land use. This has caused an imbalance in the environment, which has resulted in global warming.
Fossil fuels are typically used to power cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft. As a result, emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, are greatly influenced by the transportation sector. Due to the internal combustion engines used in road cars, which burn petroleum-based fuels like gasoline, they make up the majority.
Yet, emissions from ships and aircraft are still rising. The majority of carbon dioxide emissions related to energy come from transportation. And trends suggest that energy use for transportation will significantly increase in the coming years.
Humans have been introducing CFCs into the environment through the excessive use of air conditioners and freezers, which has an impact on the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The ozone layer shields the surface of the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
By causing the ozone layer to thin and making space for ultraviolet light, CFCs have raised the earth’s temperature.
The onset of industrialization has resulted in a dramatic rise in the earth’s temperature. The earth’s temperature is rising as a result of manufacturers’ damaging emissions from power plants.
According to a 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global temperature rose by 0.9 degrees Celsius between 1880 and 2012. 1.1 degrees Celsius more heat has been recorded than the pre-industrial average.
In addition to deforestation and clearing land for agriculture and grazing, digestion by cows and sheep, the production and use of fertilizers and manure for growing crops, and the use of energy to run farm machinery or fishing boats, typically with fossil fuels, all contribute to the production of food, which results in emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases.
Due to all of this, food production plays a significant role in climate change. Moreover, food distribution and packaging also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention the food that is wasted.
More individuals breathing equals more people in the population. As a result, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for global warming, rises.
7. Power Generation
Using fossil fuels to provide power and heat is a significant contributor to global warming. Burning coal, oil, or gas still supplies the majority of the world’s electricity, which produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, two potent greenhouse gases that cover the planet and trap the sun’s heat.
A little over a quarter of the world’s electricity is generated by renewable energy sources including wind, solar, and other natural resources, which, in contrast to fossil fuels, create very little to no greenhouse gases or other air pollutants.
8. Manufacturing and Production Processes
Emissions from manufacturing and industry are mostly the result of burning fossil fuels to create energy for the production of items like textiles, electronics, plastics, cement, iron, and steel. Gases are also released during mining and other industrial activities, as well as during construction.
Coal, oil, and gas are frequently utilized as fuel for the machines used in manufacturing, while other products, like plastic, are formed from chemicals. One of the leading global producers of greenhouse gas emissions is the industrial sector.
9. Rising Energy Demand
Almost half of all electricity used worldwide is consumed by residential and commercial structures. They continue to produce a sizable amount of greenhouse gas emissions since they use coal, oil, and natural gas for heating and cooling.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from buildings have increased over the past few years as a result of rising energy demand for heating and cooling, rising air conditioner ownership, and increased electricity use for lighting, appliances, and connected devices.
You can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way you live, how you use energy, what you eat, how much you throw away, and how you move around. Likewise, the use of products like apparel, electronics, and plastics.
Private households are responsible for a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The richest 1% of the world’s population together contribute to more greenhouse gas emissions than the lowest 50%, hence they suffer the biggest burden.
11. Unsustainable Waste management
Methane is one of the harmful greenhouse gases that are emitted during the incineration and disposal of waste. These gases enter the atmosphere, soil, and waterways and increase the greenhouse effect.
Major Effects of Global Warming
The following are the major effects of global warming:
1. Rise in Temperature
The global surface temperature rises together with greenhouse gas concentrations. The warmest decade on record was from 2011 to 2020. Every decade since the 1980s has been warmer than the one before it. There are more hot days and heat waves in almost all land locations.
Rising temperatures exacerbate heat-related ailments and make it more challenging to work outside. When the weather is hotter, wildfires start more easily and spread more quickly. The Arctic has warmed at least twice as quickly as the rest of the world.
2. Threats to the Ecosystem
Both animals on land and in the ocean are at risk from climate change. When the temperatures rise, these risks rise as well. Climate change is making the loss of species on the planet 1,000 times faster than it has ever been.
For the next few decades, one million species face extinction. Threats from climate change include exotic pests and illnesses, forest fires, and harsh weather. Others won’t be able to relocate and live, but some species will.
3. Climate Change
Climate conditions have changed as a result of global warming. There are both droughts and floods in some regions. The cause of this climatic mismatch is global warming.
4. Loss of Natural Habitat
Several plants and animals lose their habitats as a result of worldwide climate change. The creatures in this situation are forced to leave their native habitat, and many of them even go extinct. There is another significant effect of climate change on biodiversity.
5. More Severe Storms
In many areas, destructive storms have increased in ferocity and frequency. More moisture evaporates as temperatures rise, aggravating extremely heavy rains and flooding and resulting in more severe storms. The warming ocean has an impact on both the intensity and frequency of tropical storms.
Warm ocean surface waters are the primary food source for cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons. These storms frequently demolish homes and towns, resulting in fatalities and significant financial losses.
6. Increased Drought
Water supply is changing due to climate change, becoming more scarce in many places. In already water-stressed areas, global warming makes water shortages worse. It also increases the danger of ecological and agricultural droughts, which can harm crops and make ecosystems more vulnerable.
Destructive sand and dust storms that can transport billions of tons of sand can also be sparked by droughts. When deserts spread, there is less space for agriculture. The threat of regularly not having enough water affects a lot of people nowadays.
7. Rise in Ocean Level
Most of the heat from global warming is absorbed by the ocean. All ocean depths have experienced a significant increase in ocean warming during the past 20 years. Water expands as it becomes warmer, therefore as the ocean warms, so does its volume.
Sea levels increase as a result of melting ice sheets, endangering coastal and island people. Moreover, carbon dioxide is absorbed by the water, keeping it out of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, additional carbon dioxide causes the water to become more acidic, endangering coral reefs and marine life.
Global hunger and poor nutrition are on the rise for a variety of reasons, including climate change and an increase in extreme weather occurrences. Crops, animals, and fisheries might all be lost or become less effective. Marine resources that provide food for billions of people are in danger as a result of the ocean’s increasing acidity.
Food sources from herding, hunting, and fishing have been hampered in several Arctic regions due to changes in the snow and ice cover. Heat stress can reduce water supplies and grazing areas, resulting in decreased crop yields, cattle problems, and possibly famine.
9. More Health Risks
The single greatest hazard to human health is climate change. Air pollution, sickness, extreme weather, forced relocation, strains on mental health, and areas where people cannot grow or find enough food, there will be more hunger and poor nutrition are just a few of the health effects of climate change.
13 million individuals every year are killed by environmental conditions. Extreme weather events increase fatalities and make it challenging for healthcare systems to keep up with the growing number of diseases caused by changing weather patterns.
10. High Mortality Rates
The average death toll typically rises due to an increase in floods, tsunamis, and other natural calamities. Also, such occurrences may lead to the spread of diseases that may endanger human life.
11. Poverty and Displacement
Climatic change makes it easier for people to fall into and stay in poverty. Floods have the potential to devastate homes and livelihoods in urban slums. Outdoor jobs may be challenging to perform in the heat. Crops may be impacted by water scarcity.
Weather-related disasters have uprooted an estimated 23.1 million people annually on average over the previous ten years (2010-2019), leaving millions more at risk of poverty. The majority of refugees are from nations that are least able and prepared to adjust to the effects of climate change.
Benefits of Global Warming
If you truly seek, you can find the alleged benefits of climate change, but do they outweigh the disruption and destruction caused by the drawbacks?
Again, the answer is no, although for ardent proponents of the trend toward global warming, benefits could include the following dubious scenarios:
- Potential for increased plant growth and milder conditions in several of the world’s cold regions, including Siberia, the Antarctic, and the Arctic.
- Lessening of fatalities or injuries as a result of arctic conditions.
- It could be possible to stop the subsequent ice age.
- In some regions, longer growing seasons can lead to higher agricultural output.
- Accessible gas and oil deposits that were previously undeveloped
- It is possible that the hitherto frozen Canadian Arctic Archipelago’s Northwest Passage will become navigable.
Solutions to Global Warming
There are solutions to lessen global warming, which is good news. How, therefore, should we respond to climate change? What options should be considered?
1. Renewable Energies
Moving away from fossil fuels is the first step in preventing climate change. What other options are there? Renewable energy sources include biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind.
2. Water and Energy Efficiency
While the production of clean energy is crucial, it is as necessary and less expensive to reduce our energy and water usage by utilizing more effective technology (such as LED light bulbs and cutting-edge shower systems).
3. Sustainable Transportation
Encouraging carpooling, public transportation, and electric and hydrogen mobility are all effective ways to cut CO2 emissions and combat global warming.
4. Sustainable Infrastructure
Both new low-energy buildings and renovations of existing structures are required to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings, which are caused by heating, air conditioning, hot water, or lighting.
5. Sustainable Agriculture & Forest Management
It should also be a primary goal to promote more efficient use of natural resources, halt widespread deforestation, and improve the sustainability and productivity of agriculture.
6. Responsible Consumption & Recycling
Responsible consumption habits are essential, whether for food (especially meat), apparel, cosmetics, or cleaning supplies. Last but not least, recycling is a crucial component of waste management.
Can Global Warming be solved forever?
Yes. Even if we cannot stop global warming overnight, we can reduce human emissions of heat-trapping gases and soot (also known as “black carbon”) to slow the rate and restrict the quantity of global warming.
Major climatic changes have already been triggered by humans, and further changes are currently in the works. But, the rise in global temperatures would start to level out within a few years if we stopped producing greenhouse gases right away.
Then, for many centuries to come, temperatures would level but would still be very high. Between what we do and when we feel it, there is a little lag of fewer than ten years.
Humans have caused major global warming events to happen already, and we have set in motion more changes still. However, if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the rise in global temperatures would begin to flatten within a few years. So, we can still do something about it.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.