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In the article about Global Warming, The definition, sources, effects, and much more will all be covered in the post.
Take a seat comfortably and allow me to take you to the essential aspect of this article.
In the late 1900s, researchers realized that the world is getting warmer due to constant increases in atmospheric temperature which can occur due to both natural and human activities.
That’s why some times global warming often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases from human activity.
A well-known fact is that the accumulation of several greenhouse gases can lead to a rise in temperature (global warming).
If a global warming phenomenon sets in this way continuously it would result in major changes in the world’s climate.
The increase in temperature might lead melting of snow on the poles, which would terrifically add, to ocean waters. Hence the level of seas, and oceans would rise, and this would largely affect the coastal areas, which will submerge under coastal Waters due to the expansion of seas and oceans.
Besides, the Temperate climate pattern would shift northward and present temperate regions would become extremely hot & dry.
Definition of Global Warming-
Global warming is the average increase in the earth’s temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which contributes to global climate patterns.
Causes of Global Warming-
There are several causes of global warming, Some of the major reasons are listed and described below-
- Fossil Fuels
- Intensive Farming
- Waste Disposal
- Black Carbon
1. Fossil Fuels-
The massive use of fossil fuels is the first source of global warming, as burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide- the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere as well as nitrous oxide which in turn increases the temperature of the atmosphere.
The exploitation of forests has a major role in climate change. Trees help regulate the climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis.
When they are cut down, this positive effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere.
3. Intensive Forming-
Another cause of global warming is intensive farming, not only with the increasing livestock but also with plant protection products and fertilizers.
Cattle and sheep produce large amounts of methane while food digestion, whereas fertilizers produce nitrous oxide emission.
4. Waste Disposal-
Waste management methods like landfills and incineration emit greenhouse and toxic gases- including methane-that are released into the atmosphere, soil, and waterways, contributing to the increase of the greenhouse effect.
Our day-to-day activities mostly rely on the consumption of nonconventional resources which requires a high rate of mining and metallurgical industry processes.
Metals and minerals are the raw materials used in the construction, transportation, and manufacturing of goods. From extraction to delivery this accounts for 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, overconsumption also plays a major role in climate change. In fact, it is responsible for the overexploitation of natural resources and emissions from international freight transport, which both contribute to global warming.
7. Black Carbon–
Black carbon (BC) is tiny particles of carbon released as a result of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass.
These particles are extremely small, ranging from 10 μm (micrometers, PM10), the size of a single bacterium to less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), one-thirtieth the width of a human hair, and small enough to pass through the walls of the human lung and into the bloodstream.
Although Black Carbon(BC)-think of the plume of smoke from a chimney or a fire-falls out of the lower atmosphere in days, while it is suspended in the air, it absorbs the sun’s heat millions of times more effectively than CO2.
When wind carries Black Carbon(BC) over snow, glaciers or ice caps where it falls out onto the white, normally reflective surface, it is particularly damaging because it contributes directly to melting.
Overall, Black Carbon(BC) is considered the second biggest contributor to global warming after CO2.
Effects of Global Warming-
There are major effects of global warming on environment, Some of them are listed and described below-
- Rise in Sea Level
- Melting of Glaciers
- Widespread Vanishing of Animal Population Due to Habitat Loss
- Bleaching of Coral Reefs
- Loss of Planktons Due to Warming of Seas
- Torrential Downpours and More Powerful Storms
- Hurricanes and Typhoons
- Heat Waves and Droughts
- Change in Ecosystems
- Reduced Food Security
- Pests and Disease
1. Rise in Sea Level-
Climate change impacts rising sea levels. The average sea level around the world rose about 8 inches (20 cm) in the past 100 years which is expected to rise more rapidly in the next 100 years as part o climate change impacts.
Coastal cities seeing an increased number of flooding events and by 2050; many such cities may require seawalls to survive, conservatively sea levels are expected to rise 1 to 4 feet (30 to 100 cm) enough to flood away many small pacific island states, famous beach resorts with it.
Increased likelihood of extreme events such as heat waves, flooding, hurricane,s, etc.
Human-caused global warming may have already doubled the chance of “killer” heat waves like the one that hit Europe in July and August of 2003. The summer season was very hot for the last 500 years.
The heat and associated drought and wildfires cost more than losses in the agriculture, forestry, and electric power sectors. Records have been shattered in all parts of the world as well in recent years.
In April-June 1998, 3,028 people died in the most disastrous heat wave which hit India. In 1995, a five-day heat wave caused 525 deaths in Chicago, with the 106°F (41°C) reading on July 13 the warmest July temperature ever measured.
2. Melting of Glaciers-
Current impacts of change in climate depict drastic melting of glaciers due to the constant increase in temperature of the earth within the next 100 years, if not sooner, the world’s glaciers will have disappeared, as will the Polar ice cap, and the huge Antarctic ice shelf, Greenland may not be green again, snow will have become a rare phenomenon at what is now the world’s most popular ski resorts.
3. Widespread Vanishing of Animal Population Due to Habitat Loss–
Gbal warming resulting from human emissions of greenhouse gases consequently includes habitat loss; shifts in climatic conditions and in habitats that surpass migrational capabilities; altered competitive relationships.
Our planet now faces a global extinction crisis never witnessed by humankind. Scientists predict that more than 1 million species are on track for extinction in the coming decades.
Great apes of Southeast Asia, Bumblebees, Whales, Giraffes, Oceanic birds, Monarch butterflies, etc are some of the species whose populations decreasing drastically due to climate change.
4. Bleaching of Coral Reefs–
The past 25 years have witnessed a higher incidence around the world of large-scale coral “bleaching” events, which can lead to coral death.
In 1997-98 alone, the largest bleaching event on record seriously damaged 16% of the reefs in the world and killed 1,000-year-old corals.
Mass bleaching are usually caused by excessively high temperatures. Scientists, therefore, attribute the increase in bleaching events to the rise in average surface ocean temperatures in many tropical regions by almost 1°C over the past century.
Within the next few decades, continued warming could cause mass bleaching to become an annual event, wiping out some reef species and ecosystems along with the food and tourism income, and coastline protection they provide.
Corals are also directly threatened by increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, which is acidifying seawater and making it more difficult for corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons.
5. Loss of Planktons Due to Warming of Seas-
For decades, researchers have pointed to phytoplankton as one of the planet’s most valuable resources. They form the basis of the marine food chain and provide half the ocean’s oxygen (while trees, Shrubs, and grasses provide the other half).
Hurricanes churn the ocean, bringing up nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate, and iron from the depths of the ocean and introducing them to the surface levels where plankton live.
In turn, the phytoplankton bloom and spread, and marine life grow with it; but due to increasing and intensifying, hurricanes phytoplankton is still in serious danger of dying out.
6. Torrential Downpours and More Powerful Storms-
While the specific conditions that produce rainfall will not change, climate change impacts the amount of water in the atmosphere and will increase producing violent downpours instead of steady showers when it does rain.
7. Hurricanes and Typhoons-
These will increase in power, and flooding will become more common.
The uncertainty can be proved by the fact that Anyone who has tried to buy storm and flood insurance in the past few years knows that the insurance industry is completely convinced that climate change is raising sea levels and increasing the number of major storms and floods.
8. Heat Waves and Droughts-
Despite downpours in some places, droughts and prolonged heat waves will become common. Rising temperatures are hardly surprising, although they do not mean that some parts of the world will not “enjoy” record-cold temperatures and terrible winter storms.
Heating disturbs the entire global weather system and can shift cold upper air currents as well as hot dry ones. Single snowballs and snowstorms do not make climate change refutations.
Increasingly, however, hot, dry places will get hotter and drier, and places that were once temperate and had regular rainfall will become much hotter and much drier.
The string of record high-temperature years and the record number of global droughts of the past decade will become.common, not the surprise that they have seemed.
9. Change in Ecosystem-
As the world going warm, entire ecosystems will move. Already rising temperatures at the equator have pushed such staple crops as rice north into once cooler areas, many fish species have migrated long distances to stay in waters that are the proper temperature for them.
In once colder waters, this may increase fishermen’s catches; in warmer waters, it may eliminate fishing: in many places, it will require fishermen to go further to reach fishing grounds.
Farmers in temperate zones are finding drier conditions difficult for crops such as corn and wheat, and once prime growing zones are now threatened.
Some areas may see complete ecological changes.
10. Reduced Food Security-
One of the most striking impacts of rising temperatures is felt in global agriculture, although these impacts are felt very differently in the largely temperate developed world and in the more tropical developing world.
Different crops grow best at quite specific temperatures and when those temperatures change, their productivity changes significantly.
For example, rising temperatures may reduce corn and wheat productivity. The productivity of rice, the staple food of more than one third of the world’s population, declines 10% with every 1°C increase in temperature.
Past climate-induced problems have been offset by major advances in rice technology and ever-larger applications of fertilizer.
11. Pests and Disease–
Rising temperatures favor agricultural pests, diseases, and disease vectors. Pest populations are on the rise and illnesses once found only in limited, tropical areas are now becoming endemic in much wider zones.
In Southeast Asia, for example, where malaria had been reduced to a wet season-only disease in most areas, it is again endemic almost everywhere year around.
Likewise, dengue fever, once largely confined to tropical areas has become endemic to the entire region.
Increased temperatures also increase the reproduction rates of microbes and insects, speeding up the rate at which they develop resistance to control measures and drugs.
Prevention and Control For Global Warming-
There is no single solution to global warming, which is primarily a problem of too much heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.
The technologies and approaches outlined below are all needed to bring down the emissions of these gases by at least 80 percent by mid-century.
Technologies and Approaches are-
- Renewable Energies
- Energy & Water Efficiency
- Sustainable/Green Transportation
- Responsible Consumption and Recycling
- Fossil Fuel Free
- Exploring Nuclear Energy
- Ensuring Sustainable Development
- Boosting Energy Efficiency
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. They release the oxygen back into the atmosphere for us to breathe and use the carbon (C) to build cell walls.
As long as the tree is alive, it soaks up C; together trees in a forest become a “carbon sink” holding carbon that cannot contribute to global warming.
2. Renewable Energy-
The first way to prevent global warming is to move away from fossil fuels and pave ways towards Renewable energies like solar energy, wind, biomass geothermal, hydropower, tidal, etc which are environment friendly causing negligible adverse effects on climate.
3. Energy & Water Efficiency-
Producing clean energy is essential, but reducing our consumption of energy and water by using more efficient devices (e.g. LED light bulbs, innovative shower systems) is less costly and equally an important contribution towards saving our planet.
4. Sustainable/Green Transportation-
Promoting public transportation, carpooling, also electric and hydrogen mobility can definitely help reduce CO2 emissions and thus fight global warming.
The transportation sector’s emissions have increased at a faster rate than any other energy-using sector over the past decade.
A variety of solutions are at hand, including improving efficiency (miles per gallon) in all modes of transport, switching to low-carbon fuels, and reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart growth and more efficient mass transportation systems.
5. Responsible Consumption and Recycling-
Adopting responsible consumption habits is crucial, be it regarding food (particularly meat), clothing, cosmetics, or cleaning products.
Recycling is an absolute necessity for dealing with waste.
6. Fossil Fuel Free-
Even as global warming accelerates, the major oil, gas, and coal companies are sticking to business as usual.
Fortunately, a growing number of investors understand that the industry’s business model is incompatible with what scientists are telling us we must do to slow global warming.
That’s why people on a world scale support the fossil fuel divestment movement.
7. Exploring Nuclear Energy-
Because nuclear power results in few global warming emissions, an increased share of nuclear power in the energy mix could help reduce global warming.
But nuclear technology poses serious threats to our security and, as the accident at the Fukushima Diaichi plant in Japan illustrates to our health and the environment as well.
8. Ensuring Sustainable Development-
The countries of the world from the most to the least developed vary dramatically in their contributions to the problem of climate change and in their responsibilities and capacities to confront it.
A successful global compact on climate change must include financial assistance from richer countries to poorer countries to help make the transition to low-carbon development pathways and to help adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Developing and deploying new low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies Research into and development of the next generation of low-carbon technologies will be critical to deep mid-century reductions in global emissions.
Current research on battery technology, new materials for solar cells, harnessing energy from novel sources like bacteria and algae, and other innovative areas could provide important breakthroughs.
9. Boosting Energy Efficiency-
The energy used to power, heat, and cool our homes, businesses, and industries is the single largest contributor to global warming.
Energy efficiency technologies allow us to use less energy to get the same or higher level of production, service, and comfort.
This approach has vast potential to save both energy and money and can be deployed quickly.
10. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-
Always try to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables.
Buying products with minimal packaging including the economy size will help to reduce waste.
And we recycle materials like paper, plastic, newspaper, glass, and aluminum cans. Use eco-friendly materials which help minimize carbon dioxide percentage in the atmosphere.
Difference Between Global Warming and Climate Change-
Global warming refers only to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, while climate change includes warming and the “side effects” of warming-like melting glaciers, heavier rainstorms, or more frequent drought.
Global warming is one symptom of the much larger problem of human-caused climate change.
Another distinction between global warming and climate change is that when scientists or public leaders talk about global warming these days, they almost always mean human-caused warming due to the rapid increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from people burning coal, oil, and gas.
Climate change, on the other hand, can mean human-caused changes or natural ones, such as ice ages. Besides burning fossil fuels, humans can cause climate changes by emitting aerosol pollution- the tiny particles that reflect sunlight and cool the climate into the atmosphere, or by transforming the Earth’s landscape, for instance, from carbon-storing forests to farmland.
“Global warming” refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Climate change” refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time.
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Abhishek Tiwary is a blogger by passion and a Quality Engineer by profession. He completed his B.Tech degree in the year 2017. Now working in a reputed firm. He loves to share his knowledge with others.