Global Warming Essay

Global Warming

Introduction
Man is atrociously burning carbon reserves, causing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere that has risen by 30 per cent since the Industrial Revolution. The earth has not experienced such concentrations for the last 750,000 years, according to scientists’.   A NASA study states that Greenland Ice Sheet was retreating by one meter in 2001; now the rate is 10 meters a year. If the Greenland Ice melts, the sea level will rise by six to seven meters. The effects of climate change should be considered as great a threat to biodiversity as the “Big Three” – habitat destruction, invasions by alien species and over exploitation by humans. The broad conclusions are very solid, and very sound, and very alarming. The 2002 abnormally heavy rains and devastating floods that cost Europe $ 16 billion loss and many deaths are attributed to climate change; so also the damage to 10,000 properties involving one billion Pound Sterling in insurance claims and 30,000 deaths in 2003 during the heat wave in Europe. (Houghton 2004)

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Climate is the average pattern of weather over the long term. For millions of years the Earth’s climate has cooled or warmed. The phenomenon is not new but our knowledge that human activity affects the Earth’s climate is new. Scientists, environmentalist, even filmmakers and fiction writers warn us that the global climate is warming threateningly. Several animal and plant species will not survive the climatic changes. Up to 37 per cent of them would disappear by mid-21st century. Scientific assessment of Arctic climatic impacts shows that Arctic temperatures have risen by nearly twice the global average over the past fifty years and will rise 4°C to 7°C by 2100. (Paul 2001) The rise in Arctic temperatures is dangerously impacting on human and wild life. From Russia to Canada, buildings collapsed due to subsidence caused by thawing of permafrost, Polar bears and seal fell victim to this climatic disaster. These two countries belatedly ratified the Kyoto Protocol under this climatic threat.

The Treat
Over the past century; the global temperature increased by 0.6°C to 0.7°C. The 1990s were the hottest and 1998 the hottest year since the records began in 1861. Eight hottest years since 1861 belonged to the 1990s. Glaciers everywhere are receding and sea levels rising. The 20th century recorded 10 cm to 20 cm rise in sea levels; snow cover diminished by 10 per cent. (Frances 2000) Carbon dioxide levels, currently the highest, are rising. Environmentalists do not believe that geographical phenomenon like the, El Nino caused this baneful increase. They blame human activity.

Report of IPCC

There can be no room any more for skepticism on global warming. “The warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level,” says a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on February 02, 2007. The report is the Summary for Policymakers of “Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis”, which is the first volume of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) on climate change. The Third Assessment Report (TAR) was issued in 2001.

Relying on comprehensive data, the report states that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will become more frequent. Tropical cyclones will be more intense, with larger wind speeds. Rising sea level will threaten vast populations. The report summarizes the progress made in understanding human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and causes, and projections on climate change.

Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect lies at the heart of the study of global climate change. Just as the glass walls of a greenhouse keep the interior temperature higher than that outside, the earth’s atmosphere traps some of the energy radiated from the planet’s surface. “Greenhouse gases” (like water vapor and carbon dioxide) keep the planet’s average temperature at 15°c. (With no greenhouse effect, the earth’s average temperature would stabilize at about. -18°C). Oxygen and Nitrogen make up more than 95% of our atmosphere. They are not greenhouse gases. (Braasch 2007) This proportion is the key to atmospheres ecological balance. Increasing dominance of the greenhouse gases threatens this atmospheric balance and goads the doomsday drummers beat their drums more loudly.

Optimistic climatologists believe that the noises about ‘sustainable development’ are aimed at the developing world to preserve advantages of the West or “modern imperialism”. As the diplomats and civil society debated, warnings on climate warming at the UN conference of Parties at Buenos Aires, seeking “evasive consensus”, the rest of humanity faced the question: Has the Warming Climate reached the Calamitous Level?

The main gases that cause the greenhouse effect are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane, which come mainly from animal manure. Other gases like nitrogen oxide and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), man made gases, get caught in the atmosphere as well. The decay of animals and respiration are two main natural sources of carbon dioxide.

We the people of the world should try to slow down the emission of greenhouse gases and / or find ways to balance the gases so the climate does not change so rapidly. If it did, we would be forced to adapt to the new climate that we brought upon ourselves. If we had an international cooperation to put a damper on the production of Chlorofluorocarbons and slowed down the use of fossil fuels it would dramatically slow done the process of  ‘global warming’. Carbon dioxide pollution from the increase of industry and transportation is a major cause of global warming. These two’ causes are connected with the growth in the world population. As the population grows the necessity for food and other products increase, therefore industry must grow to keep up with the demand. The increase in transportation is directly due to the growing population and the need for jobs and the growing congestion on our highways.

Deforestation
Another cause of global warming is deforestation. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air as they grow. The carbon dioxide is released back into the air as they are cut and burned. The forest ability to reduce the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is decreasing due to massive deforestation around the world. These causes seem simple and fixable, but if they are not cut down, the Earth and its inhabitants will feel the effects. Over the last hundred years, the global temperatures have been increasing slowly, but steadily. Since 1980, the temperature has risen 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) each decade.

New Findings & Predictions
Scientist predict that if we continue putting the same amount of gas into the atmosphere, that by the year 2030 the temperature will be rising as much as 0.5 degrees C (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) or more per decade. Overall, the global temperature could rise anywhere from 5 to 9 degrees over the next fifty years. If the temperatures do rise, as predicted, several things could happen. The increase of temperature could alter the growth of crops in areas near the equator due to insufficient rain and heat. This could really hurt countries that rely in imported food. With the high temperatures the polar ice caps could melt and cause the sea water level to go up 1 to 3 feet. This could take out small islands, coastal cities and some shallow rivers. (Patrick 2005)  The Everglades in Florida would be almost, if not totally, wiped right off the map. The Everglades is the home for many animals and plant life. If it did get flooded, they would all have to move northward across very dry land, which they will not be able to endure for very long.

When the hot temperatures do spread southward and northward, tropical disease will spread with it. Diseases that were down in Mexico will, maybe, occur in North and South Carolina eventually Vermont. (Kelkar 2006). These new diseases will be hard to deal with causing many more deaths and illnesses that before. The financial problem with this is that the flooding will cause dams to be built and cities to be reconstructed. The shortage in food will cause the price of the food to go up and will bring all the diseases. We will need more medical supplies and workers. All of this combined could and will cost a lot of money if we don’t do something about it now.

The computer models cannot predict exactly that the climate is going to be in the future, but they can come close to what it will be like down the road. Scientists proved this by predicting, with computers, what the climate was in the past. Then, by looking back in records, they found that the predictions were close to being right. The ‘Topex’ (Topographic Experiment) collected information on the changes of the sea level, the temperatures across the globe, and the amount of gases emitted into the atmosphere. Each day, the satellite made 500,000 measurements, each at a different place on the Earth. Measurements were all made between 66 degrees north and south latitudes. The Cretaceous period occurred over a hundred million years ago. It was the warmest period we have knowledge of yet. There was so much carbon dioxide in the air that the oceans rose many meters. North America was flooded and split into two pieces. The temperature then was more than 15 degrees greater than the average temperature today. Scientists believe that the tilt of the Earth’s axis changes to title the opposite way every 10,000 years like a cycle. (Dennis, Avery and Fred 2007) While going through this cycle, it will change the climate of and area. Right now it is moving so that North America is going to be closer to the sun in the winter. Seasons become more extreme when the opposite happens. This controls the cycle of ice ages. Volcanoes, when they erupt, send clouds of dust into the air blocking out sunlight. This would cool the Earth off more. Oceans are known to absorb carbon dioxide because or the ocean currents and the action of plankton. There is some evidence that there is a naturally rapid climate change between each ice age, which confuses the whole global warming and idea.

How to Stop Global Warming – Role of Governments

Every human being should take part in the fight to stop global warming. The government is the key to this and they better do something soon or it will be too late. First, the American government should sponsor a meeting between the nations of this world. They should establish a committee for handling the money, politics, and scientific research in order to help cut back the emission of gases into the atmosphere. Every country will contribute by donating money. If they refuse, they will be boycotted and the participating countries will sell nothing to them. As rightly quoted by AL GORE, 45th Vice President of the United States;

“The good news is we know what to do. The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed, and as they become available and become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond. But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait…” [1]

Conclusion
Global warming is a big threat to our nation and the world. If we do not act now, it may be too late. Of course, there is no sure way of telling if there is actually a greenhouse effect, but let us not take any chances. Look at what is happening to this world, and you will see that there is a pollution problem. There are steps being taken at this moment to reduce the gases put into the air, but it still is not enough. We need to cut back more by taking a few easy steps. Plant a tree, or take a bus or carpool to work instead of driving your own car. Those things may not seem like a lot, but if more and more people do it, it will make a difference.

“Global climate change needs global action now. The alarm bells ought to be ringing in every capital of the world.”[2]

References

Dennis T. Avery and S. Fred Singer (2007). “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500

Years.” Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Pp 17-24

Frances Drake (2000). “Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change.” A Hodder

Arnold Publication. Pp 41-49.

Gary Braasch (2007) Earth under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World.

            University of California Press. Pp 21-37

“Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” Retrieved from Ipcc.ch on 03, May 2007

            [http://www.ipcc.ch/]

John Houghton (2004) “Global Warming: The Complete Briefing.” Cambridge

University Press. Pp 56-61

Kelkar R V (2006). “Climate Change: Warming & Warming” Black Rose Publications.

New Delhi, India. Pp 87-112

Patrick J. Michaels (2005) Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming.

Rowman &  Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Pp 32-44

Paul Stein (2001) Global Warming: A Threat to Our Future (The Library of Future

Weather and Climate) Rosen Publishing Group. Pp 11-19.

[1]  Al Gore, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005.  Www.corrosion-doctors.org/Global-Warming/Al-Gore.htm
[2] John Gummer, British Environment Secretary quoted by Roy Greenslade, The Observer, 21 July 1996