The issue of global warming is one of the most serious challenges at present times, and is believed that it is a challenge that everyone can contribute for help.
Global warming is defied as any observed increase in the atmospheric temperature that can continue for a very long period. (U.S. Environmental Protection Energy, 2006)
It is brought about by the increase in carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human activities have taken a great part on that build-up of the said gases. Rising of the global temperature started during the 19 th century industrial revolution. As documented in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007), it was observed that the northern hemisphere has warmed by more than 1A F over the last 100 years, and that the decades of the 1980s and 1990s have been the warmest on record, as far as can be ascertained, for the last 1000 years.
Continuous build-up of greenhouse gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone causes almost 100% of the observed increase in temperature over the last 5 decades, (Berger,2006). These gases also are the great contributors for the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect is a method wherein the earth’s surface as well as the atmosphere keeps hold of its heat.
It occurs naturally. According to physics, the earth absorbs incoming solar radiation and then tries to cool by emitting long wavelength infrared radiation. This radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases and hence yet preventing the heat from radiating back out into the outer space. And its net effect should be to increase mean annual temperature. These gases in the atmosphere allow the sunlight to reach the earth (Berger,2006). This greenhouse effect is very vital for the survival of different organisms in the planet.
Burning of fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, diesel, organic-diesel, petrol, organic-petrol, ethanol, as well as burning of wood, coal and hydrocarbons (which were the main energy source for most people in the world) leads to CO 2 emission, were the largest contributing source of global warming. Now that enormous amount of this gas (carbon dioxide) has been produced, the atmosphere has grown warmer at an accelerating rate.
This gas accumulation started way back in history. As people here in earth continuously need energy, increase in the concentration of the greenhouse gases is endless. As a result, there will be a continuous heating of the planet. If the global warming continues to accelerate, it will lead to potentially serious consequences including environmental, economic and even health problems of individuals.
Predicted effects of global warming on the environment were cited on different literatures. Examples are increase in the earth’s temperature by about 3A to 5A C by the year 2100 and rise of sea levels in addition to melting of ice by at least 25 meters by the same year mentioned earlier.
Other effects include the change in amount and pattern of precipitation, increase in total annual power of hurricanes, changes in temperature patterns, lower agricultural yields, species extinction and some health problems especially on humans.
Continuous warming of the earth’s temperature creates the ideal condition for the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, hanta virus, encephalitis and other diseases. This condition can also lead to the spread of disease-carrying rodents and mosquitoes which will put a lot of people at risk, (Sierra Club, 2007).
Global warming is mainly caused by the humans and it is sad to say that they are continuously making ways to increase it. For a long period of time, humans have been doing industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation which results in the excessive production carbon dioxide.
Mankind has been negatively interfering with nature. This indeed gave rise to catastrophic consequences on the planet. Humans produced this problem, it is sure that they were the ones who can give solutions on that matter. There are some simple things that everyone can do to help stop global warming, (according to the Global Warming International Center). Like using fluorescent bulbs and turning it off before leaving a room, unplugging chargers when not in use. If heading a short distance, just take a walk instead of riding a cab. During winter, maximize solar heating and during summer, maximize shading. When buying a car, one must choose a hybrid and a fuel-efficient car and always keep the times on the car adequately inflated. Remember also to buy products which uses recycled materials and has a minimal packaging and lastly, plant a tree, (Sierra Club, 2007).
The issue of global warming is a very serious issue that everyone must be aware of. Adverse effects come into sight few years from now but more seriously, decades or centuries from now wherein our children of the next generations will suffer. Everyone is responsible for this problem therefore everyone must work together regarding this matter. Doing the simple things as mentioned above will be a great help.
“Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions”. 19 april 2007. Http://Lwf.Ncdc.Noaa.Gov/Oa/Climate/Globalwarming.Html#Q11
W. H. Berger.“Global Warming”.19 April 2007. http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/globalchange/global_warming/02.html
”Global Warming ; Energy”. 20 April 2007 ;http://www.sierraclub.org/globalwarming/health/;