Global warming is the gradual increase in the regular temperature happening in the earth’s troposphere. It is happening, as the levels of greenhouse gases are increasing. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) trap the heat whenever sunlight hits the earth.
What will Happened If We Don’t Take Action?
Recent observations regarding global warming have confirmed that the greenhouse effect is increasing due to anthropogenic activities. The earth has encountered a major rise in surface temperature since the previous 100 years. There has been a rise in the mean temperature of the Earth by 0.8º C i.e. 1.44° F in contrast to the edge of the 19th century.
Scientists suppose a rise of between 1.5° and 5.3°C (2.7° to 9.54°F) in average temperature by 2100. If we don’t take any action, it will have detrimental effects on the people and the environment. It is why it is important to understand the causes, effects, and the solution to global warming.
What Are The Main Causes Of Global Warming?
1. Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
The main cause of global warming is the GHGs. These comprise water vapors, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). While some of these GHGs, such as water vapor, are naturally occurring, others, such as CFCs, are synthetic. CO2 is released into the atmosphere from both natural and anthropogenic causes.
It has been increasing at a frightening rate and has the potential to stay in the earth’s atmosphere for thousands of years. Of course, unless it gets absorbed by the ocean, land, trees, and other sources.
2. Depletion Of Ozone Layer
The weakening of the ozone layer is the next main cause of global warming. This occurs mostly because of the existence of CFCs. When UV light is there, the molecules of these gases break down into chlorine atoms which leads to ozone destruction. Aerosols in the air are also triggering global warming by altering the climate.
3. Burning Of Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuel consumption is expanding quickly to satisfy increasing energy challenges afterward the Industrial Revolution. So, as we burn coal, oil, and natural gas for electricity, heat, energy, and transportation. CO2 concentrates and surpluses our atmosphere. Transportation in the form of cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes emits the largest percentage of CO2 and all are speeding up global warming.
8% of global emission is caused by traveling. Check 9 best eco-friendly travel tips.
4. Overexploitation Of Natural Resources
It acts as the main role in elevating global warming as the overconsumption of natural resources leads to overexploitation, which has developed alongside the growing human population. Consuming natural resources releases GHGs.
Deforestation adds to global warming, as trees and all green plants inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen. Also, the already deposited carbon in the trees is discharged when they are cut down or burnt.
The most powerful GHGs, that are harmful to livestock, are nitrous oxide and methane. Nitrous oxide originates from the usage of fertilizers. And both methane and nitrous oxide are produced by reserves of manure.
Also, ruminant animals release great amounts of methane through their digestive tract, and the process is called enteric fermentation. Methane has 265 times more adverse effects than carbon dioxide, while nitrous oxide is 28 times more toxic than the latter.
7. Extensive Farming
Another reason behind global warming is extensive farming. Crop protection products and fertilizers are responsible for GHG emissions.
Vertical Farming is a good option to help the environment.
What are The Major Effects Of Global Warming?
1. Meteorological Conditions
Severe meteorological conditions will go on to intensify as global warming happens. These include:
- Killer heatwaves
- Heavy rains and flooding
- Dust storms
2. Rising Sea Level
Rising sea-level is one of the great impacts of global warming, due to melting glaciers and ice sheets. At current rates, sea levels to rise by at least 8 inches by 2100, potentially causing increased flooding and decrease in ocean and wetland habitats.
3. Disintegrating Polar Ice And Vanishing Glaciers
Glaciers are melting due to the warming climate. The snowpacks and polar ice are disintegrating because of global warming. The decrease in glaciers is leading to water shortages and alarming tourism.
4. Damage To Coral Reefs And Ocean Acidification
Significant coral “bleaching” events have been occurring since past years, which contributes to coral death. Mass bleaching events are typically originated from increased average ocean temperatures.
Higher amounts of CO2 are causing extreme acidity in the oceans. As pH levels in the ocean decline, shellfish have trouble reproducing, and a lot of the oceans’ food cycle has become disturbed.
Also, due to the high concentration of CO2 and ocean acidification, corals are endangered because it is harder for them to make their calcium carbonate skeletons.
5. Shifting Species Ranges And Yearly Cycles
80% and above of species are shifting to higher altitudes and varying their yearly practices because of global warming. This could lead to destructive ecological alterations. Amphibians have also exhibited specific susceptibility.
The species of golden toads and harlequin frogs have also decreased due to the diseases caused by global warming.
6. More Diseases
Just like all the effects mentioned above, global warming has the following impacts on health:
- Heat-associated sickness
- Injuries and mortalities from extreme weather
- Asthma and cardiovascular illnesses from air pollution
- Respiratory difficulties from more allergens
- Ailments from bad water quality
Now We Know How Dangerous Global Warming Is, How Can We Stop Climate Change?
While the effects of global warming can seem bleak and disastrous, there is still hope. By taking immediate action to control global warming, we may never see the worst consequences. Likewise, as the world adopts cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions.
Below are some practical ways we can use to battle global warming, including:
- Stop or reduce the usage of fossil fuels like carbon-intensive coal
- Practice renewable energy sources like solar, geothermal, wind, and bioenergy. Read more about why renewable energy is becoming more popular.
- Make your home and workplace energy efficient
- Move closer to work
- Change to less-carbon fuels, and decrease travel miles
- Use sustainable mass transportation systems
- Stop deforestation and start afforestation
- Buy carbon offsets
- Adopt a plant-based diet
- Make food practices more sustainable. Here are more Eco-friendly tips.
- Reduce food waste
- Invest in energy-efficient buildings and improved cement-making processes
- Purchase biodegradable and compostable products
- Reuse, reduce and recycle waste products
- Ensure sustainable development
Global warming is real, and it is the responsibility of each one of us to start by ourselves and contribute to a better environment.