One of the largest issues facing us now is global warming. It has a frightening (and in some cases scaring) effects on agriculture, animals and human population. Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have increased at the highest rate in recorded history. Effects to do with climate change warming are widely discussed various forums including the media. However, even though some people dispute its causes the effects are real, massive and measurable. The cause primarily emanates from us, humans, while the effects on us are worse.
Global warming is the increase in the average air temperature close to the surface of the earth, particularly over the past few decades. The term denotes a wide range of global phenomena created principally by burning fossil fuels. The entire combustion process adds heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Scientific evidence shows that earth’s climate has changed over virtually every measurable timescale from the start of geological time. Evidently, the influence of human activities since the start of the industrial revolution has had a devastating effect on climate change.
Burning of fossil fuels by power plants
The generation of electricity from goal using power plants generates huge amounts of carbon dioxide right into the earth’s atmosphere.so, as more and more electric gadgets are introduced into the market, and for as long as there are no alternative sources, we continually depend on coal for our commercial and personal electric supply.
Usage of chemical fertilizers
Towards the end of the last century, there has been a sharp increase in the utilization of chemical fertilizers instead of the conventional animal manure. The nitrogen-rich fertilizers have negative effects on the heat storage capacity of cropland. This is because nitrogen oxides possess MUCH higher heat-trapping capacity and, consequently, the run-off of surplus fertilizers create regions called dead-zones in seas.
Methane is yet another potent greenhouse gas that ranks right after carbon dioxide. When organic matter is reduced by microorganisms in oxygen-deprived conditions, like in rice paddles the gas is released. The same process takes place in the stomachs of herbivorous animals. As concentrated livestock production increases, the amount of methane gas released into the environment increases as well.
The cutting of trees for fuel (charcoal and wood) is a primary cause of deforestation. Even in first world countries, the insatiable appetite for paper and wood products, use of forest lands for alternative plants like palm oil and consumption of livestock reared on former forestland result in mass deforestation. Forests serve to eradicate and store CO2 from the atmosphere. Deforestation, therefore, releases massive amounts of carbon besides reducing the levels of carbon retained on the planet.
- Extinction of animal species; as temperature regime change some species lose their favorite climatic conditions leading to their extinction.
- Floods; as more and more icebergs at the poles melt, a lot of water flow to the existing watercourses leading to floods.
- Droughts; global warming increases temperatures in areas that were previously arable with the result that existing crop cover dries off leading to desertification
- We can reduce reliance on gasoline by settling for hybrid cars that use less of the fuel. Encouraging people to use public transport to and from work not only save cost but also reduce carbon dioxide.
- Humans should avoid open burning like burning garbage or dry leaves in an open pit. If these materials are burnt in the presence of plastic there is a massive release of CO2.
- Government agencies should discourage deforestation. Forest cover plays a vital role in regulating temperatures on the surface of the Earth. Trees additionally have other benefits like air purification.
Global warming is posing an imminent danger to the survival of animals in general and of human beings in particular. The continued increase in temperatures on the surface of the earth increases heavy snowfalls, floods and bring about desertification. Everyone should, therefore, play their part in ensuring they reduce their contribution in the best way they can.
By: Joni Kim