Violent storms, melting ice caps, irregular weather patterns, scorching heat waves, species extinction, these are few of the many effects that we are presently experiencing from the occurrence of global warming. Global warming is a term addressed to a specific case of the more general term “climate change.” Changes in the Earth’s climate are not something new and historically, natural factors such as volcanic eruptions, Earth’s orbital changes, and the amount of released solar energy were recorded to have contributed to these climate changes. Since the onset of these climate changes, the introduction of human activities starting late in the 18th century has dramatically changed the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. This Industrial Revolution has overwhelmingly contributed to the rapid change in Global climate in an unprecedented scale.
The Greenhouse Effect
Scientific studies revealed that a number of human activities are contributing to global warming by adding excessive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. For the past 200 years, the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, and the addition of deforestation have resulted in the concentrations of heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide to elevate significantly in our atmosphere. These gases prevent heat from escaping out to space. The gases work like the greenhouse glass panels. As we know, greenhouse gases are necessary to keep the Earth warm enough to support life. But, as the concentrations of these gases continue to increase in the atmosphere, the Earth’s temperature will also continue to climb way above normal level.
At present, global warming is one of the most important and serious challenge we are facing. Continued human-induced factors, such as increase emission of carbon dioxides from vehicles and power plants, deforestation, and overpopulation, will accelerate the increase of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Eventually, the elevation in greenhouse gases will result in the gradual temperature increase of the Earth’s surface and the air in the lower atmosphere. This increase in temperature changes the climate and alters weather patterns which may accelerate species extinction, influence the length of seasons, results in poor yield of crops, trigger flooding in costal lines, sets off abrupt climate changes and results to more frequent and severe storms.
To protect the health and economic well-being of current and future generations, we should start to contribute responsibly in the conservation of energy and our natural resources to drastically reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Contributions such as planting trees, changing to energy-saving lighting, responsible garbage disposal, and planting trees will go a long way not only in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also in reducing air pollution, decreasing energy dependence and saving money.
No comments yet.