What is Global Warming?
What is global warming and what are its impacts? This is the question whose answer should be known to everyone. Over the past 50-60 years, the average temperature has increased at the quickest rate in history. And experts believe that this is accelerating at an alarming rate.
In December 2015, the record was broken of a month being the hottest it’d been in a long time, at 1.11°C (2.00°F) higher than the monthly average, breaking the previous all-time record that was set just two months ago in October 2015 by 0.12°C (0.21°F). This was the first time in the NOAA record that a monthly temperature departure from average exceeded 1°C or reached 2°F and the second widest margin by which an all-time monthly global temperature record had been broken. (February 1998 broke the previous record of March 1990 by 0.13°C / 0.23°F.)
There were a lot of reports saying the temperature is getting better and the world will heal but that has been disproved by the weather. Scientists suggest that unless we curb global-warming emissions, average world temperatures would increase by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.
Specific gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Gases that remain semi-permanent in the atmosphere and do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as “forcing” climate change. These gases are,
- Synthetic compounds made entirely of industrial origin used in a number of applications, but now largely regulated in production and released to the atmosphere by international agreement for their ability to contribute to destruction of the ozone layer.
- Nitrous oxide: A gas produced by soil cultivation practices, especially for the use of commercial and organic fertilizers, fossil fuel combustion, and biomass burning.
- Carbon dioxide: A minor but highly important component of the atmosphere. It is released through natural processes such as respiration and volcano eruptions and through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by 47% since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived “forcing” of climate change.
There’s more than 95 percent chance that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet. The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 414 parts per million in the last 150 years. The panel also concluded there’s a better than 95 percent probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth’s temperatures over the past 50 years.
Impact on The Weather
One of the impact of global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather. For example, heat waves have become more frequent and intense, while very cold days have decreased. Warming is causing more rain to fall in heavy downpours. There are also longer dry periods between rainfalls. Wet places have generally become wetter, while dry places have become drier. This, coupled with more evaporation due to higher temperatures, intensifies drought.
The earth’s ocean temperatures are getting warmer too, which means that tropical storms can pick up more energy. So global warming could turn a category 3 storm into a more dangerous category 4 storm. The impacts of global warming are being felt across the globe. Suppose it was supposed to rain in your city but it’s just a sunny day with no chance of rain. Extreme heat waves have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years. Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002. This rate could speed up if we keep burning fossil fuels at our current pace, causing sea levels to rise several meters over the next 50 to 100 years.
- Melting glaciers and severe droughts will cause more dramatic water shortages.
- Allergies, asthma, and infectious disease outbreaks will become more common due to increased growth of pollen production.
- Rising sea levels will lead to floods in the coastal areas.
Steps Taken Against It
China has taken the lead in global-warming pollution, producing about 28% of all CO2 emissions. Then, The United States, despite making up just 4 percent of the world’s population, they produce a whopping 16 percent of all global CO2 emissions. English Prime Minister, Theresa May said there was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited”. Cutting emissions would benefit public health and cut NHS costs, she said. Britain is the first major nation to propose this target, and it has been widely praised people. But some say the phase is too late to protect the climate, and others are afraid that the task is impossible.
What You Can Do
Reduce your carbon footprint by following a few easy steps. Make conserving energy a part of your daily life routine and your decisions as a consumer. When you are shopping for new appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers, look for products with better companies, they meet a higher standard for energy efficiency than the minimum requirements. When you buy a car, look for one with the highest gas mileage and lowest emissions. You can also reduce your emissions by taking public transportation or carpooling when possible.