Global Warming on Earth: – Global warming is the biggest threat to our planet at the present time. The term global warming refers to the rise in earth’s surface temperature as a consequence of the greenhouse effect created by greenhouse gasses. Global warming has become a major atmospheric issue all over the world. Due to increasing population, economy and excessive use of energy, the increase in the level of greenhouse gasses have been seen in the 20th century.
According to the statistics, it has been estimated that since mid 20th century, earth’s temperature has increased to a great level because of increased demand for the human living standard, leading to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The years like 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1991 has been measured as the warmest six years of the past century.
Global average temperature has increased by more than 1°F (0.7°C) over the last century. The major cause of global warming is considered to be a human expansion of the greenhouse effect. Global warming is a problem created by the presence of too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere which acts as a layer, trapping heat and warming planet. Carbon dioxide is responsible for the most warming as it can survive in the atmosphere for a long period preventing heat from escaping from the earth’s surface.
In addition, other contributors include methane released from landfills and agriculture, grasses used for industrial and refrigeration process, nitrous oxide from fertilizers and loss of forest that could utilize carbon dioxide. To fulfill almost each needs the increasing demand for industrialization in the modern world is causing the release of the variety of greenhouse gasses through a various industrial process in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses absorb atmospheric heat and traps them within earth’s surface and ultimately causes Global Warming.
Another cause of global warming is depletion of the ozone layer. Chlorofluorocarbon gas, used for industrial purposes and in refrigerators is the main human-generated cause for global warming. The ultimate release of chlorofluorocarbons into atmosphere results in depletion of ozone layer. The ozone layer is a belt of naturally occurring ozone gas that absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The ozone is a thick layer in the stratosphere encircling the earth, that contains high concentrations of ozone (O3). The ozone layer filters harmful ultraviolet radiations that can harm both plants and animals. Moreover, the gradual depletion of the ozone layer is the indication of increasing global warming.
Global warming is already affecting the humankind, plants, and animal. Over the last century, sea level has been rising faster. According to researcher Bill Fraser, the number of breeding pair of Adélie penguins on Antarctica has fallen from 32,000 to 11,000 in 30 years. Rain and snowfall have increased across the globe, on average. If this trend continues the world would be in danger. Some other impacts that are likely to take in future are discussed below :
Harmful & Negative Impacts & Effects of Global Warming on Earth
- Climate change
- Heat waves
- The rise in sea level
- Wildlife extinction
Irregular climate changing patterns have started showing results as a consequence of global warming. Extreme precipitation has been noticed in polar and sub-polar regions. The burning of fossil fuel which emits greenhouse gasses (especially, carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere is the primary cause of climate change. Agriculture and deforestation are the other human activities which also contributes to the release of greenhouse gasses that results in climate change. If climate change continues, flood and drought will be more common. The Himalayan glaciers could retreat causing scarcity of water in South Asia. The increase in evaporation of water due to high temperature resulting from the occurrence of strong hurricane or cyclone formation. Rise in sea level due to warming of oceans and changing landscapes.
The term refers to a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water. Droughts are mainly caused by lack of precipitation and high temperatures but overpopulation and overuse are the responsible factors causing drought. The demand for water will increase with an increase in human population leading shortage of water supplies. In fact, the rapid growth of population itself can trigger droughts. Global warming is considered the ultimate reason for drought. According to projections by the Intergovernmental Panel, if global warming continues to increase in coming days droughts are intended to increase in subtropical areas, such as Australia, the U.S Southwest, and some parts of Africa and Europe.
Heat waves :
Heat waves are simply defined as a prolonged period of abnormally hot weather. Heat waves affect people who have asthma, heart disease, the elderly and those who live in big cities. Because of global warming, the heat waves are more frequent and severe and the result is devastating for the vulnerable population. It is confirmed that the frequency and duration of heat waves have increased over the last 50 years. If global warming continues further, summer in 2050 will have days topping 90°F.
The rise in sea level :
Since the 20th century, global sea level is rising at an increasing rate. The records show that sea level has been rising at the rate of about 0.6 inches per decade since 1900. If the sea level continues to rise in several decades, tidal flood frequency is likely to increase due to typical storm surges and high tides in many coastal regions. The two major causes of the rise in sea level are thermal expansion caused by warming of the oceans and loss of ice-based land. More than 90% of the increased atmospheric heat is absorbed by oceans. With continued ocean and atmospheric warming, sea levels will likely rise for many centuries at rates higher than that of the current century.
Agriculture is highly dependent on the climate. With effects unevenly distributed across the world, climate change is already affecting agriculture. Climate change is likely to increase the risk of food insecurity. There is an optimal temperature for the growth of each plant variety. Similarly, a plant will produce seeds at the certain range of temperature. Therefore, even a small change in weather pattern affects agricultural productivity.
Wildlife extinction :
Wildlife depends upon nature for its accommodation as it provides them the favorable condition to develop themselves. Even a small change in nature can stress these hundreds of wildlife and lead to extinction. At present time, global warming has become the biggest threat to wildlife. The planet is warming disrupting wildlife’s habitat which affects their ability to fulfill species’ needs. Beyond habitat displacement, global warming is causing a shift in the timing of various natural cyclical in the lives of plants and animals.
The above-mentioned impacts are the outcome of global warming. Global warming, if not checked in time can lead the world towards an end. Therefore, every effort should be made to minimize the effects of global warming. Though there is no single solution to the problem we can slow the pace of global warming by reducing the ultimate emission of carbon dioxide, stopping deforestation and starting afforestation, greening transportation, revving up renewals etc. People should unite together and try to solve the problem of global warming in order to save life on the earth and make it a better place to live.