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Global warming is the long-term rise in the temperature of the whole world. Even though this rising trend has been going on for a long time, it has sped up a lot in the last hundred years because more fossil fuels have been burned. As the number of people has grown, so has the number of fossil fuels that have been burned. Fossil fuels are things like coal, oil, and natural gas. When these things are burned, they cause what is called the “Greenhouse Effect” in the climate of Earth.
The greenhouse effect happens when the sun’s rays reach the atmosphere, but the heat that is reflected back from the surface cannot get back into space. The heat can’t leave the atmosphere because of the gases that are made when fossil fuels are burned. Carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide are all greenhouse gases. Over time, the extra heat in the atmosphere has caused the average temperature around the world to rise. This is called “Global Warming.”
What is Global Warming?
Global warming is the long-term warming of the Earth’s surface that has been seen since the pre-industrial era (between 1850 and 1900) and is caused by human actions, especially the burning of fossil fuels, which raises the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. This word does not mean the same thing as “climate change.”
Human actions are thought to have raised the average global temperature by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the pre-industrial era. This number is rising at a rate of more than 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. Human actions since the 1950s have caused the current rising trend, which is happening at a rate that has never been seen before over thousands of years.
What Causes Global Warming?
When carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants accumulate in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation reflected from the earth’s surface, global warming occurs. Normally, this heat would escape into space, but these pollutants, which can remain in the atmosphere for decades or even centuries, capture the heat and increase the temperature of the planet. These heat-trapping pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and fluorinated synthetic gases, are known as greenhouse gases, and their effect is known as the greenhouse effect.
The current era of global warming is directly caused by human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas, which results in the greenhouse effect. Transportation is the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the United States (29 percent), followed by power generation (28 percent) and industrial activity (22 percent).
To stop hazardous climate change, we must drastically reduce pollution and use alternatives to fossil fuels on a global scale. As part of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, nations around the globe have pledged to reduce their emissions by establishing new standards and implementing new policies that meet or even exceed those standards. Unfortunately, we are not working rapidly enough. According to scientists, we must reduce global carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent by 2030 in order to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. For this to occur, the global community must take immediate, concrete steps: reducing carbon emissions from electricity production by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar; converting automobiles and trucks to electric vehicles; and maximizing the energy efficiency of buildings, appliances, and industries.
Man-Made Causes of Global Warming
Deforestation & Tree-Clearing
Plants and trees help keep the temperature stable because they take carbon dioxide out of the air and put oxygen back in. Forests and bushland take in carbon and store it, which is a good way to keep the heat below 1.5°C.
But people clear out huge areas of plants all over the world for farming, building cities and infrastructure, or selling tree goods like wood and palm oil. When plants are cut down or burned, the carbon they have stored is released into the air as CO2, which contributes to global warming.
Use of Vehicles
Even if a car is only driven a short distance, it gives off different gases. When cars burn fossil fuels, they release a lot of carbon dioxide and other harmful chemicals into the air. This makes the temperature rise.
People have been putting CFCs into the environment by using air conditioners and freezers too much, which is bad for the ozone layer. The ozone layer keeps the earth’s surface safe from the sun’s dangerous solar rays. The CFCs have caused the ozone layer to thin, which lets more solar rays through and makes the earth hotter.
Since the beginning of industrialization, the earth’s temperature has been going up quickly. The earth is getting hotter because companies are putting out pollution that is bad for it.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2013 that the world’s temperature rose by 0.9 degrees Celsius between 1880 and 2012. Compared to the average temperature before people started making things, the rise is 1.1% C.
Agriculture & Farming
Animals, such as sheep and cattle, produce the greenhouse gas methane. When livestock is grazed on a large scale, as they are in Australia, a significant quantity of methane is produced, which contributes significantly to global warming. Some agricultural practices discharge nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas.
Population growth results in more individuals breathing. This increases the concentration of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas causing global warming, in the atmosphere.
Effects of Global Warming
The main effects of global warming are as follows:
Rise in Temperature
The earth’s temperature has skyrocketed as a result of global warming. The earth’s temperature has increased by 1 degree since 1880. This has led to an increase in the erosion of glaciers, which has caused the sea level to rise. This could have catastrophic consequences for coastal regions.
Threats to the Ecosystem
The effects of global warming on coral reefs can contribute to the extinction of plants and animals. Increased global temperatures have exacerbated the fragility of coral reefs.
Changes in climate have resulted from global warming. There are droughts and floods in certain regions. The cause of this climate imbalance is global warming.
Spread of Diseases
Changes in patterns of heat and humidity are brought about by global warming. This has resulted in the migration of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
High Mortality Rates
Due to a rise in cyclones, tsunamis, and other natural disasters, the average number of fatalities typically rises. Furthermore, such events can result in the spread of diseases that threaten human existence.
Loss of Natural Habitat
Several flora and animals lose their habitats as a result of climate change on a global scale. In this instance, animals must leave their natural habitat, and a number of them even become extinct. Another significant impact of global warming on biodiversity.
Global Warming and Your Environmental Impact
Our planet is warming. Temperatures are rising and extreme weather is becoming more frequent due to global warming. If we do not take preventative measures now, future generations will confront warmer temperatures, higher sea levels, extreme weather events, crop failures, extinctions, and other devastations.
You can help mitigate the effects of global warming by decreasing your greenhouse gas emissions, lowering your energy consumption, and transitioning away from fossil fuels. Even better, plant trees in your community and join a movement that supports renewable energy sources.
Solar energy is one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable methods to power your home, as it does not produce greenhouse gases. Installing solar panels on your home has the additional benefit of lowering your utility bills.
Are you prepared to combat the effects of global warming by switching to solar energy? Start immediately with Palmetto. Check out our free Solar Design and Savings Estimate Tool to determine how much you could save with solar panels, as well as your personal impact on the environment.
How to Stop Global Warming?
From straightforward lifestyle modifications to the use of green energy, here are some ways individuals can help slow or even reverse global warming:
- Use renewable energy. Using solar power, wind power, or other alternative energy sources can reduce your carbon footprint (and may even lower your electricity cost).
- Recycle: Send all of your trash, like paper, plastic, metal, and glass, to your local recycling center or compost it as often as possible.
- Use Less Power: Turn off lights and unplug tools when you aren’t using them.
- Opt for Sustainable Transportation: Instead of driving alone, you could walk, bike, carpool, buy an electric car, or switch to public transportation for your daily journey.
- Sustainable agriculture and forest management: It should also be a goal to encourage better use of natural resources, stop huge amounts of deforestation, and make agriculture greener and more efficient.
- Energy & water efficiency: It is important to make clean energy, but it is cheaper and just as important to use less energy and water by using more efficient devices like LED light bulbs and new shower systems.
How is Global Warming Linked to Extreme Weather?
Scientists concur that the planet’s warming temperatures are fueling longer, hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier precipitation, and more potent hurricanes.
In 2015, scientists concluded that global warming had exacerbated California’s prolonged drought by 15 to 20 percent, making it the state’s worst water shortage in 1,200 years. In addition, they reported that the likelihood of comparable droughts occurring in the future has roughly doubled over the past century. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine announced in 2016 that we can now confidently attribute certain extreme weather phenomena, such as heat waves, droughts, and heavy precipitation, to climate change.
The warming of the world’s oceans means that tropical cyclones are gaining strength. In other terms, global warming can increase the severity of a category 3 storm to a category 4 storm. In fact, scientists have discovered that the frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes and the number of cyclones reaching categories 4 and 5 have increased since the early 1980s. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced a record-breaking thirty tropical cyclones, six major hurricanes, and thirteen hurricanes overall. As intensity increases, so do injury and mortality. In 2020, the United States experienced an unprecedented 22 weather and climate calamities that caused at least $1 billion in damages.
The effects of global warming are felt globally. In recent years, extreme heat waves have caused tens of thousands of fatalities across the globe. Since the 1990s, Antarctica has lost nearly four trillion metric tons of ice, an alarming indicator of future events. Some experts believe that if we continue to consume fossil fuels at the current rate, the rate of loss could accelerate, causing sea levels to rise several meters over the next 50 to 150 years and wreaking havoc on coastal communities worldwide.
What are World Leaders Doing to Stop Climate Change?
Given the magnitude of the global crisis, the international response must be prompt and decisive. However, global government progress has been painfully sluggish. Numerous pledges to reduce carbon emissions have been made, but few are legally binding and goals are frequently missed.
In Paris in 2015, the leaders of 197 nations committed to putting people first and reducing their nations’ greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
There is still a chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change if governments act promptly on the commitments they made in the Paris climate agreement and implement solutions immediately.
As a result of human activities, global warming has hazardous effects on the entire ecosystem. Due to deforestation, the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes greenhouse effects. Logging should be prohibited to reduce global warming’s effects. As a consequence of global warming, glacier retreat is causing floods and GLOF events. Avoiding preventive measures may result in global food insecurity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Global Warming
What is the role of CFC in global warming?
CFCs are an acronym for chlorofluorocarbons. The ozone layer is responsible for shielding the earth’s surface from the sun’s harmful rays. CFCs degrade the atmosphere’s ozone layer. This allows ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth, resulting in an increase in temperature that contributes to global warming.
How does global warming affect climate change?
As a consequence of global warming, the climate has changed. Earth’s temperature rises as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels, the felling of trees, etc. High temperatures alter weather patterns, causing arid regions to become drier and wet regions to become wetter. Thus increasing the frequency of natural disasters such as floods and droughts.