The term ‘global warming’ is a very common term in the modern world especially when there are discussions about climate change. Global warming is the major effect that has been caused by the degradation of the environment.
Global warming can be described as the gradual warming of the surface of the earth since the 20th century to date.
Global warming is also defined as the rapid rise in the average temperatures of the earth’s surface as a result if the emission of greenhouse gases.
Global warming can also be referred to as
- the increase in the temperature of air that is near the earth’s surface.
- the increase in the temperatures of oceans over time.
- the changes in the climate that are caused by human activities which have affected the composition of the earth’s atmosphere.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a gas that gets into the atmosphere when fossil fuels such as coal and oil are burned.
- Methane (CH4) is also a greenhouse gas that is released during the process of producing and transporting oil, coal and natural gas. It may also be released through agricultural practices.
- Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is a gas that is released into the earth’s atmosphere during various industrial and agricultural activities. It is also released when burning fossil fuels.
- Fluorinated gases are gases such as Hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, nitrogen trifluoride and perfluorocarbons. These are very powerful greenhouse synthetic gases that are released during various industrial processes.
The greenhouse effect can be defined as the process in which the greenhouses gases reach and accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere. Once these gases are accumulated in the atmosphere, they allow heat and light from the sun to reach the surface of the earth. However, when the heat is reflected back into the atmosphere, they trap the heat and hence causing a rise in temperature of the earth’s surface. It is called the greenhouse effect because these gases perform the same function as the walls of a greenhouse.
The greenhouse effect is termed as an important process as it helps to maintain enough warmth of the earth’s surface to sustain life. However, due to increased emission of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of industrial activities, the temperatures on the earth’s surface have gradually increased and hence causing global warming.
Effects of global warming on the ecosystem
- Global warming has affected aquatic animals and marine life. This is because it has led to some parts of the ocean being too hot for aquatic animals to inhabit.
- Some animals that live in the snow may die or become extinct due to the melting of the ice caused by increased temperatures in these regions.
- The ecosystem is also affected due to global warming as some plants and trees that depend on low temperatures may die. This may lead to loss of habitats of certain animal species.
- Global warming also leads to migration of certain animals species that depend on cooler temperatures. These animals migrate to mountainous areas where the temperatures are cooler and it may cause a disruption in the ecosystem.
Causes of global warming
- One of the causes of global warming is industrialization. Industries emit a lot of greenhouse gases that cause the greenhouse effect which causes global warming.
- Deforestation also causes global warming since the levels of CO2 that are present in the atmosphere will increase due to lack of enough trees to intake the excess CO2.
- Farming activities also cause global warming. Livestock produce methane gas that increases the greenhouse effect. The chemicals used may also emit some gases that will go into the atmosphere.
- Mining activities also cause global warming. This includes the mining of coal and oil where greenhouse gases are emitted.
- Global warming is also caused by burning of fossil fuels. This may include combustion of car fuel and other oils.
Effects of global warming
- Global warming affects the ecosystem by causing the migration of animals, destruction of habitats and even death of some animals.
- Global warming causes a rise in the sea levels. This may cause flooding to the coastal regions.
- Farming activities may also be affected by global warming. This may be due to occasional flooding of farms, invasion of farms by pests and the death of plants due to increased heat.
- Oceanic temperatures increase due to global warming and this may be devastating to the aquatic animals and plants.
- Global warming will also cause the melting of the glaciers and this may cause a reduction on water supply.
How to control global warming
- The use of renewable energy will reduce the levels of global warming. This form of energy depends less on coal and other fossil fuels and hence reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
- By putting limits on the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions that industries are supposed to emit.
- Reducing deforestation will also control global warming as the levels of carbon gas in the atmosphere will be reduced.
- Changing to sustainable agricultural methods will also reduce global warming through reduced use of chemical inputs.
- By increasing the fuel efficiency of cars, the usage of oil around the world will reduce.
Global warming is the major cause of climate change that is being experienced around the world. As much as the greenhouse effect is an important process that makes the temperatures on earth good enough to sustain life, too much emission of greenhouse gases can cause very high temperatures on the earth’s surface. It is hence important to reduce the emission of these gases to reduce the devastating effects of global warming.