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Published: Tuesday 29th of October 2013
One of today’s most controversial and debating issues is global warming. But what exactly is global warming, what causes it, what are the effects and what are some possible solutions to it? You can find answers to all of these questions in the article below, so make sure you read it till the very end.
First, in order to better understand this concept, you have to know what exactly it means. Global warming refers to the average environmental or surface temperature on the planet, which scientists say it has alarmingly increased since 1950 until the present day due to greenhouse effect. Moreover, when it comes to global warming, you should also include climate change into discussion, because this is the most obvious result of it.
Speaking about the greenhouse effect, it’s essential to know what this means as well in order to have a better understanding of the concept. You’ve probably learned in middle or high school that the atmosphere of the Earth is composed of several elements, such as oxygen, nitrogen and so on and it is responsible for keeping the average temperature at around 16 degrees Celsius. The moment the sun rays hit the surface of the planet, a great part of the energy is absorbed by the atmosphere’s greenhouse gases.
Global warming is not something that has been with us from times of yore and it didn’t appear out of nowhere either. It’s the result of several actions combined, some of them are caused by nature, while others are caused by humans themselves. However, the greatest influence over global warming has been caused by the human race.
The high and rapid increase in pollution that actually exploded during the past few decades has automatically generated an increase in greenhouse gases, thus damaging the layer of the ozone by the day. Vehicles, the number of factories that still continues to increase, fossil fuels, as well as human population, all of these have majorly contributed to an accelerated increased rate of these gases. Other things that have also contributed to this are the excessive utilization of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which polluted not only the soil, but also the water and air.
Deforestation is one of the most concerning issues that influence global warming a lot. People have been massively cutting trees during the past several decades, that nowadays, the whole world confronts with the lack of trees. People have been using this material in a range of purposes, such as making paper, building houses and so on. This has contributed to the increase of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Of course, it’s not only the human race that has contributed to the increase of global warming. Nature itself is also guilty of it. For instance, volcanic eruptions are the ones to pollute the most. One single volcanic eruption can generate massive amounts of carbon dioxide and release them into the atmosphere, not to mention about the ash and lava.
The high amounts of emissions that contain harmful substances and that increase global temperature have made the entire planet suffer drastic changes during the past few decades. Glaciers are melting by the day, which automatically results in increased levels of sea water around the globe, thus putting all coastal areas in great danger. There is a huge difference between how coastal areas looked like one century ago for instance and how they look today and if people don’t do anything about it in the near future, things will aggravate rapidly.
Another effect that has already started to cause severe damage all over the world is related to severe natural phenomena. More hurricanes, fierce storms and droughts have occurred, changes in rain patterns have affected wide areas, floods as well as water shortages have happened and many other such drastic climatic changes. It has snowed in the Sahara Dessert for the fourth time in a row this year, and this is definitely not something to be neglected. Things have to change rapidly and the entire population of the Earth has to work together to find solutions if they want to preserve life on this planet in the future.
Studies have showed that the sea temperature around the globe is now growing 13% faster than ever. For instance, some measurements done in 1992 regarding the global sea temperature revealed that this value has doubled compared to the temperature in 1960. What is more, scientists have recorder 2016 as being the hottest year ever in the history!
Of course, these are only some of the effects that global warming has over our planet, because in fact things are much worse than one can imagine. If nothing is done in the next few years, we might experience ever fiercer storms and hurricanes, more severe climatic changes and it will be much harder to control or to reduce them.
As someone wise once said, “Every problem has a solution.” Even though global warming has already done some severe damage to our planet, there are many solutions that can stop, or at least slow down this process and make the world a better place to live. The idea is that people have to not only find the appropriate solutions, but also apply them. Thinking about what can be done to make things right and coming up with several possible solutions is definitely not enough, unless you also make it happen and apply those solutions in real life.
Of course, we cannot fight the sun and stop the rays from hitting the earth and being absorbed by greenhouse gases. It wouldn’t be recommended to do so actually, because the sun is one of the main reasons (along with the atmosphere, and not only) why life on this planet is possible. However, we can help in limiting these greenhouse gases and take care of our planet by stopping deforestation, choosing to go to work by one of the public transportation means available or by bicycle instead of by car and reducing the number of factories that release high amounts of gases into the atmosphere. In some countries around the world, citizens are encouraged to utilize bikes instead of cars, not to mention that they also have bike trails in the city and one good example is Netherlands.
Another way in which we can slow down global warming is by recycling as much as possible, regardless of the type of materials. Nowadays, nearly anything can be recycled, from paper to glass, aluminum cans, plastic, textile and so on. The only thing remaining is to educate people in this direction and to make them aware of the importance of keeping the planet clean and of taking advantage of what it’s already out there, instead of creating new things every day. Plastic bottles can be easily used in a wide variety of ways, around the house, and in case you don’t know how to do that, there are plenty of tutorials and ideas on the Internet that can give you a hint. Otherwise, you can take whatever is plastic to a recycling factory in the neighborhood and contribute to the good of the planet.
People should also learn how to use and include natural energy sources in their lives. Whether we’re talking about bio fuels, solar energy or wind power, they all are highly superior alternatives to whatever energy means are already out there now. Believe it or not, the sun provides us an infinite source of energy which can be used in fulfilling the world’s need for electricity.
Moreover, people should stop cutting trees. It’s not for no reason that forests are also called “the lungs of the planet”, because they produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. It’s true that wood is used in a range of industries, but there are already numerous materials that can easily replace wood and that are cleaner, safer and environmentally friendlier.
Overall, global warming is a major problem today and it can completely change the planet in the next few centuries if people don’t do anything to slow it down. In the past centuries, people have been carried away by curiosity, by greed, by excessive power and need to control everything, but it’s time to put an end to this childish behavior, take responsibility for what was done and start making things right, because it’s not too late yet.
Some measurements have already been taken in many countries around the globe, especially when it comes to recycling various types of materials, or to utilizing some eco-friendly sources of energy instead of those that do harm to the environment. However, there is still much to do until we’re able to say that our planet is safe, clean and secure.
Every choice is important, no matter how small it is. Simply throwing that paper napkin into the garbage basket instead of on the street can contribute to the well-being of the entire planet. Change starts with you!