Global Warming: Global warming is the average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human-induced. In common usage, “global warming” often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

The impact of global warming is a rise in sea level, changes in rainfall patterns, increased likelihood of extreme events such as heat waves, flooding's, hurricanes, melting of ice caps, melting of glaciers, and widespread vanishing of animal populations due to habitat loss, the spread of disease, bleaching of coral reefs, loss of planktons due to warming of seas, etc.

What is Global Warming?

Climate is the long-term average of a region's weather events. The earth's climate is not static. Over the billions of years of earth's existence, it has changed many times in response to natural causes like sun spot, ice age glaciations, etc. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

However, when today people talk about ‘climate change’, they mean the changes in climate over the last 100 years which is caused  predominantly by human activity. Human are creating climate change by burning large amounts of fossil fuels(coal, oil, natural gas), deforestation(when forest are cut down or burned, they can no longer store carbon, and the carbon is released to the atmosphere).

Earth has warmed at an unprecedented rate over the last hundred years and particularly over the last two decades. Since 1992, each year has been one of the warmest years on record. 2016 was the hottest year on record, worldwide. An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed.

Global warming is the average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human-induced. In common usage, “global warming” often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

Impact of Global Warming

The impact of global warming is -

  • Rise in sea level,
  • Changes in rainfall patterns,
  • Increased likelihood of extreme events such as heat waves, flooding's, hurricanes, melting of ice caps, etc.
  • Melting of glaciers,
  • The widespread vanishing of animal populations due to habitat loss, the spread of disease, bleaching of coral reefs, loss of planktons due to warming of seas, etc.

Causes of Global Warming

Global warming is the average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human-induced. Following are the causes of global warming-

Man-made Causes of Global Warming

Green houses gases: Fossil fuel and related uses of coal and petroleum are the most important sources of GHGs emission. Agriculture is the second most important source (animals – cows and pigs), feed production, chemical intensive food production, and flooded paddy rice production, as well as deforestation driven by the desire to expand cultivated areas. Most common GHGs are CO2 or carbon dioxide, Methane or CH4, Nitrous oxide, Fluorinated gases, Sulphur hexafluoride(SF6).

Deforestation: Plants are the main source of oxygen. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen thereby maintaining environmental balance. Forests are being depleted for many domestic and commercial purposes. This has led to an environmental imbalance, thereby giving rise to global warming.

Use of Vehicles: The use of vehicles, even for a very short distance results in various gaseous emissions. Vehicles burn fossil fuels which emit a large amount of carbon dioxide and other toxins into the atmosphere resulting in a temperature increase.

Chlorofluorocarbon: With the excessive use of air conditioners and refrigerators, humans have been adding CFCs into the environment which affects the atmospheric ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the earth surface from the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. The CFCs have led to ozone layer depletion making way for the ultraviolet rays, thereby increasing the temperature of the earth.

Industrial Development: With the advent of industrialization, the temperature of the earth has been increasing rapidly. The harmful emissions from the factories add to the increasing temperature of the earth. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change reported that the increase in the global temperature between 1880 and 2012 has been 0.9 degrees Celsius. The increase is 1.1 degrees Celsius when compared to the pre-industrial mean temperature.

Agriculture: Various farming activities produce carbon dioxide and methane gas. These add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and increase the temperature of the earth.

Overpopulation: An increase in population means more people breathing. This leads to an increase in the level of carbon dioxide, the primary gas causing global warming, in the atmosphere.

Natural Causes of Global Warming

Volcanoes: Volcanoes are one of the largest natural contributors to global warming. The ash and smoke emitted during volcanic eruptions goes out into the atmosphere and affects the climate.

Water Vapor :Water vapor is a kind of greenhouse gas. Due to the increase in the earth’s temperature, more water gets evaporated from the water bodies and stays in the atmosphere adding to global warming.

Melting Permafrost: Permafrost is frozen soil that has environmental gases trapped in it for several years and is present below Earth’s surface. It is present in glaciers. As the permafrost melts, it releases the gases back into the atmosphere, increasing Earth’s temperature.

Forest Blazes: Forest blazes or forest fires emit a large amount of carbon-containing smoke. These gases are released into the atmosphere and increase the earth’s temperature resulting in global warming.

Effects of Global Warming

Following are the major effects of global warming:

Rise in Temperature: Global warming has led to an incredible increase in earth’s temperature. Since 1880, the earth’s temperature has increased by ~1 degrees. This has resulted in an increase in the melting of glaciers, which have led to an increase in the sea level. This could have devastating effects on coastal regions.

Threats to the Ecosystem: Global warming has affected the coral reefs that can lead to the loss of plant and animal lives. Increase in global temperatures has made the fragility of coral reefs even worse.

Climate Change: Global warming has led to a change in climatic conditions. There are droughts at some places and floods at some. This climatic imbalance is the result of global warming.

Spread of Diseases: Global warming leads to a change in the patterns of heat and humidity. This has led to the movement of mosquitoes that carry and spread diseases.

High Mortality Rates: Due to an increase in floods, tsunamis and other natural calamities, the average death toll usually increases. Also, such events can bring about the spread of diseases that can hamper human life.

Loss of Natural Habitat: A global shift in the climate leads to the loss of habitats of several plants and animals. In this case, the animals need to migrate from their natural habitat and many of them even become extinct. This is yet another major impact of global warming on biodiversity.

Solutions of Global Warming 

Some of the solutions of global warming are-

Save energy at homes: Much of the electricity are wasted in use of coal, oil and gas powered fuels which intents to pollute the environment. Switching to LEDs bulbs, energy saving appliance, less use of heater, coolers, AC would save energy which would have the effects at large level.

Walk, cycle, or take public transport: The world’s roads are clogged with vehicles, most of them burning diesel or petrol. Walking or riding a bike instead of driving will reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and help your health and fitness. For longer distances, consider taking a train or bus. And carpool whenever possible.

Eat more vegetables: Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and less meat and dairy, can significantly lower your environmental impact. Producing plant-based foods generally results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires less energy, land, and water.

Consider your travel: Aero planes burn large amounts of fossil fuels, producing significant greenhouse gas emissions. That makes taking fewer flights one of the fastest ways to reduce your environmental impact. When you can, meet virtually, take a train, or skip that long-distance trip altogether.

Throw away less food: When you throw food away, you're also wasting the resources and energy that were used to grow, produce, package, and transport it. And when food rots in a landfill, it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. So use what you buy and compost any leftovers.

Reduce, reuse, repair & recycle: Electronics, clothes, and other items we buy cause carbon emissions at each point in production, from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and transporting goods to market. To protect our climate, buy fewer things, shop second-hand, repair what you can, and recycle.

Change your home's source of energy: Ask your utility company if your home energy comes from oil, coal, or gas. If possible, see if you can switch to renewable sources such as wind or solar. Or install solar panels on your roof to generate energy for your home.

Switch to an electric vehicle: If you plan to buy a car, consider going electric, with more and cheaper models coming on the market. Even if they still run on electricity produced from fossil fuels, electric cars help reduce air pollution and cause significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.

Global Warming- FAQs

Ans. Global warming is the average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns.

Ans. The impact of global warming is - Rise in sea level, Changes in rainfall patterns, Increased likelihood of extreme events such as heat waves, flooding's, hurricanes, melting of ice caps, etc. Melting of glaciers, The widespread vanishing of animal populations due to habitat loss, the spread of disease, bleaching of coral reefs, loss of planktons due to warming of seas, etc.

uses gas emissions, deforestation, Ans. There are many causes to global warming such as greenhouse of vehicles, industrial development, overpopulations, CFCs etc.

Ans. The effects of global Warming are Rise in Temperature, Deforestation, Threats to the Ecosystem, Climate Change, Spread of disease, High mortality rate, Loss of Natural Habitat, etc..

Ans. The solutions of global warming are save energy at homes, follow the concept Reuse, recycle, reduce, repair, switch on electric vehicle, eat more vegetables, etc.

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