In general words, climate change relates to the seasonal change that arises owing to the disparity in the distance of the planet from the sun when it rotates around as well as its tilt against its axis. Apart from this, though, cold or hot waves and sea tides affect climate change. Global Warming applies to a steady spike in temperature. Abrupt climate change has been seen in modern years. In and around the tropical, the winter season has been limited to only a few months. In every area of the planet, fall or spring has absolutely gone. At these areas, the climate is marked by a lengthy summer and a condensed winter with intermittent rainfall during the year. This temperature shifts are primarily attributed to the abnormal production of greenhouse gases, which result in global warming and eventually contribute to sudden variations in the climate. Human society on its road to growth has been changed from a rural economy to a technological economy (Read 33). There is no question that this transformation has improved the per capita wealth as well as the livelihoods of human beings, but it is often correlated with the expense of ‘greenhouse gas initiated global warming.’ The paper aims to investigate the origins, implications and likely remedies of global warming.
What are the Green House Gases?
The Earth’s atmosphere contains primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. However, neither of them create a green house influence, since all of these gases are invisible to terrestrial radiation. The green house impact is the product of the accumulation of water vapour, carbon dioxide and other trace gases that are found in the environment and capture the terrestrial radiation that is reflected from the surface of the planet. Changes in the ambient concentration of green house gases misbalance the energy flow between the environment, space, ground and the ocean. As the concentration of green house gas is raised, the total absorption of energy by the planet rises. (Reading 33-35)
Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide and ozone are known to be naturally occurring green house gases. Apart from all these naturally occurring green house gases, a variety of halogens containing fluorine, chlorine or bromine are often known as green house gases. Although they are often the result of industrial production. Halocarbons including chlorine are forms of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons. These gases have a clear ozone-depleting characteristic. Apart from the aforementioned, there are several gases in and near the troposphere that have an indirect effect on the global radiation expenditure. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone in the troposphere are known as gas of this nature.
Is the Climate Warming?
Scientists and analysts have shown that the average global temperature is increasing – “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity” (Gillis). Disasters like the flood devastated New England, Nashville, Arkansas, and the Oklahoma. Satellite images have shown that ice deposition at both poles has been diminishing over the past few years (Alley). Some of the seashore regions have now gone deep beneath the ocean, which depicts an increase in seawater levels (melting ice from the poles are raising the water level at sea). (Meehl) On another occasion, scientists have found that the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro, the mountain in Africa, is undergoing snow declines last year. The Gangotri Glacier in India is decreasing by a total of 17.15 metres per year (1971-2004). It would be completely gone at this pace in the year 2035. Adding to our worry, the scale of the Sahara Desert is rising last year. Many of the above events specifically show a spike in temperature. (Global Warming reaches Gangotri Glacier) Several other grass root indicators appear to reinforce the above. The declining welfare of the Penguins and the decreased number of Polar Bears strongly reflect the degradation of the ecological status of the Polar Regions. The height of the Arctic snow cap declined in the summer of 2007 and the floating ice also decreased to a record amount in a century (Revkin). This ecological degradation is possibly related to the increase in global temperatures.
According to the US Hurricane Center, Huracans in the last few years have become more devastating than their previous image. The span of the storm has also made the meteorologists surprised, although it is true that scientists are not willing to make any definite statement now as they say that single evidence is not enough to come to any conclusion. Still, this can hardly be denied that the danger looms large on the earth surface. The whole 20th century records have shown considerable amount of change in weather, which cannot be caused by anything other than global warming (Black). Jay Barnes, an eminent Hurricane historian is unanimous with the view that global warming may cause huge amount of rain and storm; now the chance of worsening of Huracans by global warming is not an impossible matter. This point has been further strengthened by the occurrence of typhoons in the northwest Pacific Ocean. According to the reports, Huracans have become 50% stronger than what they were in the first half of the 20th century. (“Is Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse?”) Revkin’s analysis based on anecdotes of tornadoes and tempests can be expressed as, “While there’s evidence that increasing greenhouse heating of the planet is exacerbating hot spells and extreme downpours, and may be related to hurricane intensity (but not frequency), a combination of imprecise records and deep complexity in the mix of forces that generate killer tornadoes has clouded any link to global warming” (Revkin).
What is the Long-Term Effect?
As a consequence of this rise in temperature the cycle of the seasons gets hampered and ecological balance of the earth gets disrupted. Due to hampering of the cycles of the seasons agriculture is affected largely. Not only the volume but also the qualities of the crops are affected. Due to disruption of ecological balance the health of the animal including human beings are getting affected. Furthermore abolition of specie will affect food chain and thereby affecting some other specie. As an example if the rise in temperature affects the population of seals then eventually the polar bears will also get affected (Philander). The rise in seas water level may swallow large portion of area along the coastline and there by thousands of human beings may become homeless. The increase in the size of Sahara desert might well turn a populated city like Kyro into a barren land severely hampering the human life. The Gangotri glacier in India is the origin of Ganges. So if this glacier gets vanished within next 25 to 30 years then the future of Ganges will be uncertain. If this really happens then it will dismantle the life of the people in India, as Ganges is the most important river in terms of Agriculture, industry. Universally it should be kept in mind that according to the nature’s law, every living species is depending on another. Therefore if the climate gets warmer and certain specie fails to sustain its life under the changing condition, it may initiate a “butterfly “ effect hampering the life of other species. Due to the rise in global temperature over the past few years, species like Seal, Penguin, Polar Bears, Snow leopard, Siberian Tigers and so many others have already been threatened. If not put a check in this rise of temperature, in years to come many other species will be affected and that may lead to a mass extinction like the ice ages. However the most important difference between these two mass extinction will be during the ice ages the mass extinction came according to the nature’s law and the plant specie manage to survive but this new mass extinction will be due to anthropocentric activities where even the plant specie will succumb to the consequences.
How are Green House Gases and Global Warming Related?
The green house gases are one of the main causes of global warming. These gases going to the upper atmosphere make an umbrella like cover, which does not prevent the sunrays, to come into the earth’s atmosphere but while reflecting back a certain portion that umbrella like cover reflects it back to earth surface. Actually the amount of sunray that falls on the earth gets partially absorbed and partially reflected. This partial reflection of a certain portion of sunray allows earth to maintain its temperature to a certain level. The green house gas dismantles this mechanism. It does allow the sunray to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere but prevents it to reflect back. Therefore the earth has to absorb that part of sunray as well and in the process its temperature rises over the normal.
Moreover the ozone layer in and around the ozonosphere of earth’s atmosphere prevents the Ultraviolet rays to come to the earth’s surface (Read 36). All green house gases specially those like chlorofluorocarbon depletes the ozone layer and makes it porous. Using these holes in the ozone layer the ultra violet rays reaches the earth’s surface. The ultra violet rays have a very strong oxidizing character; it warms the atmosphere through the same process we cook in a micro oven. Moreover the ultra violet rays are especially dangerous to the skin. Any sort of exposure to this rays may lead to diseases like skin cancer. Some parts of the Australian bay, the polar region and most of the sea side areas of the world are suffering from this porous ozone layers and thereby increased amount of ultra violet ray infiltration. The above explanation clearly portrays a direct correlation between global warming and green house gases.
What is Causing Global Warming?
The origins of current global warming are largely anthropocentric(Read, 35). The emission of carbon dioxide from power plant is one of the main reasons of global warming. Carbon dioxide is the main green house gas that is released by coal. Coal consists of 80% percent more carbon per unit of energy than gas does. The emission from car is another cause that is raising global temperature. After the human civilization had chosen industry over agriculture the global rise of temperature went increasing in geometric progression (Read 96). With increased urbanization and population explosion abrupt logging has taken place in order to provide more land for housing and food production. Satellite pictures show that the rain forests of Amazon are shrinking each moment. Trees are the largest consumer of carbon dioxide, moreover they emits excess water in the air thereby cooling the environment. In the absence of trees the natural purifying of Mother Nature has been greatly hindered and it has surely contributed to the global warming. The changing life style of the human population is another reason for global warming (Ramankutty, and Foley, 381). The increased use of air conditioner and refrigerator are the main contributor of chlorofluorocarbons, which is a green house gas largely responsible for ozone depletion. The nuclear competition among different countries has also disturbed the environment. The radiation emitted in test explosion is largely responsible for the abrupt rise in global temperature. Apart from the above causes frequent changes of atmosphere during the jet flight, penetration of atmosphere time and again due to scientific experiments with artificial satellites are responsible for ozone depletion and thereby global warming.
What are Some Solutions?
Under this circumstance being a responsible human being each of us should think and act in a rational way. Since we know “Prevention is better than cure”, we should take some precautionary measures so that ecological balance is maintained throughout the whole world. We should plant trees instead of cutting them and this plantation and nurturing of trees should be carried on throughout the year. It will be of great use if new law regarding plantation and nurturing of trees can be formed and implemented as well.
Another cause of green house gas and global warming is the emission of cars using fossil fuel. To get out of this problem we should start using solar energy for driving car and other vehicles. Apart from this we can start using battery driven vehicles and it would reduce the emission of green house gases to zero level. The usage of refrigerators and air conditioners must be rationalised in order to minimise chlorofluorocarbon pollution.
The nuclear competition among the countries should be immediately stopped. It would not only help to reduce global warming rather it will also reduce the nuclear waste storage. Furthermore since nuclear reactors are accident-prone (like Chernobyl in Russia) reducing the number of nuclear related experiments will definitely reduce the risk of any unpleasant incidents.
Strict monitoring of the grass root indicator will definitely provide prior alarm of any abnormal change in environment. Using a global positioning device or GPS technology have a close eye on the rain forest and the Polar Regions will certainly help to prepare for emergency situations (Valsson 132).
All these above steps implemented properly will certainly help in combating the global warming.
Green House Gas Emission, Global Warming and Economics
Economic growth is directly associated with the green house gas emission and thereby global warming. When trees were cut down for more and more agricultural land to keep up with increased demand for food grains that came with ever increasing population, Mother Nature received the first blow. In succeeding times human civilization had chosen industry over agriculture as the main ammunition to achieve economic growth. Henceforth the environment underwent an irreversible change. Not only the vast piece of land was freed out of trees in order to provide more land for industrial setup but also the industries emitted the green house gases and there was not sufficient trees left to absorb those gases. With the economic growth a scientific orientation came within the human being. They move forward to perform many different scientific experiments like nuclear explosion, sending satellite to the space and various others experiments with aviation and all these together disturb ozone layer surrounding the earth that allowed Ultra violet rays of the sun to penetrate within the earth’s atmosphere. With the rise of per capita income the life style changed to a great extent. Amenities like refrigerator and air conditioner (a major contributor of chlorofluorocarbon, one of the deadliest of green house gases) became the part and parcel of human life. (Arora 4) All these combined, resulted in emission of green house gases in large volume and there by increased the global temperature. In search of economic growth the need of a sustainable development has been forgotten.
A sustainable development refers to benefiting the present without compromising the future. Nature can endure environmental degradation up to a certain level. Upto that level of environmental degradation, the nature of degradation is reversible. It implies that if environmental degradation is stopped at that level, nature will restore itself to the initial position. However if the level of environmental degradation crosses that level it is irreversible i.e. nature cannot compensate it and neither any measure can take it back to its initial level. To ensure sustainable development it is necessary that environmental degradation must not cross the permissible level. However the nature of economic growth witnessed so far violates the precondition of sustainable development. If the earth remains no more worthy of living due to our action then we are risking the life of our future generation for the sake of our own benefits.
For the last few years global warming has remained as one of the most alarming problem of the world. It is affecting the very life of our planet in the immediate future. It has been identified by the scientists that green house gases are the main contributors of the global warming. Though the sources of their emission have been identified but substantial steps are yet to be taken to prevent them. Some times it is political compulsion and often the so-called economic necessity, the sources of green house gas emission are hard to tame. The larger part of the mass seems to be into oblivion about the devastating outcome of this in near future. Unless a proper awareness campaign is initiated and the international political class as well as the industrialists understand the need of the time and take precautionary measures, in near future our mother earth may turn into a lifeless planet reigned only by absolute silence.
- Arora, C.P. Refrigeration and air conditioning, New York: Tata McGraw Hill, 2000. Print.
- Alley, Richard B.; et al. “A northern lead in the orbital band: north-south phasing of Ice-Age events”. Quaternary Science Reviews 21.1-3(January, 2002) pp. 431–441. Print.
- Meehl, Gerald A.; et al. “How Much More Global Warming and Sea Level Rise”. Science 307.5716 (March 2005) 1769–1772. Print.
- Philander, George, Is the temperature rising? The Uncertain Science of Global Warming, New York: Princeton University Press, 1998. Print.
- Ramankutty, Navin and Jonathan Foley, “Estimating Historical Changes in Global Land Cover: Croplands from 1700 to 1992.” Global Ecology and Biogeography 8.5 (Sep 1999), 381-396. JSTOR. May 9, 2011
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