Global warming can be defined as the increase in normal temperature of the earth's atmosphere leading to climatic changes for instance increase in the level of the ocean or extreme weather occurrences (Chris, 2000). Global warming is said to be as a result of air pollution and carbon dioxide trapping the sun's heat thus causing the earth to warm up (John, 2004).
Majority of regions across the globe are being affected by global warming. For instance, when the sea level rises, it covers many low land areas and this creates problems to individuals, animals and plants inhabiting such regions (Robert, 2007). Huge forests are also being destroyed as a result of the warming. With the advancement of modern technology, many factories are manufacturing new products which release toxic gases into the air. As a result, pollution by these gases causes global warming which may lead to acid rain (Vitousek, 1994).
Causes and Effects of Global Warming
There are a number of causes of global warming but the main one has been observed to be emission of greenhouse gases which include ozone, carbon dioxide, water vapor and nitrous oxide (John, 2004). The sharp increase in carbon dioxide emission in the recent past brought about by burning fossil fuels are attributed to the main reason why the temperature in the atmosphere has changed (Chris, 2002). People are ignorant or negligent of the fact that every time they burn fuel of say a vehicle or coal plant, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere and since forests are rapidly diminishing due to deforestation taking place, it is difficult for the earth's climate to remain stable (Ronald, 2000). Global warming is the resultant factor.
Another cause of global warming is through methane from rice paddies and cattle (Vitousek, 1994). Methane is usually formed when organic matter is broken down by bacteria under conditions without much oxygen. This organic matter can be found trapped under rice paddies as well as inside the intestines of goats and cows (Chris, 2002). Once methane is released into the atmosphere, it combines with carbon dioxide to block the sun's heat thus resulting or contributing to global warming.
Global warming has also brought numerous effects on people, land and animals, for instance, decrease in snow cover and the rising ocean levels (Ronald, 2000). Since increase in temperature leads to an increase in precipitation, global warming creates extreme storms and overall extreme weather. Other regions experience drought or intense tropical cyclones and floods (Robert, 2007). Research has revealed that all ecosystems are in one way or another affected by global warming and the effects will result in approximately 40% of animals becoming extinct in the next 25 years (Ronald, 2000). Due to its effect on the earth's surface bringing destruction to plants and animals alike, global warming is likely to affect the human health in that there will be increased food shortages and diseases as a result of drought and floods respectively (Robert, 2007). Economic effects will also most likely occur due to increased cost of disaster compensations due to climatic changes.
Solutions and Recommendations on how to Prevent Global Warming
More and more individuals are becoming concerned about the effects of global warming to the human race and are making efforts in trying to solve and prevent further global warming (Chris, 2002). Environmental activist are coming forth and campaigning for cleaner and healthier environments where there is less or no pollution. Nutritionists are encouraging individuals to eat and buy local since food fresh from the farms do not have toxins or are not polluted by carbon dioxide and other harmful gases (Vitousek, 1994). In addition, people can reduce effects of global warming by purchasing vehicles which are environmental friendly and do not consume much fuel. This way, there will be reduced carbon monoxide emissions to the atmosphere thus preventing global warming (Ronald, 2000).
Local governments should take the initiative and educate people on the harmful causes and consequences of global warming (Chris, 2002). They should be informed and updated on the seriousness of global warming and there have also been suggestions of including such topics within the school curricula to educate young children. In this way, children will be in a better position to understand global warming and its effects as well as implement measures to ensure that they reduce these effects (John, 2004). The government also needs to ensure that factories and industries use alternative energy sources to ensure that there is little or no pollution in the atmosphere. Societies also need to make an effort in preventing global warming by doing different alternative activities which include recycling organic wastes or composting it in gardens, using less hot water, purchasing fresh food as compared to frozen foods and taking the initiative to plant a tree or two (Ronald, 2000).
Global warming is as a result of build up of greenhouse gases and it has serious effects on climatic conditions. The threat of global warming is rapidly becoming a reality and a challenge to societies, forcing them to come up with immediate solutions and act quickly. Efforts made to deal with this menace by development and use of modern day technologies would help in reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and result in health as well as social benefits for majority of nations. Individuals should realize that the choices they make in their everyday lives have a great impact on the global climate change.
- Chris, O. (2002). Global Warming. Capstone Press.
- John, T. H. (2004). Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press.
- Robert, G. W. (2007). Global Warming and the Future of the Earth. Morgan & Claypool Publishers.
- Ronald, B., ed. (2000). Earth Report 2000: Revisiting the True State of the Planet. New : McGraw-Hill.
- Vitousek, P. M. (1994). Beyond Global Warming: Ecology and Global Change. Ecology. Soc America.