Blog

GLOBAL WARMING

By: Miriam Ihinegbu

With so many issues threatening/plaguing the world right now, and with every progress being made to tackling these issues, global warming is one such issue that still poses a strong threat to the world we live in. As it stands, it is already costing us our health and climate - and as such needs to be taken seriously.As we may already well know, global warming; which may sometimes be referred to as climate change is the consistent gradual rise in the Earth’s surface temperature. This is seen in the earth’s temperature measurements denoted by multiple effects of the warming.Noticeably throughout history, the earth’s climate has continued to change. For the past 650,000 years, there’s been evidence of increased glaciers rotations, indicating the start of the modern climate era and the age of human civilization. These climate changes are as a result of tiny trifling variations in the earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.The planet’s average surface temperature is recorded to have risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit of 0.9 degrees Celsius, since the 19th century, which has led to a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human made emissions into the atmosphere. Record also has it that most of the warming of the earth occurred in the pasts 35 years, with the five warmest year starting in 2010, of which in 2016; 8 months out of 12 were the warmest on record.

Some of the common causes of global warming are greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc. A change in climate tends to occur when one or many of these substances gather in the atmosphere to absorb sunlight or other solar radiations that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Ordinarily, these substances would evaporate into space, but now these substances; which can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the earth to get hotter.

IMPACTS/EFFECTS

  • As it stands today, the impacts of global warming is seriously being felt across the globe – affecting all living organisms; the earth itself included. Take for instance; the earth’s heat wave which has intensified in recent years – on average this has caused the earth to become warmer; resulting to some regions adapting to this warm temperature, and some others not being able to.

  • Another is the ocean. The ocean plays a starring role in whatever happens on planet Earth. It’s the earth’s largest habitat. On one hand it soaks up the sun’s heat and evenly distributes it around the earth, and on the other; it soaks up CO2. Thus, as the earth’s temperature rises, the ocean gets most of the extra energy, and so if the ocean gets too warm, the plants and animals that live in it either adapt to it or die.

  • Still on ocean, some areas of the ocean can be saltier than others, and the amount of salt in the ocean water also affects its currents. Salty water is usually heavier than less salty water. Thus, when salty ocean water freezes, the ice no longer holds onto the salt. Instead, the salt mixes with the water below making it saltier and heavier. Findings also have it that the increase in the acidity of surface ocean waters is as a result of human beings releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the ocean absorbing it.

  • Due to the current earth’s temperature rising, the earth is already exposed to much hotter days, and so we tend to have hotter weather conditions in comparison to the years before (60). If this continues, it could lead to serious health issues, as well as exposing the earth to harsh conditions like droughts.

  • As the earth’s temperature rises, there’s bound to be an increase in coastal flooding due to heavy rainfalls. And the more heavy rainfalls the earth gets exposed to, the more frequent flooding events it experiences; such as hurricanes, storms, tsunami etc. These days, the rise in sea level/ dangerous heat waves is becoming more common. Take for instance the Japan tsunami-earthquake in 2011).

  • Furthermore, the more we (human beings) overload the atmosphere with carbon dioxide; this will cause the earth’s temperature to rise the more. One may ask: where all these carbon comes from --- it comes from the fuels we burn for energy such as coal, natural gas and oil; and also as a result of deforestation.

  • With the continuous rise on the earth’s temperature, many more outbreaks of infectious disease are becoming rampant. And these sicknesses are proliferating due to the increased levels of air pollution, and the spread of conditions favourable to pathogens and mosquitoes. This quickly increasing the rate of mortality all over the world.

SOLUTIONS

That there is one such solution to global warming, no there isn’t. But that there are things we could do to balance the earth’s temperature gradually? Yes there is. That way, we are sure of a higher long-lasting conducive earth environment for all living organisms.

We can start by implementing the following:


  • Reducing our personal carbon emissions; to not overload the atmosphere. We can do this by promoting and encouraging the use of renewable energy so that we no longer have to depend on coal and other fossil fuels. This will lead to a reduction in air pollution as well as diversification of power supply.

  • Increasing vehicle fuel efficiency - as this will enable vehicles to require less gas to go a given distance; which in turn reduces the use of oil, and save you fuel and money.

  • Still on ocean, some areas of the ocean can be saltier than others, and the amount of salt in the ocean water also affects its currents. Salty water is usually heavier than less salty water. Thus, when salty ocean water freezes, the ice no longer holds onto the salt. Instead, the salt mixes with the water below making it saltier and heavier. Findings also have it that the increase in the acidity of surface ocean waters is as a result of human beings releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the ocean absorbing it.

  • Also we should inculcate the investment of energy efficient technologies, industries and approaches, to build a clean energy environment. As well as promote the use of renewable energy, not just in our work places but also in our homes. By making use of products that generate at least half its power from wind or solar, we help to control the pollution in our environment.

  • Together, we need to come together to drastically reduce tropical deforestation. Deforestation means the cutting down of trees or forest from land to be made occupied or used for a different purpose. The effects of this is that the more trees we cut down and burn, the more carbon dioxide we let into the atmosphere. And when this happens, the carbon dioxide then mixes up with other greenhouse gases from other sources thus propelling further damage to the earth; contributing to global warming.

  • Reducing our water waste, as this in return reduces carbon pollution, too. This is because it takes lots of energy to pump, heat and treat your water. Thus however and whenever we can save/converse our water usage; whether it’d be by taking shorter showers or properly turning off the tap, we should.

  • And of course, recycling. Recycling is a very efficient means of reducing greenhouse emissions as it involves collecting and processing used materials into new ones for re-use. This is very beneficial to the world.