The term “global warming” refers to the rise in the global average temperature caused by the greenhouse effect. Atmospheric greenhouse gases are like the glass of a greenhouse, letting sunlight heat the surface but preventing the heat from escaping back into space. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes global warming. What we currently call “climate change” results from this process.
Over the past few decades, the world has seen a drastic temperature shift, a reduction in sea levels, and lesser ice covers. To be ready for the future and leave a livable planet for the next generations, we must learn about how the environment is shifting. So, we’ve compiled this brief to thoroughly understand the gravity of the situation and take preventative measures against climate change.
1. What Is The Greenhouse Gas Effect?
A greenhouse lets the sunshine in and traps the heat it produces. As with the greenhouse, the greenhouse effect explains a similar process on a global scale, but this time it is the literal gases that are raising the Earth’s temperature rather than the glass of a greenhouse.
About half of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the Earth’s surface, another 23% is absorbed by the atmosphere, and the remaining is bounced back into space. The equilibrium between sending and receiving energies is maintained by natural processes, which keep the Earth’s temperature constant.
More and more greenhouse gases (GHGs) are being released into the environment due to human activities; these gases, unlike oxygen and nitrogen, cannot dissipate into space. This kinetic energy is recycled at sea level.
When more energy enters the planet than leaves, the surface heats up until a new equilibrium is reached.
2. What Constitutes The Greenhouse Gases?
The evaporation of water causes the majority of the greenhouse effect. However, approximately the majority of the atmospheric water vapor is produced by natural phenomena.
The most concerning greenhouse gases (GHGs) are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). These long-lived greenhouse gases have the following life: carbon dioxide (1,000 years), methane (10 years), and nitrous oxide (120 years).
Methane and nitrous oxide contribute much more to global warming than carbon dioxide when looking at the effects over a 2-decade time frame, with methane being 80 times more powerful and nitrous oxide being 280 times more powerful.
3. How Does The Increase In Temperature Impact Life On Earth?
Increases in temperature, famine, and pest infestations result from global warming. Because of these shifts, wildfires have become more common and destructive in many parts of the world. Water scarcity, decreased agricultural output, and heat-related health effects in urban areas are all consequences of a warming climate.
There is a web of connections between how this climate change impacts many parts of everyday life. Droughts have adverse effects on agriculture, as well as on the health of people. Damage to habitats and architecture, not to mention the potential for the spread of disease, can result from floods. Poor health may have far-reaching effects on human populations including raising death rates, reducing food supplies, and stifling productivity.
4. Do Our Activities And Way Of Life Affect The Production Of Greenhouse Gases?
It has been described and computed for over a century that human actions can raise the temperature of our planet by encouraging greenhouse gas emissions.
The combustion of fossil fuels is the primary reason for the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels. Since the early modern era, increased energy consumption and economic activity worldwide have gone hand in hand with the increasing prevalence of fossil fuel burning.
Most agricultural activities contribute to the release of nitrogen oxide by humans. Fertilizer use and disposal contribute to this process by releasing nitrogen into the ecosystem, which is then converted by microbes in groundwater sources into nitrous oxide.
Hydrofluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride are examples of artificially produced halogenated chemicals not found in nature. Because of their impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were banned by an international climate organization and replaced by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used as coolants. The rest are put to use in residential and retail settings.
5. What Measures Can Be Taken To Control The Emission Of Greenhouse Gases?
Global warming is inevitable, given the amount of heat-trapping chemicals in the atmosphere. More than a century has passed, and some gases (such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide) are still around. However, let’s move quickly to curb future emissions and prepare for the inevitable climate-related damage. We may still be able to forestall the worst of climate change’s repercussions and create a better society.
So, let me get this straight: what does it entail? This includes funding initiatives that create healthier, more robust and cleaner communities. This necessitates changes to our modes of travel, our approach to food production, and our adoption of more low-impact ways of living. This necessitates taking on the misinformation campaign waged by the fossil fuel industry and other powerful interests. And it involves standing out for everyone’s right to a healthy environment and equal treatment.
The use of fossil fuels, in particular, is having a significant impact on global warming. Land clearing, industrialization, and alterations in cropping patterns are all examples of human activity that influence the climate. It alters the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface and rapidly increases carbon output from forest fires. Additionally, the planet experiences an enhanced urban heat island effect and alterations to the hydrological cycle and pattern.
Since humans are responsible for the bulk of the recent warming and drying of the Earth, the means to combat this phenomenon are squarely within the purview of the human race. When we know what’s causing climate change, we can design and implement solutions that work.
The world’s administrative bodies have enacted remedies to climate change, but we each need to do our bit by cutting our energy use in little but meaningful ways every day.