Global warming is the gradual rise in Earth’s surface temperature, a phenomenon observed over the past one to two centuries. This shift has disrupted the planet’s climatic patterns. While this concept is a subject of controversy, scientists have presented substantial data supporting the consistent increase in Earth’s temperature.
Global warming can be attributed to various causes, some of which have adverse effects on humans, plants, and animals. These causes may stem from natural processes or result from human activities. To address these concerns effectively, it is crucial to comprehend their detrimental consequences.
Causes of Global Warming
This phenomenon can be attributed to various factors, including both human-made and natural causes:
1. Human-Made Causes:
- Deforestation: Forests are critical sources of oxygen as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, maintaining environmental equilibrium. However, deforestation for domestic and commercial purposes disrupts this balance, contributing to global warming.
- Vehicle Emissions: The use of vehicles, even for short distances, leads to emissions of various gases. Vehicles burn fossil fuels, releasing substantial carbon dioxide and toxins into the atmosphere, causing temperature rises.
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): The widespread use of air conditioners and refrigerators has introduced CFCs into the environment, depleting the atmospheric ozone layer. This ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. The reduction in the ozone layer allows more ultraviolet rays to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to temperature increases.
- Industrial Development: Rapid industrialization has significantly contributed to Earth’s rising temperature. Harmful emissions from factories further elevate global temperatures.
- Agricultural Activities: Various farming practices release carbon dioxide and methane gases, adding to greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and warming the planet.
- Overpopulation: A growing population leads to increased carbon dioxide emissions as more individuals respire. This surge in population elevates the primary gas responsible for this global temperature rise.
2. Natural Causes:
- Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions are substantial natural contributors to global warming. Ash and smoke released during eruptions affect the climate by dispersing into the atmosphere.
- Water Vapor: Water vapor is a natural greenhouse gas. The Earth’s temperature rise leads to greater evaporation of water from bodies of water, increasing water vapor levels in the atmosphere and contributing to this global issue.
- Melting Permafrost: Permafrost, frozen soil beneath the Earth’s surface, contains trapped environmental gases accumulated over many years. As permafrost thaws, it releases these gases into the atmosphere, intensifying global warming.
- Forest Fires: Forest fires release significant amounts of carbon-containing smoke into the atmosphere. These gases contribute to Earth’s rising temperature, amplifying surge in global temperature.
Also Read: What is Carbon Sequestration?
Global Warming Effects
This phenomenon has profound consequences:
1. Temperature Surge: Earth’s temperature has surged remarkably, increasing by approximately 1 degree Celsius since 1880. This intensifies glacier melt, raising sea levels and threatening coastal regions.
2. Ecosystem Endangerment: Coral reefs suffer from global warming, imperiling plant and animal life. Rising global temperatures worsen the vulnerability of coral reefs.
3. Altered Climate: This global phenomenon disrupts climatic patterns, yielding droughts and floods in various areas. This climatic disparity is an outcome of global warming.
4. Disease Spread: Global warming shifts heat and humidity patterns, facilitating the movement of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
5. Increased Mortality: The rise in floods, tsunamis, and natural disasters due to global warming, typically escalates mortality rates. Moreover, these events can propagate diseases, further jeopardizing human life.
6. Habitat Loss: Global climate shifts force numerous plants and animals to abandon their natural habitats, potentially leading to extinctionâ€”a significant blow to biodiversity.
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