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Causes, effects and remedies of global warming
This article explain about the causes, effects and remedies for global warming. Important statistics along with suitable description and examples are also provided on various aspects of global warming.
According to the history, the earth centuries ago was ruled by giant lizards called dinosaurs. The decline of the Jurassic era is believed to have occurred due to many reasons, such as sudden climate change, impact of a meteoroid from outer space and even some believe it happened due to shortage of food and some others believe it is due to a contagious plaque. Here anyway, the Jurassic era is not the topic. But it have a relevance as we are the next species after those lizards to rule the earth with full dominance and now we too are at the verge of a crisis along with all other living species. The reason is none other than the so calledglobal warmingand nothing else. Today everywhere on earth this is a hot topic of discussion and worry. So it is useless just to defineglobal warming with some words; but to know about its causes, effects and remedies is really a needed aid.
Causes of global warming
It hasn't been a long time since our scientists discovered the real reason for melting of icecaps and raising of sea level as global warming. As studies are still in progress the global temperature is still on the rise and it seems there is no end to it. The main reasons pointed out by scientist which are causes of global warming is green house effect , Ozone depletion, and many other reasons that are caused by the former primary reasons.
Green house effect
Green house effect is the most prominent reason observed as the cause for global rise in temperature. The earth surface including the land and water is exposed to the sun and the heat radiations from the sun are heating up the earth surface. The land as it cools re radiates or transmits this heat back in to the atmosphere and further to the space from there. But not whole of this heat energy can leave the earth's surface due to the existence of the so called greenhouse gases and these gases block the radiation from escaping in to the outer space. So as a result the trapped heat energy heat up the earth's atmosphere. This phenomenon is called green house effect. The green house effect is a necessity for the existence of all living organisms especially for plants that will undergo extinction due to even very minor changes in temperature. It also makes humans and other living organisms also dependent on it, as plants are the basis of the food chain. The greenhouse effect at normal levels is necessary and also the root reason behind currents, wind and rain. But what if it exceeds this limit? The answer again is global warming again. It is a present reality that, the greenhouse effect is on its hike due to the ever increasing emission of green house gases to critical limits due to explosion in population, industrialization and urbanization. The major of green houses gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide and water vapor(H2O).
Effects of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide, which is essentially a factor for all life forms to exist, is presently criticized as the main reason for global warming and in fact it is. The main sources of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere are from biological respiration, incomplete burning of fossil, petroleum and other fuels that contain carbon in their chains, from oceans, automobiles and many other sources. Respiration by living organisms is a natural process, and it can't be seen as a cause for global warming. This is because the carbon dioxide output is balanced by the natural process of carbon dioxide cycle in the biosphere. Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum fuels on incomplete combustion give out a lot of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere which unbalance the carbon dioxide cycle and contribute to green house effect. Due to this every year tons and tons of carbon dioxide is emitted in to the atmosphere as per statistics. In the last hundred years, the amount of carbon dioxide has increased by about 25percentage in the atmosphere and it has contributed to the global rise in temperature by 0.5oC. If the emissions continue at this rate, by 2100 the global temperature will rise by about 5oC.
Effects of methane
Methane (CH4) is potentially an atmospheric pollutant and this bad reputation has changed to verse after it was identified as a green house gas and also it is a major contributor. This gas is formed mainly as a byproduct of many biological process such as digestion, biological decomposition, etc... It is produced due to digestion in many animals and even in insects. Cattle such as cows have a division in their stomach called the rumen where the digestion of cellulose takes place. The cellulose is a substance which makes up the cell walls in plants and which produces methane on digestion by methanogenic bacteria. It will be of great surprise to know that insects called termites which feed on dead organic matter produce about two to eight crore tons of methane per year which is deposited in the layers of the mantle of earth. These deposits reach the atmosphere when the earth is evacuated for mining and construction purposes. Wet marshy land and water filled paddy fields also emits methane to a large extend. The North Pole has many plain fields of solidified ice which were as such from ice ages. These plains contain entrapped hydrates of gases, which will be released in to the atmosphere due to melting of the ice. This melting can be because of to the already existing temperature increment. The hydrates on escape from their trapped state will combine with other gases, resulting in methane synthesis.
Effects of nitrous dioxide, water vapor and other gases
Nitrous dioxide, called by the name laughing gas is another green house gas. No one will laugh nor smile when we say it too contributes to global warming. Within the last 120 years the amount of nitrous oxide is rapidly increasing in the atmosphere. As per estimates the role of nitrous dioxide in global warming between the years 1980 and 1990 was six percent. The increase in nitrous oxide per year in the atmosphere is at the rate of 0.3percentage. Nitrous oxide reaches the atmosphere from the burning of fire wood and other biological waste or detritus. As the bio molecules contain a large amount of nitrogen, this is a potential source of oxides of nitrogen as they are burned. Usage of ammonia like and ammonia containing fertilizers also causes its formation. Nitrous dioxide liberated from many acid factories and other factories and industries adds up to the atmosphere. The water vapor also constitute to green house effect. The effect of water vapor on global warming is culminate as the existing water vapor resulting in temperature rise will vaporize more water from the oceans and other water bodies. Yet another gas is sulpher dioxide (SO2), which is liberated from factories. Sulpher dioxide could also result in the Phenomenon called acid rain.
Effects of global warming
Global warming has brought alarming changes in many aspects of the earth and its biosphere. This includes the effects on global climate, agriculture, economy, sea level, biodiversity and many more aspects. The effects due to global warming have to be studied in detail, to propose remedies to the problem without affecting the economy and development of nations.
Effects on environment
The effects of global warming on environment is very sensitive as even a small increase in global temperature could negatively affect the existing conditions of rain and snow fall, ocean currents and much more. The climate change will result in more number of calamities like earthquakes, forest fire, floods and tsunamis wiping out civilians and civilizations. The change in rainfall and raise in temperature will adversely affect many species of plants to perform their metabolic activities leading to their extinction. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree is the major food for koala bears and the tree that will undergo extinction with the temperature rise will later on directly lead to extinction of the dependent koala bears. This can be sited as an example for an unpredicted endangerment of even the human species in the near future. The ecological balance shift will be the final result of climate change.
Effects on polar ice caps and global sea level
The major problem foreseen due to global warming is the melting of polar ice caps and resulting rise in global sea level. There are deposits of ice in the Polar Regions which were in existence from the ice ages onwards. These are millions of tons of water frozen in to ice. The rise in atmospheric temperature will result these polar ice caps to melt and the water reaching the oceans further result in the rise of global sea level. As per the studies of the U.N scientists the sea level has increased from about ten to twenty five centimeters on a global scale in the last hundred years. The melting of icecaps and the rise in sea levels were some indicators those lead to the proposal of the global warming theory. The melting of ice caps on the mountain Alps and even it the Himalayas are horrifying indicators of rising temperature. By the middle of the twenty first century many nations including Egypt, Bangladesh, Alaska and many other low lying nations will become unfit for human settlement if the warming of the earth goes on at this rate.
Effects on economy
Not only are the effects on environment and climate, the bad effects of global warming. But it causes major debilitation to the economies of many major world nations both directly and indirectly. The direct impact is when the natural calamities like flood, earth quakes, and tsunamis wipe out the amenities, infrastructure, agriculture and even manpower of a nation Where as the indirect impact is when the adverse conditions of global warming cuts down the exports and imports, reducing foreign exchange and income. The compensation and disaster funds will prove insufficient at times like that. The world at present witness disruption in trade, transport, energy supplies, manpower market, investment and banking.
The best ways to reduce global warming and its impacts are known to everyone. Remedial precautions are to be implemented at a global scale apart from the isolated and individual efforts all round the world. Practices that reduce the green house effect are the most proposed ones. The practices of forestation along with reduced deforestation, usage of efficient non polluting non-conventional energy sources have proved to be the best methods.
As trees are the major consumers of carbon dioxide forestation is the best, effective and practical method of reducing green houses gases in the atmosphere. Trees have many major roles in maintaining the climate and balancing the global ecosystem. Deforestation is the root cause of increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now. As per the statistics of 1990, about one fourth of the earth’s surface was covered with greenery. But this condition did not prevail as deforestation by humans and forest fires to a great extend cut and burnt down the forest. Global organizations like green belt have taken initiatives for large scale forestation and resisting deforestation. Even the governments of world countries have taken desirable steps in preventing global warming.
Non-conventional energy sources
Conventional forms of energy as proved to emit a large amount of greenhouse gases has to be replaced immediately by non-conventional forms of energy which are devoid of pollution. Usage of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, nuclear, bio-mass energy will replace the conventional forms of energies like coal and petroleum products. Biodiesel, natural gas, bio-gas and similar fuels could produce electrical power in near future from power plants. Direct solar radiations could be used up by solar cells and solar collectors for producing power in remote areas. Wind energy cultivation using wind mills, tidal energy using tidal basins and nuclear and geothermal energy from the power plants.
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