What is global warming?
Global warming refers to the general increase in the earth’s
mean temperature which affects the life-forms on the earth surface. The
increase in these temperatures arises from both natural and human
factors/activities. For the earth to be warm, the greenhouse effect takes place.
Without it, the earth would have been a frozen wasteland. The short wavelengths of light coming from
the sun penetrate the atmosphere and is absorbed by the earth. The earth
atmosphere contains gases which trap some of the outgoing radiation and thereby
warm the earth. (Trenberth & others, 2014)
These gases are known as greenhouse gases and are composed
of wastes vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and halons.
When the quality of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, global temperatures
rise as well and thus global warming takes place. (Trenberth & others,
What causes global warming?
contributor to global warming is carbon dioxide as it holds the largest share
of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This results from its natural disorder, as
well as man-made activities such as fossil fuels combustion (coal, oil, gas and
natural gases) and increased deforestation by humans which causes the levels of
carbon dioxide to escalate as trees and other plants, need carbon dioxide to
live. Fewer trees mean less carbon dioxide is removed from the air/atmosphere.
(Von & others, 2015)
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are used in making plastic
foams and aerosol propellants also play a big part in contributing to global
warming. Other gases include methane which is produced by the bacterial decay
of organic matter and in the stomachs of cattle, sheep, termites and other
organisms. (Von & others, 2015)
Other natural contributing factors to global warming include
volcanic eruptions which emit carbon dioxide. According to NASA, volcanoes emit
between 130 and 230 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. (Von & others,
Effects of global warming
Climate change has affected many aspects of our planet. One
aspect that has been greatly affected by climate change is the weather. By
increasing the concentration of the greenhouse gases, we are increasing the
amount of heat that is in our atmosphere (NASA). Hurricanes have also become
more aggressive largely because of warmer temperatures that mainly resulted
from the emission of greenhouse gases. Warmer temperatures result in warmer
water in the oceans. As the result of warmer oceans, hurricanes and tornados become
more intense. When hurricanes start, they usually pick up energy from the
oceans and as the result of warmer water in the oceans because of the
greenhouse effect, hurricanes have more energy. In addition, warmer temperature
means the atmosphere holds more water vapor and that makes rainfalls more
extreme and intense. (Cook & others, 2015)
Climate change also resulted in playing a major role in
shrinking of ice sheets. The melting of ice results in the rise of sea levels
and that endangers many islands to disappear completely. According to NASA, up
to 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where there about 30
feet above sea level (NASA). Furthermore, Greenland and West Antarctic ice
sheets are melting about 125 billion tons of ice per year.