Global warming can be described as the increasing average temperature of the oceans and atmosphere of the Earth which began to go-up in the late 19th century and it’s expected to keep rising (Simon 45). Ever since the early 20th century, the average surface temperature of the Earth has gone up by approximately 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about 2/3 of the raise taking place since 1980 (Weart 54).
Climate system warming is undeniable, and experts are more-than 90% convinced that most of it is brought about by rising green-house gases concentrations generated by man activities like burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees (Weart 84). Global warming effects are the social and environmental changes brought-about by the increase in global temperatures.
Proof of climate change includes the increase of sea levels, temperature changes and lessened snow-cover in the Northern side of the Hemisphere (Houghton 38). Future climate change projections indicate that there will be more signs of global warming, further increase of the sea levels and a rise in the occurrence of severe weather events.
UNFCC (Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) have decided to execute strategies which are designed to lessen green-house gases emissions so as to prevent hazardous climate change (Simon 45).
The earth is warming from Northern pole to the southern pole and every place that is in between. Worldwide, the mercury is at the moment more than one degree Fahrenheit i.e. 0.8 degree Celsius and it’s greater in susceptible Polar Regions (Maslin 34).
And the effects of the temperature increase are not waiting to happen in the distant future, they are taking place at the moment (Weart 66). Signs are emerging everywhere and many of them are shocking. The heat is not just melting the sea ice and the glaciers it is also changing rainfall patterns and relocating animals.
Green-house gases such as nitrous oxide, water-vapor, methane and carbon dioxide traps sun’s light and heat in the earth’s atmosphere as a result increasing the temperatures. This harms animal, plants, people and the entire ecological system (Archer 90).
Many of these organisms are unable to take the change and so they end up dying. The green-house effect is when there is increase in temperature because the light and the heat of the sun are trapped in the atmosphere of the earth.
This can be compared to the heat that is trapped in a vehicle. During a hot weather day, vehicles get hotter when parked in the parking lot. The light and the heat from the sun get into the vehicle throught the windows but cannot get-out again.
The green-house effect does the same thing to the planet Earth. The sun’s heat and light can get into the earth’s environment but cannot escape (Simon 48). Due to this there is rise of temperature. Such a reaction makes a vehicle, a green-house or the atmosphere of the earth hotter.
When the light gets inside a vehicle, it is trapped thus causing the heat to increase or build-up in the same way it does in the atmosphere of the earth (Maslin 63). At times the temperature can alter in a manner that helps the living organisms and the ecological system.
The greenhouse effect makes the planet suitable for human beings to survive and live on. Without it, the planet would be cold, or cause great heat. It would be very cold during nighttime since the sun would be down (Houghton 82).
The ecosystem would not get the heat from the sun and the light that makes the night rather warm. During daytime it would be extremely hot since there would be sun without the atmosphere that filters it, so all creatures would be exposed to the burning heat and the harsh sunlight (Maslin 41).
Even though the effect of greenhouse creates a good atmosphere on the earth for people and animals to live in, if there are loads of gases in the environment, the planet can get strangely warm thus causing deaths of animals, plants and even human beings (Houghton 88).
They can die due to food shortage; plants cannot grow well when there is burning heat in the atmosphere. This means less food for human beings and other living organisms. Whenever there is limited food supply people and animals die, for instance animals like cows need grass for survival. Global warming can cause gradual death to animals, people and plants due to lack of food and water (Archer 67).
There are some impacts from rising temperatures that are already taking place.
- Global melting of ice, particularly at the southern and northern poles of the Earth. This consists of mountain glaciers, sheets of ice covering Greenland and the West Antarctica and also the Arctic ice sea (Houghton 56).
- Bill Fraser (a researcher) has observed Adélie penguins decline on Antarctica; their numbers have gone down from thirty three thousand breeding pairs to twelve thousand in thirty years (Simon 43).
- Rise of sea levels have become greater over the last century.
- A number of creatures such as butterflies and alpine plants have shifted to the northern side where there are cooler regions (Maslin 64).
- Rainfall and snowfall have increased all around the world, on average; rainfall patterns have also changed (Houghton 46).
- In Alaska there are Spruce bark beetles due to warm summers experienced in twenty years. The creatures have masticated thousands of spruce trees.
There are other effects that could take place later-on, if global warming goes on.
- Sea levels are likely to rise before the century ends and the ongoing melting at the north and south poles could increase (Weart 31).
- Typhoons and other severe rainstorms are expected to become stronger.
- Species that rely on each other may become incompatible. For instance, plants could blossom earlier before the insects that pollinate become active.
- Famines and floods will become more widespread. Precipitation in countries where famines are already frequent could lessen by 10% over the next forty five years (Archer 39).
- Fresh water shortage; “If Peru’s Quelccaya ice top keeps on liquefying at its present speed, it will be vanished by the next century, leaving many people who rely on it for clean drinking water and electrical energy without fresh water and electricity (Simon 64).”
- Various illnesses will increase for example malaria caused by mosquitoes.
- Environments will change some living organisms will shift to the northern side others will not be able to shift and could be destroyed and die. A scientist called Obbard Martyn established that since 1980’s ice reduction and lack of fish for consumption, polar bears have become noticeably thinner (Maslin 40). A polar-bear natural scientist called Ian Stirling also established the same thing in USA. He observes that if the sea ice vanishes, the polar bears will also vanish.
The two main effects of global warming are;
- Temperature increase on earth by approximately 3° to 5° C (5.4° to 9° Fahrenheit) by 2100 (Archer 40).
- Sea levels rise by no less than 24 meters (81 feet) by 2099 (Houghton 76).
Global temperatures increase is causing wide range of ecological changes. Rise of sea levels is caused by ocean’s thermal expansion and the land ice melting. Quantities and rainfall patterns are altering (Weart 46).
The total yearly power of storms have increased noticeably since 1975 because their average strength and average period have augmented (additionally, there has been a greater correspondence of storm power with hot sea surface temperature).
Temperature changes and rainfall patterns increase the duration, intensity and frequency of other intense climate events, like floods, famines, waves of heat, and cyclones or tropical storms (Archer 80). Other global warming consequences include farming yields, added hostile retreat, lessened summer conditions, destruction of living organisms.
Diseases such as malaria are recurring into regions where they have been snuffed-out earlier. Even though global warming has an effect on the number and enormity of these ecological events, it is intricate to relate particular events to global warming (Houghton 63). Even though most research studies centers on the epoch up-to 2100, global warming is projected to go on past that time because CO2 has a predicted atmospheric duration of 50-200 years.
Archer, David. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2011. Print.
Houghton, John. Global warming: the complete briefing, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.
Maslin, Mark. Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Future, New York: MBI Publishing Company, 2007. Print.
Simon, Seymour. Global Warming, Chicago: Collins, 2010. Print.
Weart, Spencer. The discovery of global warming, USA: Harvard University Press, 2008. Print.