Climate Change: Vulnerability and Responsibility
When it comes to the environment people talk about how it is important to care for the earth we live in. While it is important to discuss such issues it is more beneficial to take action rather than to just talk about it. The earth is in desperate need of aid and though to many, it may not matter that the earth has increased a few degrees it can and has had devastating impacts. Taking responsibility for our home is just as important as taking care of one another because it is the same as the human body, it needs attention in care in order for it to thrive. There are many causes as to why global warming has increased over the years, but humans are one of the main causes. The contribution for the rising temperatures includes issues like the Greenhouse and its effects and how humans are associate Furthermore, the Greenhouse effect is when the sun’s energy comes down to earth and in the process of being reflected back into space, it gets trapped in our earth’s atmosphere. However, some are absorbed by greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, water vapor, and other artificial chemicals, and they all come into play in global warming (9). While it does not seem like much the warming of the earth has a huge influence on the earth and humans are a major contributor to Earth’s increase in temperature. As the years have gone by it has shown from 1977 that it has only increased in temperature and humans do seem to be more responsible than any other factors that are attributed to global warming. There are forcings that are “”climate drivers””, that push these effects.
A recent study has shown that two-thirds of the impacts related to atmospheric and oceanic temperatures can be confidently attributed to anthropogenic forcing and in other words meaning human cause drivers that are displayed in the graph above. In the greenhouse effect, it is normal for the sun’s energy to be trapped in the atmosphere in order to sustain life on earth. Most of the energy is either absorbed by the land, ocean, greenhouse gases or even reflected back into space, but studies have shown humans are putting more carbon into the air. Carbon dioxide plays a huge role in the greenhouse effect and is what mostly defines it. The carbon dioxide is the main heat-trapping gas, largely responsible for the average warming in the world for the past several decades (1). In this reference source, the evidence for the amount of carbon in the air can be tracked and is shown that natural factors like fossil fuels are less associated with global warming than with the human involvements and activities; like with the burning of natural fossil fuels and the cutting down of forests. All these activities make the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere that much greater, the atmospheric concentration of Carbon dioxide (CO2) has gone from 280 parts per million from the pre-industrial era to today’s 400 ppm as shown in the graph below.
These dangerous levels are not likely to dip the 400 ppm again, and human activities are changing the natural cycle of the greenhouse. The consequences for changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse is difficult to predict but certain effects do seem to be likely, on average the earth may become warmer with warmer temperatures, and these conditions may lead to more evaporation and precipitation which would make other regions become wetter or dryer. Furthermore, it can cause oceans to rise, glaciers to melt as well as other ice to melt all with a stronger greenhouse effect (2). With the greenhouse effect, the critical issue in the amount of burning of fossil fuels has increased the Carbon in the atmosphere. Where it can eventually impact human health. While global warming seems to be hitting the earth harder from the atmospheric pressure to the changes in climate it can become where eventually it will be impacting human health. A documentary by the former Vice-President Al Gore brought global warming to public attention stating that among global factors threats of loss of coastal areas due to rising sea levels, floods, droughts also comes to the risk of disease and death the human populous. In the documentary, it was stated that The populations of countries that have contributed the least to global warming are the most vulnerable to death and diseases brought about by higher temperatures. Many health organizations report that climate change is responsible for at least 150,00 deaths per year, and is expected to double by 2030 (4).
These infectious diseases will worsen human conditions, for example in places like Africa an increase in temperature can also mean an increase of mosquito populations, which escalates the risk of malaria, dengue, and other insect-borne infections. The increase in temperatures may not only affect Africa but countries like Turkey, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan may already be in danger of these insect-borne diseases. Other effects are respiratory disease, people who live in higher temperatures are more vulnerable to the climate changes of our earth, the rising temperatures affect those who have heart problems because it makes their cardiovascular system work that much harder in cooling the body. These hot temperatures increase the ozone concentration, which can damage lung tissue and can be complicated for patients who have asthma and lung diseases (4). All these effects are already taken into place, Global warming is a very big issue which has a very big impact on the world we live in, and most of the time go unnoticed. Global warming is often thought of climate change, even though we have gone through many different stages of temperatures over the years, examples such as the ice age or even temperatures that were even hotter then they were today does not change the fact that global warming is happening at a faster rate than ever before. The melting of the polar ice caps is proof that global warming is at its most serious stage (8).
The rising temperature is rising so much that the ice is melting faster than the earth can replenish this is a serious issue to the wildlife in the Arctic and can even mean serious implications of sea level rising. The heat waves along with heavier precipitation can mean a disruption to our food supply. Many of our crops come from irrigated lands and is a highly dependable source of food. However, with the changing of the seasons and the high/low precipitation rates it may stump the growth of the crops. Precipitation and the melting of glaciers are a very serious problem along with those environmental issues are heat waves and droughts. Scientists expect heat waves to become more frequent and severe as global warming intensifies. The increase in heat waves and temperature can cause serious health risks such as heat exhaustion, heat strokes, and other existing medical conditions (7).
While some of the effects are inevitable, there is still hope, the predictions that instead of temperatures rising to 2 degrees Celsius every decade can be changed to only rising 1 percent is better than letting it all comedown. Global warming has taken to many accounts and people are finally starting to wake up come to terms that is an important and critical factor that must be taken into account. There are several ways that governments, industries, and even individuals can part take in the reducing the temperatures. We can improve our energy efficiencies in our homes and other vehicles Instead of the burning of fossil fuels we can use alternative fuels, and the use of solar energy to stop the carbon atmospheric pressures from rising. Some scientists are said to be working on a way to trap the carbon from going into the air and instead of going into the ground this process is called carbon sequestration. Trees and other plants absorb the carbon dioxide just as humans intake oxygen, in the help in preserving plant life it can help balance out the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Farmers can also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the way they can handle fertilizers believe it or not it contains large amounts of nitrogen and can increase nitrogen oxide emissions. Also, the way farmers handle manure can also have an impact, as unpleasant as it sounds the use of manure can cause the greenhouse gas methane to increase because it is stored as a liquid, but when it dries it does not (8). Reducing greenhouses gases is necessary and can be done while planning for a brighter future for the next generation. Global warming is a very serious problem and human factors have driven the carbon atmospheric temperatures, but it is not too late to make a difference. The effects that global warming has on our planet is immense and there are a lot of factors that contribute to it. It can be helped with the help of developing better energy sources as well as spreading the word about Global warming and its effects. Pollution of gases in our atmosphere has caused many disastrous effects like climate changes and the rising of sea levels as well as diseases, but with better planning, there is still hope for a brighter future.