Global Warming – Rising Temperature of the Atmosphere and Ocean
Throughout earth’s history, climate has fluctuated (for example ice age). However, if you take into account how many organisms have evolved, and how each one depends on their habitats to survive, fluctuations will be more harmful now, especially to humanity.
The main cause of global warming is thought to be the result of human actions, for example; Carbon dioxide emissions (from cars and other transport) interfering with the Ozone layer, deforestation (from workers creating space for cattle grazing), and farming (many fertilizers contain nitrous oxide which is harmful to the Ozone layer, and sheep/cattle produce large amounts of methane which is also a harmful greenhouse chemical).
In the past century, atmospheric temperature has risen 2 degrees Celsius. Whereas this may not have an immediate effect but in the future this will cause extreme weather conditions such as droughts, wildfire and and mass flooding/intense rainstorms. To an extent, this is beginning to happen. For example if we investigate the statistics of how many acres of land per year are destroyed by wildfires we can clearly see increase in the more recent years as carbon dioxide emissions and temperature rise.
As well as being a mass inconvenience, these effects damage other species therefore scientists are focused on exploring alternative methods to try and lesson the rate of climate change. If conditions were to change too much or too rapidly, many species would not be able to adapt this new climate and we may see a mass bottle neck in species, or in the most extreme cases extinction. On the other hand, we may see a certain species flourish and grow in this new environment which may lead to a collapse in an ecosystem which would cause other species to suffer. Not to mention if climate change carries on at the rate it’s climbing earth may soon be inhospitable to humanity, our future generations.
Although scientists know global warming is irreversible there are still certain methods humanity can adapt to lessen the rate. For example scientists have been looking into alternative energy sources to encourage more people to switch from fossil fuel to a more eco-friendly and renewable energy sources. 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide are produced by the burning of fossil fuels per year, which obviously contributes to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and in turn further damages the ozone layer but these new energy sources use natural methods which are easily replenished such as: solar energy, wind energy and hydro energy which do not produce any harmful emissions. This is obviously a great solution to lessen the rate of climate. If more people started using these methods of energy we could cut emissions down by the masses and slow the rate of global warming a considerable amount. These solutions are relevant in the fact that they don’t release greenhouse gases and harness natural power without any mass destruction and harm to the environment and habitat around it.
Methods such as these are expensive and not cost effective as non-renewable sources, so economically it is not the best choice, especially for poorer countries. On the other hand, because non-renewable sources are running out, the price for nonrenewable energy is beginning to climb. Wind farms, for example generate a substantial amount of energy but they cost a good amount and not many countries could afford them leading to more economical problems; especially since sometimes they come with installation prices and taxes.
The primary solution to this problem would be driving a fuel-efficient car. According to a research in the New York Times: If vehicles averaged 31 miles per gallon of fuel United States could reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 5 percent. Incorporating policies to improve fuel economy would be great help. Policies such as regulating the amount of vehicles which emit more carbon dioxide in air. The use of electric vehicles is a great option. Electric vehicles include electric cars, lime scooters, any automobile which works on electricity rather than fossil fuel.
Electric cars do not produce tailpipe emissions and are much eco-friendly. They have been introduced before but never really caught on as technology was lacking and there were limited charging places. Even now the battery life does not last as long as say a petrol fueled car and the charging time takes so much longer than a simple refuel, but if scientists were to look into and experiment more with the concept and perhaps have a charging station at every petrol station people might begin to adapt to the idea and in turn lessen their carbon emissions. Although battery powered cars are considerably more expensive than the usual petrol ones, battery prices are beginning to decline, much like the solar panel prices. So maybe in the future it will catch on.
As an individual there are many ways to curb the carbon emissions such as: carpooling, using public transport as far as possible or even replacing your automobile to the one which works on batteries. In an article by Melissa Denchank powering your home with renewable energy, reducing water waste, using LEDs instead of traditional 60-watt bulbs these small acts of saving energy and using them wisely would do wonders to our environment.
In the end I would like to conclude by stating that climate change is a grave problem to humanity and if we don’t act fast we will be knee deep in trouble. Our existence is in danger and its protection is in our hands. All we need to do is act to stop polluting mother earth.