In the previous century, the volume of greenhouse gases has increased significantly as people continue to burn fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases atmospheric gases that add up to the overall greenhouse effect. Some GHGs gases occur in nature while others are produced by human activities. Naturally occurring gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, ozone and methane. Human activities, nonetheless contribute to the high levels of these natural gases. Global temperatures have increased by 0. 6 Celsius degrees during the twentieth century (Jacob, 2007). Nearly fifty percent of the temperature is attributable to human activities.
It is predicted that unless drastic action is accomplished, surface temperature will rise continually by 1. 4 Celsius degrees in the 21st century. The consequences of an increase in temperatures may be catastrophic. Already researchers have distinguished a forty percent decline in the typical breadth of Arctic ice (Jacob, 2007). Other serious effects that may surface include rise in sea level that will entirely overwhelm low-lying island countries and flood numerous coastal metropolitans such as Miami and New York. Many animal and plants species which are useful to man will possibly be become extinct.
Although much of climate change is produced by the attendance of water vapor, humans have been known to play a role. The large amounts of carbon dioxide, Nitrous Oxide and methane are the fundamental causes of the man-induced element of warming. They are produced by land clearing, fossil fuel burning and agriculture and increase the effects of greenhouse gases. Factors Contributing to Global Warming The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated that the last century witnessed an increase in global temperatures of roughly 0. 6 Celsius (Fearnside, Lashof, and Moura-Costa, 2004).
It further indicated that most of the rise in temperatures witnessed over the last half of the previous century is attributed to widespread human activities. Thus, without greenhouse gases, the globe would be thirty three degree Celsius cooler than it is presently. It is estimated that as the 21st century ends, temperature would rise by an additional 1. 8 Celsius depending on probable scenarios (Jacob, 2007). The Scenarios depend on the volumes of greenhouse gases inserted into the atmosphere through transportation, residential uses and burning of industrial fossil fuels.
Researchers have indicated that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in mid-eighteenth century were approximately two hundred and eighty ppm (Jacob, 2007). Towards the end of twentieth century, concentrations of carbon dioxide reached three hundred and sixty nine ppm, the highest levels of concentrations in 650,000 years (Wong, 2007). If fossil fuels are continually burnt at present rates, they are predicted to reach five hundred and sixty ppm, a carbon dioxide doubling in three hundred years. It has been computed that an improvement of this degree would be liable for adding five degree Celsius to the surface temperatures.
Destruction of Forests Trees play an exceptional function in the worldwide carbon cycle. They are the land-based mechanism for eliminating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees are capable of storing large volumes of carbon dioxide in their structures. When forest cover is destroyed through burning, carbon dioxide is released. Presently, the declining forest covers aren’t capable of absorbing all the carbon dioxide produced by human beings in the process of burning fossil fuels. Over five thousand and five hundred acres of forest are destructed, and over fifty million acres are destructed annually.
The global levels of carbon dioxide rises by 0. 4 percent annually, a level not witnessed in this world for thousand years. Negative Human Impacts There are numerous predicted impacts for human life as a result of global warming. The major impact revolves around a rise in the world average temperature. It has been substantiated by academies of science and scientific societies that the Earth’s temperatures increased by 0. 56 (Jacob, 2007) in the last century. The IPCC wraps up that this rise is due to increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases.
For human beings, these alterations in climate are specifically dangerous to those living near ocean shores and who are already suffering from flooding, poverty and drought. Predicted climate changes due to rise in temperatures have the likelihood to irreversibly and greatly change climate that may have long-term effects on both the global and continental scales. As Earth temperatures continually increase, a report from IPCC indicates that there will an enormous effect to people and natural systems, particularly those residing in poorer countries.
In the year 2002, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado suffered their most terrible wildfire period ever (Wong, 2007). Also in the same year, drought produced relentless dust storms that resulted to severe damage in North Dakota, Montana and Texas. A rise in temperatures can in turn result to other alterations such as changes in the pattern and amount of precipitation and rises in sea levels. These alterations may exacerbate the intensity and frequency of severe weather conditions including droughts, floods, tornados and hurricane which have been displace and kill hundreds of people in recent times.
Other penalties include lower or higher agricultural yields, species extinction, reduced summer river-flows, glacial retreat and increase in incidences of disease vectors (Wong, 2007). Global warming is anticipated to impact the magnitude and number of these occurrences. Death Toll Government scientists have detailed an increasing death toll from wildfires, smog, diseases and heat waves caused by rise in surface temperatures (Cappiello, 2008). Global warming poses serious threats to people, water food and energy on which community relies on.
Generally, risk to society, environment and human health increases as with rise in surface temperatures. It is widely thought that extreme weather phenomenon and ailments carried by organisms such as ticks could murder many people as temperatures increases. In addition, allergies could become worse as climate alteration could create additional pollen. Smog, a major cause of lung disease and respiratory illness could worsen in several of the globe. This evidence unmistakably, inescapably indicates that global warming threatens human welfare and health. Current Sustainability Strategies and Mitigation
There are numerous strategies that have been put in place to deal with global warming. Kyoto Protocol is one of the most famous strategies used by countries to curb greenhouse gases emissions. Over one hundred and sixty eight nations have ratified the practice to date. Of these, thirty five nations are required to cut emission of greenhouse gases below certain levels specified for all items in the protocol. Mitigating global warming involves taking steps to decrease emission of greenhouse gases and to improve sinks targeted at reducing the level of global warming.
Numerous continents and countries have undertaken various strategies in an attempt to reduce the level of greenhouse gases. For instance, the European Union has established an objective of restricting the rise of global temperatures two degrees Celsius in comparison to pre-industrial levels. The two degrees Celsius rise is normally linked to climate models with concentration levels of four hundred to five hundred ppm. Cleaner Sources of Energy At the center of many strategies is the diminution of greenhouse gases productions via decreasing energy use and shifting to cleaner sources of energy (Charles, 2009).
Frequently discussed solutions such as energy preservation methods include personal-lifestyle changes, altering business practices and enhancing the fuel efficacy of automobiles through electric cars, hybrid and improving conventional cars. Recently developed technology including ocean energy, solar power, wind power and geothermal energy and the utilization of carbon credits and carbon sinks are aimed at stemming continued emission of greenhouse gases.
Presently, administrations support fossil fuels financially by two hundred and thirty five billion dollars annually (Charles, 2009). Nonetheless, in some nations, government strategy has heightened the development of clean sources of energy. For instance, Japan’s initiative to install solar panels in million homes has made it a leader in that field. In 2005, California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a program to establish solar roofs in the region. These measures have been largely unsuccessful thus calling for a sustainable plan.
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