Essay, Pages 4 (998 words)
Climate change in the world can be caused by various activities. When climate change occurs; temperatures can increase a dramatically. When temperature rises, many different changes can occur on Earth. For example, it can result in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. Oceans and glaciers have also experienced some changes: oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. As these changes frequently occur in future decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and environment.
During the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Most of the gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy. Greenhouse gases are like a blanket around the Earth, trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This is called the greenhouse effect and it is natural and necessary to support life on earth. However, while greenhouse gases buildup, the climate changes and result in dangerous effects to human health and ecosystems.
People have adapted to the stable climate we have enjoyed since the last ice age which ended several thousand years ago. A warmer climate can bring changes that can affect our water supplies, agriculture, power and transportation systems, the natural environment, and even our own health and safety. There are some climate changes that are unavoidable and nothing can be done about it. For example, carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for nearly a century, so Earth will continue to warm in the future.
Global warming has really taken effect in the world over the last century. It is the unusually rapid increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels. Global warming is due to the enhancing greenhouse gases emission and build-up in the Earth’s environment. The gases that have an influence on the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, dinitrogen-oxide, and methane. Almost 30 percent of incoming sunlight is reflected back into space by bright surfaces like clouds and ice. In the other 70 percent, most is absorbed by the land and ocean, and the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere. The absorbed solar energy heats our planet. This absorption and radiation of heat by the atmosphere is beneficial for life on Earth. Today, the atmosphere contains more greenhouse gas molecules, so more of the infrared energy emitted by the surface ends up being absorbed by the atmosphere. By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, we are making Earth’s atmosphere a more efficient greenhouse. Climate has cooled and warmed throughout the Earth history for various reasons. Rapid warming like we see today is unusual in the history of our planet. Some of the factors that have an effect on climate, like volcanic eruptions and changes in the amount of solar energy, are natural. Climate can change if there is a change in the amount of solar energy that gets to the Earth. Volcano eruptions can really affect climate, because when it erupts it spews out more than just lava and ash. Volcanoes release tiny particles made of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. These particles get into the stratosphere and reflect solar radiation back out to space. Snow and ice also have a great effect on climate. When snow and ice melts Earth’s climate warms, less energy is reflected and this causes even more warming. There are many different ways that plants, animals, and other life on our planet can affect climate. Some can produce greenhouse gases that trap heat and aid global warming through the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere by plants as they make their food by photosynthesis. During the night, plants release some carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Methane is made while farm animals, such as cattle and sheep digest their food. Cars and trucks can effect climate by releasing carbon dioxide when fossil fuels are burned to power them. When wildfires occur, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. However, if a forest of similar size grows again, about the same amount of carbon that was added to the atmosphere during the fire will be removed. Some effects that scientists have predicted in the past would result when global change was occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, and more intense heat waves. Scientists have confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the extent climate change effects on individual regions will vary over time and with ability of different societal and environmental systems mitigate or adapt to change (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). This has been the warmest decade since 1880. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2010 and 2005 has been the warmest years on record. The earth could warm by an additional 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit during the 21st century if we fail to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The rising of temperature will have great effects on the earth’s climate patterns and on all living things. Industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide from 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million in the last 150 years (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
In conclusion, we need to take part and try to stop global warming and other effects on climate change. If the earth’s temperatures continue to rise in the future, living things on earth would become extinct due to the high temperatures. If humans contribute to control global warming, this world would be cooler and the high temperatures we currently have would decrease. If everybody as one take stand and try to end most of the climate changes that are occurring, this world would be a safer place to live on.