Global warming is known as high atmospheric temperatures due to the greenhouse gas effect caused by carbon emissions such power plants to produce electricity, chlorofluorocarbon which is in hair sprays and other products that we use on a daily basis, and other pollutants caused by human activity. These pollutants cause the ozone depletion when emitted in the atmosphere that means the UV light from the sun is stronger and can cause skin cancer when a person is exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
Back in 1938 “ Using records from 147 weather stations around the world, British engineer Guy Callendar shows that temperatures had risen over the previous century. He also shows that CO2 concentrations had increased over the same period, and suggests this caused the warming. The ‘Callendar effect’ is widely dismissed by meteorologists.” ( BBC News, 2013) Guy Callender came up with the concept of global warming due to the rising global temperatures before that no one else had come up with that idea.
In 1896 a famous Swedish chemist named Svante Arrhenius thought that the use of fossil fuels such as coals was a good thing for civilization and future generations. Back in the days it was a great discovery it helped to make new innovations and for technology which helped the economy, but this became a long-term effect that not many people were concerned about. Now 122 years later nonprofit organizations and environmental agencies including the government are trying to combat global warming by implying the scientific principles of sustainability in order to reduce our ecological footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There are various gases from man-made sources that are heating the atmosphere “Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for
almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.” ( EPA, 2018) The Environmental protection Agency demonstrates how human activity has become responsible for most of the global warming issue, some people are still not convinced that this is really an issue that we should be worried about the president Trump himself doesn’t think this is something to be concerned about because he wants to focus on improving our economy and having more jobs available for the people. The human activities have changed over time, and our ecological footprint has increased by a lot that it has become challenging to reduce it. The various human-made gas emissions are; transportation which generates the largest carbon emissions due to the vast amounts of petroleum usage such as gasoline and diesel, electricity production is the second largest it comes from the burning of fossil fuels mostly coal and natural gas, industry is the third largest which mainly comes from burning fossil fuels for energy and greenhouse gas emissions to produce goods from raw materials, agriculture is the fourth largest due to the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by livestock. The population is increasing in urban areas because there are more resources such as jobs and educational opportunities and this leads to overpopulated cities which leads to more environmental impacts if there is no action being made.
The earth’s temperature has increased by a large percentage and about 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases is being absorbed into the ocean, the sea level temperature has been rising causing the devastating loss of coral reefs around the world, this is one of the reasons why scientists believe the earth is heating up. Scientists have done surveys, tests on coral reef loss, and comparisons from the past years to determine this heating effect “ Ocean temperatures have been rising about 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade on average over the past 50 years. The higher temperatures are driving marine life toward the poles in search of livable habitats, bleaching coral reefs, and causing severe impacts on fisheries and aquacultures. They also contribute to more frequent and intense extreme weather events. In the three back-to-back deadly hurricanes of 2017—Harvey, Irma, and Maria—warmer waters played a role in worsening the storms.” ( Inside Climate News, 2018) About half of the solar radiation is being absorbed by the ocean causing a lot of environmental impacts to marine life, and not many people seem to see this problem because they don’t live in the ocean, but the oceans cover most of the earth, so this is a real problem, in fact, they made a documentary called “ Chasing Coral”, because not many people have the opportunity to go scuba diving, this film shows people like us how devastating it is to see marine life die “ Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called “coral bleaching a sign of mass coral deaths has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater.” ( Chasing Coral, 2017) This film shows experiments being made to prove that this event is happening right now, and they try to educate more people about this, in order to get them involved in this “saving corals” action plan.
The Antarctic ice sheets are melting due to the high climate temperatures and the oceans are becoming warmer, nowadays is hotter than normal in the cold areas causing drastic environmental impacts in the nature of biodiversity and land which can lead to an extinction of certain species adapted to the climate of that specific area. Therefore, they are not part of the natural selection which means they can not adapt to change and become extinct, another impact would be less snowfall than there was usually in the past years. As said by experts who have done experiments “Levermann and his team used a computer model to simulate what might happen to the West Antarctic ice sheet if current melting rates stay the same. Because the floor underneath the Amundsen Sea’s glaciers gets deeper as it goes inland, warming ocean temperatures could melt underneath, thinning out the ice sheet and causing it to break up faster. If this did happen the melted ice could cause global sea levels to rise more than 10 feet.” ( SMARTNEWS, 2015) A couple of years ago scientists weren’t able to determine if the ice sheets were growing or shrinking with satellites, airborne missions, and field measurements they have determined the ice melting. With the new technology advances, scientists have been able to observe the worlds frozen regions and accurately estimate the annual ice loss.
The melting ice is adding more water in the ocean causing the sea level to rise which is a big problem because it can drain islands and the homes of people, for example, the Isle de Jean Charles which is located in Louisiana. Families have to move out of the island because it’s becoming dangerous to live there due to hurricanes, floods and mainly the sea level rise that is sinking down the island, many people don’t want to leave their homes because they don’t have anywhere else to go. The government is getting involved- the Department of Housing and Urban Development “ announced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage systems. One of those grants, $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles, is something new: the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems” (New York Times, 2016) In the United States federal government is saving people’s lives in the most impacted areas due to global warming. In other places such as the Kiribati Island people are struggling with enormous floods every year most of the land is being sunk by the sea level rise and the people have to relocate, they don’t receive help from the government, so they are seeking refugee from other countries.
To conclude I believe global warming is a serious problem in terms of health and ecological impacts. I think it should be addressed more because a lot of people are living under bad environmental conditions such as people who live near dumping of waste areas, they breathe polluted toxic air causing severe sickness such as; asthma, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke, etc. The environmental impacts of “climate change, such as extreme heat waves, rising sea levels, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and droughts, intense hurricanes, and degraded air quality, affect directly and indirectly the physical, social, and psychological health of humans. For instance, changes in precipitation are creating changes in the availability and quantity of water, as well as resulting in extreme weather events such as intense hurricanes and flooding. Climate change can be a driver of disease migration, as well as exacerbate health effects resulting from the release of toxic air pollutants in vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with asthma or cardiovascular disease.” (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) This article precisely explains how climate change, which is mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is becoming a real-life threat to the people. In developing countries, people are being affected the most, but the hyper-developed countries have the biggest ecological footprint and are affected the least, the majority of the people are just too busy with their lives to care about their impact on the environment, and because they are not being affected directly. If these people look at their surroundings and compare how it looks now and how it used to look before they will see a big difference. We only have one earth and we must take care of it by implementing a more sustainable life, for example, being mindful of our waste and think about our electricity usage- is it really necessary to have the light on all night? Think about if we really need to drive to a certain place or take an electric scooter and reduce your CO2 emissions. All of this little things add up and can make a great change even if you don’t realize it.