Role of human activity Essay
Role of human activity
In a 2007 report done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the science authority for the UNFCC, an estimated 90-95 % of changes in the modern climate are likely to have been caused in part by human-driven events and circumstances. Historical research has shown that it is virtually impossible for natural influences alone to be responsible for the rapid increase in mean surface temperatures for the 20th and 21st century.
Among the human circumstances which are potentially affecting the global climate are increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and airborne particles, air pollution, and massive land change and development. It can be said that atmospheric greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide emissions, have increased so rapidly due primarily to the heightened dependence on fossil fuels as a form of energy and power.
And since further research has indicated that even after the stoppage of its use, its residual effect will remain in the atmosphere for many more years, this will continue to increase the global temperature. Limitations of Current Human Computer Models While supercomputers at the world’s most technologically advanced weather observation and research centers can perform an estimated 10 to 50 billion operations per second, computing everything from atmospheric, oceanic, land, sea, ice, freshwater and biosphere changes, there are still glaring constraints.
Because of the many continuously evolving variables it becomes virtually impossible to predict with absolute certainty the effects of global warming over the next decades or even the next century. Mathematical computations for conditions such as cloud cover and the formation of rain continue to be developed in order to factor them in with the rest of the variables being computed. It has already been predicted that by the year 2050, computer processing power will have increased by a substantial amount that would basically allow for even more accurate predictions and climate change forecasts.
Changes in the atmosphere, water levels, or ecosystems could be more quickly determined thus leading to better ways for governments to address and combat the effects of such. Mitigating Measures Many steps have since been taken since the start of the century to address the growing problem of climate change. Among the most prominent measure undertaken was the signing of the Kyoto protocol, an amendment to the international treaty on climate change.
The protocol, signed by well over 172 nations and non-governmental entities, pledged to stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions from hazardous levels to safe ones to prevent the continued destructive pace of climate change at the moment. There have also been increased monitoring efforts in order to better predict the highly volatile changes in the climate, with the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operating many of the current monitoring networks through a combination of satellite, land and sea data.
In addition to this, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U. S. space agency, has also plans to launch an Earth Observing System (EOS), which will be comprised of a sophisticated satellite network specifically designed to monitor climate systems and other relative changes. These continued efforts to cut down on greenhouse gases while increasing research and monitoring capabilities are a reflection of a constant drive to become better equipped to address the current problem of global warming and climate change.
Conclusion While current scientific research has ascertained that human activities are definitely part of the cause for the increased proliferation of climate change phenomena, the continued efforts of world governments, international bodies, as well as other organizations to increase responsibilities in greenhouse gas emissions and other contributing factors is a step forward to mitigating the damage already done.
Furthermore, with endeavors also being undertaken to increase research and monitoring capabilities, governments all over the world will become better equipped to face the challenges of a world affected by climate change.
References Karl, T. & Trenberth, K. (2000). The Human Impact on Climate. Scientific American.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 April 2017
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