Links Between Global Warming And Climate Change
Global warming is the increase in world's temperatures (Spencer, 2008). Research conducted has revealed that the world's temperature increase due to greenhouse effect. It was first detected in mid 20th century when it was first realized that there was an average increase in temperature of the earth's near surface air and the ocean water (Theodore, 2004). Globaly average temperature has increased with about 0.7 to 1.44 degrees and has been detected in 20th century (Maslin, 2007).
It was then concluded that most of the observed temperature change since mid 20th century was very likely caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from several human activities such as burning of fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas) and clearing of bushes.Temperature increase has been rated as the major contribution towards global warming, estimate by climatologists show that 1998 was the warmest year since the use of reliable widespread instrumental measurements was put into use in 1980s closely followed by 2005 (Maslin, 2007). Climate normally varies over the globe. Land temperatures have increased about one and a half times as first as ocean temperatures since 1979. Ocean temperatures increase slowly as compared to land temperatures which is effective due to heat capacity of the ocean and because of high evaporation rate of the ocean which leads to loss of heat. (Theodore, 2004).
There is temperatures variation in different parts of the world, the northern hemisphere normally warms faster as compared to southern Hemisphere because it has larger percentage of land cover. Even though Greenhouse gases percentage emitted in the Northern is higher than the percentage emitted in the southern hemisphere this does not add to the difference in warming since the most important greenhouse gases takes a long period of time to mix between hemispheres (Spencer, 2008). Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations have increased by 40% and 150% respectively since 1745. These levels are considered to be much higher than at any time in history.
The less direct available geological proof indicates that carbon dioxide values slightly higher than this were last seen about 30 million years ago. Use of fossil fuel has produced more than half of the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity practiced over the past 20 - 30 years. The rest are due to human activities like clearing of land.
Concentration of carbon dioxide continues to rise on daily basis due to burning of fossil fuel and clearing of land. The rate of rise in carbon dioxide concentration will depend on unstable economic, technological, sociological and country's natural developments (Maslin, 2007). The corrosion of stratospheric ozone by dangerous chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons is sometimes considered as factors leading to global warming.
Depletion of stratospheric ozone has a slow influence to global warming (Spencer, 2008).Analysts predict that global warming will have influence on the society and environment. Rise in temperature will lead to the end ice era in Greenland and Antarctica (Spencer, 2008). This will in turn accelerate the rise in sea level. The speed at which global warming effect is expected to be evident in future is faster than most earth's animals and plants species will be able to deal with (Maslin, 2007). A few plants and animals will adapt but many will suffer and may become extinct.
Crop adaptation to different environmental conditions will make them grow in areas that are currently covered by ice. Water resources like dams, rivers and lakes will also be affected. Increase in temperature may reduce water levels in reservoirs particularly if rainfall also decreases. (Theodore, 2004).Human beings are exposed to climate change through changing weather due to global warming.
Heat related illnesses may be experienced particularly during hotter summers, and increased air related disease since higher temperatures reduces air density hence its quality especially in highly populated areas. Malaria causing mosquito may also spread to several regions of the world currently extra cold for its survival (Theodore, 2004). Extreme weather conditions (storms floods and drought) will have great impact on our surrounding and society. Survival under these conditions will depend on what individual can afford exposing the poorest people in the society to several risks. (Maslin, 2007).Greenhouse effect can be defined as the process of absorption and emission of infrared rays by gases in the atmosphere. (Theodore, 2004).
Existence of greenhouse effect in global warming is not disputed. Question is raised on how the strength of greenhouse effects is evident by increasing concentration of greenhouse gases by human activities. Greenhouse insulates larger percentage of heat but only allows less percentage to be emitted back to the space. However, constant emission of CO2 trap by our activity means the heat energy is confined in greenhouse and doesn't escape back and therefore contributes to rise in atmospheric temperature.
Successful sustainable growth and expansion includes wide ranging ideas of guiding ideas and issues explaining more of objective realization of economic and scientific confidence. We all would wish to be involved and take part in various explanation programs in order to pass the information on knowledge and awareness. It will be of good help for the fore front cities to sign Kyoto Protocol in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
Cities normally play a major role in greenhouse gas emission and therefore should have an enormous power to conserve the environment. Our families are considered to be the smallest unit of the society and the city where we stay is in full control of what we produce. Reducing global warming is by reducing the future climate change which is also known as mitigation. Further definition of mitigation illustrates that it includes all the activities conducted to reduces greenhouse gas emissions or enhance the capacity of carbon sinks to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (Spencer, 2008).
The only way to avert the effect of global warming is by use of cleaner, less polluting, technologies. Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emission (Maslin, 2007). Policies include targets for emissions reductions, increased use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.
Other policy to be enacted includes adaptation to current climate change. This can be planned by local or national government. The ability to adapt these policies is closely controlled by the country's economic and social status.
Societies with good understanding to adapt are still exposed to climate change (Theodore 2004).In summary global warming is reality very likely influenced by human activities. The global temperatures have increased in 20th century. Temperature increase has been identified as the major contribution towards global warming. The greenhouse gases in our atmosphere have increased since 1750.
The major green house gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide which causes about 40-80 percent of green house effect (Maslin, 2007). Global warming can only be avoided by reducing future climate change. This can be enacted by introduction of policies that regulate the emission of gases that leads to greenhouse effect.
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