Global warming is one of the most controversial science issues of the 21st century, challenging the very structure of our global society. The problem is that global warming is not just a scientiﬁc concern, but encompasses economics, sociology, geopolitics, local politics, and individuals’ choice of lifestyle. Global warming is caused by the massive increase of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere, resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. There is clear evidence that we have already elevated concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide to their highest level for the last half million years and maybe even longer. Scientists believe that this is causing the Earth to warm faster than at any other time during, at the very least, the past one thousand years.The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), amounting to 2,600 pages of detailed review and analysis of published research, declares that the scientiﬁc uncertainties of global warming are essentially resolved. This report states that there is clear evidence for a 0.6°C rise in global temperatures and 20 cm rise in sea level during the 20th century. The IPCC synthesis also predicts that global temperatures could rise by between 1.4°C and 5.8°C and sea level could rise by between 20 cm and 88 cm by the year 2100. In addition, weather patterns will become less predictable and the occurrence of extreme climate events, such as storms, ﬂoods, and droughts, will increase.
Global Warming Causes:
Global Warming increases the average temperatures of the atmosphere, oceans and landmasses of Earth. It changes our climate that affects every part of our life. Earth has warmed and cooled many times during its 4.65 billion years. At present Earth is facing dramatic warming which most scientists believe is partly from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. These activities release carbon dioxide and other substances into the atmosphere. As it becomes richer with greenhouse gasses our Earth would become a better insulator trapping more heat provided by the sun
Global warming is caused by several causes such as pollution from factories, carbon dioxide from rotting trees, the burning of coal, natural gasses and fossil fuels lead to methane traveling into the Earth's atmosphere any transportation vehicles, water vapor, and many other little things, which contribute to make global warming even worse Scientists have different opinions about whether the current global warming is natural or unusual. Some believe that it is part of the Earth's natural cycle of warming and cooling. However most believe that what we are now experiencing is unusual and has been caused by human activities Another great contributor to Global Warming is water Vapor. You may be thinking how does water vapor contribute to Global Warming, well the answer is water vapor does not directly contribute to Global Warming. It contributes to the Greenhouse Effect, which then leads to Global Warming. In fact, water vapor makes up sixty percent of the Greenhouse gasses, twenty percent is carbon dioxide and the other twenty percent is caused by nitrous oxide , methane , ozone and other varieties of gases.Thus We can split up the causes into two groups, man-made or anthropogenic causes, and natural causes.
Natural causes are causes created by nature. One natural cause is a release of methane gas from arctic tundra and wetlands. Methane is a greenhouse gas. A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the earth's atmosphere. Another natural cause is that the earth goes through a cycle of climate change. This climate change usually lasts about 40,000 years.
Man-made causes probably do the most damage. There are many man-made causes. Pollution is one of the biggest man-made problems. Pollution comes in many shapes and sizes. Burning fossil fuels is one thing that causes pollution. Fossil fuels are fuels made of organic matter such as coal, or oil. When fossil fuels are burned they give off a green house gas called CO2. Also mining coal and oil allows methane to escape. How does it escape? Methane is naturally in the ground. When coal or oil is mined you have to dig up the earth a little. When you dig up the fossil fuels you dig up the methane as well.
Another major man-made cause of Global Warming is population. More people means more food, and more methods of transportation, right? That means more methane because there will be more burning of fossil fuels, and more agriculture. Now your probably thinking, "Wait a minute, you said agriculture is going to be damaged by Global Warming, but now you're saying agriculture is going to help cause Global Warming?" Well, have you ever been in a barn filled with animals and you smell something terrible? You're smelling methane. Another source of methane is manure. Because more food is needed we have to raise food. Animals like cows are a source of food which means more manure and methane. Another problem with the increasing population is transportation. More people means more cars, and more cars means more pollution. Also, many people have more than one car.
Since CO2 contributes to global warming, the increase in population makes the problem worse because we breathe out CO2. Also, the trees that convert our CO2 to oxygen are being demolished because we're using the land that we cut the trees down from as property for our homes and buildings. We are not replacing the trees (an important part of our eco system), so we are constantly taking advantage of our natural resources and giving nothing back in return.
Global Warming Effects:
The planet is warming, from North Pole to South Pole, and everywhere in between. Globally, the mercury is already up more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius), and even more in sensitive Polar Regions. And the effects of rising temperatures aren’t waiting for some far-flung future. They’re happening right now. Signs are appearing all over, and some of them are surprising. The heat is not only melting glaciers and sea ice, it’s also shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move.
Some impacts from increasing temperatures are already happening.
• Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.
• Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adélie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years.
• Sea level rise became faster over the last century.
• Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have moved farther north or to higher, cooler areas.
• Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average.
• Spruce bark beetles have boomed in Alaska thanks to 20 years of warm summers. The insects have chewed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.
Other effects could happen later this century, if warming continues.
• Sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters).
• Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger.
• Species that depend on one another may become out of sync. For example, plants could bloom earlier than their pollinating insects become active.
• Floods and droughts will become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years.
• Less fresh water will be available. If the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either.
• Some diseases will spread, such as malaria carried by mosquitoes.
Global Warming Solutions:
The most important solution is Climate change mitigation which is action to decrease the intensity of radioactive forcing in order to reduce the potential effects of global warming. Mitigation is distinguished from adaptation, which involves acting to minimize the effects of global warming. Most often, mitigations involve reductions in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, either by reducing their sources or by increasing their sinks.
Scientific consensus on global warming, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of abrupt climate change is leading to increased effort to develop new technologies and sciences and carefully manage others in an attempt to mitigate global warming. Most means of mitigation appear effective only for preventing further warming, not at reversing existing warming.
The Stern Review identifies several ways of mitigating climate change. These include reducing demand for emissions-intensive goods and services, increasing efficiency gains, increasing use and development of low-carbon technologies, and reducing non-fossil fuel emissions.
The energy policy of the European Union has set a target of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 °C [3.6 °F] compared to preindustrial levels, of which 0.8 °C has already taken place and another 0.5 °C is already committed. The 2 °C rise is typically associated in climate models with a carbon dioxide concentration of 400-500 ppm by volume; the current level as of January 2007 is 383 ppm by volume, and rising at 2 ppm annually. Hence, to avoid a very likely breach of the 2 °C target, CO2 levels would have to be stabilised very soon; this is generally regarded as unlikely, based on current programs in place to date. The importance of change is illustrated by the fact that world economic energy efficiency is presently improving at only half the rate of world economic growth.
At the core of most proposals is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through reducing energy use and switching to cleaner energy sources. Frequently discussed energy conservation methods include increasing the fuel efficiency of vehicles (often through hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars and improving conventional automobiles), individual-lifestyle changes and changing business practices. Newly developed technologies and currently available technologies including renewable energy (such as solar power, tidal and ocean energy, geothermal power, and wind power) and more controversially nuclear power and the use of carbon sinks, carbon credits, and taxation are aimed more precisely at countering continued greenhouse gas emissions. More radical proposals which may be grouped with mitigation include biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and geoengineering techniques ranging from carbon sequestration projects such as carbon dioxide air capture, to solar radiation management schemes such as the creation of stratospheric sulfur aerosols. The ever-increasing global population and the planned growth of national GDPs based on current technologies are counter-productive to most of these proposals
Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction