GLOBAL WARMING

Oct 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Oct 24, 2018 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

GLOBAL WARMING

Thesis statement: Global warming is an issue that is barely understood. Local and international efforts to resolve Global warming are barely making any impact.

At the top of the UN’s agenda in the conference for climatic change held in Lima was global warming. For years now, experts and governments have grown more and more concerned with the adversities facing our environment and its resources, majority of which come from global warming. However as (Minkel 35) states, the topic of global warming maybe exciting and popular, but very few people understand it. When scientists warned of global warming effects in the past century, it seemed that they were speaking from a utopian world, far from the realities. However, the evidence presented today is clear showing that global warming is not only a reality, it is in fact a problem that we have to contend with.

About seventy centuries ago, the earth saw its last ice age, which ushered in a new era in climatic conditions and features. Changes in the amount of solar hitting the earth’s orbit have been regular and consistent. However, in the past ten centuries human activity has severely impacted on the earth’s warming rate. Much evidence has been collected showing the impact of warming gases otherwise known as greenhouse gases. Ice core areas such as Greenland and Iceland are quickly showing the impact of the greenhouse warming. NASA and other scientific institutions have been keen in collecting compelling evidence on the infrared effect impacted on the earth by the growing heat trapping effect of carbon dioxide (Black and Wesel 12). These evidence also shows the concerning rate with which changes in climatic conditions are taking place, what should have taken millions of years is happening within decades not even thousands of years. The rate of global warming today is unprecedented and seems to be overtaking the speed of information diffusion.

Finding the Right Evidence

Rising sea levels: two mechanisms are involved in this feature, the first is the continued melting of polar ice caps in the ice regions as well as from high peak mountains. Once these ice caps have melted, they become water which is then dumped into the sea resulting in an increase in sea level. The second, is that with increasing temperatures, the water becomes warmer and expands. Since the continents themselves block free slow of the water, it has no other pace to go but to rise up. (Gaughen 95) also states that in some regions a completely different phenomenon is taking place, that is, the land is sinking causing the water level to seem even higher. He continues to state that coastal communities have been under threat following the increase of sea water, flooding and tornadoes destroying homes and lives have become common feature.

Rise in global temperatures: the data collected from the earth’s surface show that although the temperature has been increasing since the 19th century, the highest increase can be traced to the past twelve years. The increase in global temperatures can be evidenced by continued experiences of heat waves around the globe. The United States for example has had serious heat waves which have cause loss of lives and even wild fire in some states. Scientists predict that each year, the global temperature is increasing by at least 0.15 C. it is expected that in the next decade, global temperatures will have increased by 2C, a dangerous level for the survival of humanity.

Decreased Ice and snow cover: over the past decade, the biggest concern for scientists and environmentalists has been the shrinking Ice covered regions as well as Arctic Ice Sea. Between the year 2000 and today, the Ice caps have melted and lost at least 200 cubic kilometers of ice. In Africa, the Himalayan region and even Alaska areas that were completely covered in glaciers are continuously shrinking. It has also been noted that the thickness of snow cover in the other hemisphere has been decreasing in the past decade. The decrease is measured in terms of the duration of snow cover which has greatly reduced and the ammout of snow which has gone down so that in some regions it is now negligible.

Increased levels of acidity: which are due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities. In the past decade, the level of carbon dioxide has increased by at least 2 billion tons. The result is an increase in acidity by at least 30%, a situation that is threatening and diminishing the survival of oceanic life very fast.

Future Expectations in Global Warming

The information on global warming can be conflicting in some areas, however what all people agree on is the effects of global warming. Despite the fact that various people in different regions are experiencing global warming on different levels and therefore abiding by different effects, the agreement is that the effects of global warming are expected to get even more severe if nothing is done. The United Nations conference on climatic change in Lima, highlighted the importance of each person irrespective of culture or even physical address to do something in order to reduce and slow down global warming.

Increase in tropical storms: the rise in the sea level along the coasts has seen communities facing an increasing number of storms and tornadoes. Communities across the globe such as those in Haiti and in Africa have been united by continued exposure to prolonged tornadoes whose strength seems to be increasing yearly. (Oxlade 252) concluded that the human race is set to experience an increase in natural calamities, from storms and flooding. In his assumption, he suggested that the people closest to the sea, liven in the coastal regions would be non-existent and such areas will not be habitable in the next decade. Today’s media reports are close to proving this statement right, daily there are increasing reports of exposure to storms, loss of lives due to tornadoes and evacuation of small towns as warnings of impeding storms. At the rate of the rising sea water, these events are expected to increase, while Europe faces growing tornadoes, Africa is most likely to face an increase in sea water overflows as has been seen in coastal regions such as Madagascar Islands.

Regional effects: the rise in global temperature has brought on different regional effects. In one region such as Africa, there has been increased cases of drought and famine. Farmers in the region who rely heavily on agriculture are unable to make their land as productive as is expected. Fewer tons of food are produced each year due to adverse weather. On the other hand, the United States is suffering from an increase in wild fires which have caused much loss of property, destruction of fertile land and even deaths. There are three main effects of increased temperature that will lead to regional effects:

  • Melting Ice: residents of ice capped regions are waking up to the realization that in a few years, the regions will no longer be covered in ice. The arctic sea in itself is weakening in terms of the strength of ice covering the sea as well as slowly diminishing in terms of amount of ice covering the sea as well.
  • Hydrological cycle: +while it may be difficult to relate to the changing level of ice in the ice regions, everyone can relate to the changes in rainfall patterns. These changes have brought similar changes in leafing patterns. While some regions experience low production due to lack of rainfall, others are experiencing extreme damages due to high amounts of rainfall. El-nino (high amounts of rainfall, continued for a short time) and El-Nina (high temperatures from exposure to the sun for a long time) have become common.
  • Changing currents in the oceans: which have in turn been detrimental to the survival of oceanic beings and life. (Long 23) raises concern by stating that the balance between the oceanic life and the survival of the human race is delicate. Maintaining such balance is vital, but as the currents of the ocean continue changing, the threats to the environment and the human race at large become more realistic.

With high confidence (Oxlade 78) concludes that all continents are at risk from global warming. All physical and biological specimen are in danger from the rising temperature. Even communities such as traditional Alaskan communities which rarely interact with modern technology are becoming concerned by the effects of global warming felt in their region. The largely attended UN annual conference on climatic change brings together many communities to address the same concerns.

What Can We Do?

Deal with emissions: the human race has contributed significantly to the increasing emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. (Long 54) states that, despite the sorry state of emissions currently, the human race has developed the right technology through which such emissions can be reduced. The problem therefore is not the lack of solutions but the reluctance of people, elected leaders and other institutions to adapt the technology. The UNEP agenda supports this, stating that despite clear steps, increased information and access to alternative energy that reduces emissions, the human race is still stuck in technology of the past. Less that 2% of the general population have adapted the available alternate technology. Elected leaders have also been reluctant to pursue agendas that require much change. However, he confidently concludes that without drastic changes in our everyday lives, the carbon emissions will continue to increase and global warming will become an epidemic that will be hard to address let alone find a solution to.

(Simon 121) concurs stating that building a clean energy environment is the only path towards successfully decreasing the effects and stalling global warming. This means finding alternative energy sources which in turn reduce the reliance on oil, reducing the vehicle emissions which account for at least 34% of the total emissions and adapt alternative energy such as solar and wind power.

Stop deforesting: in the past century more than 50% of the earth’s surface was covered with forests. Trees are essential in maintaining a balance of the greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, there has been increased deforestation. The USA has seen destruction of at least 14% of its forest coverage in the past decade. Other regions such as Africa are worst hit, with renowned forests such as the Congo dense forest reducing in acreage daily. Even though there are current efforts directed at re-afforestation, it is clear that the current species of trees are not as sustainable as the original forest coverage. Various species of plants and animals have completely become extinct. The solution is to simply stop deforestation. While a decade ago, reduction of deforestation would have been an ideal solution, today major institutions such as the UNEP urge leaders in various regions to focus more on stopping the deforestation altogether.

Provide the right information: from the advent of the global warming debate, there has been various sets of information being released. In the beginning, there existed two conflicting schools of thought: one school being more cautionary was deadly concerned with the global warming rte. and effects and the second, a more lax one insisted that global warming was nothing more than a myth. Each of the schools provided its own evidence. In the end, the local citizens became confused and opted to do nothing, thereby worsening a situation that could have been easily resolved. (Miller 200) is clear in placing the blame for current misinformation from various climate dossiers on fossil oil companies. Since most of their profit comes from reliance on oil, they have been known to degrade the effects and possible solutions of global warming. They often mislead individuals and local communities, a situation which will get worse if the leaders and government officials do not take matters into hand.

REFERENCES

Black, Brian, and Gary J. Weisel. Global Warming. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2010.

Gaughen, Shasta. Global Warming. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2005.

Long, Douglas. Global Warming. New York: Facts on File, 2004

Miller, Debra A. Global Warming. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008

Minkel, Dan. Global Warming. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2007

Simon, Seymour. Global Warming. New York: Collins, 2010