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Global Warming

Global warming refers to the increase in the average global temperatures which is
caused by greenhouse effects that arise due to greenhouse gases. Energy from the sun
heats the earths surface and some is absorbed as some is radiated back in to space.
The greenhouse gases, which include carbon dioxide, nitric acid and methane form a
layer or blanket between the earthss surfaces to rise. The gases can penetrate into
the earth and into the atmosphere and they control how much energy is retained or
radiated through infrared radiation. Other greenhouse gases include fluorinated
industrial gases like hydrofluorocarbors (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur
hexafluoride (SF6). Water vapor is also considered a greenhouse gas. Although the
greenhouse effect is beneficial because it ensures that the earth is not very cold by
retaining some heat on the earths surface, influencing it negatively would be harmful.
According to a report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), which
was carried out by scientists from the UK Hadley Center and funded by the Department
for Environment Food and Rural Affairs showed that human activity is the primary cause
of observed climate changes.
Human beings influence the global climate when they emit key greenhouse gases,
which include carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Industries that emit such gases in their
production
process
contribute
to
the
global
climate
change.
(http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate)
According to a documentary aired on the National Geographic Channel in Britainon
August 9th 2003 titled whats up with the weather the levels of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere were at repay high levels in the past 450,000 years.
There has been a long debate in the U.S on whether the current climate change is as a
result of human activities. With some arguing that global warming is politicized to attract
attention of the masses.
Supporters of the idea that global warming causes climate changes and is all due to
mans activity face criticism and ridicule. Despite the allegations global warming effects
are here with us we can not deny. Butterflies are moving towards the North where there
are higher attitudes and there are concerns that the diversity of wildlife could decline in
future. Long term trends towards earlier spring are being observed as flowering and
reproduction of plants and birds species has reduced their long processes. All these are
evidences that climate is changing which can be attributed to global warming. Although
man cannot change his behavior at least he can try to adapt to fit in well into the
environment without harming it. (Houghton, 2005)

Causes
Global warming is caused by natural factors and human activities. It is observed that
after industrialization came about there has been more warming in the earths crust.
Therefore mans activities in contributing to global warming cannot be underscored. He
may directly lead to global warming by releasing directly into the atmosphere the
greenhouse gases for instance when burning coal or he can do it indirectly by using
products that promote emission of greenhouse gases. (Hardy, 2003)
In the face of globalization energy is very important. Most industries are adopting
electricity as a source of energy as it is clean, efficient and convenient. In 2002 about
40% of the carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere was as a result of burning fossil
fuels for generating electricity. Coal burning accounts for 93% of carbon dioxide
emissions into the atmosphere and thus contributes to global warming. (Micheal, 2005)
The transportation sector also contributes to global warming. According to the
2004USemission Inventory vehicles with poor gas mileage contributed a lot to global
warming .This occurs as gasoline is being heated in internal combustion of cars and
light trucks. This sector contributes to approximately 20% ofUStotal emissions of carbon
dioxide. Aviation industry also contributes to global warming to a tune of 3.5%. This is
predicted to be 5 times more by 2050 by the United Nation Intergovernmental panel due
to the fact that the flow of air transport is increasing with lowered fares because of
competition. Light duty vehicles like SUVs and minivans sales increase impacted more
on the greenhouse effects since driving intensified due to the affordability this led to
demand for more gas.
Man constructs building structures that takes up heat and takes long to cool down
contributing more heat reserved in the earths surface. Building more structure
translates into retaining more heat and this eventually leads to global warming.
Land use practices contribute to global warming. Trees are vital in ensuring natural
regulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. They also form a cover that affects the radiation
process by determining what levels of heat will be retained or radiated. Human
settlement is a reason for continued deforestation. As population levels rises more and
more forests are cleared. Trees are also cut for logging purposes. Trees absorb CO2
from decaying trees and plants. They provide timber for construction purposes they are
also cut to paper production. Deforestation contributes to approximately 25% of CO2 in
to the atmosphere. Today there is much wastage of papers for instance toilet paper and
serviettes this leads to global warming due to the fact that more trees will be cut for
paper production. This eventually leads to global warming.
Mans activity at home can also cause global warming. Technology has brought about
invention of electronic devices all of which require energy and electricity is mostly the
preferred. The technology is useful as it ensures that time and energy is saved by a
large proportion. Appliances like lawnmowers and heaters in houses precipitate the

burning of more coal to provide electricity and this leads to global warming.
http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatechange/emmisions/ind-home.html
Composition of waste products by man causes the production of methane, which is a
greenhouse gas. According to U.S Environmental Protection Agency each pound of
trash thrown away emits approximately 0.94 pounds of CO2 during decomposition.
Global warming occurs naturally due to the amount of heat produced by the sun.
Changing variations in the earths orbit around the sun may affect the time and amount
of solar energy received on the earth. This will affect the amount of energy reflected and
absorbed. Orbital variations are believed to be behind the ice ages. Aerosols which are
fine particles and droplets that are suspended into the earths surface affect the amount
of solar energy that is reflected or absorbed and are thus contributors of global
warming. The social effects caused by extreme effects of global warming include
poverty and changing attitudes due to shock. Exposure to such calamities is destructive
to mans health as it causes death, injury as well as stress related disorders. Standards
of living lower for the affected people as their houses and means of earning are
destroyed. At the times of such disasters they are deprived of social needs. Social evils
could arise as such calamities create disorder in society. Due to disaster effects the
affected may in changing topography cause disputes among nations. (OHare at al,
2005).
Effects
The effects of global warming are detrimental and its feared to be contributing to current
climate changes. It is associated with the frequent floods, drought and hurricane
patterns that are facing the world today.
According to the World Metrological Organization the 90s had higher temperatures and
are thus considered the warmest decade. Extreme weather patterns are believed to
result from the warming of the climate. More hurricanes and drought are expected to
arise due to global warming. There will be longer spells of heat or intense rainfall
depending on which part of the earth one is.
Scientists point out that the Northern European region could experience colder weather
and the Arctic could begin sending fresher waters to the further South cutting off the
Gulf Stream and making countries likeBritainwarmer. The Himalayan glaciers are also
feared to retreat resulting to water scarcity in the long run. (Hodges, 2000)
Super storms are feared to increase with global warming. The recent case of hurricane
in theCaribbeanIslandsand parts of the South Eastern United States is a good example.
It led to massive destruction of property resulting from such catastrophic events. Again
lives were lost and peoples livelihood was affected with some children rendered
orphans and homeless.

Disruptions in temperatures would result to extinction of species of animals and plants,


which will not be able to adapt to the new conditions. The overall effect will be massive
extinction will lead to environmental crisis. It will also lead to sudden collapse of
biological systems.
Global warming can cause a vicious circle in the sense that accumulation of
greenhouse gases will destroy the ozone layer which will cause mechanism causing
more warming. Again on reaching a certain level huge amount of carbon dioxide
trapped in the permafrost causing disastrous effects on the earths surface.
The sea levels are also expected to rise as the polar caps begin to melt. This will have
detrimental effects on people near coasts or major rivers as will have be displaced.
Climate change could result due to global warming .It is feared that pests and diseases
would increase causing negative effects on crops and humanity. Diseases like malaria
would result due to flooding especially in less developed countries. Agricultural
production could be negatively affected being a threat to food security. Floods for
instance will wash away crops while change of climate will have negative implications
on crops that are unable to adapt.
Prevention of global warming
Since man is a key contributor he should be at the forefront in the process of curbing
global warming. At the individual level people can use alternative sources of energy for
their appliances for instance solar energy, which doesnt have very adverse effects
Burning coal to produce electricity should be replaced by hydroelectric power, wave
energy or solar energy which are all environmentally friendly. (Micheal, 2005)
Preserving energy by switching off the unused switches and sockets translates to
reduced demand for electricity and burning up of coal. It will be a positive movement in
preventing global warming.
Replacing inefficient homes will ensure less wastage to energy loss and properly
insulting homes will ensure less wastage of electrical energy.
Buying vehicles with proper gas mileage will ensure that the gas is not lost in the
internal combustion heat of cars. Efficient cars promote efficient use of energy thus
reducing global warming.
Another cause of global warming is industries that produce nitrous oxide which is an
important greenhouse gas. Man creates it during nitric acid production and in nylon
productions. Nitric acid is used by man for important use like in fertilizer production and
for cars with catalytic converters. Fertilizers are important in agriculture as they boost
the production. The fertilizer industry also creates employment in its production,

distribution and sale. Human beings therefore have to come to find ways to address the
two opposing issues to establish a balance.
Traffic jam contributes to global warming and is caused by family members using
different vehicles even when going towards the same direction. This can be reduced by
family cars being used to transport all members. Again public transport use will
contribute to a greater effect the reduction of global warming. Lesser amount of gas will
be used and flow of transport will be manageable. Alternative methods or modes of
transport can also be adapted like walking, bicycles, motorbikes or using public
transport.
Developing organic farming will reduce the emission of green house gases that would
otherwise be produced through fertilizer production.
Introducing other packaging materials rather than nylon paper bags will also reduce
global warming effects. This is because production of nylon paper bags produce nitric
dioxide, which is a green house gas.
Recycling is also an important act in ensuring that the global temperatures do not rise. It
will reduce the production process that results in emission of greenhouse gases.
Reduced waste disposal will also reduce global warming as there will be reduced
decomposition.
Lack of clear government legislations on illegal logging has contributed to deforestation
at higher levels contributing to global warming. If such countries form clear and strict
restrictions they would be solving the world at large from increased warming.
International companies should be regulated by international environmental rules and
regulations to ensure that deforestation and emission of greenhouse gases is reduced
Since poor communities clear forests for cultivation and grazing purposes. The
developed countries should assist them so that they do not destroy the environment
which results to global effects. Planting more trees will ensure natural CO2 regulation.
Abatement measures will ensure that industries in a country do not carelessly affect the
global temperatures by production of greenhouse gases. It will ensure that companies
do not make excessive profits at the expense of the environment.
Continued information dissemination about effects and causes of global warming will
remove the arrogance or ignorance that could result from lack of such knowledge.
Incorporating environmental studies and especially on global warming in the schools
curriculums will see to it that students understand the plight of global warming to
mankind at an early age.
Investment in low carbon technologies will go along way in ensuring that the adverse
effects of global warming are not felt. It will see to it that the adverse effects of global

warming are not felt. It will see to it that lesser greenhouse gases are released in to the
atmosphere.
The media can play a vital role in disseminating the important of environmental
conservation through changes mans behaviors. There are those believes that global
warming is a wide spread imagined risk.
People should use vehicles that emit lesser amount of carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere sporty vehicles should be substituted for cheaper and better efficient ones
which emit less carbon dioxide. (http://www.pce.govt.nz/reports/pc-report-glosary.html)
Reference:

Department for Environment food and Rural Affairs. Climate change: What is climate
change? Retrieved on 28th October from http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate
US Environmental Protection Agency: Climate change-Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Retrieved
on
25th
October
2007
from
http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatechange/emmisions/ind-home.html
Hardy J.T 2003.Climate change causes effects solutions New York J. Wiley.

Houghton, John Theodore. 2004. Global warming: the complete briefing 3 rd


ed.CambridgeUniversity.

OHare, Greg, John. Sweeney and Rob.Wilby. 2005. Weather, climate and climate
change: Human perspectives, Harlow,Eng,New YorkPearson Prentice hall.

Hodges, Glenn. 2000. The New Cold War: Stalking Arctic Climate Change by
Submarine. National Geographic Magazine. March, 2000.

Micheal Parfit .2005.Future where will the world get its next energy fix? National
Geographic Magazine. August, 2005.