Anthropogenic climate change is the production of greenhouse gases by human activities. These activities interfere with the chemical composition of the earth’s atmosphere by adding more harmful chemicals to the atmosphere. Examination of the polar ice cores by the scientists convince them that the increased human activity has led to an increase in the proportion of greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has skyrocketed within the past years. Reports released by various climatic organizations confirm that the postindustrial rise in greenhouse gases does not come from natural mechanisms but from human activity. The most common greenhouse gases are methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. Alarmingly, the gases are because of anthropogenic climate levels. Reports from the IPCC confirms that the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased by about 20 parts per million because of industrialization. Since 1750, about two thirds of anthropogenic climate change due to emission of carbon dioxide has come from burning of fossil fuels, and land use activities such as agriculture and deforestation (Cohen and Waddell 21).
About 30 percent of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere has been absorbed by the oceans, while 45 percent has remained in the atmosphere. It takes about thirty years to remove half of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and a century to remove the remaining thirty percent in the atmosphere. In the recent decades, the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has greatly increased. Anthropogenic climate change is caused by factors that include aerosols, greenhouse gases, and land use change. The earth's surface experience the greenhouse effect that allows the sunlight to pass through, but absorb the heat radiation from the sun. The gases absorb the heat and make the surface temperature of the earth to rise to about 14 degrees Celsius (Scheffran 17). The increased percentage of the gases in the atmosphere have led to an increase in the amount of heat absorbed and in turns leads to an increase in the temperature in the atmosphere. Green house gases such as water vapor is the most abundant, however, it spends little time in the atmosphere. Methane is produced naturally by human activities and the common source of methane is the decomposition of organic matter for instance, in the landfills, and agriculture. Methane also comes from the digestion of ruminant animals and it is a stronger greenhouse gas as it absorbs more heat in the atmosphere.
Nitrogen oxide is produced in agricultural activities and is used in production of human fertilizer. The gas is very powerful and dangerous. Chloroflouro carbons are dangerous and affect the earths ozone layer. They are man made compounds that are produced for industrial purposes and mainly used in air conditioners and refrigerants (Redclift and Grasso 49). Aerosols that are also produced by human beings lead to climatic change by scattering and absorbing infrared radiation, and changing the chemical, and microphysical proof of clouds. Sources of aerosols include dust that comes from agricultural processes, burning of biomass products, and human activity. The exhaust emissions from vehicles used for transportation also produce aerosols. Aerosols are more common in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere due to the radiation that is concentrated in the northern hemisphere.
The land use change, by human beings leads to anthropogenic climate change. Activities such as cutting forests in order to make charcoal or create space for farm land interferes with the climate. The cutting of trees leads to alteration in the amount of sunlight that is reflected from the ground to the space. Approximately half of the land use changes have occurred during the industrial revolution. Much of such land use changes result from replacement of forests by grazing lands, and agricultural cropping. The largest effect of cutting tress has affected high altitude areas where the albedo of snow covered land that was previously forested has enlarged (Humphreys 38). This is because the snow found on trees only reflects half of the sunlight that fall on their leaves, and the snow covered ground reflects only two thirds of the sunlight. The increased albedo over North American and Eurasian agricultural regions has led to a constant cooling effect in those areas. Tropical deforestation that change evapotranspiration rates and desertification has led to an increase in albedo that has affected climate.
Anthropogenic climate change should be abolished and human activities lead to climatic change regulated. Anthropogenic climate change leads to threatening of species within the ecosystem. Modification of the environment by human beings leads to climate change that poses danger to some species in the environment. Fire forms the integral part of the ecosystem in countries such as Australia. The effects of fire may increase in some areas while the climatic changes decrease in other areas leading to the consequent changes in the composition of species and ecological structure of communities (Gillespie 89). Climate determines the distribution of most communities, populations, and species. Species that are at risk because of the climatic change are those with narrow ranges, specific host relationship, long generations, and poor mobility. Species that are isolated, and specialized with large home ranges are also at risk because of climatic change. Some of the species that can be at risk include mammals such as as Smoky mouse, Broad-toothed rat, Pygmy-possum, and Long-footed Potoroo. Birds that are risky because of the climatic change include Regent Parrot, Sooty Owl, Malleefowl, and the Plains-wanderer. Amphibians such as , Southern Corroboree Frog, Southern Bell Frog, and Spotted Frog are at risk because of climatic change. Alpine communities in Australia are likely to be at risk due to climatic change. The extinction of many species in the ecosystem such as the dodo are because of human activities.
Anthropogenic climate change interferes with carbon cycle in the atmosphere which is dangerous to man. Global warming results from the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (Solomon 72). The increased concentrations of carbon dioxide are because of fossil energy combustion that include natural gas and coal. The massive interference with the carbon cycle globally has been possible because of the increased deployment and availability of advanced technologies that ranges from the exploration of fossil fuels,extraction,refining, and combustion in automobile engines and power plants. The increased atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to rising of the global temperatures and alterations in the hydrological cycle. The increased global temperatures leads to global warming associated with harmful effects to man.
Global warming that results from increased production of anthropogenic gases has exceeded the cleansing capacity of the an atmosphere. Global warming is dangerous as it leads to various stresses in human beings. The stresses caused by global warming on human beings include heat stress, diseases, stress, and nutritional stress. Environmental heat stress is divided into hot wet and hot dry stress. The hot wet environmental stress foist limits on the evaporation of cooling while hot, dry conditions limit the water resources. The scarce water shortages can lead to hunger and food shortages. The bright sunlight in relation to the depletion of the ozone layer leads to production of ultraviolet rays that are dangerous and can cause skin cancer. The heat stress also leads to mortality through heat exhaustion, and failure of the thermoregulatory function that affect the cardiovascular system. Areas that are prone to high humidity, and high temperatures have excess mortality due to the elevated heat stress. Average global warming leads to a slight impact on heat related mortality. Heat stress also affects animals. Research conducted states that animals that are exposed to warm temperatures show slow growth rates, lower fertility,lower production of milk, and increased mortality.
Global warming affects the human nutritional health through agricultural production, economies of food production and politics. At the regional and continental levels some scenarios can be predicted by the systematic inspection of the effects of climate change in the production of food. Some of the factors that influence food production due to climatic change include land availability, soil properties, temperature and water availability. Climatic change moves the isotherms towards the poles and this causes warming at the poles. The heat waves, floods, droughts, and monsoon are severe when temperature distribution shifts to the right. These factors influence the production of food in the globe. Infectious diseases stress is related to nutritional stress in a number of ways, and therefore the negative effects of global warming on diet and the nutritional status affects the susceptibility to diseases. Decreasing food production, especially in third world countries leads to nutritional stress, and this weakens the immune system posing one at a high risk of contracting diseases. Global warming also affects changes in the vector borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which are both caused by mosquitoes. Most of the vector borne diseases are common in tropical and warm temperate climates. Global warming can also result to insects moving to other areas of higher elevations as in the case of mosquitoes. Climatic change in regions where insects and other vectors are found also lead to production of increased parasite or vector populations through shortening of the breeding cycles.
Global warming also affects the migration and health of individuals. Population in a given region is always influenced by factors such as deaths, births or movement of people in and out of the area. Global warming affects food production and, distribution which in turn affects the migration patterns in a given region. A number of global trends influence population displacement in the context of climatic change. Global warming leads to a rise in the sea level and a decrease in the land areas as a result of thermal expansion of the oceans, thawing of the permafrosts, melting of glaciers in the mountain, and melting of ice sheets covering the Antartica and Green Land. Melting of the ice ice sheets jeopardizes many coastal areas in the world. The effects of rising sea level affect those living in densely populated lowlands and coastal areas, for instance Nile Amazon, and Mississippi Deltas. The rising effects of sea level lead to the increased levels of flooding because of storm surges. Rising effects of sea level lead to the loss of shore-fronts by about 35 metres. The loss of the shore-front will trigger soil erosion, land subsidence, and earthquakes, which can lead to the death of many individuals in the world. Land subsidence may occur in areas that are densely populated because of the overuse of water aquifers and depletion of water found in the ground.
Depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere from enhanced human activities has led to increased UV radiation that has impacted the biosphere through many pathways. Ultraviolet radiation effects on human beings include sun burn damage to the skin,eye damage, and immunosupression. The damaging effects of UV mainly affect the fair-skinned European and European-derived populations, those living in the arid zones and equatorial areas. Melanin, which is the pigment that protects the skin against UV radiation, is distributed to human beings according to their evolutionary history. The nitrogen cycle is also affected by climatic change due to human activities. The industrial and agricultural inputs to the environment exceeds the input from natural Nitrogen fixation. The global nitrogen cycle has therefore been altered by the anthropogenic inputs.
Human activities such as deforestation are beneficial since they give human beings more land for agriculture and settlement although their harm outweighs the benefits. Anthropogenic climate change should be regulated, and abolished because of the harmful effect it poses to the environment and human beings. Anthropogenic climate causes interference with the carbon cycle in the atmosphere which is dangerous to the environment as it leads to global warming and interference with the hydrological cycle that can lead to drought and floods. Global warming affects the human nutritional health through agricultural production. Anthropogenic activities that result in the depletion of the ozone layer poses human beings to skin cancer and sunburns.
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