If there is one big problem that not only a particular country but the entire world has today, that would be global warming. Global warming refers to a process wherein there is a continuous rise in the temperature of the planet’s climate system. According to experts, since the latter half of the twentieth century, as much as ninety percent of the total rise in temperature accumulated has occurred in oceans and other bodies of water. This is because bodies of water have been identified as dominant carbon dioxide absorbers. However, it is important to remember that global warming does not only lead to the warming of the oceans but of the air and land masses as well. The effects of Global warming has been considered widespread that it is being pointed out as the culprit behind the significant change in climate that many countries in the world have reported and have actually suffered from. Countries which often do not experience cold climates began to experience cold climates and countries which often do not experience warm climates began to experience them, thanks to the phenomenon we call the climate change .
So how exactly does global warming happen? Scientists, over the past years, reported that more than ninety percent of the continuous rise in earth temperatures we experience today is caused by the continuous increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. What are these greenhouse gases and how do they affect the planet? Greenhouse gases are gases that get trapped in and absorbed by the atmosphere. Now what is unique about these gases is that they emit radiation and in significant volumes, they help prevent the heat coming from the sun from exiting the planet. This reaction may be referred to as the greenhouse effect.
Normally, the sun provides living things in the planet with solar or heat energy. Now, one of the most obvious characteristics of this energy is that it forms heat. Under normal conditions, that accumulated heat breaks away from the earth’s surface and atmosphere and then out into the universe, keeping the temperature in earth’s biosphere within normal limits . Continuous accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributes to the prevention of heat or in scientific terms, solar radiation, coming from the sun, from going out. The heat from the sun that normally gets released out into the universe gets trapped into earth’s atmosphere. The end result is a hotter surface temperature. The more concentrated these greenhouse gases become, the more heat from the sun gets blocked from going out. It is the bodies of water and the trees and faunas that helped absorb much of the trapped heat since the past years when earth started to accumulate so much thanks to the continuous increase in greenhouse gas accumulations. Without these buffers, the planet’s biosphere would have long been uninhabitable due to severe thermal conditions.
As far as the sun is concerned, it is not its fault why all of these things and other secondary effects such as stronger storms, higher sea level measurements, among others, are happening because it still does the same thing that it did millions of years ago. The main culprit behind global warming is us. Greenhouse gases come from different human activities. They come from factories, burning of fossil fuels, and other human activities that emit tremendous volumes of carbon dioxide—the most prevalent greenhouse gas so far. For so many years since the industrial revolution, man has neglected its responsibility to take care of the planet. If man would start to do things to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases and ideally to decrease the levels of such gases in the atmosphere, then there should be no reason for us to see climates and the ecology go back to where it was hundreds of years ago when these seemingly harmful gases brought by human industrial activities were in manageable levels.
According to Watts, the sun’s energy output changes by as much as 5% every 1,000 years which leads to the climate variability in the North Atlantic . But then again, this happens every 1,000 years or so and the energy output variability of just 5% is too little to cause the big problems in climate change we are experiencing today.
Schmidt, G., et al. "Attribution of the Present Day Total Greenhouse Effect." Journal of Geophysical Research (2010).
Swann, A., I. Fung and S. Levis. "Changes in Arctic Vegetation Amplify High Latitude Warming Through Greenhouse Effect." Australian Journal of Basic Sciences (2011).
Watts, A. "Sun's Energy Output may have led to marked natural climate change in Europe." Cardiff University (2014).