The term Global warming is used to illustrate a gradual rise in the average temperature of atmosphere and oceans of the earth. Aykut Emre Bozdogan has considered global warming as a change, which is undyingly modifying the climate of Earth 1. Global warming is affecting and will continue to affect lives. The present scorching and burning weather us not merely the nature’s act, neither the progressively volatile and unpredictable weather that is causing havoc in several parts of the world around the globe. The human beings are the cause of global warming and as a result all the living beings are suffering and the consequences are getting worse. Gautam Naik and Johannes Ledel have described in the Wall Street Journal that human activity is the most prominent cause of the global warming 2.
How is Global Warming Affecting our Life?
The elevated temperatures are however not only contributing to melting glaciers and icebergs but also causing the animals to move to different localities or die, which is upsetting the entire ecosystem and is also altering the pattern of precipitation. The effects and consequences of global warming are clearly evident at the poles. The ice is melting all over the world, which include the ice on glaciers, ice sheet that is covering Greenland and West Antarctica and ice of Arctic sea 3. This melting of ice is increasing the sea level and causing flooding of the low laying regions. When ice and snow melt, their sunlight reflecting ability is lost and this escalates global warming further 4. Considering the fact that the cities e.g., Venice are at the preparatory phase to sink. However, the small islands e.g., Guyana too are at the starting stages to become submerged. Moreover, according to IPCC report 2001, the sea levels have climbed up by 19 centimeter and there are expectations that it will still increase further from 26 centimeter to 82 centimeter at the end of the century 5.
Furthermore, precipitation in the form of snow and rain has also increased across the entire world. The irregular patterns of weather are badly affecting the humans. Considering the fact that heavy rain is a trouble for humans and the storms destroy the property of humans. The rise in the levels of heat is increasing evaporation that is further leading to more rain and storms 6. The plants and animals cannot adapt to the increased snowfall or rainfall and most of the animals however migrate to the other places. The plants are dying and this is collapsing the ecosystem because plants are the major food source in the ecosystem. The hurricanes are also becoming stronger and they are arising from the simple storms of the tropical oceans. Water is evaporating from the warm ocean and it is heating the nearby air and leading to hurricanes. The higher the temperature, the more the water evaporates and the more is the creation of strong hurricanes. Hurricanes also exert devastating impacts on the humans as well as on their properties, an example is the Hurricane Katrina that has annihilated the city of New Orleans, killed people, destroyed structures and displaced people 7.
Further, the prices of food are also rising due to change in climate, which is making it trickier to retain the particular conditions that crops require to thrive. With the warming of climate, the air contains and holds more quantity of moisture and the rainstorms become powerful and intense and are destroying crops. The precipitation pattern is bringing about droughts in many areas of world. Stanford University has published a recent research and showed that the global production of wheat has declined by 5.5%8 due to instability in the climate and the world production of corn has dropped down by about 4%.
There are some plants that humans use for food; the plants manufacture their own food through the process of photosynthesis. But, the enzymes that are necessary for them in order creation their food die when they are exposed to elevated temperatures, which is creating shortage of food for humans 9. However, the pests are finding their way to novel areas and are destroying crops there, they are moving from the tropical countries to the temperate countries. The alpine plants, butterflies, and foxes are moving to the cool areas, which is upsetting the ecosystems and the biodiversity. The parts of food chains are decreasing from the ecosystem, so the chances of ecosystem collapsing are increasing day by day. The ecosystems and the associated biodiversity are significant for humans because they get raw material, food, pharmaceutical products and employment from the environment 10.
With the rising temperature, the human health is also affecting as the humans are exposed to more diseases. This fact can be considered from the condition of Europe in 2003, when the country was badly struck by the heated waves and many people have lost their lives 11. Diseases such as malaria are also spreading because mosquito is spreading around the world due to increasing heat. Asthma, dengue fever and other allergic reactions are also becoming common due to global warming 12. The life in Antarctic and Arctic is also suffering due to global warming. An example is the polar beer, which is losing its habitat of sea ice just because of the global warming.
How will Global Warming Affect our Life in Future
The impact of high temperature of surface is important but the global warming will encompass far reaching and extra effects on planet. Moreover, warming alters the pattern of rainfall, amplifies the erosion of coastal areas, lengthens the season of growth in some regions, changes the ranges of contagious diseases and melts glaciers and ice-caps. As mentioned previously that some of the changes are taking place already. Global warming will further result in the more recurrent hotter days and lesser cooler days. Intense and longer heat waves will become common in the future and highest warming will occur on land 13. Floods, droughts and storms will normally be increasingly severe because of change in the pattern of precipitation. Furthermore, global warming will raise the level of sea and will also erode the coasts causing frequent flooding in the coastal areas. Some nations/islands will disappear totally. This problem is very serious due to the fact that about 10% of the population of world resides in the susceptible areas that are less than 30 feet or 10 meters above the sea level.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has explained the results of research that in Latin America, there the process of slow replacement of the tropical forests by Savannah in the eastern Amazonia will take place and there is a significant risk of the loss of biodiversity in the tropical areas 14. Further, availability if the water for human use, production of energy and agriculture will also be affected. It is also estimated that by the year 2020, 75-250 million people are expected to be exposed to higher stress associated with water . The yield from the agriculture that is fed by rain is also probable to decrease by 50% in some regions by the year 2020. The agricultural production that includes food access will also be badly compromised in the country. The availability of freshwater is projected to decline in the East, South, Central and Southeast Asia by 205015. The coastal areas of Asia will however be at the risk because of the higher flooding and the death rates will rise due to the diseases that are associated with the floods, it is also expected that the droughts will rise also in some Asian regions or countries.
Furthermore, both the Antarctic and Arctic are expected to persist warming. The sea ice will disappear in Arctic and this permits ships to safely move through the wide ocean expanses that were previously blocked due to the ice. The Antarctic will continue to warm slowly and largest changes are expected later in century. However across vast Arctic expanses, forest will replace the tundra. Several animals and plant species will flourish under the conditions of novel habitat, migrate or decline. Seals, walruses, polar bears and other mammals living in water and relying on the floes of ice in order to breed, take rest and feed, will also be specifically threatened. The krill population and other organisms will also decline because the ice will recede with the great consequences for whalesand, fish and many other marine mammals 16. Krill is very important and is playing a vital in several food chains, so the decrease will adversely affect the food web in the marine ecosystem. The indigenous individuals that are living in the ice-covered North for many years will be influenced directly; they will not be having rational knowledge of when and where to hunt and gather the food as plants and fist will become extinct with the dwindling ice of sea, melting of land ice and migrating animals and birds 17.
Additionally, the expectations of climate change rate for coming 100 years are exceptional in the history of humans. Throughout the geological time the temperature on the average has undergone variations by 5°C spread over the intervals of thousands and even millions of years. The scientists believe that the Earth’s temperature that has risen already by 0.6 degree centigrade since 1800 and is expected to raise more by 1.4-5.8 degree centigrade during the course of entire 21st century 18. The people in the modern and flourished town will be not remain protected from the harms of global warming. The frozen layer of soil and water lying underneath the surface of Earth will continue to melt and this will pave the way to terrible rain and damage the pipelines, buildings and other infrastructure.
However, the rest of the human life will also be affected by the elevated sea level. Moreover, the polar regions are the major drivers of the global patterns of weather and the changes created by global warming will forces the regions to intensify greenhouse effect in many different ways 19. An example of this fact is that the warming is drying tundra, which is decomposing and dying emitting extra methane and carbon dioxide, which are paving the way to global warming. The Polar Regions are driving the circulation of oceans. The salt is shed when the water of ocean freezes. The water that is beneath ice becomes heavier and saltier and falls to the bottom of the ocean, thus creating momentum that helps in driving the currents of the ocean. But when glaciers and ice of sea melt, the seawater’s upper layer become salty but not much salty and this decreases the availability of the salty water in order to sink to bottom and lessen the driving effect on the circulation of global ocean. However, it is expected that in the future it will stop the circulation of the ocean globally. This will have considerable impact on the climate of regional areas as it shut the Gulf Stream, which warms the northern part of Europe and will reduce supply of nutrients that is available to the marine life.
How we can stop it?
The scientists are of the view that there should be effective and preventive measures in order to control global warming. They have suggested that the usage of harmful products such as burning of the fossil fuel that increases the level of the greenhouse gases in atmosphere should be used. According to them the use of fossil fuel can be reduced by curtailing the consumption of energy, utilizing alternative and non-polluting sources of energy such as wind and solar power. In the United States, the fossil fuel is considered as responsible for 80% of the warming and pollution in the country. However, if this scenario remains unchecked then it can threaten to change the planet completely that is sustaining our culture and civilization.
The consumption can also be controlled in homes by using energy saving appliances and the compact bulbs of fluorescent light. The ecologists have suggested the idea of planting the trees as an appropriate method to control the warming at the global level. Plants help in a way that they take carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. However, they utilize carbon dioxide in order to build the required tissues and release the remaining to the soil in the process that is known is sequestration. The ecologists are also of the view that deforestation is contributing largely to the emission of carbon dioxide gas and ultimately to global warming, but plantation of new trees can help in offsetting this problem 20. Further, some scientists also argue that the garbage or waste is also contributing directly as well as indirectly to the global warming.
The decomposition of the waste in the landfills generates methane and various other greenhouse gases. They have suggested that the items should be reused instead of decomposing them as this will save energy and minimize the footprints of carbon. The recycling of glass, plastic paper and metal will lower the emission of the greenhouse gases and cab help in controlling global warming. Further, they have also suggested that the efforts should be made in order to conserve water. The scientists claim that cities utilize considerable amount of energy while distributing and purifying water that pave the way to the emission of greenhouse gases. Saving water however can help in reduction of energy utilized.
The scientists have put forward their opinion that there the harmful effects of floods can be controlled by the improvement in the land usage management. There are a lot of human activities that are not appropriate for the lower lands that are prone to flood. For example, people made their houses on the banks of river which is very dangerous and should be controlled. According to the ecological researchers the local communities should play their role for preventing this practice. They have recommended that the high technology such as satellite communication and imagery and the traditional solution such as water conservation, terracing of the steep slopes should be encouraged. In this regard new reservoir investment and similar other infrastructure can be helpful. They have further elaborated that the demand as well as supply can be managed though the improved rules and regulations, incentives, technologies and the most important by the education relating to the conservation of water. They have proposed that the the concerns relating to the change in climate should be incorporated in the integrated approach of the water resource management 21. Proper monitoring systems can assist in detecting the trends occurred due to change in the climate and also provide help in identifying the options in order to adapt to them. the scientists further put forward their suggestion that while doing conservational planning it should be keep in the mind that certain species, genotypes and the ecosystems cannot be conserved in a specific area due to change in conditions and therefore the spotlight should be on strengthening biodiversity resilience as a whole.
Furthermore, the research also indicates that natural methods of controlling pests, seed dispersal and pollination can however be replaced by the appropriate and effectual technologies and management by humans. Coordinated and regulated strategies for the use of land and supply of water can simultaneously control the needs of humans and the conversational objectives and goals. In the same way, integrated management of the fisheries in the coastal areas can decrease the pressure on the coastal fisheries. The efforts for enhancing sustainable rural and agricultural development can make the biodiversity significantly resilient 22.
In nut shell, global warming is a burning issue that is impacting and will impact the life on earth. The humans themselves are contributing a lot for aggravating this issue. With each passing day the temperature of earth is rising due to emission of harmful gases as a result of human activities. This has also put the marine life in danger and most of the important plants and animals are becoming extinct due to global warming generating as a result of human acts such as combustion of the fossil fuel. It is exerting bad impacts on the humans as well as on the marine ecosystem’s creatures. So, the ecologists and scientists have suggested decreasing the burning and utilization of fossil fuel, plantation of more and more trees, reduction of the waste and conservation of water that will surely play their role for controlling the problem of global warming. The need of the hour according to the scientists is framing of appropriate management strategies and policies that play their role in controlling this problem. The harmful impacts can be lessened through a wide range of institutional, technological, behavioral and social adaptations.
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