Global warming and climate change are the most dangerous issues our world is up against. The scientific community has been concerned about the global effects of these issues for years now. Unfortunately, there isnt a huge, worldwide effort to fight global warming. Some nations have been taking small steps to reduce emissions, and many consumers are now opting for green energy solutions at home, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
Causes of Global Warming and Climate Changes
While the causes are often debated, there are a few obvious ones of which we need to take note. Some are natural causes, such as a release of methane gas from wetlands and tundra. Another natural cause is that the earth goes through a climate change cycle which lasts around 40,000 years. However, these natural causes by themselves arent enough to cause the dangerous effects that scientists are seeing today.
Man-made causes are what we should worry about the most. These include pollution, fossil fuels and population. There are many types of pollution. For one thing, mining for coal and digging for oil allows too much methane to escape. Also, burning fossil fuels leads to CO2, a green house gas that can be harmful when released in excess. The ocean has absorbed a considerable amount of carbon dioxide over the years, but there are now concerns that it wont be able to for much longer. As for population, more people equal more needs, such as food and transportation. Thus, we will burn more fossil fuels and dig for more oil.
Effects of Global Warming and Climate Changes
Methane and CO2 can stay in the atmosphere for decades. The only thing we can do is cut down on pollution right now and hope that its not too late. The consequences of global warming include spread of disease, more hurricanes, intense droughts, heat waves, economic consequences, and ice caps melting. Since those effects have the potential to be catastrophic, every country in the world could suffer in some way as a result. Each of these alone can cause billions of dollars in damage. Imagine the economic consequences of all of them occurring at the exact same moment in time!
The biggest concern that many experts have is melting ice caps which would result in raised sea levels, changed landscape, unstable currents, and the deaths of many animals. Moreover, with the polar ice caps gone, there will be less on earth to reflect sunlight. Instead, sunlight is going to be absorbed, thereby warming the Earth even more. The sea levels rise as the ice caps melt, and there are millions of cubic miles of water in glaciers and ice caps. Flooding would be immense with many coastal areas totally underwater making habitation impossible.
It is obvious that global warming is on the rise, and all we can do is try to minimize the effects. However, even a small amount of prevention can go a long way. It also isnt necessary to depend on our world leaders for everything. Many people are switching to alternative power sources such as solar power, wind energy, and hydroelectric power. Taking small steps toward a greener earth will hopefully send a message to world leaders and big industries.