What is Global Warming?
The rise in the average temperature of the earth due to the release of numerous greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide) caused nature or by humans is called Global Warming. These gases are capable of absorbing and trapping the sun’s heat causing a rise in the earth’s temperature. As these greenhouse gases increase in the atmosphere, the temperature of the earth will keep on increasing causing global warming.
What are the Effects of Global Warming?
Due to global warming, the glaciers are melting, and sea level is rising. If this continues, then many lands will get submerged under the sea posing threat to the people living there. A good deal of flora and fauna may get extinct due to global warming and many parts of the world may face heat waves due to excessive heating of the earth.
Man-Made Causes of Global Warming:
Deforestation means cutting off trees for development activity. With the increasing population, man needs more space to live hence deforestation takes place. Other reasons for deforestation are for building factories, making furniture or for paper production
Plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, but deforestation leads to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is a greenhouse gas causing the greenhouse effect and in turn global warming.
Carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas contributes to global warming. Since the increase in population means an increase in the number of people emitting carbon dioxide adding to the greenhouse gases which causes global warming. Increased population also means more fuel consumption, more landfills, increased deforestation to build houses, etc. The list is never ending and the damage to the earth’s atmosphere is rising.
When we throw garbage out of our house, it occupies a portion of land. Similarly, imagine the number of people throwing away garbage and the big chunk of areas this garbage occupies, it is known as landfills. To get rid of the garbage, it is burnt most of the time releasing several toxic gases including greenhouse gases such as methane in the atmosphere which in turn adds on to global warming.
Fossil fuels are used to produce energy which is consumed by humans. Oil is used by humans to drive their cars. When the fossil fuels are burnt, carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere which adds on to the greenhouse gases increasing global warming.
The only solution is to use renewable sources of energy such as wind, tidal, solar, hydro or biomass which are cleaner fuels. Biomass such as wood pellets emit carbon dioxide when burnt, but they are considered carbon dioxide neutral because the amount of carbon dioxide generated while burning it is negated by the carbon dioxide the plants absorbed during their life cycle. Biomass is produced out of bio-animals and bio-plants hence most of the garbage material can be used to produce biomass which helps in reducing landfills as well.
Overuse of Fertilizer:
Fertilizers can produce the most dangerous greenhouse gas out of the three, nitrous oxide which is a leading cause of global warming. This gas is far worse than carbon dioxide for the atmosphere.
Mining for oil and coal causes the increase in the release of methane from the mines which is a greenhouse gas trapping the sun’s heat by creating a thick layer over the atmosphere.
Increased Meat Consumption:
Animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The food chain was created in such a way that the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere balances out but due to our western diet which includes more of animal products, animal agriculture is being promoted and increased animals mean more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing global warming.
Global warming causes due to various natural and man-made factors. While we do not have much control over the natural causes but keeping a check on the man-made causes by making the sustainable switch towards renewable energy sources, changing dietary habits and limiting the consumption of non-renewable sources can create a huge difference in saving our planet from Global warming.