Global warming is the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature due to the massive increase in greenhouse gases . These gases mainly include carbon dioxide which is daily released to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases make the earth fit for human survival. However, the rate at which global warming is happening may change this fact. Research shows that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as compared to the last century. The United State alone emits approximately 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year . The sea levels rose by roughly 7 inches in the last century. This puts many states at risk of existing in the near future. Global warming is an evident risk facing humankind, and if drastic measures are not put in place the poor are likely to suffer the most.
Statement of the problem
This paper focuses on analyzing the problems of global warming and provides evidence of its existence. It also takes an in depth look at the adverse effects it will have on the human society, natural environment and the world economy. Included are the drastic changes in health, agriculture, wildlife, coastal regions, water resources and forests. Every aspect is analyzed from the estimates provided by scientists. An analysis of the potential threats likely to be posed by the climate is also deduced.
Effects on weather and climate
Climatic change is a major effect of global warming. It can be defined as the significant change in weather distribution patterns observed over decades to several million years period . The changes in climatic conditions are as a result of changes in the oceanic processes, changes in solar radiation, plate tectonic and volcanic radiation and human activities that alter the natural world. Among these factors, human activities are the main drives to climatic changes. To analyze climatic changes accurately, samples from ice cores, isotopes and sediments are analyzed to provide evidence of change in the climate. Further analysis is done on the temperature profiles of boreholes, flora and fauna as well as sea level records. Glacial shrinking has been used as a major evidence of climatic changes. Studies done since the 1970s have been accumulated to come up with a conclusion of changes in climatic conditions. During the initial analysis, information was gathered using aerial photographs, but in recent years satellites have been used. The statics gathered from the various studies indicate there has been a significant drop in the glacial coverage with only 44000 km2 of ice coverage remaining. From the inventories, the study indicates that the ice has been drastically dropping from the 1980s to present. In the period 2002-2006, there was a loss in Greenland of approximately 250 km3 .
Effects of climatic change
Another factor evidencing climatic change is the loss of ice in the Arctic Sea. Historically, the ice in this sea melts and reforms each year. However, this has not been the case with the present years. It is estimated that the sea is losing its ice at the rate of approximately 12% per decade as compared to early years. The result is a rise in sea level with vast areas being depleted of ice. This is double what was observed in the last decade. This trend gained pace in the 1970s with the warmest years in history being observed since then. The increase in temperature has changed viable agriculture land to deserts. Climatic change is further evidenced by hurricanes. Unpredictable hot times have been observed that have been challenging even for scientists to forecast the weather. The effects of this are evidenced by massive floods that are unpredictable forcing the government to evacuate some cities in an attempt to save lives.
Measures to control global warming
The earth is at the mercy of mankind, and unless measures are put in place and enacted, global warming will continue to be a catastrophe that haunts the human race. Leadership should be provided on the following ways: laws and programs should be put in place that reduces global warming especially to vulnerable communities. The vulnerable communities should also be provided with financial support to enable them cope with the effects of global warming such as rise in sea level, storms and floods. Systems that warn against disaster before it strikes should be put in place. Also, a lot of effort should be put in place for effective weather forecasting and learning the measures to take to curb the situation. Communities should also be strengthened by the provision of resources to deal with disaster strikes.
How global warming has changed over time
The graph of the earth’s average global temperature for the past two millenniums is illustrated as a straight line. However, this changed during the industrial revolution. The above diagram illustrates changes in the temperature for the past 11300 years. The 1900 to 1910 decade was cooler by 95% as compared to other decades . This is according to the marine fossil data. However, this is contrary to what was observed in the last decade. The 2000 to 2010 was one of the warmest decades in history. The movement of the graph has shifted from the coldest end to the extreme warmest end in a period of 100 years . This is from the analysis done by Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University.
It is evident that the earth is depicting many signs of climatic change. An increase in temperature approximates to 1.40c for the past 100 years. This is according to the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. As a result, the rate of warming is increasing. A study of the coral reefs (which are very sensitive to changes in water temperature), showed worst bleaching in the last decade with some areas experiencing up to 70%. Changes in the world can be further attributed to extreme weather changes and occurrence of certain events such as world fire, tropical storms and heat waves.
Summary and conclusion
Global warming is a worldwide catastrophe that every human has a responsibility to address. The purpose of this paper was to focus on what global warming is, it history and effects to the human race. Alternative measures should be put in place to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This may include using alternative ways to complement the use of fossil fuels. When this is done, the environment will provide conducive living conditions for humans and increase life expectancy. Diseases such as cancer will be regulated, and this will effectively solve the world’s current problems. The world’s economy will also be stabilized since more land will be productivity as opposed to the current land loss as a result of global warming.