One of the hot topics we have been discussing since the 19th century is global warming and climate change. People often take these two as one. But the bitter truth is way bigger than that. Global warming is the long-term increase in the average temperature of our planet Earth, causing sudden, unexpected, and long-term changes in the climate. It is, therefore, a vast occurrence that has many side effects on the Earth. Often, these two phrases are used interchangeably because they are closely related but entirely different topics.
It was in the late 19th century that people suspected global warming with suspicious effects on the climate. Since then, there have been advancements in climate change in every part of the world, on different scales. But our planet has been warming way before this time, yet the changes in the climate were noticeable in the early 1930s. Climate change is more significant in the Polar Regions due to glaciers and sea ice. Climate changes embrace not only weather conditions but also huge changes in the format of nature, shifting animal kingdom, and birthing diseases. Don’t think the effects of this terror are in an unseen future. It is already happening. The planet Earth is boiling, and the heat is now affecting humans, animals, and trees.
How did global warming come to being?
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The Earth is the only planet that acts as a greenhouse that absorbs energy from the sun. It is because of this reason why the planet Earth has become home to many lives. Sun radiation or solar radiation strikes the earth, warming the atmosphere around the planet. But earth used to be able to handle the radiation and heat waves from the sun because the earth was a greenhouse that was equipped enough to emit heat out of the atmosphere. But human intervention enhanced the amount of heat that circulates around the atmosphere, causing less heat to be ejected out of the earth. Humans have enhanced climate change by releasing heat-trapping gases into the air, creating a barrier in the atmosphere to emit heat. There is heat coming from the earth and the heat coming from the sun, thus making global warming a terror to the sustenance of the planet.
Adding heat energy to the earth causes more water from the seas to evaporate and makes glaciers melt. Melted glaciers and sea ice make the seal level rise, causing tsunamis and rapid changes in the climate. Evaporating water from the earth causes storms and hurricanes in some parts of the world. Global warming existed without causing any climate change before the 19th century. Then the climate started slowing changing without much intervention from humans. The current state of global warming is causing substantial climate changes primarily because of human activity. But does it happen solely because of human activity? Most scientists disagree because there is natural warming that takes place too. Humans just enhance warming more than what Earth can tolerate.
Visual impacts of climate change due to global warming
The most enthralling and compelling pieces of evidence of climate change are based on Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, sea level, melting of ice, and distribution of species. There is a close correlation between the Carbon dioxide level and temperature, which goes back hundreds of years. This correlation has shown a relative increase in the increase of temperate after the evidence of climate change. The global climate is connected. Hence, heating the atmosphere affects the entire earth in various forms. The consequences appear in the sea level, fish species, and incoherent weather.
Melting glaciers and sea ice
The difference between glaciers and sea ice is, glaciers form on the land and sea ice forms on the ocean. When glacial ice melts and falls on the ocean, it creates an ice burg. Earth’s ice is melting worldwide, starting from the north and south poles. Montana Glacier’s Park has decreased to less than 30 glaciers now, from more than 150 glaciers since 1910. All sorts of glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, and mountain ice are melting due to the hike in temperature. A lot of glaciers in the Arctic are several hundred and thousands of years old. Human activities are at the bottom of this situation.
It is undeniably evident that more than 95% of the Arctic’s oldest ice is already melted. With the present melting pace of ice, we will lose more than a third of the entire planet’s ice before the next century. Even if we now control the emission of heat-retaining gases to the air, the effect of the past several years is already on the move.
Rising sea levels
Without a saying, we all have seen adverse effects of the increased sea levels. This is caused by the melting of glacial and sea ice since the early 1900s. All the melted ice flows into the ocean, thus causing changes in the ocean currents and sea levels. These natural activities are the consequences of enhanced heat energy released by humans. One of the significant disastrous effects of risen sea levels is tsunamis. Small islands, human lives, and animal kingdom are endangered with this condition. There have been many tsunamis recorded in the past, which happened due to absurd ocean currents and imbalance in the sea level. The root of all lies in human activities that involve the emission of harmful gases that increases heat in the earth’s atmosphere.
Floods are caused by accumulated water that overflows in the inland waters such as rivers and streams. Small islands and places close to flowing waters are most likely to get affected. Global warming has caused sudden changes in the climate, causing extreme weather conditions in parts of the world unusually. Their activities cause the inland waters to overflow with heavy rains when it is not supposed to rain. Flooding is one of the most happening side effects of global warming and one of the most deadly. It is becoming more frequent by each passing year due to the increase in the earth’s heat.
Some wonder if there is even a link between droughts and climate change. There is a direct correlation between the two aspects. While droughts can occur due to natural reasons, worsened and drier droughts are caused due to global warming. The hotter the atmosphere, the more air it absorbs. Emission of harmful heat-trapping gasses are increasing day by day, and various parts of the world are affected by it in many ways. Where temperature usually is high (such as Africa, some parts of the Middle East, and the USA), this affects severely. When more water evaporates into the air, it dries the lakes and rivers, causing droughts. Out of all the effects of climate change, this is what people fear the most; losing drinkable water.
Storms and hurricanes
Storms are one of the scariest natural side effects of global warming. When the temperature on the sea surface rises, storms occur due to the increase in wind speed. When it hits the land, it turns into a hurricane, causing a lot of damage to human lives and trees. It is predicted that there will be humungous hurricanes and storms in the next decade due to ever-increasing heat that emits from the ground. Since tornados, hurricanes, and storms are formed by increased wind speed, it is very difficult; almost impossible to control.
The heated atmosphere massively affects plant life. When droughts last longer, they take off all the moisture in plant life, causing plants to die. This is shifting plantation and vegetation around the world. Farmers in drier parts of the world find it challenging to grow crops that require a lot of water. Hundreds of plant species have disappeared already all over the world. This, in turn, causes a reduction in food security. Less plantation and vegetation means less food. It is predicted by scientists that the productivity of rice, which is the staple food of more than a third of the world is rapidly reducing. Every 1 degree of increase in temperature is a decrease of 10% in global rice production. Natural fertilizers have been almost invisible in farmers because of the shifting habitats of animals.
Heat itself can cause a lot of skin diseases such as skin cancers, skin allergies, and skin rashes. There has been a massive hike in skin diseases caused by heat in the past 30 years. Due to increased temperature in the atmosphere, a lot of pests and viruses are released into the air, causing various parts of the world to be affected. Most of these can be deadly and life-threatening. A lot of African countries are affected by these because of various climate changes such as droughts, shifted vegetation, and loss of water.
All in all, every effect of climate change is interlinked in some way. Without one, the other cannot occur. Nature is always inter-connected in every aspect. When it is being heated and destroyed, the aftereffects are also connected to one another. Global warming solely does not happen because of humans. But if humans were not involved in heating the earth’s surface, the rate of warming wouldn’t have been this crucial. It will also not have such disastrous effects on the earth. Humans are suffering because of the activities done by them. The earth is reacting adversely because it has passed its limit of heat tolerance.
Climate change and human lives
Human intervention is the root cause of the enhanced warming of the earth. Whether we would like to accept it or not, we are now facing the horrifying consequences of our behavior. The earth is a greenhouse that is naturally capable of resisting solar radiation while helping its lives enjoy a sufficient amount of heat energy. Earth is a planet that accommodates all kinds and forms of life due to its natural way. Changing it artificially has caused a lot of trouble for humans. Global warming is just a part of human activities that take place today. Apart from that, the earth is responding to many other harmful interventions of man.
Many developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and so on, have taken the initiative to curb emitting heat into the air. But it does not suffice to cover the damage we have already done to the earth. As of now, the earth’s core heat is increasing every year because the atmospheric temperature is not leaving the earth. There is heat energy coming in from the sun and greenhouse gasses releasing from the earth, thus making the entire atmosphere a heated place to live in. Forgetting all the scientific and technical areas, if one speaks in layman’s language, it is quite challenging to get through a sunny day now without sunscreen, an umbrella, and plenty of water.
More consequences of climate change
The heat in the air is becoming unbearable to humans as well as other creatures. It also affects plant life drastically, causing them to dry and die. This is making people lack food, especially in places like Africa. Global Warming has its effects on every part of the world in different forms. Polar Regions are affected by the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Ancient ice sheets such as Greenland Ice Sheet, Antarctic Ice Sheet, and Pine Island Glacier are some of the ancient glaciers and ice sheets that are now melting and disappearing.
Greenland and the Arctic regions in total have lost more than 80% of their old glacial ice, causing a massive rise in the sea level. An increase in sea level has caused natural disasters and flooding. Heated sea surfaces have caused storms and hurricanes. All these are interconnected, causing the human to suffer. The bottom line of these incidents is the activities generated by man, trying to make the world a manufactured home adverse to its natural format. The earth cannot take the warming anymore as there are no resources to support the heat and reverse it back. This is one of the reasons countries have now taken the initiative to prevent global warming.
Earth’s future at stake: Predictions of climate change
A lot of scientific experiments are now being conducted to predict what will happen in the future because of global warming. It is recorded that even if we control our Carbon dioxide and heat-trapping gas release, we will not be able to stop the effects of global warming entirely. The initiatives to control global warming was done after it surpassed the controllable level. Even though most developed countries are taking the initiative to prevent climate change and global warming, most parts of the world are still conducting activities that increase the heat in the atmosphere.
A lot of countries do not have enough finances to conduct researches and studies to find out what will happen to them because of climate change. Therefore, the world as a whole is still at risk of facing some horrendous consequences of global warming. One of the main things that have affected the world is drought and from there, lack of food. A lot of children are facing health issues because of a lack of food, and most African regions are having a short life expectancy. In terms of island lives, they are severely affected by hiked sea levels and uncertain weather conditions.
Extreme weather conditions and climate change
Climate change has caused the earth to have a shattered weather pattern. Unexpected extreme weather conditions are seen all over the world. In some parts, it is hotter than it usually is. Some parts of the world where wind speed is prominent, heavy rains and thunderstorms take place. These rains cause flooding, putting human lives in danger. Generally, hot parts of the world are facing drier and long-lasting droughts. It causes farmers to stop farming. Countries around the globe are primarily affected by this, not only in terms of weather conditions but also in the economy. The country’s economy goes down because they do not produce sufficient crops and plants to survive. Importing food from other states is causing a lot of countries to suffer financially.
Can we fight climate change? What is the solution?
The world has come up with a few solutions to this cause. One of the first steps to take is to put a stop to cutting trees down. That is the biggest reason for the rotation of heatwaves around the earth. We need to find technical solutions that do not involve cutting trees down. Using solar energy for electricity is another huge step to utilize the increased heat energy in the atmosphere. There are airports, malls, and cities powered entirely by solar energy. That is one of the most effective steps taken by the world. But is it helpful? Not entirely.
The damage that global warming has caused is so massive that it cannot be overrun by reversing human activities anymore. Were all the development and technical advancement worth it? After ‘developing’ the natural habitat of humans, the effects are reacting to threaten human life. If the Earth weren’t this altered, we would still have a lot more glaciers and fewer disasters.