The increase in the average temperature of Earth is known as global warming. Global warming is one of the main problems that life on our planet is facing, even considered as the problem of the century. The energy that Earth gets from the Sun is fundamental to our lives. But according to science the same amount of energy that is absorbed should be emitted too, in order to preserve the natural equilibrium. But recently due to the enormous changes in our lives from industrial and technological revolutions many things have changed. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes, the temperature in the 21st century will increase from 0.30C- 4.80C, depending on the emission ratio of gases (www.ipcc.ch). However, the changes vary from one region to another, as well as the effects. A blanket of gases that surround the Earth is preventing these processes to happen in their natural way. We see that icebergs are melting and the green forests known as the lungs of the world are ‘dying’. All these phenomena have had imminent effects not just in people lives but in every other living creatures lives. Global warming, caused by people activity, has produced many changes in the planet climate.
There are many causes of global warming but the main reason is people activities. The problem with the Earth climate warming up, have started with the Industrial Revolutions when people started substituting job done with hands with different machines that worked by burning oil, coal and other burning materials. Since then these machines, of course more advanced, are widespread all overall the world and they produce each day a large amount of gases emitted to our planet’s atmosphere. The most common gases are: methane, carbon dioxide and, nitrous oxide. Everything related to global warming starts from people’s industrial activities.
Greenhouse effect, created by the emission of greenhouse gases (methane, water vapour, carbon dioxide and ozone) in the atmosphere is the main reason for global warming. The increased density of these gases in the atmosphere has created a blanket around our planet that is preventing infrared radiation from leaving Earth atmosphere, thus contributing in the increase of temperatures. Water vapour has the main contribution on greenhouse effect with 36-70%, then there comes in ascending order carbon dioxide, methane and ozone. According to a recent study the rates of carbon dioxide and methane have increased by 36% and 148% respectively from the middle 18th century (www.wikipedia.org). The burning of fossil fuels has produced the largest amounts of carbon dioxide. While other causes of the increased density of carbon dioxide are deforestation and volcanic eruptions, too. On the other hand, methane is mostly created from the decomposition of waste in landfills and use of pesticides in agriculture, especially in rice production. Methane is more active in atmosphere than carbon dioxide, too. While the use of fertilizers, the production of nitric acid and the burning of biomasses have contributed in the increase of nitrous oxide levels in atmosphere. It is estimated that China is the country that contributes the most in the greenhouse gases emissions.
Another cause of global warming is aerosols and soot. Aerosols are liquid and solid particles created by waste from human industrial activities and volcanic eruptions. They absorb sunlight and increases its reflection. There are two types of aerosols: stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols. Stratospheric aerosols have a larger lifetime than tropospheric aerosols because the later are under the influence of clouds and raining and do not live more than one week. Black carbon, which is on the basis of aerosols, contribute around 30 % to global warming. They also have even indirect effects on the atmosphere by affecting Earth’s radiation. They create clouds which contain smaller droplets of water than normal clouds which makes it easier for them to reflect more sunlight. While soot, on the other hand, can warm the surface especially in rural areas when it is deposited. The effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols and soot are more present in southern hemisphere and tropics.
In addition to the greenhouse effect, aerosols and soot, another cause of global warming are the variations of the Earth orbit. The Earth orbit changes once in a thousand years but still, it has some effects on Earth climate. During the last years it is noticed by satellites a cooling effect on the northern hemisphere, but still it was not large enough in order to be compared with the warming effects caused by the emission of greenhouse gases.
These were the main causes of global warming. On the other hand, global warming has had and will continue to have many fundamental effects on the climate changes that occur. Some of the effects include: increase of temperatures, the rise of sea levels, effects on ecological systems and extreme weather.
The most noticeable effect of the global warming the increase of temperatures. Evaporation of water and raining will increase,resulting on some places to face droughts and some other to face floods. Droughts most probably will destroy the agriculture. The food supply will shrink , affecting directly not just the human population but even animals.On the other hand floods destroy everything they face and their damages have longer-lasting effects than that of droughts.The water availability and supply could be affected. For example, on South America the water supplies in Andes for 50 million people are draining because of temperatures rising. The rise in temperatures has affected even the Great Barrier Reef. From the rise of temperatures even the ice in the poles of the world is melting.
Another effect of global warming is the rise of sea levels. This phenomenon is noticed especially in the low lands like the Netherlands. In the last two decades the sea levels have risen each year on average by 2.6-2.9 mm. According to IPCC, during this century it is estimated that the sea levels would rise by 52-89 cm if the climate of the Earth continues to warm with the actual pace. Furthermore, IPCC have concluded that for a rise with 20C the sea levels could rise by 1-4 m because of the water expansion from the melting of ice caps during. It is calculated that if only the Greenland melt it, would increase the sea levels by 4-7.5 m. While if the temperature rises beyond 20C, then even the ice caps of Antarctica will start to melt. All these calculations are predicted to happen during this millennium (Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions,Concentrations, and Impacts over the Decades to Millennia , 2011). The rise of sea levels will increase the chances for floods especielly in lowlands,thus creating many problems and bringing destruction .
In addition to the rise of temperatures and the rise of sea levels , another concern related to global warming is the changes that have affected different ecosystems. According to WWF , with the climate changes many species are in danger of extinction.Arctic species are in great danger of extinction. The ocean species are in danger too, because the acidity in oceans is increasing because more carbon dioxide is dissolved in water. Some species will be obliged to change their habitats. It is expected that some of the nedangered species will move north to create a new life and adapt with their new lives but some other endangered species would not handle these changes, thus they will become extinct. Another concern for biologists is even the polar bear. It is already in danger of extincion. With ice melting and less fish to eat they are becoming skinnier every day and more.
Furthermore, extreme weather is another effect of the great climate change that we are expecting. A study conducted by Nature Climate Change confirmed that the increase of temperature since the Industrial Revolutions is the cause of 18% of everyday rain or snowfall.While 75% of the extreme hot weather conditions are caused by global warming. Now droughts and heat waves are more frequent. On the other hand even extreme wet conditions like storms and hurricanes are more present. They are appearing to be even stronger than before. Only recently hurricane Irma and Harvey destroyed the central part of America including: Florida and other touristic islands like Dominican Republic and Jamaica causing many casualties. The extreme weather conditions would bring even many illnesses like: malaria, Zika virus,etc.
To conclude with, global warming is the problem of the century. It is threatening our planet future. We cannot control nature but we can control our actions that have affected the deterioration of nature. Every cause of the global warming was related directly or indirectly with human activities after the Industrial revolutions. Now for more than 3 centuries nature is suffering and we are suffering the consequences of our actions,too. The effects of global warming have had and will continue to have fundamental effects not just in human lives but in each creature’s lives, too. What was done in the past is irreversible, but we can change the future. We can create a better future for our planet by acting as soon as possible. Some urgent decisions that need to be taken include the reduction of carbon dioxide in atmosphere, as well as other greenhouse gases. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed that the costs and damage of global warming are likely to be weighty and to rise over time. So the best thing to be done is to act as soon as possible to protect the environment and to save the future of