Global Warming: Cause And Mitigation

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Global Warming: Cause and Mitigation

Global Warming: Cause and Mitigation


Global warming is basically the rise in temperature (an average) of the atmosphere as well as the oceans, of the earth. In the last century, approximately a 0.8 degrees centigrade rise the average surface temperature of the earth was recorded, with the 66% percent of this increase occurring during the last thirty years. Scientist are about 90 percent sure that the majority of the contribution towards global warming comes from the activities performed by human (for instance, burning of fossil fuel and deforestation), which add to the concentration of greenhouse gases. Scientists predict the temperatures to rise up to as much as 6.4 degrees Centigrade in the 21st Century (Bratu, 2012). This will result in rising sea levels, changes to precipitation pattern, and increasing number of subtropical deserts. In the Arctic region, global warming is expected to be the highest and will result in a faster melting of glacier, and decrease of sea ice as well as permafrost. Further effects of global warming include intense heat waves, heavy rainfall, alterations in agricultural yields, droughts and extinction of certain species as a result of alteration in temperatures (Basha, 2010; Bratu, 2012).


Natural versus Anthropogenic Climate Change

Natural Climate Change

Natural climate change refers to the changes in climate that occur due to natural processes which have no human involvement in them. These natural processes include variations in the radiation levels in the solar energy received by the earth, continental drifts, variations in the orbit of the earth, and so forth. They affect the physical components of the climate system, i.e., the earth's atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and lithosphere (NASA, 2011).

Anthropogenic Climate Changes

This type of climate change refers to the production and concentration of greenhouse gases that are a direct result of activities performed by humans. Scientists attribute the increase in 'meltwater' to human activities which add to the greenhouse gases. The IPCC report (2007) clearly evidences the rise in greenhouse gases through industrial activities and not from natural processes. The most well known and commonly produced gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. The level of these gases is their peak compared to the last 650,000 years as indicated in the figure below.

Figure: Variations of deuterium in Antarctic ice, a substitute for local temperature, in addition to the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O) in air trapped within the ice cores and from recent atmospheric measurements. Data coverage is of 650,000 years.

Global Warming in Effect

This is no hidden fact that global warming is, in actuality taking place. There are several facts that affirm this situation, spring arriving earlier, summers are growing hotter each coming year, most of the regions that were once green have gone dry and certain species of animals (especially the migratory birds) are migrating to areas located at the poles and plants as well as animals are responding to earlier springs (i.e. breeding early), loss of arctic sea-ice is increasing ...
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