Global Warming Is Due to Human Actions  Essay

  • Length: 9 pages
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  • Subject: Weather
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #91064799

Excerpt from Essay :

Global warming is due to human actions.

Since the Industrial Revolution, there is an increase in the greenhouse gases all over the world. This, consequently, has turned out to be the cause of a slow but sure increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere. This phenomenon has been given the name of Global Warming ("Global Warming," 2009).

The greenhouse effect is a natural process due to which the temperature of the atmosphere in close proximity to the earth's surface is warmed. The sun gives off noticeable, short-wave light to the earth that transit through a blanket of greenhouse gases without hindrance. These gases are composed chiefly of "water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone" ("Global Warming," 2009). Infrared radiation reflects off the surface of the Earth toward space. However, it is difficult for it to pass through the thermal blanket. Therefore, some of this infrared radiation is "trapped and reflected downward, keeping the planet at an average temperature suitable to life, about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)" ("Global Warming," 2009).

Statement 1: Human Actions Cause Global Warming.

The human actions like industrial development and growth, agriculture, and transportation are blamed for the production of additional masses of the natural greenhouse gases. Moreover, the chlorofluorocarbons and other gases are also said to be supplementing the thermal blanket. It is widely acknowledged that the increased quantities of greenhouse gases is the sole reason of more trapped heat increased global temperatures. These outcomes have made a beneficial life, a potentially troublesome, upsetting and destructive one ("Global Warming," 2009).

How does the Human Society Impact Environment?

It is a modern trend that the society is now able to cause considerable interruption and disturbance in the environment. This ability of disrupting the atmosphere is powerfully influenced by the latest developments in demography and technology. The people in primitive times were a very small group and carried out their daily functions at low energy levels with the availability of basic tools only. Therefore, they had very little with which they could had a profound effect on their environment (D.Kemp, 1994, p. 4). The only available mechanism to those people was the human muscle that guaranteed a limited impact of the human beings on the environment. However, the development of technology with the passage of time allowed the Homo sapiens to use energy in a more efficient way and thus, challenge the dominance of environment. The human ability to give attention to and exploit the ever-increasing amounts of energy made it possible for the human population to alter the environment in a unique fashion. Thus, many latest environmental and atmospheric problems are caused by this never-ending demand for energy (Kemp, 1994, p. 5).

The acceleration of human intervention in the environment increased as hunting was replaced by agriculture, wind and falling water were used for obtaining energy and usage of coal was started as the first of the fossil fuels. Till the mid of the 18th century, the human activities impacted the environment to a local or regional level. However, with the increase in population and major technological development, a global impact became possible. Since that time, there has been a massive increase in the energy consumption and the total world population five times greater than it was in the 18th century. The technological progressions and expansion promised the conquest of problems such as famine and disease and improved life quality. Though, this promise was fulfilled a little but at the same time this technological advancement created new problems (Kemp, 1994, p. 5).

The Environment's Response to Human Interference

The nature of the environment, along with the nature of the society, is also responsible for the impact of society on the environment. There are, if truth be told, different kinds of environments and each responds differently to human interference due to variance in their scale and complexity. The earth/atmosphere system works together for the benefit of all like every other system does. Regrettably, human interference has been a cause of progressive disruption in this advantageous and valuable relationship. Previously, the impact was at a lower level. However, the incorporated nature of the system along with the mounting interference has caused the impact to pull out of individual environments and has resulted in the encompassing of the entire system (Kemp, 1994, p. 6).

As far as the availability of materials is concerned, the earth/atmosphere can be defined as a closed system as there is no outside source (beyond its boundaries) that provides any matter to the earth. This nature of being a closed system is of significant importance as it clearly indicates that there is a fixed amount of matter in the system. The resources available are finite in nature and couldn't be replaced once used. On the other hand, elements like water, carbon, sulphur etc. can be used twice or more because the natural recycling processes clean, restore or reconstitute them efficiently. Thus, the introduction of the extra carbon dioxide into the system by human activities makes the carbon cycle unable to cope with it. This inability gives birth to the Global Warming as a consequence (Kemp, 1994, p. 6).The natural processes cause drought, acid precipitation and the greenhouse effect. They were the earth/atmosphere system's part even before the existence of human beings. However, currently they have been resulted as the human intervention has increased (Kemp, 1994, p. 10).

The natural environment possesses a substantial capability for eradicating itself of pollutants. There is a rise in the environmental problems only when "the input of contaminants exceeds the ability of the environment to deal with them" (Kemp, 1994, p. 11). The human activities generate remarkable quantities of waste that eventually are deposited in the environment. This is the reason why global warming is considered as a high profile issue in the present times. The hot topic of global warming is associated with the sulphurous urban smogs of 2-3 decades ago when the society was continuously reliant on fossil fuels so that it could meet its unquenchable demand for energy (Kemp, 1994, p. 11).

It is crystal clear that all human activities produce waste products in a more or less manner. Some of these waste products are (deliberately or unknowingly) introduced into the atmosphere by the humans. When population was less and technology was not on its peak, such a situation presented no big problem. This was because the there are mechanisms in the atmosphere that are designed for keeping such emanations in check. It is one of the peculiar features of the atmosphere that "for every process adding material to the atmosphere, there is another which works to remove or reduce the excess, either by neutralizing it or by returning it to the earth's surface" (Kemp, 1994, p. 11-12). However, today's world population is so large and the technological advancements are so intense that the wasted materials are deposited in colossal amounts in the earth's atmosphere. The natural mechanisms have, thus, failed in checking the emissions. The activities conducted by humans now continuously provide pollutants in such great quantities that the cleansing processes in the atmosphere have been beleaguered. Though, all-encompassing attempts have been made to lessen the emission levels but it is impossible that a full recovery could be done (Kemp, 1994, p. 12).

It is obvious that the present problem of global warming has been unnoticed for some time. The activities which have caused global warming and related problems were started with the best of intentions so that they could improve life's quality. Sadly, those activities and subsequent successes have instead made the society suffer (Kemp, 1994, p. 13).

The Present Problems and Future Solutions

Ozone depletion and global warming bring forth the concern of highest levels. They have the benefit of being the most highlighted issues as compared to the other environmental concerns as presented in the media and by the scientific community. Major research endeavors have put their focus on these issues which have cost millions of dollars. Researchers have the sole purpose of finding out and examining the real causes and effects of the ozone depletion and global warming in order to identify the solutions. Though there has been some success in the research efforts, it has done little to authenticate the convolution of the earth/atmosphere system (Kemp, 1994, p. 176).

Global Warming Effects

The twentieth century has experienced a rise of 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in the atmospheric temperature. In addition to this, the sea level has also risen to several inches. There are a number of predictable results of global warming that are said to be of a long-term nature including "melting of polar ice, with a resulting rise in sea level and coastal flooding; disruption of drinking water supplies dependent on snow melts; profound changes in agriculture due to climate change; extinction of species as ecological niches disappear; more frequent tropical storms; and an increased incidence of tropical diseases" ("Global Warming," 2009).

To cut a long story short, the human activities that are causing global warming…

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