Global warming is the trend with which temperatures across the globe are increasing beyond the range of normal fluctuations. The effects of global climate change are real and will result in serious consequences for the generations to come if nothing is done to solve this problem. The problem of global warming has mainly been caused by the emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere. These greenhouse gases that are being emitted into the Earth's atmosphere and result in global warming include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Some of the serious effects of the global warming problem include hotter and dry summers, increased flooding as well as lessened snowfall and soil moisture. This problem also results in serious consequences on the agricultural and tourism industries of many countries across the globe. Therefore, there is a need for rapid changes and actions that will help in the reduction of greenhouse gases that are being emitted into the atmosphere. Global warming continues to have serious effects on the lives of people; using things that don't emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is a long-term solution to this problem.
Explanation of the Problem:
As mentioned earlier, global warming has been as a result of the emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere. This emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere is because of the atmosphere's naturally occurring substances. However, human beings have increased the level of these greenhouse gases by pouring large amounts of these substances into the atmosphere following the Industrial Revolution (Strickland & Grabianowski par, 1). Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, human beings have continued to pour huge amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a colorless gas that is produced by the combustion of organic matter and constitutes about 0.04% of the Earth's atmosphere. Most of this percentage of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere was as a result of the pre-historic volcanic activity. The general level of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere has been increased by human activities that pump large amounts. Given that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation, the increased concentrations of this gas in the atmosphere is viewed as the primary factor in global warming. The increased concentration of this gas in the Earth's atmosphere basically results in more energy absorption and a general increase in temperatures across the globe. In fact, if the level of this gas in the Earth's atmosphere doubles, temperatures are likely to increase by 5°C (Venkataramani par, 3).
In addition to being the main component of natural gas, methane is also a combustible gas that occurs naturally as a result of the decomposition of organic matter. While this gas is usually encountered in swamp gas form, there are various man-made processes that produce methane. These man-made processes include extracting methane from coal, from decomposition of garbage, from herds of livestock and bacteria in rice paddies. Even though methane is not as much as carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, it absorbs and emits twenty times more heat as compared to carbon dioxide. The other significant greenhouse gas is nitrous oxide which is also a by-product of combustion. This gas is usually released in great quantities into the Earth's atmosphere through the use of huge amounts of nitrogen fertilizer on crops. While human activities don't release nitrous oxide as much as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide absorbs great energy than carbon dioxide, an approximate of 270 times.
The Need for Solution:
According to reports, the level of carbon emissions across the globe has continued to increase annually resulting in an increase in the average surface temperature of the Earth. For example, carbon emission increased from 1 billion tons in 1900 to around 7 billion tons in 1995. Additionally, the average surface temperature of the Earth increased from 14.5°C in 1860 to about 15.3°C in 1980. Moreover, the amount of carbon dioxide in the pre-industrial period was estimated to be around 280 parts per million and had increased to approximately 379 parts per million by the year 2005. Attempts to limit the emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere have also focused on methane and nitrous oxide because of the effects of these gases on the atmosphere. While the level of these gases in the Earth's atmosphere is not as much as that of carbon dioxide, they absorb more heat energy than carbon dioxide. Given that there are several human activities that release both methane and nitrous oxide and their great effect on the atmosphere, there is need to curb their emissions.
The effect of global warming will continue to have a significant effect on the planet because of the fact that greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for a number of years which ranges from decades to centuries to thousand of years (Simmons par, 1). Efforts to reduce this emission should include taking prompt and intensive actions in to mitigate the emission of carbon dioxide to a level of 550 parts per million. This is because of the fact that an increase in carbon emissions leads to an increase in temperature which results in melting of polar ice caps, rise in sea level and possible significant changes in the world map. The melting of polar ice caps has a four-pronged danger which includes raising sea levels, affecting the global ecosystem, changing landscapes and further warming of the Earth's surface. The need for solution to the problem of global warming is also necessitated by the deadliest effects of this problem on the lives of people across the globe.
Furthermore, global warming has also resulted in quick precipitation, floods and prolonged droughts. Other side effects of the global warming problem include the spread of diseases, increased number of hurricanes, warmer waters and economic consequences. Global warming results in the spread of diseases since disease-carrying insects migrate to the north as these northern countries become warm. While there are several measures that have been recommended to help solve this problem, the use of things that don't produce greenhouse gases would be a long-term solution to the problem.
Review of Solutions:
Human beings have the ability of finding a solution to mitigate the side effects of global warming because it is mostly a human-created problem. There is a need for individuals, scientists and governments to work together in order to find ways of overcoming the serious threat of global climate change. This need for solutions to fight global warming is also because of the fact that poorest countries are the most vulnerable to the side effects of this problem (Riebeek par, 4). These vulnerable countries are somehow unable to pay for medical and social services that are needed to adapt to global climate change.
As global warming has continued to have negative effects on the lives of people across the globe, there are several solutions that have been proposed to help mitigate these negative impacts. Some of the proposed solutions to this problem include the need for every individual to be informed about the amount of carbon dioxide they emit into the atmosphere. After being informed of the personal carbon footprint, a person should take necessary steps in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide they emit into the earth's atmosphere. Additional solutions to the global warming problem include the planting of trees and eating of more vegetarian foods (Lehman par, 6).
The Best Possible Solution:
The best possible solution or actual action plan to solve the problem of global warming involves an individual, corporations and governments. For individuals, using energy-efficient appliances is one of the easiest ways of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These energy-efficient appliances include compact fluorescent light bulbs and hybrid cars that help in reducing global warming. Additionally, an individual should also be involved in eco-friendly habits like turning off lights, insulating homes, planting trees and driving less.
For corporations, the best possible solution to lessen the emission of greenhouse gases should be the use of existing technologies that are eco-friendly in their manufacturing processes. Both small and large corporations should apply the existing technologies that help in the reduction of air pollution and promote the development of cleaner air. These technologies should be adopted in the manufacturing processes of these corporations in order to reduce the effect of global warming. Additionally, corporations should also comply with the existing laws that require them to cut global warming pollution like the use of renewable and clean energy.
For governments, the enactment of strict environmental laws will be an important step in reducing global warming and its effects. These strict laws should ensure that corporations as well as individuals do not involve themselves in activities that pollute the air and result in global warming. As governments enact these laws, they should also ensure that citizens and corporations, particularly large corporations comply with the rules. The enactment of tougher laws to cut global warming pollution should also come with stricter penalties for those who will violate them.