According to Maslin (20), global warming can be defined as the typical increase in the level of temperatures on the Earth surface near the air surface as well as the oceans which is believed to have been in existence since the mid-twentieth century. Studies have proved that global warming is caused by many factors which are related to the emissions of gases (Maslin 23).
Causes of global warming
To begin with the first cause of global warming is the emissions of gases from Greenhouse. According to the scientific studies of Biggin (25), the most popular gas produced from the greenhouse is carbon dioxide which is produced from the power plants. This gas is produced as a result of burning fossil fuels which are produced by power plants purposely for electricity generations. It is believed that coal accounts for about 93% of these emissions from the electric industry. Emissions produced from these gases result in greenhouse effect which eventually causes global warming (Biggin, 28).
The second cause is the emissions of carbon dioxide from the cars which are caused by the burning of gasoline in the internal combustion engines of various cars as well as other light trucks (Revkin, 40). According to Revkin emissions of such gases result in high global warming especially emissions from those cars with poor gas mileage. Studies by Stephen (32), shows that every utility sports vehicle with an average liter of 5.9 engines gets approximately 12 miles and in turn emits estimated 800 gallons of carbon dioxide over a distance of 500 city miles which implies that 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted in the air which causes a high rate of global warming due to the high intensity of emissions from such cars especially if they are used in rocky and desserts places (Stephen, 35). Furthermore emissions of carbon dioxide from Airplanes is also major cause of global warming since the carbon dioxide emissions from the Airplanes results in climatic change from which its aviation contributes to about 3.5 percent cause to global warming while emissions of carbon dioxide from buildings accounts for about 12 percent which also contributes to the global warming (Crutzen, 40).
Another important gas of the greenhouse which causes global warming is methane which is believed to be twenty times more efficient in trapping heat from the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Methane is believed to be a gas that comes from the rice paddies in which bacteria accumulate causing anaerobic conditions in the organic matter. This causes decomposition of the soil a condition which releases methane to the atmosphere through the rice plants contributing to global warming effect (Weart, 52).
Increase in the water vapor in the atmosphere is also a major cause of global warming. Water vapor is the most dominant gas of greenhouse that comes as a result of the increase in the levels of carbon dioxide and methane gases in the atmosphere as well as other greenhouse gases. Normally when heat on the Earth increases it causes the increase in the relative humidity which leads to a situation where the Earth’s surface is able to hold more water vapor which in the end causes more warming that in them which eventually results in global warming (Gore, 40).
Another very important gas that causes global warming is Nitrous oxide which is gas that is colorless in nature and non-flammable gas with is always accompanied by sweetish odor. Sometimes is referred to as the laughing gas (Theodore, 52). This gas is normally created by oceans and rain forests and normally the reaction involves breaking down through various chemical reactions p that involve the use of direct sunlight which in the end causes global warming (Schneider 66).
The other important cause is deforestation. Deforestation results in the emissions of carbon dioxide which normally comes as a result of human beings cutting down trees as well as burning the trees to produce charcoal (Philander, 45). A study by Philander shows that the burning of trees to produce charcoal contributes to high emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to lack of temperate forests that can absorb the carbon emissions. Deforestation causes the reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide absorption in the such areas situation which leads to the emissions of greenhouses gases that combines with aerosols which come from biomass burning this causes climatic changes hence causing global warming (Maslin 28).
According to Crichton (15), Tundra is also contributed to global warming and it can be defined as an environment that has no trees but the major part of the environment consists of vegetation, animals and small microorganisms which are usually adaptive to the unique environmental conditions (Revkin ,58). It is approximated that the environment is made up of about 1700 kinds of plants which consists of shrubs, mosses, grasses, lichens and other 400 different kinds of flowers. Tundra contributes to 50 percent of carbon dioxide emissions that cause the global warming since the gases emitted from tundra result in warming of the temperatures in the atmosphere a situation that causes global warming (Revkin, 63).
The other important cause of global warming is livestock as well as improper use of land. Studies by Weart (56), show that worldwide livestock production is believed to be occupying approximately 70% of the total land used for the purpose of agriculture farming while the remaining 30% is believed to be ice-free land found on the Earth’s surface. Studies by Crichton (26), show that more than 18% of the emissions of greenhouse gas are caused by the production of livestock as well as livestock-related activities and other related farming fuel-intensive related activities as well. These emissions contribute heavily to the global warming (Crichton, 60).
Lastly global warming is caused by aerosols which according to the scientific studies they contribute to great change in climatical conditions. Normally the cooling of these aerosols leads to the suspension of small droplets in the atmosphere which are believed to be the main sources of anthropogenic aerosols that heavily cause global warming (Maslin, 36).
Effects of global warming
To begin with global warming is believed to result in natural disasters such as extreme thunderstorms. It causes the increases in temperatures which eventually leads to the increase in the levels of precipitation a situation that results in extratropical thunderstorms which are predicted to weaken the northern hemisphere during the periods when the polar regions will get warmer more than the rest of the hemisphere. According to Maslin the increases in the Storm strength will lead to extreme weather conditions a situation that will lead to increase in the power dissipation index of the hurricane intensity (Maslin, 40).
The second effect of global warming is the increase in the levels of evaporation. Global warming normally results in the increase in the amount of saturation vapor pressure which eventually causes the increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (Schneider, 68). As a result of the increase in the water vapor and the emission from of the greenhouse gas this will lead to further warming of the atmosphere a situation which will lead to the atmosphere holding more water causing the atmosphere to get even warmer which will cause an increase in the moisture content in the atmosphere and a slight decrease in the level of humidity since the air is warmer (Weart 70).
The third effect of global warming is that it leads to Ocean acidification. This is normally caused by a rise in the levels of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere which normally comes as a result of global warming (Theodore, 53). The oceans are soaked up with much carbon dioxide that is produced from living organisms found in the waters. Normally they produce gases that are dissolved to the bottom of the sea forming chalk or limestone which combines with carbon dioxide forming a weak acid that has a harmful effect on the corals and other marine organisms (Gore, 44).
The fourth effect of global warming is that global warming leads to the decreases in the atmospheric temperatures as well as the height in the troposphere referred to as lapse rate. Since the emissions from the infrared rays vary with the power of temperatures this will create a situation where the longwave radiation finds it difficult to escape the upper atmosphere since the space is limited from the lower atmospheric ground (Crutzen ,44). Due to this global warming it will reduce the levels of temperatures at the same time decreasing the height level which will lead to the production of a negative lapse rate feedback that weakens the grebe house effect (Crutzen, 48).
According to Biggin (32), global warming is expected to lead to increasing in the agricultural yields due to the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions which will help in the process of photosynthesis especially during the periods of preventing photorespiration that is believed to be the major cause of crop destruction. In addition other effects include glacier retreat, ice shelf disruption, changes in the rainfall patterns, changes in the increased intensity, water scarcity, increased precipitations in some regions, changes in the mountain snowpack, adverse health effects coming as a result of the changes in the temperatures and weather among others (Biggin, 35).
Solutions to global warming
The first solution concerns the reductions in the levels of gas emissions from the greenhouse and power plants. This can be achieved through the development of a world’s primary international agreement that regulates the levels of gas emissions to the atmosphere. Also businesses should be encouraged to improve the level of energy production through the use of efficient methods of extracting energy from the fuels where the government can agree to restrict the emissions through enacting laws that govern gas emissions by power plants (Revkin, 70).
The other solution is geoengineering where the government implements a deliberate move to modify the Earth’s natural environment on a large scale to make the environment comfortable for the people to live in (Revkin, 75). Example could be through greenhouse gas remediation a remedy that actually eliminates all the gases produced from the greenhouse completely from the atmosphere through a process called carbon sequestration. The other way is through solar radiation management which actually reduces the levels of insolation in the atmosphere (Schneider, 78). The other solution is societal controls where the individuals are encouraged and motivated to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions through the changing their way of life. Example could be discouraging the individuals from cutting and burning trees anyhow instead they should be encouraged to plant more trees (Revkin, 89).
According to Maslin (59), the other important method is population control where measures are put in place to control the levels of population explosion since population explosion is also a major factor that is heavily contributing to global warming. In order to achieve these measures should be put in place which ensures that people are able to freely access family planning methods and they are given proper education concerning the reproductive health. Moreover, education should be provided to the ignorant concerning the effects of continued population growth by providing women with more facilities and economic opportunities (Gore ,59).
Mark Maslin, Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Future; Published by MBI Publishing Company LLC, Pg 20-59 (2007).
Stephen H. Schneider; Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century; Published by James Clarke & Co., Pg 66-78 (1990).
Schneider Stephen, “Abrupt non-linear climate change, irreversibility and surprise”; Global Environment Change; Published by LLC, Pg 20-35 (2004).
Andrew Biggin, “Scientific bodies must take own action on emissions; Nature; Published by HM company, Pg 25-35 (2007).
Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and what We Can do about it; Published by Bloomsbury, Pg 40-59 (2006).
John Theodore, Global warming: the complete briefing; Published by Cambridge University, Press, and 3rd edition Pg 52-53 (2004).
Crutzen, P. Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming: Mitigation ; Adaptation, and the Science; Published August Pg 40-48 (2006).
George Philander, Is the Temperature Rising?: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming; Published by Princeton University Press Pg 45, (2000).
Michael Crichton, State of Fear; Published by HarperCollins Publishers, Pg 15-63 (2005).
Andrew Revkin, Global warming : understanding the forecast: Understanding the Forecast; Published by Abbeville Press, Pg 63- 75(1992).