Global Warming and Climate change are the biggest threats to the existence of mankind. Due to the rise in the earth’s temperature, the climate is also changing rapidly. The winter of 2023 in the Eastern United States, was unusual and it was among the top two warmest winters. The west coast of the United States of America received unprecedented levels of snowfall in March 2023. That was called a “once-in-a-generation event”. Campaigns like the Paris Agreement, Race to Zero, # ClimateChanged Me, etc. create awareness but need lots to do.
On July 6, the global average temperature rose and faced heat waves throughout the world including Europe, China, and the United States. Several countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and Laos, also face heat waves and the highest temperatures to date. Climate change amplifies monsoon season. That leads to intense rain, flooding, and cyclones in coastal areas and destroys the infrastructure and precious lives.
Definition of Global Warming
Global Warming is the long-term warming of the earth or rises in temperature. It is as getting overall hotness of the planet. Burning of fossil fuels plays a major role in temperature rise. Industrial Revolutions, the use of cars after WW-II, and the population of the world becoming tripled. Burning lots of fossil fuels caused a spike in heat and carbon dioxide or CO2 levels in our atmosphere. When the sun’s energy reaches the Earth some of it is trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere due to carbon dioxide, methane, etc., and causes the temperature rise or global warming.
Term Global Warming
The term Global Warming was first used in a science journal in 1975 published by Wallace Smith Broecker’s paper “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”
Start of Global Warming
In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution took place starting in Britain and spreading to the world. This revolution provided new opportunities for the human being for advancement but on the other hand, also created a threat to the world’s existence. Due to rapid progress in the Industrial Revolution, the global temperature also increased. Accurate record-keeping of Global temperature was started in 1880.
In 1980 observed that the average temperature of the global world was 0.07 degrees Celsius increasing every 10 years. After 1981 the rate of increase in global temperature has doubled and it has been increasing decade by decade till now. June 2023, the rise in global temperature breaks the record of 174 years. That is recorded by NOAA as 1.05°C and the first time June temperature exceeded 1°C above the long-term average.
What is Climate Change?
We can explain it as a long-term change in weather patterns due to temperatures. These changes in weather patterns can be natural like Sun activity or volcano’s eruption or due to human activities like excessive use of fossil fuels for vehicles, industrializations, and manufacturing. These natural or human activities affect the weather like unpredicted rains, floods, snowfalls, wind storms, sea cyclones, and heat waves.
One region of the world is suffering from heat waves and on the other hand, the other is facing heavy rains and floods. And the same time unexpected snowfall in another region of the world. Global warming is the main cause of climate change.
Difference between Climate Change and Global Warming
To explain the difference between global warming and climate change, we can imagine that the Earth is a giant house and it is global warming and climate change are two things that are happening inside the rooms of the house. When the house gets warmer we call it global warming and due to it house’s climate changes, and different rooms in the house also start to change, as one room becomes hotter another gets more rain and the third one gets cooler.
Climate change effects are not visible instantly we can’t see through windows because it took place over long periods. Now we are feeling it’s changing rapidly, due to that it’s becoming faster due to global warming over the decades.
Effects of Global Warming
Due to greenhouse gas concentrations rising in the atmosphere, the global surface temperature also increased. The last decade was the warmest on record, and each decade has been warming more than the previous one.
A higher temperature generates heat waves and makes working outdoors more difficult. Hotter weather conditions start Wildfires and they spread more easily and rapidly. California faces massive heat waves and the National Weather Service of the United States issued “Excessive Heat Warnings” for highly affected areas.
Due to temperature rise moisture evaporates which exacerbates extreme rainfall and flooding, causing more destructive storms. These storms have become more intense and more frequent in many regions. Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons on warm waters become more severe at the ocean surface. Such storms destroy homes and cause the deaths of humans and huge losses in the economy.
Global warming lowers the water availability in many regions and is leading to an increased risk of agricultural droughts. It’s affecting crops and ecological droughts. Due to drastic droughts deserts are expanding, and reducing land for growing food.
Rise in Ocean Levels
Due to the temperature rise the ocean also gets warmer and its volume increases, since water expands as it gets warmer. High temperatures cause for melting of ice sheets which leads sea levels to rise. The rise in sea level is a bigger threat to coastal communities. The oceans absorb carbon dioxide but more carbon dioxide makes the ocean more acidic, which endangers marine life and coral reefs.
Loss of species
Due to the rise in temperature and forest fires the survival of the species on land and ocean are at risk. Some species can relocate themselves and survive climate change but many species are not and they have become very rare.
Climate change also affects food and there are alarming situations in some countries. There are huge rise in hunger and poor nutrition. Lands are becoming less productive as well as fisheries, livestock, and crops.
More Health Risks
Global warming also has a great impact on human lives. Hot climates and polluted air affect human health and cause severe disease. Every year several millions of precious lives are lost due to environmental factors.
Unpredicted change in weather patterns causing expansion in severe diseases.
Poverty and displacement
Climate change destroying homes and livelihoods. Hot weather conditions make it difficult to work in outdoor jobs. People move from settled areas to other places to survive, which causes a high level of poverty.
Causes of Global Warming
Burning of Fossil Fuels
Burning of Fossil fuels like gas, diesel, and coal for the production of electricity/ industry products are major source of release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Three countries United States, China, and India burn fossil fuels more than the rest of the Global World.
Fifty-four percent of the world’s fossil fuel is burnt in these countries. Fossil fuels are used to heat homes, the manufacturing Industry, transportation/ run vehicles, and generation of electricity. Because fossil fuels are a very efficient source of energy little bit of fossil fuel can produce a lot of energy. When fossil fuels burn, carbon dioxide is released and pollutes the atmosphere.
Burning of Forests/Deforestation
Forests play a major role in regulating the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. But the whole world facing an unprecedented catastrophic situation due to fire in the forests and it becomes a nightmare for the world. Mega forest fires also known as sixth generation fires are very difficult to extinguish due to drought and global warming.
Just in Spain during six months more than 65000 hectares area burnt. Up to one-fifth of global pollution comes from forest degradation. For human and infrastructure development forests are removed for land and selling of trees. This is another problem because mafias are involved in the property business, they just follow the profits despite of cost which has to be paid by the future generations.
Methane is another source of global warming. It’s more dangerous than carbon dioxide due to its structure. Methane per molecule traps the heat in the atmosphere more than carbon dioxide.
Methane in the atmosphere becomes eighty times more harmful than carbon dioxide with time.
The main sources of methane emissions are Human Sources, Like production, distribution, and use of Fossil fuel, Livestock farming, Landfills and waste, Biomass burning, Rice agriculture, and Biofuels. The world’s largest methane emitter countries from all sources are the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, and India. There are also Natural Sources of Methane emissions are also exist like wetlands, fresh waters, wild animals, wildfires, vegetation, termites, and geologic seepages.
Green House Effect
Greenhouse gases also play a role in global warming. These gases absorb infrared radiation from the sun and trap its heat in the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect and global warming took place. Many gases exhibit these greenhouse properties some of them are produced due to human activities and some also occur naturally.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions are Industrialization, manufacturing, electricity, agriculture, transportation, and forestry. The main greenhouse gases whose concentrations are rising in the atmosphere and causing global warming are Methane, Carbon dioxide, Nitrous oxide, Hydrofluorocarbons, and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Solutions to Global Warming
⇒ Scientists and WWF working on it with livestock farmers for betterment in livestock and pasture management for environmental gains.
⇒ Globally Reduction in the generation of electricity with fossil fuels and shifting to renewable resources
like solar, wind, and tidal. Electric cars introduced and encouraged in the world to minimize the use of
⇒ Reduction in Methane emissions
⇒ Global warming has consequences globally and all the countries are affected by it and there are alarming changes measured in climate. All the countries taking measures at their level to control the temperature.
Campaigns for Global Warming
On 12 December 2015 agreement was signed by 196 countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21) in Paris, France. That’s why it’s known as “The Paris Agreement“. It is the international legally binding treaty on climate change. This agreement brings all nations together to combat climate change. The prime goal of the agreement was “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions must decline 43% by 2030.
World Wide Fund of Nature (WWF) and partners as a symbolic lights-out event initiated in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 which is re-known as Earth Hour. In this movement, we switched off all the lights except safety lights for one hour throughout the world to create awareness of climate change. It is a reminder for individuals to take action and contribute to saving the planet. “The Biggest Hour for Earth” was the theme of Earth Hour in 2023
# Climate Changed Me
The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) launched an innovative campaign in 2021. By showcasing the impact of climate change on people’s lives across the global world. They gathered voices from the community members activists and volunteers and made short video clips in which people explained how climate change impacts their lives and at the end asked the question” Climate changed me, will my story change you”
Race To Zero
It is a global campaign. To rally leadership and support from businesses, investors, regions, and cities for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery. That prevents future threats and unlocks sustainable growth. The main objective of the Race to Zero campaign is to build momentum and shift to a decarbonized economy by individuals, companies, as well as governments.
The Go Green Campaign started to encourage youth from throughout the world. Different countries like Asia-Pacific, America, and Africa plant trees through self-help and solidarity to combat the global threat of global warming and climate change. Cooperative Societies and youth can take the ideal step of tree plantation to combat climate change.