Nature is the ultimate spring of everything man requires. Therefore, concern over nature is natural to him. We are concerned of nature as it is the eventual source of all we need; the food we eat the water we drink, the air we breathe. Hence protection and safeguarding of nature-our Mother Earth- is vital to us. Thus, it is essential that we reorganize how we interact with and utilize the environment. We have to rethink of our relationship with nature. Ultimately, nothing less than our survival is at stake.
Our world is a living system and this system is now under such stress from human activities that it threatens to fail in grievous and irreversible ways. On account of our callous attitude towards environment the earth is warming in an alarming mode which threatens our own survival and existence. Broadly perceived, global warming is not merely an environmental issue but an issue central to human health and economy.
Global warming is an increase in the average temperature worldwide believed to be caused by the green house effect. Earth has undergone periods of gradual warming and cooling throughout its existence due to natural causes, such as volcanic eruptions and variations in the Sun’s output. However, the scientists have attributed the current increase in global temperatures due to human causes-primarily the release of certain gases into the atmosphere as a result of industrial activity. The gases- collectively named greenhouse gases- assimilate and trap the heat generated from the Earth’s surface through a phenomenon known as greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect is a natural process that helps maintain temperatures suitable for life; without it our earth would be frozen and likely uninhabitable planet. However, the environmental scientists have determined that increased concentration of green house gases resulting from human activity has amplified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming.
Just about all specialists studying the climate record of the earth have the same opinion now that human actions, mainly the discharge of green house gases from smokestacks, vehicles, and burning forests, are perhaps the leading cause for this perilous state of the environment. The gases add on to the planet’s normal greenhouse effect, permitting sunlight in, but stopping some of the ensuing heat from radiating back to space. With the probable exemption of one more world war, a huge asteroid, or a fatal plague, global warming may be the only most danger to our planet earth.
As mentioned, the major cause of global warming is the emission of green house gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc into the atmosphere. The major source of carbon dioxide is the power plants. These power plants emit large amounts of carbon dioxide produced from burning of fossil fuels for the purpose of electricity generation. About twenty percent of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere comes from burning of gasoline in the engines of the vehicles.
Buildings, both business-related and residential, are a larger source of global warming pollution than cars and trucks. Construction of these structures demands a lot of fuel to be burnt which expels a large amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Methane is more than 20 times as effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Methane is got from resources such as rice paddies, bovine flatulence, bacteria in bogs and fossil fuel manufacture. When fields are flooded, the organic matter in the soil decays releasing methane to the atmosphere.
The major sources of nitrous oxide include nylon and nitric acid production, the use of fertilizers and the burning of organic matter. Another reason of global warming is deforestation that is caused by cutting and burning of forests for the purpose of residence and industrialization.
Scientists predict about the ill effects of global warming and relate some of the events that have chanced in the past thirty to forty years as a warning of global warming. A rise in earth’s temperatures can make other changes in the ecology, including an increasing sea level and altering the quantity and pattern of rainfall. These alterations may increase the advent of severe climate events, such as floods, famines, heat waves, tornados, and twisters.
Global warming can also have severe impact on agricultural output and river streams. There are a number of species that have a threat of disappearing soon as an effect of global warming. A few, like the golden toad of Costa Rica, have already become extinct. It is foreboded that many species will become extinct due to the increase in the temperatures of the water. Perhaps the most disturbing changes are expected in the coral reefs that are expected to die off due to the impact of global warming. In all probability, global warming will cause permanent changes in the ecosystem and the behaviour of animals.
Of late, a variety of new diseases have surfaced because of global warning. These diseases are happening regularly since the bacteria can exist better in increased temperatures and even breed faster in this favourable conditions.
A group of scientists have recently reported on the surprisingly speedy rise in the discharge of carbon and methane release from frozen tundra in Siberia, now starting to melt because of human cause increases in earth’s temperature. The scientists tell us that the tundra is in danger of melting holds an amount of extra global warming pollution that is equivalent to the net amount that is previously in the earth’s atmosphere.
Likewise, scientists report that in a single year Greenland experienced numerous polar earthquakes which is extremely disturbing. This indicates a huge destabilization within the second biggest deposit of ice on the planet that would be enough to raise sea level worldwide if it broke up and slipped into the sea. Its consequences are unthinkable.
We are now facing a global emergency that entails instant action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide so that we can curtail the earth’s rising temperatures and avoid tragedies of extreme proportion like the recent Haiti earthquake.
Many efforts are being made by diverse nations to minify the stride of global warming. Kyoto agreement is one such promising step that has been made between various nations to reduce the emissions of various green house gases. Despite, the frail conclusion of the recent Copenhagen Summit, many people concerned with the environment see it as a positive step. Several NGOs are also deeply committed in the reduction of global warming.
All these efforts should concentrate on the mitigation of the primary cause- the production of green house gases. Some of the measures that have to be implemented immediately are the reduction in the use of fossils fuels in transportation and in the generation of electricity, greater incentive in the investment of alternative energy resources, and development of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.
We can also contribute our share in the mitigation of global warming. We need not wait for the government or the governmental agencies to come forward or wait until we are grown to do something about this alarming issue of global warming. There are some simple things that we can do to help stop global warming, such as
±Wait until you have a lot of clothes to wash before using the washing machine.± Don’t use the machine for one item just because it’s your favorite shirt. ±Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Use fluorescent bulbs in your room. ±Turn off your computer or the TV when you’re not using it. Unplug chargers when not in use. ± Close the blinds on a hot day if the sun is shining in.± Dress lightly instead of turning up the air conditioning. Or use a fan.±Dress warmly inside your house when it’s cold, instead of turning up the heat.± Bike or walk short distances instead of asking for a ride in a car.±And last but not the least, plant a tree.
Let us all join our hands together in our mission to save the earth and thereby save ourselves.
Let us offer the coming generation a better earth to live on.