Dramatic and unpredictable climate change is a matter of concern these days. The extreme temperatures in the climate have affected not only human life, but also the flora and fauna. Human activities like deforestation and pollution tend to contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature, which according to some claims is resulting in global warming. This change is a result of the greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, that accumulate in the upper strata of the atmosphere and prevent heat from exiting to outer space. The trapped heat is radiated back to the Earth, which leads to a rise in temperature.
There are natural gases like water vapor, ozone, methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide that are present in the atmosphere. These naturally-existing gases absorb the heat and maintain the optimum atmospheric temperature. The upper strata of the atmosphere is covered by a layer of ozone, which protects the Earth from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The sum emits different kinds of rays that enter the atmosphere through the ozone layer. Certain rays are reflected back by this protective layer. The gases circulate the heat evenly in the environment. However, these days due to several human activities, a new set of greenhouse gases have been added to the atmosphere. These are hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, chlorofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons.
A Brief Overview on Global Warming
Man-made gases have a drastic effect on the ozone layer, since they deplete it and lead to the formation of holes. These holes make it easy for the sun's harmful UV rays to pass through and affect the life on Earth. There is also a considerable rise in temperature, making it difficult to survive. Scientists are trying to figure out ways for bringing down this rapid increase in temperature. There are many drastic downsides of global warming in the form of melting of icebergs, increased depletion of the ozone layer and unsteady weather changes. The annual emissions of gases has risen up and is a cause of grave concern among scientists, since it leads to a slow but sure path towards the destruction of the planet.
With the increase in gases in the atmosphere, several consequences can be noticed. For example, temperature rise melts icebergs in the oceans, increasing the volume of water bodies. This can lead to more coastal floods, and frequent and severe storms. Alterations in the weather patterns can influence seasons and increase their length. Different species of flora and fauna may also come to the verge of extinction due to the lack of inability to adapt to the aftermath of climatic changes. To avoid these, an awareness regarding global warming and its effects should be spread.
Causes and Effects
As mentioned earlier, a number of human activities is one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect. These activities are responsible for this phenomenon of global warming. Listed below are some of the reasons for what causes greenhouse gases and their effect on the environment.
Incessant cutting of trees is termed as deforestation. But why are trees being cut down so unceasingly? Owing to the rapid increase in population, there is a dearth of place for habitation. So in order to grow food as well as make place for the ever-growing population, forests are being razed to the ground. This leads to a spike in temperature, which in turn results in increasing the gases and leads to global warming.
The burning of fossil fuels like petrol, diesel i.e. emissions from automobiles increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment. Other gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide are also emitted from the exhaust pipes of vehicles. These fumes contribute towards air pollution, which causes a dramatic addition of gases in the atmosphere.
Manufacturing of goods also leads to an increase in the level of greenhouse gases. Burning of coal and natural gas to run the factories have led to the dangerous rise of carbon dioxide and methane. This has a radical impact on the greenhouse effect and contributes to global warming. Since the chimneys are tall, the fumes get mixed into the air directly and are responsible for trapping more heat and increasing it.
Emissions from refrigerators, air conditioners, and other insulation units are adding to the already existing gases. Use of aerosols is also another causative factor which results in the rise of these potent gases. Natural calamities like earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires, and the release of methane in bogs also adds up to the greenhouse gases.
It is high time we stop all destructive activities which are leading to the depletion of the ozone layer―which results in the greenhouse effect and global warming―and contribute to make our planet more green. It is the prime duty of every citizen of this planet to protect it for the future generations.