Greenhouse Gases: Understanding the Reasons for Global Warming
Every year, we have new technology that predates pretty much anything that comes before it. Advancement in technology makes our lives easier and new innovations make impossible things possible. We can consider today as the peak of human innovation and technology. That keeps on advancing as new things are getting discovered and invented every now and then. Changes the way we do and our perception of everything.
Sometimes, advancement in our technology has some unforeseen negative effects that greatly affect not just our environment, but also us. Back in the ’70s, it was observed that the ozone layer gradually becomes thinner. Thus making the earth much hotter and hotter every year. The culprit: Greenhouse Effect, which leads to global warming.
Greenhouse Effect Recap
The Greenhouse Effect is the trapping of radiation in the earth’s atmosphere, which is a good thing. For the reason, it keeps the planet warm. However, there are a lot of factors that increases the greenhouse gases. Most of the factors are man-made, which also results in the increase of temperature over the planet. This gradual increase in the planet’s temperature results in a lot of abnormal weather phenomenon. Like intense and frequent storms and typhoons, severe droughts, and relentless flooding in low-lying areas.
One of the negative consequences of increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is the melting of the polar ice caps and glacial masses. This phenomenon increases the water level of our oceans. Furthermore, it also releases methane deposits inside the glaciers and the polar ice caps which further increases global warming.
Fertile and arid areas all over the world will all be greatly affected. Plants will not be able to handle the increase in temperature and will eventually die. This, in turn, the land barren and devoid of life, making it unable to support plant and water life. Resulting in mass starvation of all life in the area, including humans.
If the land becomes devoid of life, other consequences will follow. The food shortage will be a great issue due to failing agriculture and the availability of food. This in return will cause chaos and civil disorder and instability. Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and cholera will become widespread and can be easily contracted from person to person, or via water sources or the air.
These Greenhouse gases are important due to they maintain the temperature of the planet. Without these gases, the surface temperature of the planet will fall down to about −18 °C (0 °F). Instead of the normal average of 15 °C (59 °F), which makes the Earth the perfect planet to support life. The earth’s atmosphere is composed of greenhouse gases such as ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and carbon dioxide. In addition, these gases are methane and water vapor. Increased amounts of these said gases will further heat up the planet.
Man-made Causes of Greenhouse Effect
This increase in greenhouse gases is caused by a lot of factors, but the main contributor to this is human activity. Since the industrial revolution around 300 years ago, we humans have produced more than 40% more carbon dioxide than normal. That comes mainly from burning and combustion of fossil fuel (such as coal, oil and natural gas) emitted by factories and vehicles. Erosion (which releases methane pockets underground) and agriculture (especially livestock, which is known to frequently produce excessive gas or flatulence, which is composed of methane) are also great contributors to the ever-increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
If we don’t act soon, this issue will get worse sooner than we all have anticipated. We only have one planet to live on. And not taking care of it will totally affect all life on it, including us. Minimizing our release of toxic gases into our atmosphere (from factories, vehicles, and other human activities) will greatly help the normalization of our climate. If we act soon, we can ensure that the future generation will have a beautiful planet to live on and a lot a wasteland where no life could live.