Global warming is the rise in temperature of Earth’s surface (both land and water) as well as it’s atmosphere. Due to ever increasing pollution the temperature of Earth has risen by 0.75°C over the last century. Most of this has happened in the past decade due to the accumulation of Green house gases in the atmosphere produced by several Human activities.
The natural greenhouse effect maintains the Earth’s temperature at a safe level making it possible for humans and many other lifeforms to exist. However, since the Industrial Revolution human activities have significantly enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the Earth’s average temperature to rise by almost 1°C which is the prime reason for the Global Warming we are seeing today. Global Warming is affecting many places around the world. It is accelerating the melting of Ice sheets and Glaciers which is causing average sea levels to rise. Due to Global Warming the weather patterns in many different places are changing significantly, making some places dryer, with more intense periods of drought and at the same time making other places wetter, with stronger storms and increased flooding. These changes have affected both nature as well as human society and will continue it’s adverse effect if green house emissions continue to grow at the same pace as today.
Global warming is damaging the Earth’s climate as well as the physical environment. One of the most visible effects of global warming can be seen in the Arctic as glaciers, permafrost and sea ice are melting rapidly. Global warming is harming the environment in several ways including:
- Desertification: Increasing temperatures around the world are causing droughts.Current research shows a change in Water cycle and rainfall patterns. This is causing water shortages and an intense amount of distress to the over 2.5 million people in dry regions which are degrading into desert.This process is called desertification.
- Increased melting of snow and ice: Around the world, snow and ice is melting at a much faster pace than in the past. This has been seen in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa but is particularly true at the Earth’s poles.
- Sea level rise: The Earth’s sea level has risen abruptly. Global warming has caused this by affecting the oceans in two ways: warmer average temperatures cause ocean waters to expand (thermal expansion) and the accelerated melting of ice and glaciers increase the amount of water in the oceans.
Global warming is not a conqueror to kneel before – but a challenge to rise to. A challenge we must rise to.