Global Warming: Causes and Effects

Debate still rages whether man’s activities have contributed to increase in global warming. Proponents point out to the fact carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been released, and still are, to the atmosphere in high concentrations as a result of man’s activities. Due to man’s activities he has added more than the average concentration of the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Opponents on the other hand point out it is not man who has contributed to global warming but changes in nature itself.

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However, there is increasing evidence man’s activity has contributed to increased global warming. Some of the causes of global warming are very evident not to deny the truth man has contributed to increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is clearly noted by Timeforchange who state, “The true cause of global warming is our thoughtless attitude to Nature.”

Global warming refers to too much carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere which traps heat thereby acting like a blanket which results to warming of the earth.

Do you think global warming is a result of man's activities or nature itself has contributed?

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  • No: Nature itself
  • Maybe: Both of them have contributed
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Effects of Global Warming

  • Global warming is causing glaciers to melt which in turn leads to rising in sea levels. This poses a problem to people living in low-lying areas. This results to flooding whose consequences would prove fatal as it may lead to damage of properties and loss of lives including animals. Moreover, plants won’t be able to thrive. What this indicates is that some species of animals will be wiped out from the face of the earth, and ultimately man will suffer because of lack of sufficient food in terms of plants and animals.
  • Another effect is global warming will result to frequent droughts. The most affected region in the world would be Africa. Currently, many countries in Africa are facing numerous droughts especially Sub-Saharan Africa. If a drought becomes too severe it results to famine. This will cause a myriad of crises which might lead to cannibalism, extinction of some plant and animal species, lack of fresh drinking and cooking water, war as people fight for food and fresh water, malnutrition, diseases, and suicides.

 Climate Change experiment at Culardoch
Climate Change experiment at Culardoch | Source
  • Disease is another negative effect resulting from global warming. Either due to drought and/or famine, spread of diseases will be experienced at a greater level. When there is too much rainfall it leads to flooding in turn leading to spread of water-borne diseases. High temperatures would lead to droughts and famines in turn resulting to contracting of diseases, in most cases malnutrition, food and water-borne diseases.
  • The case of Ebola might be felt at a large scale if people would do anything to survive if it meant eating infected bush meat.
  • When there is an increased rate of evaporation, it results to additional occurrence of hurricanes and storms. This implies when the temperature of oceans rise, the hurricanes and/or storms will become stronger leading to huge damage of properties and loss of lives at widespread scale.
  • It will lead to conflict between communities, tribes or nations as people fight for survival. This will result from scarce food and fresh water as the plants and food will have been affected as many of them will have died.

As it can be seen, the consequences of global warming proves what happens if a person interferes with Nature. The effects are disastrous, and if countries do not react quickly to address the issue of the factors that contribute to global warming as a result of man’s activities, then we are to blame ourselves, and none other.

Causes of Global Warming

Scientists have been able to identify the causes of the increased global warming. The following are the major causes:

a) Burning of Fossil Fuels

Most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions results from burning fossil fuels. These fossils are burnt for energy, for example, to produce electricity. The major fossil fuel burnt for production of energy is coal.

“Coal is the major fuel that is burnt in these power plants,” states Conserve-energy-future. It is further noted, “Coal produces around 1.7 times as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy when flamed as does natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil. Over 75% of the electricity worldwide is produced by burning fossil fuels. Many gases are sent into the air when fossil fuels are burnt of which main is the carbon-dioxide gas.”

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b) Pollution

There have been increased rates of air pollution which has led to increased emission of carbon-dioxide from industries (factories) and vehicles. This is perhaps the major cause of global warming. Every day, large amounts of carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere from billions of vehicles and thousands of industries. When there is increased air pollution it results to warming up of the planet thereby increasing temperature of the earth’s surface.

c) Deforestation

Most of the world’s countries are losing forests as trees are cut down for different development activities. This has a negative impact as it is known plants take in carbon-dioxide and release oxygen. The oxygen released by plants is the one breathed in. When plants and trees are cut down, the amount of carbon-dioxide released to the atmosphere is higher than oxygen released. And the effects of less amount of oxygen compared to large amount of carbon dioxide can only be imagined to be worse, something hard to comprehend.

d) Landfills

This is a site where garbage ends. It can be easily noted as it sinks. It consists of plastics, used materials, waste or left-over food and other waste matters. These waste matters are used by some industries involved in recycling waste matters in order to make valuable goods or products.

Discovery Channel - Global Warming, What You Need To Know, with Tom Brokaw

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