Global warming is a man-made phenomenon
which has resulted in the continuous rise in the
surface temperature of our planet. As a result
of this phenomenon level of carbon dioxide gas
in the atmosphere is constantly rising and our
earth is becoming hotter and hotter with every
This universal phenomenon is a result of reckless human activities and unplanned development. Several factors have contributed in increasing the earth's surface temperature. So before finding out the effective solution to this global crisis let us first identify the factors that have given rise to this dangerous situation. One of the prime causes of this phenomenon is the greenhouse gas or GHG. GHGs are gases in the atmosphere that absorb and give off radiation within the thermal infrared range. The main greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), bromine, chlorine and ozone. In the recent years, there has been a surge in the release of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide by almost ten-fold as a result of increased industrialisation, use of fossil fuels, deforestation, unchecked urbanization, etc. Methane in the atmosphere is released in great volumes as a result of anaerobic decomposition of organic materials.
Another cause of global warming is depletion of ozone layer over Antarctica. Ozone layer shields the earth by blocking the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. With the depletion of this layer, harmful ultraviolet rays are entering our biosphere and getting absorbed by the green house gases which in turn is increasing our earth's surface temperature.
Presence of various aerosols in our atmosphere has been found out to be another prime reason for the increase in earth's surface temperature. Atmospheric aerosols are potential enough to absorb and scatter the solar and infrared radiations. Aerosols are produced as a result of the burning of wide variety of products in the manufacturing process in the industries. The different pollutants in the vehicles get converted into aerosols as a result of different chemical reactions and are released in the earth's atmosphere.
The continuous rise in the earth's temperature will have devastating effects on the lives of all the living beings. It is believed rising earth's temperature can cause several natural calamities such as cyclones, tsunami, flood, landslides, epidemic diseases, drought, melting of polar caps, food and water crisis, etc. According to the recent studies conducted by the scientists worldwide, it has been estimated that if the greenhouse gases continue to increase at the present rate, then by 2050 the earth's mean temperature will rise between 1.5° to 5.5°C. Further, in the next 50 to 100 years, a rise in the average atmospheric temperature of 3°C would increase the average global sea level by 0.2 to 1.5 meters. Various beautiful islands will get submerged under water with such rise in the sea level.
Agriculture, which is the mainstay of our country, will be the worst hit. A rise of 2°C could be harmful to crops. Earth's rising temperature will greatly diminish the soil moisture and fertility, thereby reducing the agricultural yields. Increasing earth's temperature will result in the change of the rainfall pattern in many places. This in turn will give rise to several vector-borne diseases like filariasis, malaria, elephantiasis etc. Higher temperature and higher humidity will cause skin and respiratory diseases in many people.
So we see that we have enough reasons to worry about our existence in this planet and look for effective solutions to global warming.
Steps to combat the problem
Most of the damages, such as melting of ice caps, rise of sea level, etc. cannot be reversed but we need to adapt to these changes. However, we need to take proper steps to reduce further damages. First of all we need to minimise the emissions of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere by switching from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy which include wind, solar, tidal and geothermal energy. Using cleaner fuel for our vehicles, recycling and reusing various products, unplugging electrical appliances when not required are some other ways to thwart the problem of earth's rising temperature. Planting trees in large numbers can help in absorbing the harmful gases, especially carbon dioxide. Substituting incandescent bulbs with energy saving CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs can help in curtailing carbon dioxide generation.
Governments of different nations along with the help of NGOs, businessmen and renowned celebrities have conducted several awareness programmes to educate people about the various ways to tackle the problem of global warming.
Global warming is a universal issue that has adversely affected almost all the nations of our planet. Unfortunately, the leaders of our nations, instead of fighting this issue together, are busy blaming each other for the cause of this problem. However, we have to remember one thing and that is, if this issue is not addressed effectively then it could spell disaster to our planet. So let us stop passing the buck on one another and unite ourselves to tackle this serious issue in the most viable manner. After all united we stand, divided we fall.