Global warming is a long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system, an aspect of climate change shown by temperature measurements and by multiple effects of the warming.
The average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8°C over the past 100 years. Greenhouse gases, present in the earth’s atmosphere, are the gases that act as a protective barrier and filter harmful rays that enter the atmosphere. Energy from the sunlight drives the earth’s climate system and weather pattern which includes the heating of earth’s surface.
This heat is radiated back to the atmosphere which the atmospheric GHG absorb and reduce the amount of heat that leaves earth. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years. The human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
The largest human influence has been the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Ongoing and anticipated effects include rising sea levels, changing precipitation, and expansion of deserts in the subtropics. Other changes include more frequent extreme weather such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, heavy rainfall with floods, and heavy snowfall ocean acidification; and massive extinctions of species due to shifting temperature regimes.
Effects significant to humans include the threat to food security from decreasing crop yields and the abandonment of populated areas due to rising sea levels. In 2014, the World Meteorological Organization reported that sea-level rise accelerated 0.12 inches (3 millimeters) per year on average worldwide. Change in migration patterns of animals and early maturity in plants due to shift in temperature .. “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”
This is because hurricanes get their energy from the temperature difference between the warm tropical ocean and the cold upper atmosphere. Global warming increases that temperature difference. One of the primary manifestations of climate change so far is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world are warming rapidly.
Mitigating the damage of global warming requires strong, concerted actions to lower emissions of CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, and particles like black carbon, or soot, coming from combustion sources like burning coal, diesel engines, wildfires, and burning land or trash.
It also means stabilizing and/or increasing the amount of CO2 absorbed and stored in natural “sinks” like oceans, soils, and vegetation, especially forests. Approximately 16% of U.S. emissions were absorbed by forests over the past twenty years.
Talha Javed, Rubab Shabbir, Shahnawaz, and Muhammad Asif
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
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