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Human Activities and Global Warming

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Global Is Warming Caused by Human Activities

The major issue that is discussed today is global warming, which is considered a threat to the earth in coming future. Global warming is the raise in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface, atmosphere and oceans. There are always two sides to every story and when it comes to the discussion of global warming there are two very different points-of-view. The world seems to be divided between global warming caused by humans and it caused due to natural reasons. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the noticed temperature increase was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced due to human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation. The IPCC also concludes that changes in natural phenomena such as solar radiation and volcanoes produced most of the warming and had a small cooling effect afterward. I strongly believe that global warming is a phenomenon caused by human activities, which results in a raise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The scientific panel studying climate change stated that the proof of a warming is clear and the human activity has been the major reason for the change. Global warming is the result of warming of earth and sea due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gases. The main cause of global warming is the human activities which emit greenhouse gas which is known as the greenhouse effect. When sunlight reaches the earth it is absorbed by the earth and warms it. Some of the heat is radiated back to the atmosphere. The absorption of this radiant heat energy warms the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and discharge of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm the earth’s atmosphere and surface. The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3), Clouds also affect the radiation balance, but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so are considered separately from water vapor and other gases.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, in 2001, the human activity had played an important role in global warming. The main reason of warming due to human activities is due to the burning of fossils fuels and rapid industrialization. Since the Industrial era the amount of greenhouse gases has increased in the atmosphere, leading to increased radioactive radiations produced from carbon dioxide, methane. The concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have increased rapidly. Fossil fuel burning has produced a noticeable increase in carbon dioxide from human activity over the past years. And the other major reason for increase in global warming is due to land-use change, particularly deforestation. However, because of the increasing demand of raw materials for houses and other uses for example – wood and paper pulp, industries tend to cut down more trees. Therefore, the enormous change in the rate of temperature is due to the industrial revolution.

Some researchers and scientists disagree to the statement that human activities are reason behind the observable fact of global warming, According to William M. Gray, “natural variations are the cause of periodic global temperature increases and human kind has nothing to do with the temperature changed”. Some researchers believe that main cause of global warming is natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, solar cycles and water vapors. But I insist that these natural phenomena’s have existed since from the existence of the earth and haven’t showed any ill-effects from past many decades. These natural phenomena’s are affected by human activities which resulted in causing global warming. If human activities had not played contributed the warming would not have been to the extent of harmful results. However considering natural phenomena a cause for global warming will not be true.

According to Karl and Trenberth, “Over the past 50 years, human influences have been the dominant detectable influence on climate change.” (Billy A.).The activities of humans that put in to global warming are the use of fossil fuels for example – coal, oil, and natural gas and the clearing of land. Most of the consumption of fossils fuels occurs in industries, in vehicles and in power plants that supply energy for houses and offices. The burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide; carbon dioxide is a delays the discharge of heat into atmosphere. Deforestation results in more concentration of carbon dioxide, as it reduces the rate of removal of gas from the atmosphere. Trees and other plants inhale carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis. Land-use changes by humans for example – clearing land for logging, and agriculture, which also results in carbon dioxide emissions. The decomposition of dead vegetation is also a reason for global warming because vegetation contains carbon which on decomposition or burning is released as carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide has been rising from the time of James Watt, creator of the auto- steam engine that significantly helped in the industrial revolution. Since then, coal and natural gas have major contribution to industrial revolution. Hydro-power and nuclear power are contributing less to the needs of energy to human in comparison to coal, oil and gas. Today the amount of carbon degraded into the atmosphere shows, on average, to one ton per individual on the earth, each year. In the United States, carbon energy is especially important. The standard American per capita release is 5 tons of carbon per annum. The report from the climate panel predicted that if the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere will continuously rise than the temperature is also expected to rise in the future. (IPCC Report)

Major climate changes have been noticeable since many past years. The world has gone through ruinous weather events such as the dreadful tsunami in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina. All over the world, the existence of some diseases and other fears to human health depend mainly on the local climate. Tremendous changes in temperature can lead to the loss of humans. According to the Union of Concerned scientist “In 1999, a heat wave killed more than 250 people in Chicago. Though, scientists advise that the global temperature has increased in the past years. There has been increase in surface temperature, 1° F, since the 19th century”.

Global warming has harsh effect on the earth and had put it on the verge of harmful conditions. One of the major effects seen due to global warming is the extinction of polar bear. “Due to the warming temperature the arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate, depriving the polar bear of their habitat. Reduced food availability due to global warming has also resulted in extinction of polar bear” (West). As I discussed, the major cause of global warming is the human activities as the activities done by the humans have increased the level and impact of global warming which from past many decades was not a matter of concern as the emission of carbon dioxide was not to the extent of being a threat and whatever amount of gas was emitted was absorbed by forests. But due to deforestation the amount of carbon dioxide discharged from the atmosphere was less resulting in more warming of the atmosphere. Nowadays due to carelessness of human beings the issue of global warming is at its peak. Because if human beings would have been taken care of their activities the global warming would not have been that existed.

However, the sarcasm of the circumstances is that the humans, who are responsible for this sudden rise in global warming, are the ones who will be mainly affected by its devastating effects. “Many experts predict that the increase in extreme weather events, including floods, storms and heat waves, will result in more deaths, injuries and diseases” (Spence). Rising temperatures and changes in rainfall affect crop production and food, aiding and breeding of animals are upsetting crops. Changes in temperature could be devastating to people in poor countries. Global warming’s major cause has been the activities of humans and the effects of which are very much seen as the melting of arctic ice, extinction of polar bear, rise in temperature as these effects were not present earlier when only natural phenomena’s were warming the earth to some extent. Humans by their activities raised the level of warming leading to global warming.

Therefore, I strongly believe that the major cause behind global warming is human activities and the information provided is witnessing the presence of global warming due to human activities. Though, natural phenomena’s do contribute to some extent but they cannot be said to be the reason of high temperature. Emission of greenhouses gases are effecting the climate to a great extent due to which numerous disasters have been faced and if these emissions or greenhouse is not reduced or controlled more harmful results can be seen in the coming future. Global warming is a serious issue and is of great concern as its effects can result in harmful circumstances.

Works Cited

Historical Overview of Climate Change Science” (PDF). IPCC WG1 AR4 Report. IPCC. pp. p97 (PDF page 5 of 36). 21 April 2009. WEB. 8th Oct 2009.

“Summary for Policymakers” (PDF). Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 21 April 2009. Web. 8th Oct 2009.

Spence, Christopher. Global Warming: personal solutions for a healthy planet. New York; Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.

Climatic Research Unit. Jones, Phil. 1999. Web. 8th Oct 2009.

Bily, Cynthia A. Global Warming (Opposing Viewpoints). Green haven Press, February 2006 .Print.

Union of Concerned Scientists. Global Warming. n.d. Web. 8th Oct 2009.

Environmental Issues. Larry West, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2009


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