The Anthropogenic Impact of Global Warming
The world has certainly not remained the same since the Industrial Revolution. Now, in the year 2021, Global Warming has become an undeniable fact for most and its effects are being felt globally. Its increasing intensity is not just a worrying factor, but a reality that has left no stone unturned. Temperature increases all over the world, from the poles to the equator and from the seas to the deserts, are leading to increasingly severe melting of the ice in polar regions, causing coastal flooding and extreme weather events like hurricanes and cyclones. All these phenomena are linked to the increasing temperatures.
Climate scientists have been working to unravel the complexities of global warming and how it affects Temperature. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), since the pre-industrial period, the average global surface temperature has risen by 1.1°C. This is almost double the rate of 0.6°C per century during the past century as recorded by the WMO. Even more concerning is the alarming rate at which temperatures have risen since the late 20th century, increasing by 0.2°C from 1981 to 2019.
The Earth’s temperature change is primarily due to the Green house effect, where gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and water vapour trap heat from the Sun and prevent the rapid cool-down of the Earth. Humans have been adding synthetic greenhouse gases to the atmosphere mainly due to burning of fossil fuels. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) burning of fossil fuels is responsible for about 75% of the anthropogenic addition of excess atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. This is causing global temperatures to rise more rapidly resulting in more extreme weather events and a disruption of the natural balance.
The grave implications of global warming are obvious now. Unfortunately, the miniscule changes that each person can make individually might not be enough to curtail global warming. Innovative technological solutions, international cooperation, and better economic and political solutions are desperately needed. Newer alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, tidal and hydrogen power (which last two being emerging technologies) need to be more popularised and more accessible to the population. Moves has to be made now – no one else is going to do the job for us.
The risks of global warming have been made clear with the effects we have experienced. What’s frightening is that the temperatures may continue to rise even if emissions are dramatically reduced: the situation is one of an irreversible self-propagation. Therefore the real question is, is it too late to make a difference? The answer may not be so simple. It is possible to avert further risks to global temperatures if individuals and communities across the world take action and build resilient mechanisms to withstand climate change. Every step counts: no individual’s effort is too small.
It is also essential to understand our personal responsibility towards global warming and to recognize the need for decisive action. This can be done by raising awareness through responsible communication and by supporting measures that reduce emissions from our everyday activities. We all have a part to play in mitigating the effects of global warming and should work together to ensure that the future of our planet is secure. Therefore, it is crucial to proactively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest heavily in renewable energy for the sake of a sustainable future.