The impact of industrialization and modernization on our lives, economy, and politics is significant. Along with the substantial benefits, we also face numerous negative consequences. One of these is the phenomenon of global warming, also known as global heating. In this article, we will explore in detail what global warming is, its effects, and the measures we can take to address this issue.
What is Global Warming?
The concept of global warming is not unfamiliar to us. It refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, as observed over recent decades. In the 20th century, the average temperature near the Earth’s surface rose by 0.2 to 0.6 degrees Celsius.
Manifestations of Global Warming
Global warming leads to a variety of impacts that become more apparent over time. There are five main manifestations of this phenomenon:
1. Harsher Weather Conditions
Extreme weather conditions, such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, and snowstorms, are clear evidence of global warming. The world is currently experiencing and struggling with these extreme weather events. We are witnessing more intense summer rains, more severe winter snowstorms, and frequent earthquakes, heatwaves, droughts, and prolonged periods of heat.
2. Rising Sea Levels
According to statistics, the average sea level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over the past century. From 1993 to 2000, the sea level rose by approximately 2.9 – 3.4 ± 0.4 – 0.6 mm per year.
The main cause of the rising sea levels is the expansion of seawater due to the heating of the atmosphere, which causes the melting of ice. This melting ice releases a large amount of water into the ocean, leading to the submergence of some islands and coastal areas that have existed for centuries. If this continues, these islands and coastal areas may no longer appear on maps.
3. Melting Ice in the Polar Regions
The melting of ice in the polar regions is a severe and ongoing phenomenon. The Arctic Ocean has been warming twice as fast as the global average temperature. As a result, the area covered by ice in the Arctic has been gradually shrinking.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, as of September 16, 2012, the Arctic ice area was only 3.4 million square kilometers. In other words, the ice in the Arctic has lost 80% of its mass at the current time.
4. Continuous Temperature Changes
The fourth manifestation of global warming is the continuous temperature changes in recent years. Statistical data shows that the first decade of the 21st century marked the highest temperature increase, with record-breaking heat on Earth ever recorded.
The average temperature on the Earth’s surface and in the oceans has increased by about 0.74 degrees Celsius worldwide over the past century. According to scientists from Oregon State University and Harvard University, the Earth’s temperature has reached its highest point in the past 11,000 years.
There is a possibility of an additional increase of 5 degrees Celsius within the next 100 years. This is alarming and it has a significant impact on the life and development of our planet.
5. Record High Carbon Dioxide Levels
Lastly, one worrying consequence of global warming is the record high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Through the analysis of ice core samples from the South Pole and Greenland, scientists have concluded that over the past 650,000 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) ranged from 180 to 300 ppm.
PPM is a unit of measurement expressing concentration by weight and is measured in parts per million. The analysis of CO2 isotopes in the atmosphere has shown that the increase in CO2 is a result of burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
These activities are caused by human actions and we must address them quickly. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that enhances the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.
Causes of Global Warming
According to most climate researchers, global warming is caused by both natural and human-made factors. Natural causes have contributed to global warming over thousands of years, but they are not significant enough to cause climate change on their own. Let’s take a closer look at these two causes:
1. Natural Causes
Natural causes have played a role in the global warming of the Earth for thousands of years. However, these causes are not significant enough to induce climate change on their own.
1.1. Solar Energy Activity
One of the natural causes leading to global warming is solar energy activity. The sun is getting larger and it produces more radiation during its nuclear fusion process, which contributes to global warming.
The harmful solar rays are deflected by the ozone layer and the Earth’s magnetic field. However, a portion of this radiation remains in the atmosphere as heat, which raises the average temperature of the planet.
1.2. Water Vapor
Water vapor is also a natural cause of climate change. The increase in water vapor in the atmosphere leads to a rise in average temperature over time, contributing to global warming.
Water vapor is a greenhouse gas that naturally retains heat. It enables us to exist in comfortable temperatures and supports life on Earth. However, humans are altering the water cycle and creating more water vapor. Therefore, water vapor can be considered both a natural and a human-made cause of global warming.
1.3. Climate Cycles
Climate cycles frequently occur on Earth. These cycles, along with the sun’s rays, drive temperature increases.
2. Human-Made Causes
Although natural causes play a significant role in global warming, human-made causes are responsible for the most severe damage to the Earth.
2.1. Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of global warming. They result from burning fossil fuels. The majority of these emissions come from electricity generation and the use of fossil fuels in vehicles on a daily basis.
The high population growth rate leads to an increased demand for fossil fuels, causing more significant issues for the Earth.
It is important to note that the composition of CO2 in the atmosphere is not constant. There are many organisms that perform photosynthesis and use it to survive and grow.
As we know, plants use CO2 through the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, deforestation is equivalent to destroying the “green lungs” of the Earth. Widespread deforestation around the world has resulted in an increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Consequently, this contributes to global warming with higher temperatures in recent years. Additionally, deforestation leads to a decrease in biodiversity due to the fragmentation and destruction of natural habitats for many species.
By 2050, if deforestation continues at its current rate, half of the Amazon rainforest in tropical forests will be destroyed.
2.3. Excessive Use of Fertilizers
The excessive use of fertilizers in agriculture is another significant cause of the excessive temperature increase on Earth. These fertilizers contain high levels of nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide is far more harmful than carbon dioxide. Once again, the issue of population growth comes into play. The high population demand for food leads to increased agricultural cultivation and the use of fertilizers for this process.
Moreover, to meet the global demand for large amounts of food, quick harvesting has increased. Consequently, this leads to the excessive use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones, and everything related to optimizing crop growth and development.
2.4. High Methane Levels
The last factor to consider is methane gas. Methane (CH4) has a significant greenhouse effect compared to carbon dioxide. It is generated through the decomposition of buried waste.
Organic matter decomposes, and under oxygen-deficient conditions, it produces methane gas. The concentration of this gas is increasing over time and has a considerable heat-trapping capacity.
Effects of Global Warming
From the information above, the most significant consequence of global warming is climate change. In other words, global warming impacts climate change. Specifically, it has the following effects:
1. Impact on Water Resources
Global warming affects the quality and quantity of water on Earth. It leads to a shortage of clean water for human use, as well as for production and business activities.
2. Impact on Biodiversity
The warming of the Earth’s surface causes changes in the habitats of various species. As a result of these global changes, biota must adapt and respond to these harsh environments. However, many cannot adapt quickly enough and gradually disappear.
Additionally, human activities also have an impact on the environment. We hunt and encroach upon spaces, constructing infrastructure to serve our needs, which narrows the living space of many animal species and puts them at risk of extinction.
3. Impact on Human Health
We are harming ourselves. Human health is seriously threatened as diseases increase. Heatwaves and heavy rains create favorable conditions for bacteria and microorganisms to thrive.
Moreover, waste and emissions also contribute to the incidence of diseases and weaken our immune systems. Working in high temperatures is dangerous as our bodies cannot cool down in time. Nowadays, the number of deaths due to heatwaves is increasing.
4. Global Sea Level Rise
Currently, there is rapid melting of the polar ice. This will cause a significant increase in sea levels, leading to flooding. In the future, some countries will be submerged due to rising sea levels.
Estimates indicate that by 2020, the Earth will have lost 28 trillion metric tons of ice over the past 23 years due to global warming.
Solutions to Global Warming
1. Plant More Trees
This is one of the most effective and simplest measures to reduce the rising global temperature. As you may know, trees absorb CO2 through the process of photosynthesis.
As a result, the concentration of CO2, a greenhouse gas, significantly decreases. This helps reduce the greenhouse effect that we are currently experiencing. Governments worldwide are implementing large-scale reforestation initiatives. Vietnam, in particular, is doing well in this regard.
2. Energy Conservation
Conserving the energy we use is an effective way to reduce global warming. Electricity is produced by burning fuels, fossil fuels. During this energy production process, a large amount of CO2 is emitted into the environment. Therefore, conserving electricity is a way to reduce the greenhouse effect and air pollution.
3. Optimize Transportation
Vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles, are major contributors to CO2, N2O, and particulate matter emissions that cause environmental pollution. Therefore, you can protect the environment by limiting the use of these vehicles and, instead, choosing to cycle or walk.
4. Use Clean Energy Sources
Clean energy sources include wind and solar power. Utilizing these energy sources helps reduce the greenhouse effect and environmental pollution.
You can consider using solar energy products from Son Ha to protect the environment. Solar energy is a method of harnessing energy from the sun. Using solar energy not only helps protect the environment but also significantly reduces your electricity costs. Additionally, you can also use Son Ha’s precast septic tanks to ensure a clean environment and proper waste disposal.
5. Raise Environmental Awareness
Promoting environmental protection activities and movements is essential. Providing knowledge to the public about global warming, its importance, and its impacts on life on our planet is crucial. Moreover, enhancing people’s awareness and responsibility for humans and all living creatures is essential.
These are some useful insights into global warming, its causes, and the actions we can take to mitigate its effects. For more interesting and informative articles, visit the Kienthucykhoa.com website. If you require detailed information about Son Ha’s septic tanks or solar energy, please call our hotline at 09126.96.36.199. The Son Ha team will be more than happy to assist you!