Are Humans the Cause of Global Climatic Change? - Essay Example

Published: 2021-08-16 09:20:41
1788 words
7 pages
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Wesleyan University
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Research paper
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Over the last five decades, global warming has been accelerating at a fast rate. Climatic change has been a significant area of concern, and a lot of studies are being carried out in todays modern world to determine the primary causes and solutions. It has become evident what scientist had predicted as effects of global climate change are happening in this 21st century and still have confidence that rise in temperatures will continue even in the coming decades. Scientists denying the climatic variations argue that there is a pause in global temperatures rise although recent studies have disregarded this claim. Many effects have happened to both the wildlife and human activities posing a debate whether humans cause these changes in climate or they just result naturally. Increased human activities have contributed significantly to the levels of greenhouse gases, Cloudiness, and aerosols causing alterations in the conditions of the ambient atmosphere.

Climatic change effects have been happening faster than the actual predictions by scientists. People have lost connection to nature and always ignore and do not react to issues relating to climatic changes ( American Scientific Societies). On rare occasions do people talk about what can be done at a personal level as the issue is delegated as government or a particular groups responsibility Warnings have been presented for years on the disastrous effects of changes in climate, but the educated and intelligent people in the society look at it as someone elses issue. Humans have a significant contribution to the vast carbon emissions, and its high time people come to terms with the irreversible and severe effects of climate changes and do something at a personal level.

In the past, climatic changes were experienced even before the accelerating contribution from human activities. Scientists have found evidence from tree rings, ocean sediments, and sedimentary rocks layers just to mentions a few. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, over the past million years, as the earth was moving from the ice age, global temperatures had risen to about seven degrees Celsius in 5000 years. Paleoclimate records have shown that temperatures have increased to 0.7 degrees Celsius in just one past century, which is ten times faster as compared to ice age average rate. Predictions are that the next century will be worse and warming will be experienced between 2-6 degrees ( Union Of Concerned Scientists). The 21st-century climate warming is much more rapid compared to warming in the past events. The Union of Concerned Scientists has given overwhelming evidence on how carbon dioxide release to the atmosphere results in a steady warming of the earth. The burning of fossil fuels may be in powering vehicles, heating homes or in electricity generation activities releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and these gases have been proven to trap heat, which then acts like a blanket warming the earth. From the trend of rising in temperature, scientists have conclusively attributed climatic changes to human activities rather than to natural occurrences.

A significant percentage of scientists have conceded that human activities are a significant contribution but this consensus is continuously questioned and criticized. Humans contribute to climate change in various ways such as burning fossil fuels. The four major greenhouse gases are emitted as a result of human activities. The gases include carbon dioxide, halocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. When these gases concentrate in the atmosphere, they contribute to a phenomenon called the greenhouse effect ( American Scientific Societies). The significant increase of these gasses began during industrial revolution era which marked the turning point of human beings relationship with the earth's ecology. Dramatic changes in the lifestyle, health social and on natural resources were evident.Carbon dioxide amounts have increased in the atmosphere daily. There are many vehicles on the roads that emit vast quantities of gases to the atmosphere (The US global change research program 11). Fossil fuels burned in industries for heating am cooling, in manufacturing industries like cement and other goods contribute to greenhouse gases.Deforestation activities which are followed by limited reforestation activities release carbon dioxide limiting its uptake by plants.

Human activities in agriculture, landfills, and distribution of natural gas have increased methane gas concentration in the atmosphere. Although physical processes contribute to the levels of methane concentration, human activities have played a significant role. Natural processes play a small role in the emission of Nitrous oxide and halocarbon gases. Nitrous oxide emitted from fertilizers and burning of fossil fuel while halocarbon is mainly from industrial processes and refrigeration agents. These gases result in the depletion of the ozone layer ( American Scientific Societies). Ozone gas has been continuously destroyed by chemical reactions from human activities such as the use of aerosol sprays in large-scale agricultural production. The harmful emissions have resulted in stratosphere ozone destruction causing a hole in the Antarctica thus the climatic changes.

Effect on the amounts of atmospheric water vapor produced, which is an important and the most abundant greenhouse gas results in noticeable climatic changes. Although human activities contribute less to affecting the water vapor, emissions of methane caused a chemical destruction in the stratosphere which in effect produces smaller quantities of water vapor. The composition of aerosols in the atmosphere as a result of human activities cause climatic changes ( Union Of Concerned Scientists).These are small particles with varying sizes and contains chemical compositions. Aerosols are emitted into the atmosphere directly, and others form from the compounds emitted. The burning of biomass and fossil fuels have increased the levels of small particles with sulfur compounds components, soot, and organic compounds. Industrial activities and mining have added up dust particles rising to the global warming effect.

Human activities contribute to radiative forcings which can be related the start of the industrial era.Carbon dioxide greenhouse gas has caused a more significant forcing, and tropospheric ozone has added to the warming effect.Particles emitted to the atmosphere have attributed directly to radiative forcing. They absorb and reflect heat and electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere ( Union Of Concerned Scientists). This is a negative forcing although there are some with positive effects of the climatic changes. The increasing human activities have continually altered the nature of the land cover. This has been through forests pastures and croplands changes causing negative radiative forcing. Much of the solar radiation reflected from the earth's surface has been as a result of human activities rising the temperatures of the atmosphere.Smoke that is emitted to the atmosphere has contributed significantly to cloudiness leading to atmospheric changes. Human activities in power plants and vehicles emissions have been reported to increase the suns radiation which in return causes a rise in temperature. This happens through heat trapping and increases in energy which contributes to heat rise.

Human activities and natural drivers result in the warming while some causes are cooling. Heat-trapping gasses released by human activities is large enough to cause some of the visible effects including global warming in the past century. Scientists have keenly documented the changes observed in the ocean and air temperature, the rise in the sea level and ice retreat.After comparing, the two drivers of the observed climatic changes, carbon emissions are the most significant contributors to climate change which narrows down to human activities ( Union Of Concerned Scientists). They have also contributed to the recent increases in temperature in oceans and the atmosphere.

Global warming has touched on almost every part of the United States. These effects have also been experienced in other parts of the world and scientists have projected that these forces will continue to rise and worsen in the future if human activities destructing the ozone layer will not be controlled. The recent torrential downpours that are being experienced are due to climatic changes., Areas that have been receiving little annual rainfall are likely to encounter substantial downpours. In the North East part of united state heavy rainfall is described as one that extends two inches at least in forty-eight hours. This has been related to the increasing trend of climatic changes driven by human activities (The US global change research program 10).Earth warming increases vegetation and transpiration processes which in turn causes a high concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere as condensation happens due to cooling.

Extreme heat waves have been experienced in parts of the US and some other places like in India.The heat waves are feared because they are causing death among people.In combination with the humid conditions, the body is unable to cool itself when heat waves strike.There have also been severe storms and severe droughts (The US global change research program 35). The warmer the planet becomes, the more the intense drought periods and strong, devastating winds such as typhoons and tornadoes. According to American Scientific Societies, the United States has already begun to experience severe snow storms which result in flooding and droughts. These events are causing great harm to the economy, vulnerable population and the countries infrastructure.Human health has been of more significant concern among the American people as various diseases are caused by climatic changes and factors that contribute to like carbon emissions and dust.

Climatic changes endanger lives through affecting the water sources. Breathing air, food and so on.The (Union of Concerned Scientists) effects have in some instances caused irreversible changes in health, transportations, and energy systems. Other impacts of human-driven climatic changes have been melting glaciers, and snows which risk water shortages and wildfires in the west part of America.Fisheries and farming activities are likely to be damaged by the overall climate changes. Disruption of Alpine meadows and coral reefs are habitats and will drive extinction of animals and plants species if corrective measures are not employed.

The United States is second in contributing to global warming at about 16 percent of carbon dioxide global emissions. China leads in adding to 28 percent of carbon dioxide emissions ( American Scientific Societies).Solutions to the global warming lie with every citizen of the United States and every other individual in the world.Effects of global warming may have severely experienced in some parts of the world but with increased human activities contributing to global warming will end up being severe worldwide. Since human operations are well known to be the primary driver, of the climatic changes and have helped us to understand why the changes are happening, aggressive measures are necessary to reduce the emissions. This will be important to have a better sustainable world for the future generations.The Union Of Concerned Scientists have come up with a solution which when well embraced will curb the current situation. A critical area is a significant reduction in emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere and adopt alternatives that will help save the environment, stopping the d...

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