‘Global warming’, as is evident from the name itself, is a phenomenon in which the average surface temperature of the earth rises beyond an acceptable limit. It is caused by another occurrence termed as the ‘Greenhouse effect’. In the essay below we will go through the causes and effects of global warming in detail.
Short and Long Essay on Causes and Effects of Global Warming
Essay 1 (250 Words) - Global Warming: Causes and Effects
Global warming refers to the rise in the average surface temperature of the earth. It is caused by a phenomenon called the greenhouse effect. In the essay below we will discuss what causes the greenhouse effect and hence global warming.
What is Global Warming, its Causes and Effects
The earth’s atmosphere contains a natural shield of gases that prevent the sun’s heat reflected from the earth’s surface from escaping to the outer atmosphere, therefore maintain the surface temperature to suitable levels. Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO) and Ozone (O3) are some of the main greenhouse gases.
The problem arises when human activities like industrialization and transportation result in the production of the mentioned greenhouse gases as byproducts, thereby increasing their atmospheric concentration. The more the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere the more will be the greenhouse effect, that is, more heat will be prevented from escaping into the atmosphere.
When the heat reflected from the earth’s surface is not allowed to escape to the atmosphere, it naturally results in a rise in surface temperature. This phenomenon is called global warming, which is caused by the greenhouse effect as explained above. Greenhouse gases form a kind of blanket of sorts over the earth's surface, preserving the heat.
Global warming is an immediate threat to the environment and is a matter of grave concern. It is the right time for the world powers to intervene and take necessary measures until it’s too late. The world needs to join hands to fight global warming and its effects.
Essay 2 (400 Words) - Causes of Global Warming
Global warming is caused by a number of human activities including industrialization, use of fossil fuel, deforestation, etc. One of the main causes of global warming is the greenhouse effect. In the essay, we will briefly discuss the causes of global warming.
Causes of Global Warming
The following – burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and agricultural activities are the prime causes of global warming as described below.
- Fossil Fuel Burning
The production and use of fossil fuel by humans for various activities result in the production of greenhouse gases, thereby resulting in global warming. Whenever fossil fuel is burnt in the form of coal or petrol to power our plants or transport vehicles, a potent greenhouse gas CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Nearly all of the electricity production plants use coal as a primary fuel, which results in huge production of CO2 gas as a byproduct. Even the production of fossil fuel results in the generation of some potent greenhouse gases subsequently causing global warming.
Plants and trees are natural air filters and play a vital role in cleaning the air. Trees have a natural process of absorbing CO2 and emit oxygen. It is needless to mention that how much important is oxygen for the survival of humans, animals, and plants on the planet. Unfortunately, large forested areas are being cleared for commercial activities, consequently resulting in the large atmospheric concentration of CO2 and thereby in global warming. The more forests will be cleared the more will be the concentration of CO2 and hence the more will be global warming.
- Agricultural Activities
Agriculture activities are also responsible for global warming. Today the agriculture industry uses chemical fertilizers and disinfectants. Most of them produce harmful greenhouse gases on decomposition. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is one of the potent greenhouses gases produced due to the use of chemical fertilizers and disinfectants. Also, livestock like cattle and others produce Methane (CH4), another potent greenhouse gas. In places with a large livestock population and a wide grazing area, the production of methane is enough to significantly cause global warming.
Global warming is caused primarily by human activities like industrialization, transportation, etc. The key to reducing global warming and its effects lies in reducing the production of greenhouse gases. This could be achieved up to some extent by making strict laws for the industries and also by using alternate fuel sources instead of conventional fossil fuel.
Essay 3 (600 Words) - Effects of Global Warming
Global warming refers to the rise in the average surface temperature of the earth resulting in abnormal climatic conditions and other geographical changes. In the essay below we will discuss the effects of global warming.
Effects of Global Warming
Global warming has wide and far-reaching effects on the environment, biosphere, and species of animals, plants, humans, etc. Below given are some of the significant effects of global warming.
- Increase in Surface Temperature
This is the most immediate effect of global warming. There had been a recorded increase of 1.4°F or 0.8°C in the earth’s average surface temperature since the past century. 2016 was recorded as the hottest year with the earth’s surface temperature warmer by 1.78°F or 0.99°C. This temperature rise was the highest recorded in the entire 20th century. The record-keeping of the data of earth’s surface temperature is maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The rise in temperature is not consistent throughout the globe but varies from place to place.
- Extreme Climatic Conditions
Global warming causes unexpected and extreme climatic changes throughout the globe. Several places face extreme cold and heated temperatures as was never witnessed before. Some places in America and Asia have recorded the hottest summer temperature to date. A change in the occurrence of seasons is also witnessed, probably due to global warming. A rise in the earth’s temperature interferes with the normal flow of winds over the oceans and also over the surface, thereby resulting in an unexpected shift in monsoon and other seasons.
- Depletion in Snow Cover
Global warming is slowly and steadily melting away the snow cover of the earth. In the past 50 years, a significant reduction of ice cover is recorded in the continents of North America and Asia. There has also been a significant reduction of frozen grounds, by almost 10% in the northern hemisphere. The glaciers around the world are also melting due to global warming.
- Rise in Sea Level
The main cause of the sea-level rise is the melting of ice cover and glaciers. The ocean level is rising by around 3 millimeters annually, according to the data provided by the World Meteorological Organization. If we look at the data of the past two centuries, we would know that the ocean level has risen by around 8 inches since then. The melting of Arctic ice, Antarctic ice and glaciers are the main cause of global warming. There has also been a significant decrease in the number of glaciers found worldwide.
- Ocean Acidification
Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect and a rise in the atmospheric level of Carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 gets dissolved in the ocean water, causing its acidification. The atmospheric CO2 dissolves in the ocean water, forming carbonic acid. Since the industrial revolution, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased, consequently resulting in acidification of oceans. Ocean acidification results in the depletion of sea species. Most of the sea species have shells made of calcium. When the water turns acidic, it starts dissolving the shells thereby resulting in species depletion. Coral reef, oysters, turtles are some of the aquatic species that are most affected by ocean acidification.
It is in all probability that humans are primarily responsible for global warming. Causes of global warming are anthropogenic and the natural causes, what so ever are negligible. The responsibility of minimizing the effects of global warming also lies with humans. Stringent measures must be taken by the world community to reduce global warming and its harmful effects.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is the major cause of global warming.
Ans. China is the country in the world that emits the highest amount of carbon dioxide
Ans. Wallace Smith Broecker in the 1970s coined the term global warming.
Ans. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is produced by the decomposition of waste.
Ans. The rate of global warming is measured by climatologists.