Definition For Global Warming
By guest writer, Nid. M. P
What exactly is the definition for Global Warming that we read and hear so much about?
Global Warming is the increase of the average global air temperature that is near to Earth’s surface.
This average temperature is a measure or how warm or cold Earth’s atmosphere is on the whole and it has a great impact on the Earth's climate – the long-term weather patterns over Earth’s surface.
Global warming is a result of green house gasses in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and CFCs are the major green house gases responsible for global warming. Just like the greenhouse traps heat within the glass enclosure so that plants within could grow, the greenhouse gases traps the sun’s heat within Earth’s atmosphere.
This green house effect is useful because the retained heat keeps the temperatures on our planet mild and viable for living. Without this atmosphere and the greenhouse effect, the average temperature at the surface of the Earth could be close to zero degrees Fahrenheit. This warming of the Earth’s surface is the definition for global warming.
While we need the green house effect on Earth, excessive green house gasses in our atmosphere can cause the Earth’s atmospheric temperature to increase above limits which disturbs the balance of the nature on Earth.
In many of the discussions about global warming today, the definition for global warming is usually about this excessive heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Who is responsible?
Industrialization and the high demand for energy that the former brings, have led to widespread deforestation and pollution, which in turn resulted in increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, etc.
As fossil fuels are burnt at an increasing rate to meet the world’s increasing need for energy, more and more green house gasses, especially carbon dioxide, are being released into the air. At the same time, with widespread deforestation, there is less flora to absorb and recycle the excess gaseous carbon dioxide in the air.
These excess greenhouse gases remain in Earth’s atmosphere, trapping more heat near Earth's surface and cause the planet to warm up.
In fact, Peter Demenocal, Associate Professor from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory noted in “The 11th Hour” movie that with the current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now, “even if we were to cap carbon dioxide emissions to the level they are now, the Earth should still warm by an additional half a degree centigrade.”
Read about the other causes of global warming.
Is there really a cause for serious concern? …..What will happen?
Although some researchers claim that global warming is fake and they present evidence against global warming and facts against global warming, I truly believe that global warming is a cause for serious concern. What is worse is that its full-scale impact cannot be fully predicted far in advance.
According to some researchers, going by the natural causes of global warming such as solar cycles and volcano activity and observing these natural events taking place on Earth today, the Earth should now be in a “cool-down-period”, rather than be in a “heating-up” phase. Read other evidence of global warming.
But because of human causing global warming, the Earth’s temperature is increasing. This global warming could lead to large-scale food and water shortages and have catastrophic effects on wildlife. Melting glaciers around the world would be rising sea levels in some regions, while in some parts of the planet, there could be droughts. Climate change events like strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wild fires, and other natural disasters may become commonplace in many parts of the world. Read about other effects of global warming.
The best demonstration and explanation of the definition for global warming that I’ve found is the Oscar-winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth. For those, who want to know more about global warming, watching this movie will be a great eye opener. You will learn about the Al Gore global warming efforts, and be appalled by the global warming facts and the consequences of global warming.
Understanding the definition for global warming is the first step. Next comes the understanding that we need to do something to reduce the rate at which we are warming the Earth.
We need to take up responsible actions, like save energy and opt for more energy efficiency appliances, developing alternative forms of energy that are greener, save natural resources, understand the importance of preserving wildlife and Earth’s biodiversity, growing more trees, proper treatment of industrial wastes.
There’s so much to be done; there’s definitely somewhere you can play a part. Our commitment toward responsible living today will help ensure the future of our coming generations – that they will inherit a healthy world full of opportunities tomorrow.
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