Education and Meanings

Global Warming: what is it? Causes and Effects

A lot is heard about Global Warming . Certainly you and everyone you know have heard about this subject at least once, but the truth is, not everyone understands very well what it is, is it? If you fell for this text, it is very likely that you are interested in learning and finding out more about this subject. Well, stay with us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

Global warming is a climatic phenomenon that has a great extent. This phenomenon is a very considerable increase in the temperature of the Earth’s surface and this phenomenon has been happening for about 150 years.

You might be wondering why this happens, since the temperature rise wouldn’t happen without reason, right? Well then, let’s understand. It has been taking place as a result of the changes that have taken place on the planet. These actions can be: natural or anthropogenic causes. By anthropogenic, we mean by human action.

There is a great deal of discussion within the scientific community around global warming. According to scientists at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the 20th century was the one with the highest temperature in the last 500 years. The increase in average temperature was between 0.3 and 0.6°C.

Speaking like that, it seems insignificant, doesn’t it? But even if, at first sight, it seems to increase a very small change, this was enough to change the entire climate of several regions of the planet and deeply affect the biodiversity of these places. Due to this, many environmental disasters were unleashed.

A part of the scientific community dedicated to studying Earth phenomena and global warming claims that warming occurs due to a natural process, as they believe the Earth is going through a phase they call a natural transition. This is a slow and slow process, moving out of the so-called Ice Age and into the Interglacial Age. The increase in the Earth’s temperature would be a consequence of this phenomenon.

GLOBAL WARMING, GREENHOUSE EFFECT

When we hear about the so-called greenhouse effect, we take a back seat, because at first it looks like something bad, doesn’t it? But it’s quite the opposite! The greenhouse effect is a natural effect and it is thanks to it that there is life on planet Earth. Understand better what the greenhouse effect is:

The sun sends a certain amount of solar energy to Earth. A part is reflected back to space and another part is absorbed by the oceans and the Earth’s surface, being this energy responsible for the planet’s warming.

The part of the heat that is sent back to space is blocked due to the greenhouse gases that, despite letting through this solar energy (albeit in small waves), are defined as opaque to the Earth’s radiation, which is emitted in waves larger. This difference between the waves is due to the difference between the temperatures of the Sun and the Earth’s surface.

In other words, it is the effect of greenhouse gases that makes the Earth a habitable planet. If these gases did not exist, the planet’s temperature would be considerably low, around -18º. The exchange of energy that takes place between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere is what maintains the current conditions for the planet to remain habitable, providing the global average temperature, which, close to the surface, is around 14ºC.

At this point, you may be asking yourself: but what about the relationship between global warming and the greenhouse effect, what is it, exactly? So, when there is a balance between the solar energy received and the energy that is reflected in the form of gases by planet Earth, the temperature of the place remains practically unchanged. However, for some reasons, this balance can be changed.

The main one is when there is a change in the amount of energy that is reflected by the planet back to space. This happens due to changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and this increase in the concentration of gases is occurring due to the increase in gas emissions by human beings. Activities such as agriculture, livestock, transport, forest clearing, industry, among others are some examples of activities that emit large amounts of gases.

Even though, throughout the Earth’s history, the planet has experienced some climatic changes, nothing compares to what has been happening in recent decades. And it is necessary to consider that, while past changes occurred naturally, current changes, especially those of the last 50 years, occur due to human action.

The main evidence of the effects of human action was with global warming, which was detected from the increase in the temperature of the oceans, the generalized melting of the polar ice caps and, as a consequence of the melting, the rise in sea level. And, in this way, it is no longer possible to deny that human beings have no direct relationship with the increase in the emission of greenhouse gases and also with global warming.

WHAT TO DO TO HELP REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING

Now that you’ve realized how big global warming is and that it affects all living beings, it’s time to understand that you can make a difference and help reduce it! Check-out:

  • If possible, stop consuming animal products: many forest areas are being deforested to be used as pasture for cattle, whether beef or dairy. The decrease in vegetation leads to the creation of greenhouse gases.
  • Do not buy wood products that are not certified or opt for products made from other types of raw materials: illegal wood comes from the devastation of native forests, which results in more greenhouse gas emissions. Products that use certified wood have the FSC or reforestation wood seal.
  • Buy sustainably produced products: consuming products made by local communities is a great way to not contribute to deforestation.
  • Ride less in your car and more on your bicycle: Burning fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel contributes to global warming. Give preference to zero-emission cars if you are going to buy a car.
  • Reflect on the consumption of certain products: the manufacturing process of all things involves extraction, processing of raw materials, use of water and energy and consumption of fuel up to the place where it will be sold. All steps cause greenhouse effect. Is it really necessary to use all the products you currently use?
  • Buy from conscientious companies: Currently, there are several companies that are adopting measures to reduce the emission of gases in their production processes. Search and see which brands can serve you.
  • Stop waste: food waste is the largest part of the garbage produced in Brazil. Organic waste produces methane gas, which is extremely potent as a greenhouse effect.
  • Know the problems of soy production: many of the areas used for soy production are being illegally deforested. Deforestation is the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Separate the garbage for recycling: Recycling helps to save natural resources and reduce expenses with the reduction of raw materials.
  • Try to know and encourage actions to combat global warming: give or take a ride, use recycled or recyclable products, use ecobags, remember to turn off the lights whenever there is no need to turn them on, among others.

See here everything about Biomass and Renewable Energy .

CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING

The increase in temperature is a phenomenon that brings extremely serious problems for all species. It may be difficult to visualize this in practice, but the consequences are more present in your daily life than you think, check it out:

  • Health problems are more and more frequent: intense heat increases the risk of people developing infections, allergies and cardio-respiratory diseases. Heat causes changes in the physiological state of the human body, especially in groups such as the elderly, children and people with heart and airway problems.
  • Property and infrastructure damage: Global warming causes changes in rainfall and facilitators of the occurrence of extreme events such as floods, hurricanes, storms, droughts and fires. This compromises structures of great importance, which would cost the government more expenses.
  • Loss of productivity: hotter days can cause interruptions in daily life, loss of production, work, school days, among others. This harms trade, transport, agriculture and energy production.
  • Mass migration and security problems: sudden changes in temperature can cause mass migration in order to escape environmental problems such as desertification, drought, floods and so on.
  • Increased expenditure: crops need to be irrigated more often in hot climates, more measures would be taken to support animal welfare, and thus meat and vegetables would become more expensive.
  • Species extinction and migration: There are many species that are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. They are in danger of disappearing, which would affect many ecosystems around the world, especially rainforests, glaciers and coral reefs.
  • Melting ice caps: With the increase in the planet’s average temperature, the polar ice caps would suffer from an enormous melting, considerably increasing sea level.

These are just some of the consequences caused by this much talked about phenomenon. Did you now expand on why it is so important for each one to do their part and help in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases?

GLOBAL WARMING AND ITS CAUSES

Global warming has a specific cause: the emission of greenhouse gases. The important thing is to understand what emits these gases, because then we’ll discover their cause. Activities that emit this type of gas are extremely common and are extremely part of our routine, so we don’t even realize how harmful they can be.

The use of what we call fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. And automobiles have been part of our since we understand each other, isn’t it? We use cars for sightseeing, school and work. Another cause, this being the main one, is the deforestation of forest areas. The destruction of large areas of forest releases an enormous amount of greenhouse gases.

Fires are also part of the causes that deserve attention. Burning vegetation releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide , one of the greenhouse gases. And finally, industrial activities. All industries that use fossil fuels are responsible for emitting polluting gases. In developed countries, this is the biggest cause of gas emissions.

See here everything about Carbon Dioxide – CO 2

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING

Global warming has effects that affect all regions in some way and, in a few decades, can lead to irreversible changes, such as coastal cities that can be completely underwater due to the melting of the polar ice caps. In other words, the volcanic islands will disappear from the map altogether, have you thought?

Other effects are increased drought and the depletion of water resources. In several regions of the world, water is already something scarce and very valuable. In the future, even more countries will feel the effects of the lack of water and deserts will become more and more common, appearing in several countries. These are just some of the effects of global warming. Surely it was enough to make us rethink, wasn’t it?

WHEN GLOBAL WARMING HAPPENS

Let’s understand exactly when this effect occurs, so we’ll better understand how it works. Global warming can happen in two ways, being them: by natural origins or by human origins.

Human activities are observed when there is an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases (use of fuels, for example); when human development occurs without planning, which is directly linked to forest fires and deforestation. This reduces temperature-regulating agents, thus resulting in desertification spaces.

Natural causes are related to increased activity on the sun’s surface. This activity causes explosions with a high emission of ultraviolet rays. There is also an increase in evaporation and concentration of gases in the air. An example of these gases is carbon, which comes from ocean water.

HOW TO AVOID GLOBAL WARMING

There are still chances to prevent global warming from increasing and becoming even more worrying. Some actions to be taken are to reduce the use of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and replace them with biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol.

Another attitude to be taken is to pay attention to the operation of your car and have it checked regularly, thus avoiding an unregulated burning of fuel. Cars, motorcycles and trucks must use the catalytic converter, remember this!

Another thing that must be done is the installation of gas emission control systems by pollutants coming from industries. It is also extremely important that clean and renewable energy sources have their work expanded and more recognized. Hydroelectric, wind, nuclear, solar and tidal power. Why not? They only have to add!

Here’s a tip you can already start putting into practice: leave your car at home whenever possible. Take a ride with colleagues, use public transport in your city or ride a bike. Another thing you can do is collaborate with the selective collection of your city and separate what is valid for recycling!

GLOBAL WARMING CONCEPT

The concept of global warming is that this is a process of increasing the average temperature of the oceans and atmosphere of planet Earth.

This process is caused by a large emission of gases that intensify the existing greenhouse effect, which is mostly caused by human activities, such as industries, fires, agronomy and livestock, among others. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and the lack of planning in current cities reflect directly on this process.

DEFINITION OF GLOBAL WARMING

The definition of global warming is directly linked to the concept of global warming, which has already been dealt with in this text previously. The average temperature of the oceans and the Earth’s atmosphere is a product of a rampant population explosion, economic growth in all parts of the world, the widespread use of technologies today, the indiscriminate use of polluting energies and, finally, a style of life that has become unsustainable.

In this way of life, man observes nature only as a supplier of raw materials for exploration. It is worth stressing that global warming has been happening since the mid-nineteenth century and will continue to grow as long as gas emissions remain high, since this type of gas obstructs the dissipation of heat from the Earth to space.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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