The 21st century has seen its fair share of controversial issues but none as divisive as global warming. While scientists strive to provide us with unequivocal empirical evidence of the fact that irreversible changes have been taking place, climate change deniers believe that this is nothing more than an elaborate hoax aimed at duping the masses. Supporters of the later school of thought even include influential world leaders such as President Donald J. Trump of the United States who has stated severally that the evidence is not convincing. Even in the face of such outrageous claims, one thing is certain; climatic conditions are not as they were a few hundred years ago. The advent of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalist societies have often been blamed for this state of global affairs (Morris). In their quest to widen their profit margins, the wealthy bourgeoisie have been put on the spotlight for accelerating climate change. Pundits on matters climate change are however voicing concern on the nonchalance adopted by world leaders in dealing with this particular issue, viewing it as an impending disaster. Pursuant to these concerns, this essay seeks to explore global warming, causes, and effects in addition to providing feasible intervention strategies that can aid in curbing its permeation.
Evidence and Causes
Climate change is a reality that humanity has had to contend with over the years. The cycles of intermittent glacial advance and retreat prove that it had been happening long before scientists coined a name for the phenomenon. Nonetheless, all this came to a grinding halt during the last ice age which has often been viewed as a period that heralded the modern climate era. A common misconception amongst laypeople is that climate change follows the cause of nature and scientists are essentially blowing the issue out of proportion. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In essence, scientists understand that variations in global climatic conditions are a reality but are against the accelerated rate at which it is occurring. A telling sign of climate change is the sudden rise in global temperatures. The average temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius, a state of affairs that has been directly linked to an increase in the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Haugen et al.). Oceans have also been victims of this rise in temperature since these large bodies of water readily absorb the heat. At the northern and southern tips, the mass of ice sheets has been decreasing at shocking speeds. Evidence of this reality is seen in the flow of water which is then drained into the oceans. Moreover, from the Andes, Himalayas and to the American Rockies, there is no doubt that glaciers are retreating at a worrying rate. Extreme events and the rise in sea levels have also plagued the planet owing to the rise in global temperature, a situation that is likely to worsen in the next decade.
Effects of Global Warming
An immediate effect of global warming is what scientists popularly refer to as the greenhouse effect. In this particular instance, the atmosphere traps radiated heat, and the resultant effect is a scenario where certain gases are trapped and create a blanket above the atmosphere. As a result of this rise in temperatures, climate change is now accelerated leading to more evaporation and an alteration in the level of precipitation often experienced in different regions across the planet. Additionally, the melting of polar caps and glaciers will result in a global rise in sea level, a threat to human lives and property. Low lying areas such as Florida, Miami are at risk of being submerged under water if the current rate of global warming is not put under control. Furthermore, even worse are the losses that will be made by those who had invested heavily in Florida’s real estate (Morris 67). Entrepreneurs will be counting their losses when the property is abandoned owing to extremities caused by climate change. Global warming also increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The result is the growth of certain species of weeds that would make farming a difficult task. Money that would have been better spent developing the farm would now be used to control these nascent crop varieties. Natural disasters will also be on the rise, resulting in a steep increase in human calamities. As mentioned earlier, an increase in global temperate will result in a high rate of evaporation, which would ultimately lead to more substantial precipitation. Flooding will now become all too common scenarios, wildfires ravaging the steppes and hurricanes increasing in intensity. Melting of the polar caps will also result in the release of bacteria that had been trapped in the permafrost for thousands of years. Humanity will now be in danger of being decimated by plagues from different epochs, presenting a precarious state of affairs.
The reality that we now have to contend with is that climate change is occurring and at a very surprising speed. Intervention in curbing this state of affairs begins with raising the public’s awareness of this reality. By acknowledging that climate change is indeed taking place, individuals will be better poised to implement the policies that might have been passed to combat global warming. All this begins in the schools where curriculums can be developed and tailor-made to ensure that children understand their role in conserving the environment and preventing this impending catastrophe. Being energy efficient has been viewed by experts as a vital strategy in combating global warming. A people conscious of the effects this state of affairs has on the planet will go above and beyond in implementing policies that will prevent the situation from worsening. Renewable energy and its use across the globe is a push towards creating an environment that is cleaner for humanity. Opting for power from wind farms other than one which is non-renewable goes a long way in managing global warming (Oxlade, 2012). Policymakers also have to play their part in ensuring that legislation is passed to punish all those who might break the rules aimed at preventing global warming.
The ongoing debate on global warming is an indication of the seriousness of the issue and the adverse effect it will possibly have on humanity. Some are already being felt with the rise in global temperature and the melting of ice sheets. Nevertheless, world leaders and the masses have to come together and resolve to put policies in place that would assure the human species of their survival. If these policies are not implemented fully, then humanity will be staring into an uncertain future that is already doomed.
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