What is Global Warming?

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In the recent past there have been a number of high level meeting called to address the impacts of human activity on the environment. The most serious of these impacts is global warming. Over the years man has engaged in activities that have led to the depletion of the ozone layer and a high concentration in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases retain heat from the sun and cause a general rise in the temperature of the earth’s surface. Global warming is thus the rise in the temperature of the earth’s surface due to heat retained by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The greenhouse gases that cause global warming are mainly as a result of industrial activity. These gases though having a vital purpose of maintaining a reasonable temperature on earth are now a cause for concern as their high concentration is leading to the retention of too much heat on the earth’s surface. Global warming has resulted in a rise in sea levels, retreat of glaciers, frequent extreme weather conditions such as floods and drought, extinction of certain species and much more. All these clearly show that global warming has affected the balance of nature which is an integral part of the survival of life here on earth.

The number one cause of global warming is pollution. This includes both commercial as well as domestic pollution. This pollution has led to the release of gases such as carbon dioxide which is produced from manufacturing processes as well as transportation. Use of fossil fuel to power industries as well as vehicles has greatly contributed to the concentration of greenhouse gases. There is also a significant amount of greenhouse gases that are produced by garbage and industrial waste dumps. The different materials in these garbage and waste dumps react and produce very strong greenhouse gases. Burning of this garbage is also a contributor to the production of greenhouse gases. Cutting of trees has also significantly contributed to greenhouse gas concentration because plants absorb carbon dioxide which is a green house gas and having fewer trees means that there is a smaller amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed.

There are many serious steps being taken to curb global warming around the world. Governments are working towards reduction of industrial emissions in factories, there are more efforts to recycle so as to reduce garbage and waste, more energy efficient systems are being developed for domestic as well as commercial use, encouraging people to carpool since cars are some of worst polluters and also by conserving the natural environment while planting more trees. It is hoped that these measures might help in slowing the effects of global warming and in the long term, if the efforts are concerted and sustained it may even help reverse some of the effects of global warming.

There is a challenge however with some countries that are not willing to reduce industrial emissions as they are of the opinion it will slow down their economies. While this may be true it will be of no use to have a strong economy in a world we cannot live in. The best approach is to go for greater efficiency and greener energy.

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