In present times, the green house gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide are playing havoc on our environment. These green house gases trap the heat of sun into earth’s atmosphere causing increase in the temperature. Power plants are the major sources of carbon dioxide. These power plants emit huge quantities of carbon dioxide, which is produced when fossil fuel is burnt for generation of electricity. Burning of gasoline in vehicles contributes to more than 20% of carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere.
Major Contributors of Global Warming
Commercial and residential buildings need a lot of fuel to be burnt, emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As compared to carbon dioxide, methane is twenty times more effectual at entrapping the heat in the atmosphere. Methane is obtained from several resources such as bovine flatulence, paddles, fossil fuel manufacture and bacteria in bogs. Flood in the fields decays the organic matter, and releases methane in the atmosphere. Nylon and nitric acid production, use of fertilizers in the agriculture, cars with catalytic converters and burning of organic matter are main sources of nitrous oxide. More than 33% of carbon dioxide emission comes from engines of light trucks and cars. Vehicles that have poor mileage contribute maximum to the global warming.
The way we use our land is one of the major cause of global warming. Modern agriculture practices that are used to grow cereals, breed animals, grow vegetables and fruits and other foods for human consumption, and all these agricultural practices lead to emission of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide and methane.
There is no doubt that in last few decades, deforestation has become one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is the main gas emitted, in addition to small amounts of nitrous oxide and methane. Tropical rainforests are very crucial for regulating the regional and global climate patterns. The environment can get tremendously affected if these forests are destroyed. Rainforests remove the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis.
Another reason and cause of global warming is the fact that human population is growing, and in addition to increase in the fuel usage for transportation, energy and power, people need to be fed, which leads to increased deforestation for the purpose of agriculture.
There are some natural causes of global warming as well. Temperature of the planet is affected by changes in the shape of orbit of Earth around the Sun, and also by the tilt of its axis because both these factors affect the amount of solar energy received by the planet. As Sun is the only source of energy responsible for functioning of Earth’s climate system, change in output of solar energy can lead to change in the climate, especially, global warming.
One more natural cause of global warming is the aerosol emission of volcanic eruptions that blocks the sunlight, and causes short-term cooling on affected parts of the earth. The volcanic eruptions emit carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, however, most scientists believe that humans are far more responsible for the damage as compared to volcanic eruptions.
Change in ocean current is also a natural cause of global warming because rise and fall of current creates global change. Oceanic currents have considerable effect on the changes of heat pattern around the earth. This effect varies from region to region, and may also be related to rotation of sun.
All greenhouse gases are the causes of immediate global warming, and these emissions are being produced by almost each and every imaginable human activity. Hence, in order to control global warming, we need to make some lifestyle changes that are more appreciative of environmental health. We also need to start developing and using the renewable sources of energy. Global warming needs to be controlled, now, else by 2100, the average temperature on earth will increase by 3-9 degrees, which will be truly devastating.
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