What is Global Warming?
Global warming is the gradual rise in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere due to the effect of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane. Many scientists who have spent decades examining the causes of the phenomenon have concluded that there are several contributing factors, which are mainly associated with human interaction with the environment—the emission of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and the release of methane from landfills and agriculture into the atmosphere are top contributors of global warming.
Ramifications of Global Warming
There are numerous ramifications of global warming, and they ultimately increase the need for people to take action in order to resolve the profound issue. Some of the impacts include a significant rise in sea level and changes in rainfall patterns, causing droughts and fire in certain areas. In addition, the global phenomenon results in the melting of ice caps and glaciers—this has a negative impact on species living in aquatic waters, like polar bears, who are now thought to be greatly endangered due to the great loss of their habitat. In other words, widespread habitat loss eventually results in the widespread vanishing of animal populations. Another significant consequence of global warming is the migration of diseases, including malaria, to newer regions that are warmer due to the resulting increase in temperature.
What We Can Do
If we do not take action to slow down and eventually reverse global warming, perhaps the aforementioned consequences will further ensue and even exacerbate. Because the human population has significantly contributed to the rise in global warming, it is ultimately up to us to curtail the release of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. For instance, we can become more energy efficient by reducing our use of oil, gasoline, and coal. In addition, it is imperative that we reduce the domestic usage of electricity, especially since electric power generation is the largest source of greenhouse gases. In fact, the average home contributes more to global warming than the average car. Several steps can be taken in order to reduce the amount of electricity used in our homes. These include buying energy-efficient appliances with the Energy Star label, reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling, and even switching to energy-efficient lighting (replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs).
Furthermore, because motor vehicles emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we should improve “vehicle fuel-efficiency.” In order to do this, we reduce our driving and even encourage carpooling. Hybrids are a fuel-efficient alternative that shockingly gets 10 more miles per gallon than non-hybrids. In fact, since these cars use efficient gas-electric engines, global warming pollution can be reduce by over 30%.
Conserving energy at home is another step we can take in order to reduce global warming. Recycling plastic bottles, newspapers, glass, magazines, aluminum cans, and glass ultimately reduces the energy needed to create new products. In addition, eating locally produced food, which is often organic, is another option because it does not require staggering amounts of fuel to transport the food—this is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions as well.
Unequivocally, there is a vast array of actions you can take in order to curtail the detrimental ramifications of global warming. By informing family members, friends, and neighbors about this prominent topic and encouraging them to take action, you can help make our planet a safer place to live.