Global Warming. The True Dimension Of The Problem

The ongoing increase of temperature on the Earth’s surface  triggers a series of events, which they could impact all the things we take for granted. But, what causes the temperature to increase in the first place?

The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are the main factors of temperature increase!

Even though, there are plenty of alternative energy sources at our disposal, all big economies around the world cover their need for electricity by burning fossil fuels. However, this unstoppable use of coal and petroleum for the production of energy, leads the Earth to its fast death. When the fossil fuels are burnt, they release the carbon that is stored inside them which, in turn, mixes with the oxygen in the air and that creates the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Greenhouse effect in simple language

According to NASA, the sun keeps the earth warm due to the light it emits. Of 100% of sun light, 70% is absorbed by the oceans,  land and  atmosphere, and the rest 30% is reflected back into the space via reflected surfaces, such as clouds, snow, sand, and rocks. Once this infrared radiation travels back from the earth’s surface into the atmosphere, a part of it is absorbed by water vapor and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, ozone and methane. These gas molecules turn into tiny heaters and radiate heat in all directions back to the earth. This is the natural greenhouse effect that maintains life on the Earth. Without the natural greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average temperature would be lesser than 30 degrees Celsius, at about -18.

A layer of greenhouse gases – primarily water vapor, and including much smaller ammounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide- acts as a thermal blanket for the Earth, absorbing heating and warming the surface to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcious) source: NASA

However, scientists are not worried about this natural process, but for the enhanced greenhouse emissions caused by human activity, instead!

Since the Industrial Revolution began 268 years ago, humans have been artificially increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at unprecedented levels. In those two centuries, human activity caused an increase of 40% in carbon dioxide and 150% in methane.

How the human activity increases the greenhouse gases

The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, industrialization and farming are all parts of humans’ reckless behavior towards nature. 

Everything is part of a chain. Either it is for good or bad, for evolution or destruction, there is always a starting point and an ending one. In this case, everything starts with the increasing population and ends up with the uncontrollable and arrogant exploitation of natural resources.

Imagine this chain

Increasing population → increasing need for energy, residents, transportation, and food → deforestation and intensive farming → intensive industrialization → increasing greenhouse gases → increasing heat on the Earth

In 1955, the world’s population was 2.772.242.535 that equaled to 28 persons /km2. In 2018, population has escalated to 7.632.819.325 or 76 persons/km2.  Source: worldometers.

What contributed to this increase

  • Lack of contraceptive measures in overpopulated countries like India, Pakistan, Africa, etc.
  • Non governmental restriction on the number of children a couple can have. For example, in China there was for almost 30 years the one-child policy in a try to regulate the overpopulation. In 2018, China’s population is  1.413.614.135, equivalent to 18.54 % of the total world population, with 390 people per square mile!  (Source: Worldometers)
  • People’s easy access to quality medical care and medicines increased the life expectancy globally to more than 80 years and decreased the mortality rates significantally
  • The ‘baby-industry’ many gynecologists have set the recent years promising all women have their own babies, instead of adopting the already orphan children. Fertlity rates worldwide show that there are more children than parents!

The impact of the increasing population on the Earth

Intensive Farming: in order to cover the ongoing need we have for food, we cultivate more, building more greenhouses to grow more plants, using more water, using more fertilizers which they emit more nitrous oxide and Carbone dioxide, which they produce more heat, and so on… 

Industrialization: there is no modern society which can cover its basic needs without  industries to support those needs. Once these industries produce the ‘necessary tools’ for humans’ survival then, they have to dispose their waste somewhere…in the oceans and landfills. Waste disposed in the landfills is burnt, becoming one more source of carbon dioxide and methane, increasing the earth’s temperature even more. 

Deforestation: the more population increases the more space we need. Deforestation leads to a huge deficiency in oxygen production. Plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. The problem gets even worse when forests are burnt because more carbon dioxide is added to the existed level.

The massive burning of fossil fuels globally produce carbon dioxide at levels that the natural ecosystem cannot get through

Put all these factors together and you have Global Warming!

Consequences of Global Warming

  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Depletion of oxygen
  • Increasing heat on the surfaces
  • Ocean water becomes warmer and acidified
  • Melting of ice and glaciers’ retreating
  • Increased sea level leads to inundation of coasts and land erosion
  • Salty water intrudes drinkable water resources
  • Cultivation is not possible due to salty water in the mainland
  • Animal species extinction
  • Population will have to move to higher altitudes but cultivation of plants is not sustainable in rocky and dry soil

As you can see, the increasing population goes hand in hand with the earth’s destruction, if no protection measures be taken. The matter is, for how long will the Earth survive if people don’t take drastic measures against global warming?

Are all the governments around the world equally determined and willing to collaborate with each other for the common good? Or there will be those who will sacrifice everything for the sake of money?

The worst of all is that at the time scientists and environmental organizations worldwide try to awake people on environmental issues, some morally unsophisticated guys downgrade publicly the whole matter trying to convince people that the environmental campaigns are nothing more than a propaganda in favor of green companies.

Well, not all people on this planet are corrupt…at least not those who don’t further political interests…

Give the next generation a chance to live well

Sotia Bella