The Earth is surrounded by a layer of gas similar to the atmosphere. This atmosphere allows most of the light that reaches the surface of the Earth. This sunlight is absorbed by the surface of the Earth and is converted into thermal energy. This thermal energy is re-emitted from the Earth’s surface at night. The excessive presence of some gases in the atmosphere prevents heat from exiting the Earth’s surface, causing the Earth to warm, known as “global warming”. The gases that cause global warming are called “greenhouse gases”.
The harmful effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere include global warming, ozone depletion, climate change, rise in sea level, adverse effects on biodiversity, etc. In any case, all these adverse effects are directly or indirectly related to the presence of greenhouse gases. As a result, human consumption and processes that produce gases or greenhouse gases are harmful to the environment. They include:
- Fuel combustion
- Manufacturing and construction industry
- Vehicles and Road Transport
- Fugitive emission from fuel
- Combustion of solid fuels
- Mineral products
- Use of oil and natural gas
- Chemical Industry
- Production of metals
- Production of halo-carbons and sulfur hexafluoride
- Halo-carbon and sulfur hexafluoride consumption
- Use of solvents and other products
- Manure Management
- Rice farming
- Collection of agricultural residues in the field
- Solid waste ash disposal
- Wastewater Management
- Waste immersion
Many of these harmful gases are formed naturally or due to various human activities, which are very harmful to the environment. Here is a summary of the effects of six leading greenhouse gases:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2): Living organisms and fermentation mainly produce this gas. It is a common component of the breath that we exhale. It is very dangerous in high volumes. When carbon-rich fuels are burnt, large amounts of carbon dioxide are produced. It emitted from fuel combustion, which accounts for about 87% of global warming, have increased by about 27% since the industrial revolution.
- Nitrogen Oxide (NOx): Nitrogen oxide naturally occurs due to microbial action on the soil. It is also formed during fuel combustion. According to scientists, nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture can help in increasing the production level.
- Methane (CH4): Methane is a natural fuel gas. It is produced from the geological formations of coal and the decomposition of organic materials. The primary sources of methane associated with man are landfills, digestive processes and animal waste, especially wetland rice cultivation.
- Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): These gases such as cooling, cleaning gases, and propellants have been internationally blacklisted due to their ozone-consuming properties. HFCs contribute to global warming. It is 4000 to 10000 times more dangerous than CO2.
- Perfluorocarbons (PFCs): synthetic gas substitutes for CFCs, but they are also a by-product of aluminium smelting. It is also used as a purifying agent in semiconductor manufacturing and is produced in small quantities during uranium enrichment. PFC is 6000 to 10000 times more dangerous than CO2.
Adverse Effects of Global Warming
Over the past 10,000 years, temperatures worldwide have remained remarkably stable. But, after industrialization and human activities, the temperature of the earth’s changed.
The adverse effects of global warming are immense. Its results are already being felt in the lives of people, plants, and animals around the world. The impact of global warming on the environment and human life can be very disastrous. In general, specific natural events are difficult to specify for long-term reasons, although we already see some of the effects of recent climate change; rising sea levels, the retreat of glaciers, Arctic contraction, and changes in agricultural structures have been cited as direct results.
The main adverse effects of global warming are listed below:
- Melting of polar caps: The melting of polar ice caps is a quadrilateral hazard.
- Sea level will rise: The polar ice cap, glacier, and permanent ice hold more than 5,773,000 cubic miles of water. According to the scientific data, if all the glaciers melted today, the sea level would rise by about 70 meters. This cannot happen immediately, but the sea level is set to grow, and hence there will be flooding in the lower areas.
- Increasing temperature and changing the area beyond the Arctic Circle will threaten various animal species. Only the fittest will survive.
- Global warming will certainly significantly reduce the polar ice cap. Polar caps are white and reflect sunlight, primarily reflected into space, further cooling the earth. If the polar ice cover is melted, then the ocean will leave as the only reflector. Darker colours absorb sunlight, making the planet warmer.
- This will lead to Increasing probability and severity of drought and heatwave. When this happens, some areas of the earth get wet while the rest will suffer from droughts and heatwaves. Africa will get the hardest hit, and Europe is also expected to experience a more severe drought. Water is already scarce in Africa, and global warming will worsen the situation.
- Warmer water and more storms: As sea temperature increases, the chances of more frequent and stronger storms will also increase.
- The disease spreads: As the northern countries heat, the pests that spread the disease move north, carrying diseases.
- Economic impact: Most of the effects of global warming will be negative. These effects have negative economic consequences for almost every country in the world.
Increased Global Warming – the Ocean May Be “Saturated” With Our Emissions.
When the Industrial Revolution began, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by 100 parts per million by volume (ppmv) due to the burning of fossil fuels. Due to the enormous increase (around 35% increase) in CO2 emissions, the global warming scenario has worsened. Arctic ice melting and severe climate change are some of the many consequences of global warming. Scientists suspect that this sudden increase in atmospheric CO2 is mainly due to two reasons:
Burning of fossil fuels resulting in a 17% increase in CO2 levels.
Another 18% was due to a decrease in the natural ability of land and oceans to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. In addition, world population growth is also responsible for the significant increase in atmospheric CO2.
- Reduction in global reservoir efficiency (the life cycle has two major carbon sinks: the oceans and the Earth’s “biosphere,” which includes plants and soils) suggests that atmospheric CO2 is even more challenging to stabilize than we thought. Studies show that approximately half of the emissions of CO2 from human activities are absorbed naturally by “CO2 sinks“, but a decrease in the efficiency of these sinks has been observed. Scientists believe that global warming could be worse if the oceans absorb fewer greenhouse gases.
- The weakening of the Earth’s ability to deal with greenhouse gases is attributed to changes in wind patterns over the ocean and droughts on land. According to the study, about half of the reduction in CO2 absorption efficiency in the ocean will be due to rising winds in the Southern Ocean. According to a recent study, a decrease in impact has also been observed in the North Atlantic.
- We need to find ways to overcome this rapid rate of global warming. It would help if you considered introducing technologies for sequester carbon, fertilizing the southern oceans with iron, and so on. Key accountability factors, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, need to be addressed effectively.
Climate Change Due to Global Warming
- Climate change is a global issue affecting all of us. Changes in weather patterns such as floods, heat-waves, hurricanes, droughts, and fires will become more frequent, intense, and prevalent. According to the reports, the world is heating up, but it is difficult to say how it will affect us in the future. Climate change results from a change in our weather patterns due to an increase in the Earth’s average temperature. Weather elements at a given location change periodically throughout the year but are generally expected to remain within a specified range for an extended period. This is known as our climate. These natural fluctuations in temperature provide us with hot and cold years. It is a natural and important feature of our environment, without which our planet would be uninhabitable.
- Therefore, when we speak of global warming, we usually talk of the “greenhouse effect.” It means that some atmospheric gases (called greenhouse gases) allow the solar radiation to pass without absorbing, while at the same time in long-wave radiation reflected in space. In simple words, more heat from the sun is absorbed, and less is reflected back into space, keeping the Earth’s surface warmer. In industrialization and development, humans increase and modify the levels of gases responsible for the greenhouse effect, and therefore contribute to warming.
- Due to global warming, global ice sheets have shrunk and melted. Several million years ago, there was a warm period in history. However, the current rise in temperature is the fastest in weather since the end of the last ice age. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most responsible gases for the greenhouse effect. The respiration of plants and decomposition of biological material release 10 times more CO2 than human activities, and they generally balance it for years.
After the Industrial Revolution, the number of harmful gases increased by 30%. Other greenhouse gases include CFC, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. The main problem is that these gases can persist in the atmosphere for decades. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil in heavy industry and other human activities such as transportation and deforestation are the main reasons for increasing these harmful gases. The aerosol of human sulfur emissions also increases with CO2 in the atmosphere. Small aerosol particles have the property of reflecting part of the sunlight and thus slowing the cooling. However, CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years, while sulfate aerosols can last for only days and can be easily removed by rain. As a result, they only temporarily mask the full effect of CO2.
Expected Consequences of Global Warming
According to scientific researches, there are some possibilities of consequences due to global warming. One cannot say for sure what would happen. But most climatologists agree that the effects listed below are more likely to occur. It is difficult for them to predict the exact time, but they believe that if humanity can start limiting its emissions in the coming decades, greenhouse gases will not rise. Otherwise, the results will certainly be hazardous. Expected effects are:
- Most places will get warm during the nights. A temperature change will benefit some areas, at least for the time being, but it will harm others as tourism patterns change. Hot areas will have health benefits in some areas, but deaths will increase globally due to increased summer heat and other effects.
- The sea level will continue to rise for centuries. The last time the planet was warmer than 3 ° C, the sea level was about 5 meters higher. On the banks of the floods where many millions of people now live. Additionally, the storm will trigger emergencies.
- The weather will continue to develop towards an intense water cycle with more severe floods and droughts. Most areas are now prone to drought due to heat and less rain, while most wetlands are expected to be wet. It is impossible to predict the weather situation, but storms with heavy rains can cause more severe flooding in some areas. The mountain glaciers and snow sheets will shrink in winter, putting many water resources at risk. Each of these changes has already started happening in some areas.
- It will affect the whole ecosystem, although some managed agricultural and forest systems will benefit from warming, at least in the first decades. Countless valuable species, especially in the Arctic, mountainous regions, and tropical seas, have to alter their distribution. Many of those who fail will face extinction. Various tropical parasites and diseases are expected to spread to warmer regions. Each of these problems is already seen in many places.
- Increased levels of carbon dioxide will affect biological systems regardless of climate change. Crops will get destroyed due to floods. Fishes and marine life will get in danger due to acidic oceans.
Increase of Methane and Greenhouse Gas in the Earth’s Atmosphere
Rapid, uncontrolled, and unethical industrialization has allegedly increased methane concentrations, a very significant greenhouse gas, in many parts of the world, and by about 0.5% in the last year alone. We all know that methane is the second most crucial gas that causes anthropogenic climate change. Each molecule causes about 25 times more heating than a CO2 molecule, although it survives in the atmosphere for a short time before dissolution.
Besides, we also know that the global climate is already in a deplorable state due to the current increase in carbon dioxide levels above the average annual growth of the last 30 years. According to the reports, the amount of CO2 has increased by 2.4 million per million (ppm) over the previous year; From 1979 to 2007. This suggests that greenhouse gas concentrations are growing faster than they were a decade ago. The methane concentration figure is more influential and potentially more dangerous.
Scientists fear that there may be an unusual increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the past year and may reflect the melting of permafrost and drying of tropical wetlands. Greenhouse gas concentrations have also been reported to be more or less stable since around 1999 and have increased rapidly after that.
Industrial reforms in Asia, Europe, and South America over the past decade have reflected an unusual increase in greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2 and methane. The increase is believed to have been due to changes in rice farming practices and the facility to capture methane from landfills. Furthermore, the possibility of methane emissions from icy regions of the world, especially the permafrost in the Arctic, cannot be ruled out as being warm.
Uncontrolled rapid growth in the coal industry (no coal refining) such as steel and power plants, etc., is one of the major causes for the rise in CO2.
Warming effects on Earth are being caused by the continuous increase of greenhouse gases with El Nino and La Nina conditions. According to a new scientific analysis, ice in the Arctic has melted rapidly over the past year. Scientists also predicted that sea level could rise by more than one and a half meters in about half a century. A rise in sea level of this magnitude will have a severe impact on low countries like Bangladesh. Scientists also fear that there will be no Arctic ice in the next 5-6 years due to the unusual increase in global average temperature in summer.
Rising Catastrophic Sea Level
- Some climate research agencies in America, Australia, UK, etc., have recently reported that the world’s oceans are warming much faster than previously thought. In the last half-century, the global warming rate of oceans is about 50% faster than before. Therefore, the oceans have warmed more quickly than expected due to climate change.
- As you already know, the higher the sea temperature, the higher the seawater will be, which contributes to the rise in sea level. The expansion of seawater means that recent floods are engulfing small island countries, causing floods in low-lying areas and densely populated areas worldwide. Most of the world’s population live less than 50 km from the coast, and most of them live very close to the beach. Even a slight rise in sea level can lead to flooding in low-lying areas, accelerating coastal erosion and displacing communities and infrastructure.
- The rise in sea level is due to two factors: (i) thermal expansion of seawater and (ii) excess water from melted sources of ice. Both processes are caused by global warming.
For example, a glacier or ice sheet contains enough water to raise the sea level by 7 meters. If the ice sheets of Greenland, West, and East Antarctica melt, it would be enough to raise the sea level to 65 meters and can be enough to destroy the whole world. Therefore, one can only imagine how horrific it would be. Some of the most vulnerable are countries with large populations in coastal delta regions such as Egypt, China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam can get destroyed by these floods.
- The effects of global warming are vital in melting ice and snow, rising global sea level, widespread changes in rainfall, sea salinity, wind patterns, and weather problems. Extreme weather conditions, including drought, heavy rain, heat waves, and intensification of tropical cyclones. It depends on the rise of temperature that will adversely affect the climate. Temperatures are expected to rise more rapidly over the next few decades. Experts believe that extreme heat, heatwave, and heavy rain will occur more frequently. The ocean will indeed become more acidic as it absorbs more carbon dioxide.
- Therefore, it is vital to determine how each of these factors contributes to sea-level rise. Also, it is essential to predict global warming, climate change, and future sea temperature rise. The fact is that there is still a mysterious difference between computerized climate models based on scientific data collected from the oceans and predictions based on observations.
Let’s talk about air pollution in the environment. It is caused by the emission of cars, chimneys, and chemicals from factories. These industries dispose the waste such as plastics, solvents, and other chemical waste into water, river, and ponds and contaminate the water.
Global Warming: Each degree of temperature increase in the world’s oceans is equal to 1.4 billion megaton atomic bombs!
It’s never too late. We can start from today and help our mother earth by not using chemicals or harmful gases. If we didn’t stop this, then no one will save us from the upcoming disaster.