In recent years there has been a lot of debate on the topic of global warming. The initial assessment of most scientists was that uncontrolled human activity is causing the atmosphere of the earth to heat up. But later other scientists proposed that it could be just a natural phenomenon that has nothing to do with humans. Now this debate has taken a political twist and we read a lot of propaganda in the form of studies and research papers. But there are certain facts that can’t be ignored. Here are the top 10 alarming facts about global warming.
The decade from 2000 to 2009 has been the hottest decade ever recorded. The U.S. Global Change Research Program has reported that in the U.S. the average temperature has increase by 2 degrees in the last 50 years. The temperature is predicted to increase even more in the coming years which will have devastating results for humans.
In 2011 it was calculated that the rate of release of CO2 in the atmosphere was around 1000 tons per second. While CO2 is also release naturally along with other gases, human activity has increased this release many folds. Greenhouse gases are important for the survival of life but if they increase too much they can also be the cause of the destruction of all life.
The CO2 level in the atmosphere has been highest in the last 800,000 years. The atmospheric balance that was delicately maintained by nature for life to evolve for millions of years is now deteriorating rapidly because of all the fossil fuels we burn in the form of petroleum and coal. Deforestation means that there are less trees to clean up the air.
The sea levels had not changed for 2000 years but in the last century alone the average sea level has risen by about 7 inches. This has been due to the melting of the polar ice caps due to global warming. If the trend continues a lot of low lying cities and island countries will be submerged completely.
The U.S. and China are the two largest emitters of CO2 in the world. China alone releases 40% more CO2 than U.S. These two countries need to compromise a lot in order to save the planet for everybody. It seems hard because they are in competition with each other to be the economic and military superpower of the world.
The rise in the sea level is caused by the melting of the polar ice caps. In recent decades the ice caps have reduced abnormally in size. Each year more and more fresh water enters the seas from the melting ice at the poles which will damage and alter the dynamics of the oceans, harm marine life and also affect humans.
The recent hurricanes have shown that they are getting much severe every year. This is because hurricanes are caused by warm air rising from the oceans and the oceans have been getting warmer every year, making the hurricanes stronger and fiercer. Everything in nature is interrelated in such a complex manner that even a few degrees change of temperature can bring about devastating results for humans.
Rising water temperature means that coral in the sea has to survive in harsher conditions. Rising sea levels mean that coral gets less sunlight. All this will result in the destruction of coral reefs around the world. The damage to the coral reef will completely change the dynamics of the ocean and destroy most of the marine life.
Due to rising temperatures and summers getting severe every year all around the world, there has been a rise in heat related illnesses and deaths. Our bodies can’t tolerate severe heat for long times and even a small rise in the global temperature will cause millions of people to die due to heat related diseases.
All this has been due to the age of industrialization. Ever since the 1700’s we’ve depended more and more on fossil fuels and our technological advancement is completely based on the use of easily available energy in the form of fossil fuels. This doesn’t mean that we have to forgo all technology but rather that we need to develop technology that uses alternative sources of energy and are more environmentally friendly.