Global warming is one of the most crucial issue of our time. Polluting the earth’s atmosphere with fossil fuel emissions to power industries, for transportation and to light and heat homes has more than just a negative effect on our lungs. The greenhouse gasses emitted by fossil fuel pollution is acting to warm the planet. It been a long time in coming and we’ve been warned for decades, but the situation is now awful. Unless we, as a species, take drastic steps to mitigate the damages immediately, our species may not have long to live. This problem is being caused by humans and can be solved by humans.
The greenhouse effect is a natural occurrence. When the sun’s radioactive rays hit the earth, some are trapped, which warms the earth to a habitable temperature. About 35 percent of these rays are deflected back into space. Just as a garden greenhouse traps warmth of the sun, the earth does too. Due to the high concentrations of greenhouse gas pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane present in the atmosphere, this delicate balance is being disrupted and the earth is warming dramatically. The over-abundance of greenhouse gasses is caused by human activity. Deforestation is another major contributor to this. As more and more trees are cut or burned, they give off stored carbon into the atmosphere. Additionally, fewer trees means
less of the photosynthesis process, turning carbon dioxide to oxygen, to occur. Deforestation causes about 20 percent of the total CO2 emitted. Trees are very important as they play a huge role in the carbon cycle. The more trees that there are, the less carbon dioxide will be in the atmosphere and the more oxygen in our air.
The consequences of global warming are vast and alarming. Polar ice, permafrost and glaciers are melting. Glacial ice feeds into watersheds which form rivers that supplies fresh water to about half the world’s population. As these glaciers melt and rivers dry, wars will be fought over water. As sea ice melts, ocean levels rise which is already inundating coastlines. Scientists have predicted millions of coastal residents will be displaced as waters rise. Because untold massive amounts of methane are trapped under artic ice, when it is released its game over for nearly all living organisms as the earth will warm rapidly and out of control. In the coming years, deserts will replace farmlands in the central U.S. and other regions. Food will become scarcer as the decades go on. (Perrone 2017)
The solutions to global warming have been detailed by scientists and politicians in many nations for many years but the will to act has been disheartening. One of these solutions is to charge for the release of CO2. The U.S. subsidizes oil and coal companies, the main contributors to this climate catastrophe. The CO2 pollution caused by burning fossil fuels should be taxed, as it is in some nations. A carbon tax would result in about a 35-cent increase for a gallon of gas, for example. The money gained would pay for carbon reducing technologies and to reward companies that switch to clean renewable fuels such as wind and solar energies.
Another solution that should be taken is the electric grid should be modernized. The nation’s antiquated transmission lines leak electricity, which means more coal used to power
electric plants is required. “Of all fossil fuels, coal puts out the most carbon dioxide per unit of energy, so burning it poses a further threat to global climate, already warming alarmingly” (Appenzeller, 2017) Also, coal burning power plants should be replaced with hydro-electric or
even nuclear power as a bridge to future technologies (Cho 2017). We should emphasize and subsidize renewable energy and stop deforestation. Recycle wood and replant forests. Before methane by the billions of tons leaks from the artic due to human negligence, reduce methane leaks from storage tanks, pipelines, coal mines and garbage dumps so that the arctic ice won’t all melt away in the first place (10 Solutions,2018).
Nations must act, and act with great urgency. Today, the United States is accountable for 1/4 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But unfortunately, the second leading polluter, the U.S., ignored the Kyoto Treaty and exit from the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement was an agreement dealing with greenhouse gas emission mitigation, adaption, and finance that was set to start 2020. But the U.S. exit this agreement because the president doesn’t believe in climate change, which is terrible and this needs to change. This requires international attention from all nations and cooperation from everyone.
Global warming is a serious concern for all people. People can also be proactive in combating global warming in doing things in our everyday lives. Such as installing solar panels, better insulating their homes, driving electric cars, or recycling. Renewable energy, like solar and wind energy, provide electricity without giving rise to any carbon dioxide emissions. Instead of depending on non-renewable resources, we should adopt the renewal energy in to our daily life. It may not seem like it would help a lot, but doing these things can make huge difference. There are many solutions that can be done to help put an end to this serious issue of global warming. This problem is primarily caused by humans and can be solved by humans.