Global Warming is probably the biggest challenge the Universe is facing in the next few years. Many have voiced their deep concerns over this issue, and the dangers that it imposes on all of our lives. The importance of this topic to every individual in the society is the reason I chose it to be my report subject. I’ll be writing my report following the upcoming outline:
I. What is Global Warming
II. Why it is a danger upon the entire world
III. Who aggravated the problem to that extent
IV. What can we do to save the world
V. When is our last chance to act
Global warming is changing our world. This was only a raw thought when it first emerged in a 1979 paper called the Charney report. The term was then widely used since 1988, after NASA climate scientist James Hensen used the term in front of the American Congress. The raw thought is now an undeniable fact, as scientists have documented climate induced changes in some 100 physical and 450 biological processes (United Nations Environment Programme, 2003). Signs have appeared all over the world ranging from higher temperature levels, sea levels and shrinking glaciers. This will only result in the two poles melting theory, in which the northern and southern ice poles melt, raising sea levels astonishingly and changing the geography of the whole world. Moreover, this will negatively affect other living organisms other than human beings damaging the wildlife severely.
The biggest worry nowadays is that however the issue and its dangers are commonly known in the scientific world, they are hardly a pressing issue among normal individuals. A survey carried by Columbia University in New York asked the people “How much do you personally worry about global warming – a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all?” The Answers were not reassuring, as 26% responded “a great deal”, 34% “A fair amount”, 24% “A little” and 15% denied their concern about the issue. These percentages did not match the expectations of the scientific community, as the issue – according to them – is probably one of the most defying challenges the world is facing. Although a fair amount showed their full or partial awareness of the issue, still more awareness will be needed in order to come up against this worldwide problem.
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• Are you aware of the dangers of Global Warming?
Yes No To a certain extent
The answers of this questions where similar to my initial expectations to a great extent. The awareness level of the dangers of global warming is average. This is clearly shown as out of the 20 respondents, 5 only were fully aware of the dangers. The other 15 were split between unaware or aware but to a certain extent. I believe people responded this way as there is a
wide neglection of the cause whether in the media, or in educational facilites.
• If the opportunity arises, would you be willing to participate in any activities that could reduce Global Warming effects?
This question’s answers were above all expectations. An astonishing 15 out of 20 denied their willingness to participate in any Global Warming reducing activities. This wasn’t matching with the respondent’s answers of the global warming dangers question. I expected that the people who were fully or partialy aware of the dangers to be willing to participate, or at least some of them. On the contrary, 5 only were willing to participate in the activities, most probably the respondents who were fully aware of the danger.
• On a scale from 1 to 5, rate your familiarity with the term “Global Warming”
Unfamiliar 1 2 3 4 5 Very Familiar
As expected, the rates of familiarity tended towards Unfamiliar. 12 respondents rated 1 and 2, as not familiar with the term. 5 only were fully or a great extent familiar, end 3 were neutral. These answers show how rarely is the term mentioned in life as whole. This is related to the neglection of any source, that could increase the awareness of people in this particular cause, at least here in Egypt.
• Have you ever attended, watched or heard about a seminar discussing Global Warming?
The results were hugely expected, which was assured by the answers of the previous questions. Only 3 out of 20 have participated in a seminar discussing Global Warming. This could be due the state of major ignorance of the case as whole, or even because no seminars are being held in the first place regarding this issue. In both cases, the situation is dangerous and not promising in the future.
Causes of the Issue:
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s near-surface air and oceans. The causes of the issue are countless, but there are major factors that control the phenomenon.
The main cause is the carbon dioxide emissions exerted from burning of fossil fuels. The emissions mainly come from the ever increasing usage of non-renewable power sources. Electricity production industries depend on coal burning to provide a power source, which releases indescribable amounts of carbon dioxide. Moreover, the burning gasoline of transportation means forms another source of CO2 emissions. This is growing uncontrollably as the population of the world is increasing, meaning that the usage of this source will not diminish.
Methane is another gas that is aggravating the issue. Emissions from agriculture crops and animals are the main source of the gas. Rice paddies’ anaerobic decomposition releases methane, as well as herbivorous animals. Again, the increased population will only make this problem worse.
On the contrary, the only source that decreases CO2 in the air is the photosynthesis process, carried out by plants in general. Deforestation demolishes the only hope, as mankind’s lust for wood is a bigger concern at the moment. Usage of wood as a fuel or in wooden industries, such as paper, has deteriorated CO2 levels in the planet. Deforestation release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, which has been stored in the trees, as well as the elimination of a source that captures carbon dioxide from the air.
Effects on the Planet:
These practices have affected our planet adversely, as they disturbed the nature’s balance.
The effect of increased level of CO2 and Methane in the atmosphere is called the Greenhouse effect. It’s a process which thermal radiation from the sun, is trapped inside the planet due its absorption by the greenhouse gases. This will only add to the misery of world, as increased temperatures worldwide will occur. These effects are already in action, as scientists believe that the temperature of the Earth’s surface – which has already risen by 0.6°C since the late 1800s – is likely to rise by another 1.4 to 5.8°C during the course of the 21st century (United Nations Environment Program, 2003).
Melting of the two ice poles:
The increased temperatures are the core of the issue, as this will lead to the melting of the two ice poles. The melting will cause an uncontrollable rise in sea levels, displacing millions of people from their coastal cities.
Aquatic life destruction:
The effects of this issue will be the hardest on aquatic life, as increased temperatures and ocean acidification will kill coral reefs. Aquatic creatures mainly depend on oxygen released from coral reefs to respire, which will cause a major collapse in the population of aquatic life. Moreover, wildlife will suffer and many species will extinct, especially arctic ones.
Mankind is killing Mother Nature, and it will not stand and watch. The effects will only be to retain the balance of the planet, regardless of it being disastrous on living organisms. Global Warming is probably the most challenging issue the world is facing, and we have to act right away. The harmful practices of humans are outpacing the harmless substitutes being offered, and so the first step is to start looking for more substitutes. Clean power must be used through renewable sources. Coal burning power industries must be criminalized, and substitutes must be used immediately. Some of the clean and renewable sources that can be used are solar power, wind power, and hydroelectric power. The transportation problem also can be solved through clean methods.
More money should be allocated for researches about solar cars that do not need fuels to operate. Short trips can be done by bicycles and cars should be used minimally and for long trips only. Deforestation can be solved by less usage of wood and recycling as a substitute. Also, planting more and more trees will help reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere back to its normal state. Individually, every one of us should start with himself and better use the sources available to him. Holding seminars or conferences about Global Warming will help increase people’s awareness about the issue and its solutions.
I believe that Global Warming exists, and that its effects are inevitable. If we are to act now, we can still save what’s left of what god has blessed us with. We have already damaged the planet’s resources enough, which must stop in order for our children and grandchildren to live peacefully.