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Earth´S Climate Change And Its Causes

1268 words - 6 pages

Over the past decades, the Earth experiences disasters continuously. Many scientists identified them as signs of climate change. The causes of climate change can be divided into two main factors; they are natural events and human activity. “As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the expectation can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions”, expressed by the former United States vice president Al Gore (Climate Change Quotation, Internet). Although it is uncertain whether these changes ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, Rising temperatures are likely to decrease the production of staple foods in many of the poorest nations by up to 50% by 2020 in some African countries and the changes in temperature also elevate the levels of ozone and other pollutants in the atmosphere that exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory disease. City air pollution generates about 1.2 million deaths every year (Climate Change and Health, 2013).
The changes of climate due to human activity are believed to be caused by enhancement of natural greenhouse gas effect. Greenhouse gases lead to an increase in the climate’s average surface temperature by trapping heat in the lower part of the atmosphere which makes the planet become warmer. If there is no existence of greenhouse gases, the Earth’s average temperature is expected to be about 340c colder than the current temperature (Hamburg, et al, 2009). According to the Environment Protection Agency of the United States, there are many types of greenhouse gases, which are emitted by human activities. Based on global emissions from 2004, they are Carbon dioxide (77%), Methane (14%), Nitrous oxide (8%), Fluorinated gases or F-gases (1%). Moreover, Carbon Dioxide has the highest proportion amongst others greenhouse gases. It escapes into our atmosphere through burnt fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. The involvement of deforestation and certain chemical reactions in the manufacturing of cement are also the main factors that lead to the increase in Carbon Dioxide (Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Data, 2013). Many scientists predict that the amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions will rise to a record 36 billion metric tons in 2013 (BEN GARSIDE, 2013). The second primary gas is Methane; it is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emission is a result of livestock and other agricultural practices, such as rice cultivation, cattle and sheep ranching, and decay of waste landfills (Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Data, 2013).
While the amount of CO2 and Methane emissions adds up in the atmosphere in great quantity, Nitrous Oxide and F-gases are less released into the atmosphere. N2O is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. However, F-gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, those gases include Hydroflrorocarbons, Perfluorocarbons, and Sulfur hexafluoride; they are used as substituted for stratospheric ozone-depleting substances (Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Data, 2013).
Besides greenhouse gas, Black Carbon also contributes to the warming of the Earth’s climate. It is second to CO2 in terms of the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. It equals to 60 percent of the current global warming effect of CO2 (Study finds black carbon implicated in global warming, 2010). Black Carbon is not a gas, but a...

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