Global Warming at Australia: Environmental Health

Subject: Environment
Pages: 11
Words: 2809
Reading time:
10 min
Study level: College

Introduction

The environment is very delicate and needs protection if it is expected to help sustain humanity. Global warming is an issue that has raised a lot of concern globally. The developed countries, especially China and the United States, have been identified to be the leading countries where greenhouse gases are emitted. These gases have a massive negative impact to the environment. The global warming issue has seen various governments around the world come together in order to find its solution.

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Many Chinese firms and others from various parts of the world continue emitting greenhouse gases into the air. This not only destroys the ozone layer, but also changes the weather patterns. The issue affects the global environment, and not just the country that is involved in this pollution (Emmy, 2009). On May 2012, Japan suffered massive loss of property and lives due to a tornado strike. In August 2009, Philippines had experienced a similar tornado. China, the United States, Russia, and India, among many other countries around the world have reported tornado and cyclone strikes among other strange environmental cases.

All these demonstrate that the environment is responding to the massive pollution that it is subjected to it. Locally, Cyclone Yasi is a case in point that resulted in massive destruction of properties and loss of lives in Queensland on February 2011. This was coming only two months after a disastrous flood attack in the same region that claimed 35 lives and displaced over 200,000 people from their homes. This is a clear demonstration that this global issue has a direct impact locally. If a global solution is not found within the appropriate time, then the locals may be put into further risks of similar or even worse attacks. This research paper is focused on the effect of global warming on the lives of the local Australian.

Causes of Global Warming

According to Alexandria (2007), global warming causes can either be natural or man-made. The natural causes have a minimal impact compared to the manmade causes. Globally the anthropogenic activities are the major contributor to global warming. Some of the natural causes include the natural emission of greenhouse gases like methane from the wetlands and arctic tundra (Houghton, 2004).

This scholar points out that since the environment is self-cleansing, the impact of natural emissions may not pose serious impact to the environment were it not for the emissions from manmade activities. The manmade causes of global warming are so many. They involve pollution from the emissions that come in various forms. The effects originates from the greenhouse gases emitted. Researches show that industries produce various greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Globally industries emit gases like per fluorocarbons, hydro fluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Human activities like deforestation and burning of fossil fuels lead to production of greenhouse gases (Emmy, 2009).

Deforestation reduces the carbon sinks leading to high concentration of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. Compared to the past years, today the level of greenhouse effect is very high. As the level of greenhouse emission increases, the amount of heat trapped also increases in the atmosphere. The heat trapped affects the weather pattern and climate in general. Nations are using high carbon energy sources that release greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases have a high capacity of absorbing and retaining heat in the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect

Consequences of Global Warming

Global warming is a global problem. The impacts of global warming are felt by all nations including the developed and the developing countries. The impacts extend even the non-polluting countries. Damage of the ozone layer is an issue of concern to many. The challenge of global warming is threatening lives of people in many countries. To the interpretation of many, global warming if not addressed with urgency, people will be in a worse state in few years to come. If it persists, Dinçer (2010) argues that it will be the next leading cause of deaths and extinction of species countrywide. Although the global warming problem is felt country wide, Australia is one of the leading nations that is seriously affected and facing the impacts of global warming.

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Globally

The researches show that the consequences of global warming vary from one place to another. Globally, global warming is reported to have serious impact on the environment. The physical, social, and biological environments are all affected by global warming. Some of the impacts of global warming include climate change. In the United States, the impacts of climate change have been highly felt in Florida.

This part of the United State is popularly known for tourist attraction. However, Florida is under threat from the effects of changes in the environment due to climate change.Frequent hurricanes are reported and loss of the beautiful coral reefs In Florida. According to Josfina (1999), the situation in Florida calls for a serious attention by the relevant authorities. Several tornado occurrences have been reported worldwide. The United States is the leading nation that experience frequent tornadoes. In the last decade, the state experienced 1274 tornadoes every year.

Canada is also reported to experience common tornadoes that have greatly brought down the nation’s economy. Among the European countries, the UK is reported also to face frequent tornadoes. Some parts of Asia experience violent tornadoes. A deadly tornado hit the northwestern part of Israel on April 4, 2006. This resulted in death of many and destruction of properties. These occurrences have led to the loss of many lives, property, and displacement of several families worldwide. Tornadoes are very destructive when they occur. The most dangerous tornado occurred in 1936 in Gainesville, which claimed a massive loss of lives and property in the country.

The rate of occurrence of tornadoes is increasing daily in many nations with the worsening climate changes. Erdwardo (2001) argues that if left unchecked, global warming will continue to threaten the lives of many worldwide. In Europe, Australia, and North America, the migration pattern of birds has changed following the changes in the weather patterns. Climate change is a challenge threatening the lives of many.

Health wise it has affected the lives children and adults the community. The rise of temperatures poses a health danger to societies. Masaini (2002) argues that very few people can withstand the high temperatures of global warming. The researcher explains that due to the reduced number of melanin cells, the light-skinned people are at high risks. Apart from causing the skin diseases due to the dangerous sun rays it has resulted in dry spells in many nations.

High temperatures affect agriculture resulting in droughts. Many nations depend on agricultural production for food.Occurrence of droughts results to famines that affects the livelihoods in the societies. This has been the cause of sufferings and poverty in many communities. Due to global warming, human health and safety is at risk. Depending on the intensity, high temperatures in many communities and nations lead to very dangerous illnesses and deaths.

The rise of the ocean and sea level is a disaster in many nations. Flooding is a common occurrence that has threatened the countries’ economy. In countries like the Netherlands, Mozambique, Pakistan, United States, and many others, flooding have left many people dead and many homeless. This disaster results in Massive destruction of crops, infrastructure, and property leaving a nation in a devastated situation.

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Cyclonic storms and heat waves are because of global warming effect and is a threat to several nations. In 1970, one of the deadliest hurricanes in the world occurred in Shola. This hurricane left many dead and caused a lot of damage to property. An historic destructive heat wave occurred recently in the year 2003 in Europe. Blizzards are also common disasters especially in the United State. Blizzards are some of the most destructive storms and are always characterized by strong winds.

These all disasters emanates from global warming, an indication that global warming issue is a big threat to many nations. Nations are really crying out of the many challenges that have been brought by the global warming monster. Researchers worldwide are trying every way possible to come up with the solution to this. Casper (2010) says that the action towards solving the global warming problem should be real and urgent to save nations out of the tragedy that is already worsening each day.

In Australia

Many nations as discussed above are faced with the challenge of global warming. Although the level of the impacts is felt differently and varies from one nation to another, climate change is a serious challenge to many. Australia is one of the top nations that face serious impacts of global warming. Some countries especially the developing nations are at a high risk of impacts of global warming. Apart from China and the United States that are known in emission of high quantities of greenhouse gases, the same adversely affect a country like Australia. All sectors that include agriculture, tourism, and health have been affected in Australia.

The alarming climate change in Australia has raised a lot of concern. Climate change related health issues are rampant in this nation. A report on climate change in the nation clearly shows that the country is affected by global warming. The rainfall patterns have changed and temperatures are very high in Australia. Bushfires are associated with climate change (Armstrong, 2003).

The south Eastern part of Australia is reported as one of the most fire prone areas in the world. According to Casper (2010), in 2009, a bush fire occurred after a long period of experiencing hot weather in Australia leading to the loss of 173 lives and displacement of more than 1830 families leaving about 7000 people homeless. Frequent wildfire also puts the firefighters at risk while trying to put off the fire.

Extreme change of weather patterns and climate system change is another challenge facing this nation. Rainfall patterns have completely been affected. In some seasons, the nation experience high rain pours causing flooding. In other seasons there are no rains leading to droughts and famines. The rainfall irregularity in this country has greatly affected the residents and the country’s economy. Incidences of tropical cyclones like winds have been reported in Australia (Dornbusch & Poterba, 2009).

Australian ecosystem is known to be very diverse accommodating various biodiversity. The ecosystem of this nation is comprised of unique natural habitats that support different life forms. According to Ploutz (2012), temperatures in Australia are currently high due to the global warming effect. This has greatly contributed to the loss of the habitants and destruction of the life support system in Australia. Following the loss of habitats, a tremendous loss, and extinction of various species is reported in Australia. Butterfly and Bowerbird species in the Northern Australia are endangered due to loss of their primary habitation.

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This interference with the habitats of several species of the wilderness, has led to the migration of many animal species In Australia. Another challenge faced by Australian as a result of global warming is the loss of fresh waters. Climate change results in rise and fall of sea levels. Water management, quantity, and quality are now the major problems facing Australia. The rise of sea level in Australia is reported to be very high.

This phenomenon has affected most of the fresh water sources like Kakadu wetlands. The rise of sea levels as also affected the lives of many in Australia. It has left many families homeless and destruction of property that is worthy of billions.In addition, frequent flooding has posed serious impacts on transportation. The reports indicate that if not addressed many people living in the suburbs of Melbourne will be seriously affected.

Another sector that has greatly been affected by global warming in this nation is the agricultural sector. This includes livestock and forestry. Archer (2007) clearly demonstrates that changes in the season patterns and temperature levels favor the production of some crops and other plantations in Australia. However, this is not comparable to the severe effects of global warming that the country is currently experiencing in the agricultural sector. For a healthy nation, the vegetation and water catchment areas are very crucial. In Australia following climate change most of the water catchment areas have been lost.

Forests have been encroached with the rise of deforestation each day. The loss of these water catchment areas has negatively affected the growth of various food crops and Tree seedlings. Wheat production in Australia has greatly reduced. Lumbering is very common nowadays in this nation. Tree species like Eucalyptus is becoming extinct. Australians have turned to lumbering for economic purposes following the destruction of their crop production levels. New pests’ cases affecting Livestock have increasingly been reported. The agricultural sector in Australia is diminishing each day. Extinction of plant and animal species is rising. According to Maslin (2002), if the issue of global warming is not addressed with urgency, the country’s situation will worsen in a few years’ time.

Mitigation Measures

Industrialization is taking place at a very high rate. Developing countries are emitting the greenhouse gases from the industries. With the desire to grow, the developing countries are also emitting large quantities of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The impact of these greenhouse gases are not only felt by the emitting nations but it spreads even to the non-emitting countries. This clearly shows that mitigating global warming and its impacts is not a one country’s effort.

According to Houghton (2004), in mitigating global warming, there is a need for nations to collaborate. A participatory approach that includes every person in the community should be applied in nations to curb this. One thing that should be made clear in finding a solution to this is that the problem is man-made. This means that if nations would manage the anthropogenic activities sustainably, a long lasting solution to this problem can be found. The mitigation there starts by reducing these anthropogenic activities and increasing carbon sinks through re-forestation. Carbon sinks like forests will help remove some of the greenhouse gases from the environment.

Awareness on the destructive human activities should be created to sensitize communities on the effects of such activities. This can be achieved through lobbying, holding seminars, and conferences (Ochino, 2012). By so doing people will learn to conserve the environment and switch off from activities that generates greenhouse gases leading to global warming. Countries should be encouraged to switch from high-carbon energy sources to those energy sources with low carbon quantities.

A high rate of bio-fuel consumption has been proven to have a significant effect to the environment through emission of the greenhouse gases. There is a need for nations to adopt alternative sources of energy. There is also a need for industries to have a limit of the gases they emit into the environment. Nations should hold joint discussions and policies to curb this problem. In Australia, similar participatory approach needs to be applied in mitigating global warming. The Australian government should enact and implement policies that clearly address environmental issues such as global warming.

These policies should be directed towards elimination of human activities that produce the greenhouse gases. In order to achieve this, the Australian government can employ principles like the polluter pay principle and carbon taxation. Such principles will discourage industries and individuals in engaging in activities that contributes to global warming in one way or the other. The government may also adopt and encourage the carbon trading schemes and use of renewable energy sources in the country. Combined together all these efforts will help the nation curb global warming and acquire a clean and sustainable environment.

Conclusion

Global warming has raised a lot of attention in the contemporary society. There has been a consistent emission of greenhouse gases by large manufacturing firms. China and the United States are ranked first and second in the rate of emission of greenhouse gases. The effect of this has been felt globally. Global warming is associated with such issues as change of weather patterns and a rise in the temperatures. The rise in temperature subsequently melts the ice at the poles and in the mountain tops.

This consequently results in the rise in the sea level. Research has also proven that melting of the ice result in increased earthquakes in a process referred to as offloading. Haiti experienced massive earthquakes that killed several people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. In Japan, there was a massive cyclone that attacked various industrial and residential areas that led to loss of lives and properties. The United States has been experiencing a series of tornados that have destroyed properties and killed people. Back in Australia, Cyclone Yasi is a case in point that resulted in massive destruction of properties and loss of lives in Queensland on February 2011. This was after a flood attack that claimed several lives and left many homeless.

References

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Casper, J. K. (2010). Changing Ecosystems: Effects of Global Warming. New York: Infobase Pub.

Dinçer, I. (2010). Global warming: Engineering solutions. Dordrecht: Springer.

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Emmy, J. (2009). The Kyoto Protocol and the aftermath. New Jersey: Wiley & Sons.

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