Long-Term Solutions for Global Warming

Introduction

Global warming refers to the slow increase in the temperature of the surface of the earth. It can, thus, be described as a climate change that leads to an increase in the temperature of the earth over a long period of time. From this definition, it is apparent that an average of the earth’s temperatures is considered when defining global warming. The cause of global warming is controversial. Some people believe that the sun is gradually increasing its temperatures but the commonest belief is that global warming is caused by human interference. Therefore environmentalists associate global warming to the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These gases, comprising of water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide and fluorinated gases act as a cushion for the temperatures that enter the atmosphere from the sun. Therefore, if their release to the atmosphere is increased, we expect the earth’s atmosphere to be hotter (Granger 2009, p. 1). Thousands of environmentalists hold the opinion that global warming is the worst environmental problem the world has ever experienced and that it is among the most serious challenges human beings are facing today. Let us have a look at the causes of global warming (Hogan 1995, p. 1).

Causes of global warming

There is a lot of evidence that humans cause global warming. It has been proved beyond doubt that greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. Since humans are responsible for the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is true that human-caused global warming accounts for a great percentage of planetary warming or all the global warming experienced on earth. Humans increase the levels of greenhouse gases by activities like pollution, industrialization and deforestation.

Effects of global warming

Global warming has many undesirable effects related to nature. As countries in the northern hemisphere warm, insects that transmit diseases like mosquitoes migrate north; this leads to the transmission of diseases to this region. Therefore, global warming has an input to the transmission of diseases. Secondly, as oceans become warmer and warmer, the frequency and severity of hurricanes are increase. Therefore, global warming has a substantial contribution to the increased occurrences and strength of hurricanes. Next, although global warming will lead to some areas becoming relatively wet, it makes other areas have serious heatwaves and droughts. The most affected of all is Africa and its situation is expected to worsen.

This climate inequality caused by human action may result in international wars and conflicts. Therefore, global warming increased droughts. All the above effects have serious economic implications for the affected people. It can, therefore, be argued that global warming will have many unpleasant economic consequences. The worst effect of global warming is the melting of ice caps in Polar Regions. Its effects include raising of sea levels, interference of the global ecosystem e.g. ocean currents since the caps act as reflectors their melting will escalate the problem of global warming and some species in the arctic circle will die (Simmons, 2007, p. 1).

Solutions for global warming

It is predicted that even if greenhouse gas emissions are completely stopped, the lower atmosphere will still experience global warming. This is due to the fact that greenhouse gases take a lot of time before they disappear from the atmosphere. Regardless of this, the actions we take to reduce global warming can be very helpful. Depending on the choices we make, it is predicted that global warming could exhibit itself by warming the earth by between 2.5 degrees and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

A common method used to curb global warming is the stabilization of the concentrations of greenhouse gases around 450-550 ppm (parts per million). At this level, it is believed that the destructive effects of global warming can be avoided. Let us have a look at some of the strategic solutions that can be implemented to reduce the effects of global warming (National Geographic Society, 1996, p. 1).

Strategic solutions

Extensive research on the problem of global warming has led to suggestion of a myriad of solutions to this problem. Researchers have introduced an approach termed as “Stabilization wedges” (National Geographic Society, 1996, p.1). The approach is aimed at reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions using the available technologies over the next half-century. This technique is suggested for application all over the world and it beats efforts to impose a massive change in one area. They have suggested a total of seven wedges each of which has the potential to reduce emissions on its own. Working together, the researchers predict that the current levels of emissions could be maintained for the next half-century. This is a great effort towards stabilization at approximately 500 ppm. Some of the wedges include a change in the use of energy, a revolution in the fueling of vehicles and utilization of wind and solar energy. There is also the process of “carbon sequestration” (National Geographic Society, 1996, p. 1) that is concerned with the safe storage of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels underground. To complement the reduction of gas emission, efforts can be made to increase the removal of gases from the atmosphere. This can be achieved by planting of trees which absorb take in carbon dioxide during their growth. The above-stated methods of solving the global warming problems have been proved to work albeit with some minor drawbacks. Despite these drawbacks, the seriousness of the global warming problem has been reduced because we have options to implement in an effort to climate stabilization (National Geographic Society, 1996, p. 1).

Domestic solutions

There are a variety of actions we can take to impact the world’s climate. These actions are precautionary measures meant to reduce our contribution to the climate problem. One of these measures is buying a hybrid car. It is estimated that buying a hybrid car could save the atmosphere addition of 16, 000 Ibs of CO2. At the same time, the driver will be saving money he/she spends on gas. Another measure to for climate stabilization is buying fuel-efficient cars to reduce the rate of release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The same could also be achieved by carpooling, inflating tires, changing air filters, etc.

Climate stabilization can also be sought by checking our energy consumption by implementing the following measures: unplugging unused electronics, using compact fluorescent bulbs, filling the dishwasher, adjusting heater thermostat in winter and summer, checking the maximum heat settings of the water heater, using a low-flow showerhead, insulating water heaters, replacing old electric appliances, insulating walls and ceilings in your home, naturally drying clothes, using a water heater without a tank and using double pane windows. Pollution control measures can also work towards climate stabilization. These measures include buying products with climate-conservative packaging, using recycled paper, buying organic foods to reduce pollution of water by modern agricultural activities and using alternative cloth bags in the market instead of plastic paper bags. The most common climate change measure advocated in homes is the planting of trees that consume carbon dioxide and thus reduce its levels in the atmosphere (Global Warming International Center, 2005, p.1).

Best solutions for global warming

The global warming problem has reached the level it is now due to our ignorance in environmental protection and climate stabilization. Most of the effective counter-measures of global warming are very simple to implement and yet so much is left undone. Let us have a look at the simplest, smartest, most effective and efficient solutions that can be used to tackle long-term global warming. Starting with the obvious, tree planting is the simplest and best solution to the global warming problem. Planting of trees is quite easy and implementation of tree planting strategies needs only a limited amount of resources and public awareness. As described above trees are a very efficient solution to the global warming problem since they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore they reduce its levels in the atmosphere.

Another method that can be used to efficiently impact the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a revolution of car fuelling. Its simplicity lies in the fact that the measures required to ensure climatic stabilization are easy. These involve tire inflation, repair of faulty cars and use of fuel-efficient cars. The control of the contribution of cars to the global warming problems is bound to have a long-term effect on climate stabilization due to the massive use of cars in transportation. The contribution of industries in the emission of greenhouse gases can also be reduced by using a variety of purification methods. This is achieved by converting greenhouse gas emissions to other safer gases. The last method that can have a long-term effect on climate stabilization is the control of inorganic pollution by using the various methods described above. It can thus be summarized that there are a lot of practical solutions to the global warming problem. It is our ignorance that has made global warming to escalate to the levels it is today (Hogan 1995, p. 1).

Conclusion

As it has been stated in the discussion above, global warming is caused by environmental interference by humans. This is contrary to the belief held by some non-environmentalists who explain global warming by saying that the sun is becoming hotter. Since it is very hard to completely remove the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, we should work towards reducing the number of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, that are released to the atmosphere. This will lead to climate stabilization which will, in turn, save the world from a lot of troubles characteristic of global warming. As stated above, the simplest, smartest, most efficient and effective ways to achieve the above-stated goal are planting of trees, control of car and industrial pollution, and control of environmental pollution by avoiding the use of inorganic substances like plastic bags. Governments should thus implement a variety of strategies for climate stabilization and encourage individuals to implement the various domestic measures aimed at reducing the effects of global warming.

Reference List

Global Warming International Center. (2005). “Things you can do to reduce global warming.” Web.

Granger, E. (2009). “Global Warming”. Web.

Hogan, D. (1995). “Increased solar radiation requires additional CO2 reduction of 50 Million tones, analysis finds.” Web. 2010, from,

National Geographic Society. (1996) “Global Warming Solutions.” Web.

Simmons, D. (2007). “5 Deadliest effects of global warming.” Web.