Global warming is the rise in the earth’s exterior air and oceans’ normal temperatures since the 1950s and its anticipated continuation. Over the 20th century, the earth’s temperatures increased by 0.18 degrees Celsius. Scientists assert that the increase in the temperature was due to increase in greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere and variations of natural phenomena (Ames 1). Greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to human activities. The gases are carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrous oxide. Over the 20th century, human being burnt huge amount of fossils and increased deforestation.
When greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere, they prevent heat from escaping into the space. Through this, the heat that could have been lost is radiated back into the earth’s surface leading to rising in temperatures. Carbon dioxide makes a bulk of these greenhouse gases. Usually, plant cover utilizes carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, in the 20th century human activity lead to a reduction of the earth’s tropical forests. Given that the carbon cycle has been interrupted by human activities, carbon dioxide levels are on the increase.
Natural occurrences blamed for the global warming are solar activity, volcanic eruptions, and variations in the earth’s orbital characteristics. Scientist asserts that the sun has been increasing its intensity over time. Over the last century, the sun’s intensity was at its highest levels (Ames 1). In this regard, solar activity may the cause of the increase in the earth’s temperatures. Sunspots are also blamed for increasing the earth’s temperatures. Sunspots have an effect on the amount of time an area will take to cool. Variations in the form of the earth’s orbit determine the amount of solar radiations reaching the earth.
The impacts of global warming can be classified into three categories. The categories are physical, social, and economical. In the past few decades, global warming has manifested its disastrous effects in some parts of the world (Kerns 1). Over the last decade, glaciers have retreated, the volume of water in fresh water bodies have reduced, extreme heat waves have been experienced, and the sea levels have risen (Kerns 1).
The above effects illustrate that climate change is real. Environmental experts and the scientists believe that these effects will continue to be manifested in the future as the effects of global warming increase. It is expected that the earth’s temperature will rise by 2.0 to 10.0 degrees in the next 100 years. With the increase in temperatures, precipitation will increase in some parts of the world and the Antarctic religions are expected to get warmer than the rest of the hemisphere. Because of these, glaciers will melt leading to the rise of sea levels. Inland, increase in temperature will lead to drought. Experts argue that due to increase in the levels of carbon dioxide, altered precipitation, extreme climate changes, agriculture will be significantly affected.
The effects of global warming will also affect human beings. With increased temperatures, distribution of infectious disease vectors such as mosquitoes will be experienced (Poppick 1). Similarly, human beings may experience a rise in heat wave related deaths, drought related deaths, and tsunami related deaths.
To some extent, human beings expect the effects of global warming to get worse in the future if measures are not put in place. Reduction of ice covered areas, augmented melt in permafrost areas, reduction in sea ice levels, more recurrent hot days, extreme heat waves, more rise in sea levels increased draught are some of the effects expected in the future. Models have been developed to illustrate these effects. Despite the confidence in these projections, it should be noted that the future interpretations are still subject to some uncertainty (Hansen 1). At the present, some natural occurrences have not been fully understood. For instance, the connection between water vapor, precipitation, and cloud feedbacks has been included in the current models. In this respect, each of the above features infuses uncertainty into the current models that depict the future interpretations.
Apart from the scientific factors, societal decisions are believed to have a huge impact on the future projections. As such, it is very hard to predict how humans will make decisions about emissions of greenhouse gases in the future. However, despite these challenges it is possible to simulate emission scenarios, which replicate diverse probable paths for the future. The scenarios should be used as the foundation for different imitations that replicate how the future global warming will unfold.
On the timescale of future thousands of years, the amount of global warming can be established through anthropogenic carbon dioxide release. Carbon dioxide takes thousands of years in the atmosphere. To stabilize global normal temperatures would necessitate cutbacks in the anthropogenic carbon dioxide release. Cutbacks in the emission of other greenhouse gases will also be required. If the carbon dioxide anthropogenic release is to be cut back by up to 80%, global average temperatures are still expected to stay at around their highest level for hundreds of years (Hansen 1).
Ames, Hayley. The Causes of Global Warming. 2011. Web.
Hansen, James. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 2011. Web.
Kerns, Michelle. The Effect of Global Warming. 2009. Web.
Poppick, Laura.Climate Change Taking Major Toll Now, UN Report Says. 2014. Web.