The problem of global warming

The problem of global warming
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Global warming is the most acute climate problem causing significant changes in the natural balance in the world.

According to the report of Leonid Zhindarev (a researcher at the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University), by the end of the 21st century, the level of the World Ocean will rise by one and a half to two meters, which will lead to catastrophic consequences. Approximate calculations show that 20% of the world’s population will be left homeless. The most fertile coastal zones will be flooded, many islands with thousands of people will disappear from the world map.

global warming processes have been tracked since the beginning of the last century. It is noted that the average air temperature on the planet has increased by one degree – 90% of the increase in temperature occurred in the period from 1980 to 2016, when the industrial industry began to flourish. It is also worth noting that these processes are theoretically irreversible – in the distant future, the air temperature may increase so much that there will be practically no glaciers left on the planet.

Causes of global warming

Global warming is a large-scale uncontrolled increase in the average annual air temperature on our planet.
global warming
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According to recent studies, the trend towards a global increase in air temperature has persisted throughout the history of the Earth’s development. The climate system of the planet readily reacts to any external factors, which leads to a change in thermal cycles – the well-known ice ages are replaced by extremely warm times.

Among the main reasons for such fluctuations are the following:

  • natural change in the composition of the atmosphere;
  • cycles of solar luminosity;
  • planetary variations (changing the Earth’s orbit);
  • volcanic eruptions, carbon dioxide emissions.

For the first time global warming was noted in prehistoric times, when the cold climate was replaced by a hot tropical one. Then this was facilitated by the exuberant growth of breathing fauna, which led to an increase in carbon dioxide levels. In turn, the increased temperature caused more intense evaporation of water, which further intensified the processes of global warming.

Consequences of global warming – what will climate change turn into?
Consequences of global warming – what will climate change turn into?

Thus, the first ever climate change was caused by a significant increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At the moment, the following substances are known to contribute to the greenhouse effect:

  • carbon dioxide;
  • methane and other hydrocarbons;
  • suspended soot particles;
  • water vapor

Causes of the greenhouse effect

If we talk about modern realities, then approximately 90% of the entire temperature balance depends on the greenhouse effect, which is produced by the consequences of human activity. Over the past 100 years, the concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere have increased by almost 150% – this is the highest concentration in the last million years. About 80% of all emissions into the atmosphere are the result of industrial activities (extraction and combustion of hydrocarbons, heavy industry, emissions from thermal power plants and nuclear power plants).

It is also worth noting the significantly increased concentration of solid particles – coal, dust and some others. They increase the heating of the earth’s surface, increase the absorption of energy by the surface of the oceans, which leads to an increase in temperature throughout the Earth. Thus, human activity can be considered the cause of modern global warming. Other factors, such as changes in the activity of the Sun, do not have the desired effect.

Consequences of global temperature increase

The International Commission has published a working report that reflects possible scenarios for the consequences associated with global warming. The main motive of the report is that the trend towards an increase in the average annual temperature will continue, humanity is unlikely to be able to compensate for its impact on the planet’s climate processes. It should be noted that the relationship between climate change and the state of ecosystems is currently poorly understood, so most of the forecasts are assumed.
global warming
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Among all the expected consequences, one has been reliably established – the rise in the level of the World Ocean. As of 2016, an annual increase in the water level by 3-4 mm was noted. The increase in the average annual air temperature causes the emergence of two factors:

  • glacier melting;
  • thermal expansion of water.

If current climate trends continue, by the end of the 21st century, the level of the World Ocean will rise by a maximum of two meters. In the next few centuries, its level may reach five meters above the present.

Ozone depletion: causes and consequences of destruction
Ozone depletion: causes and consequences of destruction

The melting of glaciers will change the chemical composition of the water, as well as the distribution of precipitation. An increase in the number of floods, hurricanes and other extreme disasters is expected. In addition, there will be a global change in ocean currents – for example, the Gulf Stream has already changed its direction, which has led to certain consequences in a number of countries.

The impact of global warming on human civilization cannot be overestimated. In the countries of the tropical regions, there will be a catastrophic decline in agricultural productivity. The most fertile regions will be flooded, which may eventually lead to mass starvation. However, it is worth noting that such serious consequences are expected no earlier than in a few hundred years – humanity has enough time to take appropriate measures.

Solving the problem of global warming and its consequences

At the international level, the fight against global warming is limited by the lack of common agreements and control measures. The main document that regulates measures to counteract climate change is the Kyoto Protocol. In general, the level of responsibility in the fight against global warming can be assessed positively.

global warming
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Industrial standards are constantly being improved, new environmental standards are being adopted that regulate industrial production. The level of emissions into the atmosphere is reduced, glaciers are taken under protection, and ocean currents are constantly monitored. According to climate scientists, maintaining the current environmental campaign will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30-40% by next year.

It is worth noting the increasing involvement of private companies in the fight against global warming. For example, British millionaire Richard Branson has launched a scientific tender for the best way to prevent global warming. The winner will receive an impressive sum of $25 million. According to Branson, humanity must take responsibility for its actions. At the moment, several dozen applicants have been registered, offering their own solutions to this problem.