Now, a lot is said and written about global warming. Almost every day there are new hypotheses that refute the old ones. We are constantly afraid of what we can expect in the future. Many statements and articles openly contradict each other, misleading us. For many, global warming has become a “global confusion” and some have completely lost interest in the issue of climate change.
Global warming is the gradual increase in the average annual surface temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans due to various reasons (increase in the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere, changes in solar or volcanic activity, etc.). Very often, people use the phrase “greenhouse effect” as a synonym of global warming, however, there is a slight difference between these concepts. The greenhouse effect is an increase in average annual surface temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans due to the increase in the Earth’s atmosphere concentrations of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, etc.). These gasses perform the role of the film or the glass of greenhouses, they freely let the sun rays to the Earth’s surface and retain heat which is leaving the planet’s atmosphere. The increase in temperature creates favorable conditions for disease development, supported not only by high temperature and humidity but also by the expansion of the habitat of several animals – vectors of diseases. By the middle of the 21st century, it is expected that the incidence of malaria will increase by 60% (Nabi and Qader, 2009). Increased development of the microflora and the lack of clean drinking water will promote the growth of infectious intestinal diseases. The proliferation of microorganisms in the air can increase the incidence of asthma, allergies and various respiratory diseases.
Due to global climate changes, the next half century could be the last in the life of many species of living organisms. Polar bears, walruses, and seals are already deprived of an important component of their habitat – Arctic sea ice (Urban, 2015). The increase in average annual temperature of the surface layer of the atmosphere will be felt stronger over the continents than over the oceans. This will cause a radical restructuring of the natural zones of the continents. The displacement of a number of areas in the Arctic and Antarctic latitudes is already visible now.
The permafrost zone has shifted northward for hundreds of kilometers. Some scholars argue that due to the rapid melting of permafrost and increase of the level of World ocean, in recent years, the Arctic ocean occurs on land with an average speed of 3-6 meters over the summer. As for the Arctic Islands and capes, high icy rocks collapse and are absorbed by the sea in the warm period of the year at a rate of 20-30 meters. The whole Arctic Islands have completely disappeared.
As a result, the winters will be less severe. It is expected that by 2060, the average temperature in will change for 5 degrees.
Ways To Prevent Global Warming
It is believed that people in the future will try to take the Earth’s climate under control. Only time will tell how successful will it be. If mankind does not succeed, and we do not change his way of life, the Homo sapiens species will follow the fate of the dinosaurs.
Advanced minds already think on how to reverse the process of global warming. They offer original ways to prevent global warming such as the breeding of new varieties of plants and trees, the leaves of which have a higher albedo, painting roofs white, installing mirrors in earth orbit, glaciers shelter from the sunlight, etc. A lot of effort is spent on replacing conventional forms of energy based on the combustion of carbon materials on nontraditional, such as the production of solar panels, wind turbines, construction of TPP (tidal power plants), hydropower, nuclear power plants. They offer original, non-traditional methods of obtaining energy such as the use of heat of human bodies for space heating, the use of sunlight to prevent ice on roads, as well as several others. Energy hunger and fear of the global warming does amazing things to the human brain. New and original ideas are born almost every day.
Not enough attention is paid to the rational use of energy.
To reduce CO2 emissions, engineers have introduced the engines with improved efficiency, hybrid, and electro cars.
In future, it is planned to pay great attention to the capture of greenhouse gases in the production of electricity, as well as directly from the atmosphere through the disposal of plant organisms, using ingenious artificial trees, injection of carbon dioxide on the multi-kilometer depth of the ocean where it will dissolve in the water column. Most of these ways to “neutralize” CO2 are very expensive. Currently, the cost of capturing one ton of CO2 is approximately 100-300 dollars that exceed the market cost of a ton of oil, but when you consider that burning of one ton of oil forms approximately three tons of CO2, means of binding carbon dioxide are not yet relevant. Previously proposed methods of carbon sequestration through tree planting invalidate the fact that most of the carbon in forest fires and decomposition of organic matter are released back into the atmosphere.
Special attention is paid to the development of legislative regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, many countries had adopted the framework Convention of UN on climate change (1992) and the Kyoto Protocol (1999). The latter was not ratified by several countries, which account for the majority of CO2 emissions. So, the US accounts for about 40% of all emissions (in recent time, China has overtaken the US in terms of CO2 emissions). Unfortunately, people will put their own well-being at the forefront, so we should not expect significant progress in addressing issues of global warming.
- Nabi, S. and Qader, S. (2009). Is Global Warming Likely to Cause an Increased Incidence of Malaria?. Libyan Journal of Medicine, 4(2).
- Urban, M. (2015). Accelerating extinction risk from climate change. Science, 348(6234), pp.571-573.