As years pass by, the average temperature on the surface of the Earth has been increasing. This condition is referred to as global warming, which is caused by greenhouse gases. Find out more about this issue affecting the entire planet, and what its effects and consequences are to every creature on Earth.
Overview of Global Warming
Massive burning of burning fuels and deforestation are just some of the contributors of carbon dioxide emissions in the planet. Unfortunately, once these emissions are released into the air, they cause heat to remain trapped on Earth. Instead of simply escaping into the atmosphere, heat is sealed and this results to a scenario called greenhouse effect. Over time, the Earth’s temperature increases and causes too much heat. This is the main reason why there are fewer glaciers, and polar ice caps are slowly melting away.
It is important to note that the climate here on the planet is affected by a few miles of the atmosphere, which is quite a thin layer. The more amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the greater the damage – and we are already reaping these effects as experienced in frequent hurricanes, floods, droughts and adverse changes in climate.
Facts about Greenhouse Gas
Water vapor is considered as the most significant type of greenhouse gas. Once a change in the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere, temperature quickly increases – and in noticeable quality. For instance, carbon dioxide and water contain vibrational modes within them, which are capable of re-radiating infrared radiation that are absorbed. Hence, greenhouse effect is the outcome of such scenario.
In addition, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stays there for long periods, which can take centuries. As for water vapor, there are two natural actions linked with it whether it is evaporation or condensation. This means, the levels of water vapor shifts to the local conditions. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide is constant and serves more as the controlling element in this scenario. With a greater amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the balance is achieved at higher water vapor level and increased temperature.
According to scientists, as much as 30 percent increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels has been measured. Human activity is responsible for this scenario, specifically due to fossil fuel combustion to use for transportation, heating and generating electricity. Thus, as much as 22 billion tons of greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere annually. All of these activities have led to massive changes in the surface temperature of the planet, and the level is almost the same as the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
What Can We Expect?
If this issue continues to worsen, various problems can arise as time goes by. For instance, there will be a concern with rising seas that can cover up low-lying cities, as well as islands and everglades. Ice caps will also melt, which means creatures in the polar regions may become endangered and extinct because of lack of habitat. Rainfall patterns will also change tremendously, and these are the causes of flooding, fires and droughts worldwide. To sum it up, all creatures in this planet are at risk of extinction since habitats are destroyed and an imbalance in the ecosystem prevails.