Global Warming is said to be the rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere due to the green house gases like Carbon-di- oxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide and Ozone in the atmosphere. The “Greenhouse effect” caused by these gases warms the atmosphere naturally as this effect traps the sun’s radiation and act as a thermal blanket by maintain the Earth’s temperature within a livable limit of about 59 degree Fahrenheit. If the Earth did not have this thermal blanket, then the planet in which we all live in would probably be about 80 degree cooler than it is at present, making it very cold and difficult for us to survive and live in the planet. Global Warming is responsible for maintaining the temperature of the atmosphere.
The above factors that have been discussed are all related to the natural greenhouse effect and the natural global warming that will result in the normal climatic changes. But, nowadays, people relate the global warming topic to the adverse climatic changes that they are experiencing, which means that there is an increase over and above the permissible level of the temperature in the Earth’s atmosphere which is influencing the varying climatic patterns. Nature seems to be always warning us of the influence of global warming in this modern world and the few signs that have been brought to our notice includes the melting of the glaciers, increase in the sea levels, the recent Tsunami that caused huge damage to life and property, more than normal heat waves experienced in many countries etc.
The climate of the Earth is always changing. Earlier, the changes in the climate were all natural and were considered seasonal. But the frequent changes in the Earth’s climate, since the early 1900, have been identified to be caused by human behavior rather than due to the effect of the natural changes in the atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, there has been lot of burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas which results in letting out a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, mainly Carbon- di- oxide or CO2 into the atmosphere. There have been billions of tons of CO2 that are burned into the atmosphere every year and the amount is increasing by about 3% every year.
The Amazon forest is also turning out to be a major carbon sink. It is reported that there is a net loss of rain forest along with the increase of carbon into the atmosphere. Deforestation is the main cause for the trees in the Amazon rain forests to not completely soak up the carbon let out into the atmosphere and this may also lead to varying climatic changes due to the presence of global warming. The effects of the carbon gases in the atmosphere has not spared the oceans as well as they also act as a carbon sink. The effect of increased carbon in the atmosphere has made the oceans more acidic, causing damage to the sea creatures, bleaching corals and also further causing damage to the general health of the oceans of the world. This has led to increase in the sea levels and the warmer water due to the effect of the warmer atmosphere also has led to more intense and unusual weather and climatic changes.
The various climatic changes that may occur due to the increased global warming effect are melting of the glaciers, rise in the temperatures of the regions on the Northern Hemisphere, melting of snows in the temperate regions earlier than before, frequent storms and floods, dry land will go more drier, rise in winter and night temperature and a more humid atmosphere.