Effect of Global Warming and Climate Change

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Global warming refers to an increase in estimated global temperature because of natural occurrences and human activities. Climatic change involves changes in the average weather of a certain place over a given period. Climatic change occurs due to high carbon dioxide emissions from factories, vehicles, and power stations. Benefits of climate change include faster growth of forests plants and greener vegetation. Another advantage arising from climate change is reduction of ice age because of regular warmer interval. Milder climate provides favorable condition for sustainable living in areas which were inhabitable. Moreover, the utility of fossil energy affects the climate and raises the temperature by 2 degrees (Gustavsson et al. 6). It is estimated to reach 6 degrees by the year 2100. Common indicators are temperature over land, sea ice, and glaciers on hills, sea level, humidity, and snow covers.

An increase in the mean temperature of the earth has effects that fall into several categories. They are hazards to endangered species and impact developing countries — global impacts in terms of economy, ecological effects, harsh climatic conditions, and large-scale impact occurrences. Global warming contributes to climatic changes in a measurable broad spectrum. It leads to an increase in rainfall rates, reduction in sea ice and snow cover, occasional and increased heat waves, ocean acidification, and rising levels of the sea.

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Extreme high temperatures can result in deaths from respiratory diseases and cardiovascular. For instance, in 2003, more than 70,000 deaths were reported in Europe following the intense heat wave during summer (Gustavsson et al. 6). High temperatures increase levels of ozone in the air that accelerate cardiovascular and other respiratory-related infections. Global warming and variable precipitation contribute to poverty in developing countries by lowering the production of food. Changes in climate conditions lengthen the transmission seasons of water-borne diseases and airborne infections. The conditions include the winter season, which favors the breeding of Anopheles mosquitos that heighten spread of malaria.

A cooler earth’s climate characterized the period between the 15th and 17th centuries, thus referred to as the ‘little ice age.’ The falling temperatures in the atmosphere altered patterns of precipitation on the surface land. It resulted in food shortages and the outbreak of diseases in the regions. The period in the 1690s was reported to be unusually cold and contributed to widespread crop damages and heightened mortality rates in parts of Europe. Alpine glaciers spread far below present and previous limits covering residential areas and farms in France and Switzerland. The Northern Atlantic fisheries decreased following low ocean temperatures in the 17th century (Greve 28). The western part of the colony in Greenland collapsed the following starvation, and the eastern side was isolated.

The medieval period is recorded and captures the North Atlantic region, which comprises Greenland’s ice cores. Climatic changes are majorly linked with the historical collapse of dynasties, cities, and civilization. The examples include the Anasazi, ancient Egypt, the Hittites, and classic Maya. The environmental approach suggests evidence of the Classic Maya collapse, which includes extended droughts. The instrumental temperature document indicates global warming of 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century (Gustavsson et al. 6). The future rate of global warming is estimated to increase by 6 degrees by the end of the 21st century (Greve 28). Several changes in climate have occurred following human activities such as the burning of fossil fuel which emits carbon dioxide. Decreasing land-ice and snow cover is linked to a rise in surface temperatures in the atmosphere. Since the 1960s, the snow cover has reduced by about 10%, based on satellite data (Greve 28). There is a significant reduction of continental glaciers following 20th-century global warming.

Analysis of Evidence from Ice Cores

Ice cores have information on past temperatures and several other elements of the environment. They contain traces of sea salts such as sodium, magnesium and dust tracers such as aluminum and iron. Most ice core data are generated from Greenland and Antarctica. Records indicate the ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica date back to 123,000 and 800,000 years, respectively (Herndon 18). Statistics prove that the level of carbon dioxide was stable in the second millennium and only started rising at the beginning of the 19th century. The concentration has risen over the years to reach an unprecedented level of nearly 40 % (Holopainen et al. 14). Evidence confirms the rise is due to the emission of carbon dioxide from the utility of fossil fuel and the clearing of forests.

The composition and distribution of elements is vital in ascertaining the age of the ice cores. Moreover, data from older ice cores show the fastest increase recorded in the first 1000 years was 20ppmv (Svensson et al. 1570). The same rate of increase in carbon dioxide was recorded in the past ten years. The high accumulation of snow enabled scientists to measure the level of emission at the drill sites. The pre-industrial Carbon dioxide levels ranged from 275 to 288 ppm and lower rates were exhibited between the years 1550 and 1800 (Svensson et al. 1570). The industrial period is characterized by an increased level of carbon dioxide concentration, especially from the year 1935 to 1945.

Conclusion

My understanding of the climatic change following this study is that human beings play a crucial role in regulating global warming. Positive impact of the global warming is sustenance of life in areas which were inhabitable. Emissions from people’s activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, can be controlled. The warning given an expected increase in average temperatures should serve as a reminder that if the change is not implemented, the consequences will be severe. I believe global warming is a serious threat to the earth and can trigger volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Finally, the rising sea level and an increased rate of sea ice melting pose a danger to human life. The table below show rate of increase in carbon dioxide based on Antarctica ice cores.

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Table1

Increase in Carbon dioxide based on Antarctica Ice Cores

Number of years (AD) Concentration of carbon dioxide (rate)
0-1000 20pm mv
1000-1900 NA
1935-1945 20pm mv
1945-2000 NA

References

Greve, Ralf. “Geothermal Heat Flux Distribution for the Greenland Ice Sheet: Derived by Combining a Global Representation and Information from Deep Ice Cores.” Polar Data Journal, vol. 3, no.6, 2019, pp.22-36.

Gustavsson, Leif, et al. “Climate Change Effects of Forestry and Substitution of Carbon-Intensive Materials and Fossil Fuels.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 67, no.13, 2017, pp. 612-624.

Herndon, J. Marvin. “Evidence of variable Earthheat Production, Global Non-Anthropogenic Climate Change, And Geoengineered Global Warming and Polar Melting.” Geography Environment Earth Science Journal, vol. 10.1, no.3, 2017, pp.16-23.

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Holopainen, Jarmo K., et al. “Climate Change Effects on Secondary Compounds of Forest Trees in the Northern Hemisphere.” Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 9, no.1, 2018, pp. 1445-1464.

Svensson, Anders, et al. “Bipolar Volcanic Synchronization of Abrupt Climate Change in Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cores during the Last Glacial Period.” Climate of the Past, vol. 16, no.7, 2020, pp. 1565-1580.

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