Global warming is one of the major threats in the world today. Scientists have defined global warming as the gradual rise in the average temperature of the earth’s surface. The signs of global warming are numerous and conspicuous; some of the signs include the rising sea levels, the widespread melting of ice on the main mountain peaks, and other parts of the world where ice is found. Climate change has affected and continues to affect both human beings and animals, especially the wild animals living around sea shows. The melting ice on mountain peaks flows in the form of water into main water bodies thereby having the effect of submerging the land areas bordering the water bodies. Some of the submerged parts of the land are habitats for both human beings and animals (Farrar pp. 7-11).
To effectively come up with appropriate measures to deal with the menace of global warming, it is important to understand the main causes of global warming. The effects of climate change have been felt all over the world and countries and corporations, both big and small, have spent money and time trying to find solutions to the problem. The thesis statement used in the discussion in this paper is, “Global warming has several causes.”
The Main Causes of Global Warming
Global warming is a global phenomenon that has causes and effects. However, the focus of this paper is to identify the causative factors that lead to a rise in the average surface temperature. Scientists around the world have been working around the clock to establish the main causes of climate change. In the process, they have come up with certain proven factors, known as the causative factors to global warming. The causative factors have been categorized into two: natural causes and anthropogenic causes (Chamley, p. 460)
Natural Causes of Global Warming
Natural causes of global warming are those factors that are directly created by nature. One of the natural causes is the natural trend of temperature changes. Scientists have proven that rising temperatures on the surface of the earth have been an ongoing phenomenon since several decades ago. The natural rise in global temperature is caused by the position of the earth about the position of the sun. There are times when some parts of the earth’s surface are subjected to highly intense sunlight which causes the temperature in such parts to rise; the temperature rise then spreads to the cooler parts and gradually leads to an increase in the average temperature of the surface of the earth. During the process of eruption, hot air is released into the atmosphere; this adds to the already high temperature of the atmosphere. Besides, the process also leads to the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane (Chamley, p. 469).
It is also highly likely that the core of the earth, which is the hottest part of the earth, gradually releases heat to the surface. This may account for a significant percentage of the natural rise in the global temperature; this may imply that as long as the core of the earth is still very hot, more heat will continue to be released to the surface of the earth. This may take place through the hot springs and geothermal fissures. In this case, mankind should therefore expect a continuous rise in the global temperature.
Currents (ocean) as well contribute significantly towards change in the climate. The rise and fall of ocean currents cause some notable variance in some parts of the earth; this leads to changes in the intensity of heat in the affected parts of the earth. Nonetheless, the rise and fall in the ocean current are due to the relative movement of the sun over the surface of the earth. Moreover, global warming also is facilitated by the meteors that fall into the surface of the earth and explode. When the meteors explode, they release some heat and greenhouse gases.
Anthropogenic Causes of Global Warming
Anthropogenic causes are also known as human factors. Even though climate change is caused by natural phenomena, human activities have been known to contribute a lot to global warming. One of the human activities that contribute to climate change is cutting down trees for various purposes. One most important functions of trees are the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute immensely to global warming. Therefore, cutting down of trees leads to reduced usage of carbon dioxide by trees hence facilitating the building up of heat in the atmosphere.
Agricultural activities are some of the human activities that have the greatest effects on climate. This is coupled with the fact that fertilizers are used on large scale for commercialized agriculture. The activities also involve the use of chemicals that have far-reaching effects on atmospheric temperature. Moreover, industrial production also bears the blame for global warming. Most industrial activities involve the release of greenhouse gases as by-products of the production process. In addition to this, the burning of organic substances like fossil fuels also releases similar greenhouse gases released by industries. The fumes from these substances move directly into the atmosphere; this has the consequence of facilitating the buildup of heat in the atmosphere Chamley pp. 469-477).
Breathing out has also been considered to be one of the main contributors to global warming because it involves the release of carbon dioxide. This also includes animals that use oxygen for their physiological processes; they too release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Rasmusen para 1-4).
Global warming is the gradual and persistent rise in temperatures of the surface of the earth. It is one of the major problems that threaten the existence of humankind and both domestic and wild animals. It is caused by both uncontrolled human activities and natural factors. However, the former are the major contributors (Farrar pp.7-11). Natural causes of global warming include, but are not limited to volcanic eruptions that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, rise and fall of ocean current relative to the position of the sun, and the falling meteors that explode into flames when they reach the surface of the earth.
Global warming can also be caused by human activities which include, and also not limited to industrial productions, the burning of organic matter such as fossil fuels, mining of minerals; the mining of minerals opens channels for the escape of greenhouse gases trapped underground into the atmosphere. Other human activities include breathing, extensive use of fertilizers and other chemicals in commercial-based large-scale agriculture and running of machines like motor vehicles, motorcycles, flying planes and processing machines.
- Chamley, Hervé. “Geosciences, environment and man.” Volume 1 of Developments in earth & environmental sciences. Netherlands: Gulf Professional Publishing, 2003.
- Farrar, Amy. Global Warming: Essential Viewpoints. Minnesota: ABDO Group, 2007.
- Rasmusen, Eric. “Your Breathing Causes Global Warming.” Rasmusen, 2010.