Ever felt that the city you live in is way hotter in summer as compared to previous years? Or have you noticed how winter gets way too cold for you to handle? Increased floods in areas which were flood free, cyclones, droughts and water getting scarce ring a bell? Well all of these changes in our weather are known as ‘climate change,’ which refers to changes in a region’s weather patterns when it lasts for an extended period of time. This a very concerning issue around the world as the global climate is changing drastically and affecting the world in many ways.
What factors are causing our climate to change?
One of the main causes of climate change is deforestation. We have taken the importance of trees for granted. Deforestation happens when we cut off trees for our own benefit and don’t bother to replant them. One of the major reasons of deforestation is Agricultural expansion. As the demand for food products increases, forests are cleared up to graze cattle and grow crops. About 40% of forests are cleared up to obtain free land and wood. This results in many animals dying due to their habitat being destroyed.
Greenhouse gases are present in the earth’s atmosphere and are responsible for causing the greenhouse effect. They are either present naturally or formed by a man made source. The two main gases that are responsible for the greenhouse effect are Water vapor and Carbon dioxide. Other gases present are methane and nitrous oxide. The proportion of these gases has considerably increased due to man-made reasons. Now, what is the greenhouse effect? In simple terms:
“The greenhouse effect is a warming of Earth’s surface and the air above it. It is caused by gases in the air that trap energy from the Sun. These heat-trapping gases are called greenhouse gases.”
The gases in the Earth’s atmosphere trap the heat coming from the Sun. As a result, the Earth remains warm. This process is known as the greenhouse effect which makes the Earth a comfortable place to live in. However, the natural process of how this greenhouse effect comes into action has been disturbed by US humans. By burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, carbon dioxide is released in our atmosphere. NASA has also observed that the concentration of other greenhouse gases has also increased.
With an increase in all of these gases in the atmosphere, the Earth’s temperature is rising. How can we prevent this?
Just like an actual greenhouse, the Earth is also filled with plants and trees. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen in the air. We must work on putting an end to deforestation and plant as many trees as possible for the safeguard of our future generations.
CFC or Chlorofluorocarbons:
by definition CFC’s are:
“Any of several simple gaseous compounds that contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine, and sometimes hydrogen, that are used as refrigerants, cleaning solvents, and aerosol propellants and in the manufacture of plastic foams, and that are believed to be a major cause of stratospheric ozone depletion —abbreviation CFC”
In simpler words, CFC’s are compounds that only contain carbon, Chlorine, Hydrogen and Fluorine. They are also known as ozone depleting substances which cause holes in the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun. It acts as a protective barrier and without its presence; it would be difficult to sustain life on earth.
Now, all of these factors combined are leading towards Global Warming. Global warming is literally our planet getting warmer. When carbon and other heat trapping emissions are released in the air, they act like a blanket and trap the sun’s heat inside the earth. This causes the Earth’s temperature to rise on a global level. Not only this, the overloading of carbon in our atmosphere also has devastating effects. It causes an increase in sea levels, wild fires, extreme weather changes and more severe droughts.
We need to address global warming at a Global level because it is a serious issue. We as individuals should start making changes in our daily lives that can contribute to the welfare of the society as a whole. We need to plant more trees and be more conscious about using products with CFC’s. If all of us stand together, we can overcome this problem for the security and prosperity of our future generations.