The Role of Human Activities in Climate Change and How This Is Driven by a Capitalist Society
Climate change is the changes in the pattern of the climate due to natural and human activities that has been used inappropriately. Climate is defined as the “average weather” for a particular region. Climate change is the human activities that affect Earth’s climate by using the human activities inappropriately that leads to the warming of the Earth. There are variety of ways that affect Earth’s surface. The enhanced of greenhouse gases is the main reason why the Earth’s climate is constantly changing because releasing an abundant amount of gases through human activities, deforestation.
The major issue that is discussed today is global warming, which is considered a threat to the earth in coming future. Global warming is the raise in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface, atmosphere and oceans. There are always two sides to every story and when it comes to the discussion of global warming there are two very different points-of-view. The world seems to be divided between global warming caused by humans and it caused due to natural reasons. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the noticed temperature increase was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced due to human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation. The IPCC also concludes that changes in natural phenomena such as solar radiation and volcanoes produced most of the warming and had a small cooling effect afterward. I strongly believe that global warming is a phenomenon caused by human activities, which results in a raise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The scientific panel studying climate change stated that the proof of a warming is clear and the human activity has been the major reason for the change. Global warming is the result of warming of earth and sea due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gases. The main cause of global warming is the human activities which emit greenhouse gas which is known as the greenhouse effect. When sunlight reaches the earth it is absorbed by the earth and warms it. Some of the heat is radiated back to the atmosphere. The absorption of this radiant heat energy warms the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and discharge of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm the earth’s atmosphere and surface. The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3), Clouds also affect the radiation balance, but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so are considered separately from water vapor and other gases. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, in 2001, the human activity had played an important role in global warming. The main reason of warming due to human activities is due to the burning of fossils fuels and rapid industrialization. Since the Industrial era the amount of greenhouse gases has increased in the atmosphere, leading to increased radioactive radiations produced from carbon dioxide, methane. The concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have increased rapidly. Fossil fuel burning has produced a noticeable increase in carbon dioxide from human activity over the past years. And the other major reason for increase in global warming is due to land-use change, particularly deforestation. However, because of the increasing demand of raw materials for houses and other uses for example – wood and paper pulp, industries tend to cut down more trees. Therefore, the enormous change in the rate of temperature is due to the industrial revolution.
After immense scientific studies on human involvement in climate change, it is clear that human activities greatly influence climate change (Easton, 2006, p. 9). To understand this better, it is good that we define global warming and its causes. According to Milbourn (2009), global warming is the projected and observable increase in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. The Earth’s average temperature rose by 0.6 degrees Celsius in the 20th Century (United Nations (UN) Public Inquiries Unit, 2002). The greatest known cause of global warming is the increase of green house gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone, sulfur hexafluoride, hydro fluorocarbons, and methane (UN Public Inquiries Unit, 2002). Science research has proved that burning of fossil fuels lead to emission of carbon dioxide. How does global warming happen? As sunlight hits the Earth’s surface, a smaller amount of the light is absorbed to warm the Earth but the larger amount is radiated back to the atmosphere at a longer wavelength than the sun light (Milbourn, 2009). Study shows that, greenhouse gases absorb some of these longer wavelengths before they escape into the atmosphere. After this absorption, these greenhouse gases reflect the heat energy generated back to the Earth. This reflection of heat energy back to the Earth by the atmosphere is known as “greenhouse effect” or global “warming” (Norma, 1993, p. 44). With this knowledge, we can critically analyze activities that lead to emission of these gases into the atmosphere and determine whether they are human in nature or not. The human activities that leads to the emissions of these gases are such as; use of motor vehicles, which emit hazardous gases. Carbon dioxide, which is the principle contributor of global warming, is produced when coal and fossil fuels are burned to produce energy in different applications. According to Milbourn (2009), use of fossil fuels accounts for 80-85% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere currently. Deforestation that is, cutting down of trees also contributes to increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When man cut trees down and burns them, the carbon that is contained in trees is released into the air as carbon dioxide. Other human activities include farming; the use of fertilizers and other chemicals in farming releases nitrous oxide, which is a hazardous gas that causes about 10% of air pollution (Cynthia & Daniel, 1995). Changes due to land use accounts for 15-20% of the current carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere (Milbourn, 2009).
In a word, we need to take part and try to stop global warming and other effects on climate change. If the earth’s temperatures continue to rise in the future, living things on earth would become extinct due to the high temperatures. If humans contribute to control global warming, this world would be cooler and the high temperatures we currently have would decrease. If everybody as one take stand and try to end most of the climate changes that are occurring, this world would be a safer place to live on.
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