"Save the Environment, Ban the Bulb", a phrase often seen and heard nowadays, refers to the Global warming which is affecting the earth and its inhabitants. To this day there are many who are not aware of what Global Warming is all about. To put in simple terms Global Warming refers to the increase in the earth's average temperature of the surface air.
Causes of Global Warming
The man made causes of Global warming are
- Slowly and steadily, the technological advancement made by man, has corroded the earth of its natural gases, replacing it with harmful gases and causing the flora and fauna of the earth's atmosphere to become extinct.
Some of the causes for Global Warming are :
- Increase in population: man and animals take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide, unlike plants that take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. But man for his selfish reasons and in the name of development is cutting down trees and forests thereby bringing down the extent of oxygen in the atmosphere.
- The industrial revolution is also one of the major causes of Global Warming. The machines which man uses consume fuel and emit harmful gases.
- The increase in the number of vehicles which emit harmful gases also contribute to Global Warming.
- Other factors like deforestation, over cultivation, over grazing all add up to the cause of Global Warming.
Effects of Global Warming
- Average temperatures have risen. The last two decades have been the hottest.
- Average temperatures in the Artic region have risen doubly. The ice in the region is fast disappearing. By 2040 the region may experience its first ice-free summer. The effect of which is being felt by the polar bears of the region.
- Mountain snows and glaciers are fast melting. The number of glaciers is rapidly reducing, causing the sea levels to rise and creating water shortage of fresh water
- Sea temperatures are rapidly rising having its effect on coral -reefs which have recorded a bleach rate of 70% and which is expected to intensify further.
- There will be a shortage of water and food and cause irreparable damage to wildlife.
- Sea levels could rise between 7 to 23 inches thereby flooding many parts of South-east Asia.
- Natural disasters, wildfires, droughts will all become very common.
- Habitats face the danger of extinction.
Things to do save our planet from Global warming
- Global warming is a serious problem which planet earth is facing. Each one of us in small ways can do our bit to reduce the effects of Global warming.
- We can replace the bulbs in our house with CFL bulbs which uses 60% less energy than a normal bulb and thereby saving a huge amount of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
- Cleaning and replacing filters of furnace and air conditioners will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released.
- Only energy efficient appliances should be bought like automatic de-frost refrigerators.
- Appliances should not be left in the standby mode.
- Pots and pans should be covered while cooking, it is better to use pressure cookers and steamers. Washing machines and dishwashers should be used only when the load is full.
- Buy recycled paper and recycle household and organic wastes. Use only recycled bags for shopping instead of disposable bags.
- Plant as many trees as possible as trees absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and keep the atmosphere cool.
- Better to use fresh food instead of frozen food.
- Buying organic foods is recommended as organic soils store carbon dioxide more than normal soils.
- Walk or cycle to run small errands instead of using the vehicle. Car pooling system should be used so that number of vehicles on the road will come down.
The Greenhouse effect
Carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor contribute the greenhouse gases and certain other gases present in the atmosphere; create a warming effect like the warming inside the greenhouse, to regulate the temperature of the planet by absorbing the heat from the sun into the atmosphere and not allowing it to escape into space. Hence the name greenhouse effect. The present state of the earth with life and warmth would not be possible without the greenhouse effect, which otherwise would have been very cold at 0 degrees. But excessive emission of greenhouse gases by humans is not good as it is making the earth warmer than bearable. These are the natural causes of Global warming.
The largest source of Global warming contributor is the USA. It emits carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel burning more than India, China and Japan put together. Clearly the US being the leader of developed nations is also taking the lead in contributing to Global Warming. They need to take a clear lead to put an end or minimize this at the earliest.
The Government is taking initiatives to minimize the effects of Global warming by making a law called the Clear Air Act, wherein the Government sees that the air is clean and not polluted as people are getting really sick because of the polluted atmosphere. This Act is endorsing all the products of the companies with a label stating that it has been certified by Clean Air and it does not have any major pollutants.
Even Kids can contribute to this by planting trees and watching less TV. There are many organizations working for this and every citizen should do his duty in providing a clean and healthy atmosphere for themselves and the generations to come.