By Abbas Jan-There is a broad based agreement with in the scientific community that climate change is real. The U.S environmental protection agency, the national aeronautics and space administration, and the National oceanic and atmospheric administration concur that climate change is indeed occurring and is almost certainly due to human activity.
Global warming is a phenomenon that has an effect on earth’s atmosphere, most of the modern day climate scientists agree that humans have changed earth’s atmosphere dramatically in a span of two centuries, resulting in global warming. In the solar system other planets are either too cold or are scorching hot, Earth’s surface has relatively mild and stable temperatures. Planet earth enjoys this because of its atmosphere, which is a thin layer of gases that cloak and protect the planet.
This earth’s atmosphere is badly treated by energy in, energy out i.e. green house effect and industrial use of fossil fuel as energy. Earth is constantly descended upon enormous amount of radiation from the sun. The solar radiation strikes the earth’s atmosphere in the form of visible light, ultraviolet UV, infrared IR and other type of radiations that are invisible to human eye.
A huge amount of these radiations is absorbed by oceans, the land and the atmosphere. As they heat up they release heat which is in the form of infrared thermal radiation that passes out of the atmosphere and into space, it’s this equilibrium of incoming and outgoing radiation that makes earth place livable.
The green house effect is; incoming UV radiation which easily passes through the glass walls of greenhouse and is absorbed by the plants and hard surfaces inside, weaker IR radiation however get trapped inside greenhouse, that warms the greenhouse, this effect let plants thrive inside the greenhouse if even it is winter. Gas molecules that absorb thermal infrared radiation, and are in significant adequate quantity; these type of gas molecules are called greenhouse gasses.
Carbon dioxide CO2 and other greenhouse gases act like a blanket, absorbing IR radiation and preventing it from escaping into outer space, the net effect is gradual heating of earth’s atmosphere and surface, a process known as “global warming”.
Climate change could cause more concentrated storms raising temperatures are causing heavy rain storms to become concentrated over smaller areas, a scenario that could potentially cause extreme flooding in urban locations. Rising sea levels due to melting of polar ice caps (cause by climate change) contribute to greater storm damage warming ocean temperatures are associated with stronger and more frequent storms, additional rainfall, particularly during severe weather events, leads to flooding and other damage an increase in the incidence and severity of wild fires threatens habitats, homes and lives, and heat waves contribute to human deaths and other consequences.
Many scientists agree that the damage to the earth’s atmosphere and climate is past the point of no return or that the damage is near the point of no return. Josef Werne, an associate professor at the department of geology and planetary science university of Pittsburg opined, there are three options from this point forward.
- Do nothing and live with the consequences.
- Adapt to the changing climate (which includes things like rising sea level and related flooding)
- Mitigate the impact of climate change by aggressively enacting policies that actually reduce the concentration of co2 in the atmosphere.