Climate Change or Global Warming — We’re all concerned about it these days. Aren’t we?
But what is the actual reason behind this change? Who is the main culprit for this unusual change that is happening now? Why was it not there a few years back from now? Is it pollution? Is it the ozone layer? What will happen if this doesn’t stop?
Different people and so many questions, but yes there is one main reason or one big answer to all these questions and that is “Greenhouse effect”. Like the glass roof in the greenhouse, this effect traps the heat that comes from the sun into the earth’s atmosphere so that the planet stays warm. This is responsible for the habitable conditions for humans and millions of other species on this planet.
Ironically, the same effect has now become a curse for the earth’s environment and sustainability. And the main reason for this is Greenhouse Gases, whose growth has been increasing rapidly during the last few decades. The increase in these gases also increases the tendency of trapping the heat within the earth’s atmosphere, due to which global warming came into existence. The simple example to explain this would be a quilt or a blanket, which keeps you warm and snuggly in winters… what a cosy feeling! But what if you are forced to wear it in summers, that too without an air conditioner? No one will like that.
These greenhouse gases mainly include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. All these greenhouse gases were already part of our atmosphere, but there was a limit for each of them to make the earth a green planet. Now, this limit has now been crossed due to which we are getting more heat trapped in our environment making it less green and more warm. Hot areas are getting hotter, glaciers are melting more than ever and summers are getting longer throughout the world.
All the government agencies across the world are measuring the use of these greenhouse gases, tracking their use and trying to implement the solutions so that their level in the atmosphere can stay within the limit and stop affecting the normal temperature of this planet.
Although the most potent greenhouse gas is Methane, the worst one is still considered to be Carbon dioxide CO2, as it is the primary gas that enters the atmosphere. This gas occurs naturally in the atmosphere as all animals exhale it during breathing and plants release it at night, also there are volcanic eruptions, wildfires etc. However, human activities in the name of developments, like the burning of petroleum in vehicles and transportation and chemicals in the industries have raised the level of CO2 to a different level, making it a key greenhouse gas that drives global climate change. This creates a cycle where air pollution contributes to climate change, and climate change creates high temperatures. In turn, higher temperatures intensify some types of air pollution.
If the emission of carbon dioxide gas is controlled, it would be an almost complete solution for global warming. As an individual, you just need to be more cautious with your carbon footprints. Save as much energy as you can, drive less, do cycling or walking for nearby household works, eat organic, reduce the intake of meat that emerges more carbon dioxide, stop wearing fast fashion, grow more plants and trees etc.
There are many things that we can do, as these small efforts can contribute to a very big solution for us, and will bring sustainability for the coming generations.