Name= Ravi Verma
Global warming is the result of the amplification of a natural
process occurring in the atmosphere called the Greenhouse
Effect. This amplification is caused by the addition of a range
of gases to the atmosphere as a result of domestic and
industrial activity. The main culprits are carbon dioxide and
methane. The concentration of carbon dioxide has been
increasing since the middle of the 18th century, and this is
associated with two factors, changes in land use and the
burning of fossil fuels. The global warming that is affecting
the world today can be traced back to this period too. In 2015
around 90% of the carbon dioxide released into the
atmosphere came from fossil fuels. Coal accounts for most of
The term “global warming” refers to the increase in the average
temperature of global surface air and oceans since about 1950, and
to continuing increases in those temperatures.
Greenhouse gases, being lighter than air, naturally rise up the outer
limits of the earth’s atmosphere and then settle there, creating an
impenetrable barrier that traps heat from being able to escape into
space and warming the temperature.
Another term for “global warming” is “climate change”. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that
greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed
temperature increase since the middle of the twentieth century,
and that natural phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes
probably had a small warming effect from pre-industrial times.
Greenhouse gases are defined as “gaseous constituents of the
atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and
emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of
thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the
atmosphere itself and by clouds”.
Climate change is any substantial change in Earth’s climate that
lasts for an extended period of time. Global warming refers to
climate change that causes an increase in the average temperature
of the lower atmosphere. Global warming can have many different
causes, but it is most commonly associated with human
interference, specifically the release of excessive amounts of
Gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), water vapour,
and fluorinated gases, act like a greenhouse gases around the
earth. This means that they allow the heat to come from the Sun
into the atmosphere, but do not allow the heat to escape back into
space. The more the greenhouse gases, the larger the percentage of
heat that is trapped inside the earth’s atmosphere.
The earth could not exist in its present state (that is, with life)
without the presence of some naturally occurring greenhouse
gases, such as CO2, CH4 and water vapour. Without any greenhouse
gases no heat would be trapped in atmosphere, so the earth would
be extremely cold.
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases (non-fluorinated gases) are
good in naturally occurring amounts; it’s when people start
contributing excessive amounts of them that greenhouse gases
become a problem. With excessive greenhouse gas build up the
earth’s atmosphere warms to unnatural temperatures which
causes, sea surface temperatures to rise, precipitation patterns to
The root cause of global warming is the emission of carbon dioxide
due to burning of fossil fuels. The main culprits are for this the
power plants that burn coal to produce electricity and in the process
emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide
envelops earth and does not allow heat of the sun to escape into the
atmosphere, giving rise to the temperature.
Global warming is one of the most important issues of modern
times and if not taken seriously, it is all set to annihilate all life
forms from the surface of the earth. It is continuous increase in the
average temperature of the air near the surface of earth and that of
Global warming definition may look very simple but the
phenomenon has started taking its toll, as the climatic conditions
all over the earth are changing very rapidly.
origin of Global Warming:
Global warming is the process, which started long and long ago. In
order to understand when global warming began, we should look
back for many and many years ago — in the times much earlier
before human’s devised international treaties and even much
earlier before we learned to burn first fossil fuel, which was wood.
It was about the second half of the 20th century, when the global
warming had become a talk of the town. In year 1997, the problem
of global warming, or to be more exact the problem of human
contribution into this natural phenomenon, was addressed
officially, when the world’s largest industrialized countries agreed
to reduce greenhouse gases emissions as the effort to stop the rapid
progression of the global warming.
CO2 is not the only “Greenhouse Gas”. While carbon dioxide may be
primary greenhouse gas, methane actually is 20 times more
effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Emissions of methane released into our atmosphere have risen
145% in the last 100 years.
Methane naturally occurs as part of the biological processes behind
everything from bovine flatulence to the organic bacteria and
sulfur’s commonly found in bogs, springs and wells. Methane is a
natural form of gas that is released in rice paddies as well as the
composting and decomposition of organic matter. However,
methane gas is also released during the processing and preparation
of fossil fuels.
(ii) Water Vapour:
Water vapour is responsible for 2/3 of the heat currently trapped in
the Earth’s atmosphere by all greenhouse gases. The hotter the
atmosphere gets, the higher the level of “relative humidity” which
holds the heat in even better.
(iii) Nitrous Oxide:
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colourless, non-flammable gas with a
slightly sweet odour. Most commonly known as “laughing gas” and
used as a medical anesthetic. Nitrous oxide is naturally produced by
oceans and rainforests.
Nitrous oxide is naturally broken down in the atmosphere through
chemical reactions that occur with sunlight. Some of the most
prevalent “man-made” sources of nitrous oxide are agriculture
fertilizers, nylon, catalytic converters and nitric acid, along with
the burning of organic matter.
Causes of Global Warming:
Over the past century, our planet has slowly been warming up.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the average temperature
around the world has gradually risen by one degree fahrenheit.
Though this minimal warming might not seem so significant, but
the over-all impact will most certainly prove to the devastating if
this continual warming process is not somehow ebated.
So, the global warming may cause by both naturally and
The issue of global warming is most often blamed on human
beings’ ecologically irresponsible practices and technologies. In
fact, global warming is quite a complex phenomena brought about
not only by us but also by nature itself.
To the surprise of many environmentalists, in fact, mankind and
technology actually aren’t the only significant causes of global
warming. There are actually a wide variety of natural causes,
ranging from volcanic eruptions, solar radiation and natural
thawing of the Earths “permafrost” and glaciers.
In other words, the planet’s temperature, just like most other
things in life and natural science, simply tends to fluctuate through
natural, rhythmic, “ebbs and flows” and highs and lows that are
caused and by sources within the planet itself, as well as the
vacillating environment of the solar system and universe. Several
“man-made” causes also play a significant role in global warming
(A) Natural Causes of Global Warming:
(i) Forest Fires:
Among the most common and most significant contributors to
global warming is deforestation caused by forest fires. Fires are
natural occurrences in many forests as it is nature’s way to clear to
up old growth to encourage new ones.
It also helps fertilize sprouting and existing trees and plants.
However, new trees take much time to grow large enough to absorb
large quantities of carbon dioxide and produce sufficient oxygen.
The fires also cause much carbon-filled smoke to rise from the
forests to the atmosphere. Both results have dramatic effects on the
rate at which global warming is currently occurring. Forest fires
started by man, whether intentionally or not, pose even greater
dangers to the atmosphere.
Oceans are also significant contributors to global warming as it
naturally contains much polluting carbon due to the ecosystems
they support. The top layers of oceans contain more pollution than
the Earth’s atmosphere and much of that pollution rises. The
amount of pollution and number of pollutants are also worsened by
man, making oceans even greater contributors to global warming.
(iii) The north and south poles:
Both the North and South poles also contribute a lot to global
warming. It is in those areas where permafrost contains large
amounts of carbon that have frozen over time. Disturbances to
these areas cause the permafrost to melt and release the pollutants
into the atmosphere.
The carbon held within these lands have been out of the carbon
cycle for thousands of years and so releasing them would cause an
imbalance to natural processes.
(B) Man Made or Anthropogenic Causes of Global Warming:
(i) Power plants:
Nearly 40% of our carbon dioxide emissions come directly from the
process of burning “fossil fuels” in order to generate electricity. Of
that almost 40% of our CO2 emissions directly attributed to
generating power, over 90% of it come from the burning of coal.
Coal emits 25% more carbon per “unit of energy” than oil and 70%
more carbon than natural gas.
Approximately 1/3 of the carbon dioxide emissions released into our
environment comes from the burning of gasoline in internal-
combustion engines of automobiles, buses, motorcycles,
recreational vehicles, trucks and motor sports.
As motor sports (racing) continue to grow in popularity, the huge
amount of fuel being used continues to grow annually. Just NASCAR
alone, which is only one of numerous racing associations, admits
that it burns over 1 million gallons of gas per year which is used for
the racing, trials, practice runs, etc.
That doesn’t even take into account the gas spent travelling,
hauling the cars, equipment, team and tools for each car back and
forth to the track.
The United Nation’s Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change
estimates that aviation currently is responsible for just under 5% of
global warming and that the figure could very well rise to
approximate 15% by the year 2050.
The regular maintenance, temperature control and cleaning of
buildings structure actually account for nearly 12% of carbon
Deforestation is the 2nd most prolific cause of atmospheric
CO2 influx. Deforestation is responsible for nearly 1/4 of all carbon
emissions entering the atmosphere. The planet cuts and burns
nearly 34 million acres of trees each year, including millions of
acres of “rainforests”.
The process of deforestation is “doubly” dangerous for the planet,
because not only millions of tons of carbon dioxide is added into the
atmosphere each year, but also wiping out the most effective
cleansers of that deadly CO2 gas, the trees and plants that naturally
“thrive” by consuming the carbon dioxide and offering up pure,
clean, breathable oxygen as a free byproduct of the plant life cycle.
(vi) Melting permafrost:
Permafrost is the frozen soil throughout the Arctic and sub-arctic
regions, that contain all kinds of organic matter such as all kinds of
frozen plants and animals that have been frozen solid and held
inert for 30,000 years. Approximately 25% of the land mass of the
Northern Hemisphere is “permafrost”, or soil with a temperature
of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
Permafrost has acted like a jail cell for carbon, methane and other
greenhouse gases for several thousand years. As glacial regions and
permafrost begin to melt, the 50 billion tons of carbon, that held
inactive, under the frozen surface of the tundra, will begin and
continue to be released into our atmosphere, creating a greenhouse
effect that would make the residents of the hottest and most humid
tropical islands faint in mere minute.
(C) Global Warming Due to Arctic Wildfires:
Incidences of massive wildfires in Arctic tundara pose a huge threat
to the global climate. The 2007 blaze on the North Slope of the
Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range released 20 times more carbon to
the atmosphere than what is annually lost from undisturbed
As wildfires increase in frequency and size along Alaska’s North
Slope, it may release large amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2 to
the atmosphere and accelerate the transformation of the frozen,
treeless tundra of today into a different kind of ecosystem less
capable of storing carbon. Together, the impacts could have
profound implications on atmospheric carbon and climate.
In 2007 the Anaktuvuk River fire ravaged a 40-by-10 mile swath of
tundra the largest ever recorded in the region. While the Anaktuvuk
River fire scorched only upper soil layers that are about 50 years
old, it caused the release of more than two million metric tons of
CO2 to the atmosphere.
This amount is similar in magnitude to the annual carbon sink for
the entire Arctic tundra biome averaged over the last quarter of the
Effects of Global Warming:
(i). Effects of Global Warming on Polar Ice Caps:
The effects of global warming are strongest at the poles. Ice all over
the world melting. This includes the ice of mountain glaciers, Arctic
sea ice and ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland. The
melting ice increases the sea level and this causes flooding of low-
lying areas. When snow and ice melts, their ability to reflect
sunlight lost this accelerate the global warming even further.
Cities such as Venice are starting to sink. Small islands such as
Guyana are also starting to becoming submerged. The sea level is
estimated to have increased at a rate of 0.1 to 0.2 inches per year
according to 2001 report.
Since 1900 global glacier surface area has decreased by half and
glacial retreat is occurring on every continent. The effects include
landslides, glacial lake overflow and flash floods as regular,
seasonal patterns of snowfall and some melting are destroyed.
Less glacier melt-water in summer means the drying up of rivers
and streams which are needed for drinking water, irrigation and
many other processes. Just imagine the effects from an accelerated
melting of Himalayan glaciers. The Ganges and other major rivers
are the lifeblood for the huge populations of India, China and other
parts of Asia.
The ice-sheets of Greenland and the West Antarctic are also
melting at rapid rates. Since 99% of ice resides in Polar Regions,
these huge amounts of fresh water will have noticeable impacts,
contributing to rising ocean levels and disruption of the Gulfstream
mechanism. Fisheries will be affected, rely on the cold water for
breeding and food.
Although climate change is complex to predict, sea level is expected
to rise between 28 cm and 79 cm (11 and 31 inches) by 2100. Floods
will become more common in the future.
ii. Effects of Global Warming on Weather:
Precipitation in the form of rain and snow has on average,
increased across the whole world.
Irregular weather patterns have an effect on humans. Rain is not
only an inconvenience for humans, but also damage human
property. The increase in heat will increase evaporation which is
why there will be more rain.
Animals and plants cannot easily adapt to increased rainfall or
snowfall and many animals migrate to other areas. Plants can die as
a result and this can cause an ecosystem to collapse as plants are
the main source of food in the ecosystem.
Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger.
Hurricanes form from simpler tropical storms oceans. The water
from the warmer ocean evaporates and it heats the surrounding air,
creating hurricanes. Higher temperatures mean that more water
will evaporate creating stronger hurricanes.
More extreme weather is already occurring. Cyclones have gained in
strength since 1970. Rainfall associated with such weather has
increased by 7%.
Heavily populated, low-lying coastal areas in cyclone-prone areas
are particularly vulnerable.
Up till 2004 hurricanes were strictly a North-Atlantic affair. Until
Hurricane Katarina struck Brazil that year from the South Atlantic.