Global Warming: Global warming is defined as the increase of the average temperature on Earth. As the Earth is getting hotter, disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods are getting more frequent.
Cause of global warming: Almost 100% of the observed temperature increase over the last 50 years has been due to the increase in the atmosphere of greenhouse gas concentrations like water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and ozone. Greenhouse gases are t
hose gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect (see below). The largest contributing source of greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels leading to the emission of carbon dioxide.
The greenhouse effect: When sunlight reaches Earth’s surface some is absorbed and warms the earth and most of the rest is radiated back to the atmosphere at a longer wavelength than the sun light. Some of these longer wavelengths are absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before they are lost to space. The absorption of this long wave radiant energy warms the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases act like a mirror and reflect back to the Earth some of the heat energy which would otherwise be lost to space. The reflecting back of heat energy by the atmosphere is called the “greenhouse effect”.
The major natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36-70% of the greenhouse effect on Earth (not including clouds); carbon dioxide CO2, which causes 9-26%; methane, which causes 4-9%, and ozone, which causes 3-7%. It is not possible to state that a certain gas causes a certain percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the influences of the various gases are not additive. Other greenhouse gases include, but are not limited to, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydro fluorocarbons, per fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons.
Global warming causes by greenhouse effect: Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (see above) act like a mirror and reflect back to the Earth a part of the heat radiation, which would otherwise be lost to space. The higher the concentration of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat energy is being reflected back to the Earth. The emission of carbon dioxide into the environment mainly from burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas, petrol, kerosene, etc.) has been increased dramatically over the past 50 years, see graph below.
Effects of global warming: There are two major effects of global warming:
* Increase of temperature on the earth by about 3° to 5° C (5.4° to 9° Fahrenheit) by the year 2100.
* Rise of sea levels by at least 25 meters (82 feet) by the year 2100.
More details about the effects of global warming: Increasing global temperatures are causing a broad range of changes. Sea levels are rising due to thermal expansion of the ocean, in addition to melting of land ice. Amounts and patterns of precipitation are changing. The total annual power of hurricanes has already increased markedly since 1975 because their average intensity and average duration have increased (in addition, there has been a high correlation of hurricane power with tropical sea-surface temperature).
Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of other extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and tornadoes. Other effects of global warming include higher or lower agricultural yields, further glacial retreat, reduced summer stream flows, species extinctions. As a further effect of global warming, diseases like malaria are returning into areas where they have been extinguished earlier.
Although global warming is affecting the number and magnitude of these events, it is difficult to connect specific events to global warming. Although most studies focus on the period up to 2100, warming is expected to continue past then because carbon dioxide (chemical symbol CO2) has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 50 to 200 years. For a summary of the predictions for the future increase in temperature up to 2100, see here .
We are all personally responsible for releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels for transportation (driving and flying) and home energy (electricity, heating, and cooling). This leads to global warming, which is destroying Earth’s biodiversity and native ecosystems.
Saving Bangladesh from Global Warming: When it comes to climate change, Bangladesh–with 140 million mostly poor residents and low-lying coastal geography–is among the most vulnerable nations on Earth. As part of the country’s effort to prepare and adapt, Bangladesh government agencies are attempting to take global projections of climate change and turn them into highly local predictions.
Typically, global climate models show projected temperature and precipitation changes at a very coarse scale that isn’t very helpful at a local level. Climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have a grid scale–think of it as pixel-size–of 200 kilometers by 200 kilometers.
Already, some preliminary maps have been made that show areas where droughts, for example, are expected to get worse in Bangladesh. Even a marginal increase in sea level, hurricane strength, storm surge height, or drought extent could have a staggering human toll.
Bangladesh is one of 48 countries on a United Nations list of least developed countries. The UN provided $200,000 for each of these nations to, first, perform a high-level assessment of how climate change will affect them, and then draw up a list of priority projects. Now the nations are competing for about $115 million to implement adaptation measures over the next three to five years.
Some work is already under way in Bangladesh. In certain areas, coasts are being planted with mangrove trees and other species that could help stanch erosion and provide a bulwark against storms.
1. Reduce your use of fossil fuels
2. Protect native forests as `carbon storehouses’
3. Help plant native trees in urban and deforested areas