Human Activities; the greatest threat to the climate

Human activities contribute a lot to climate change by causing changes in the earth’s atmosphere because of an increase in the number of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and cloudiness. The release of carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels is the largest contribution. Greenhouse gases and aerosols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the properties of gases contributes a lot to the warming and cooling of the climate. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds the warming influence. Carbon dioxide has increased from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million to more than 410 parts per million today.

Human activities result in emissions of four principal greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the halocarbons (a group of gases containing fluorine, chlorine, and bromine). With time the concentration of these gases is increasing in the atmosphere. This graph shows a significant increase in all of these gases that occurred in the industrial era.

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HUMAN CONTRIBUTION IN CLIMATE CHANGE

2016 study found that “almost two-thirds of the impacts related to atmospheric and ocean temperature can be confidently attributed to anthropogenic forcing” (meaning human caused drivers).

Combustion of fossil fuel.

Burning fossil fuels release a large amount of carbon dioxide into the air. This greenhouse gas trap heat in our atmosphere, becoming a cause of global warming. The global temperature has already increased by 1C. Warming above 1.5 C increases the risks of sea-level rise, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss and species extinction. Along with that food scarcity, worsening health, and poverty of people worldwide are also becoming common. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has researched that the dominant cause of global warming is fossil fuel emissions.

Deforestation

Forests take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. When trees are cut down or burned their stored carbon is released into the air as carbon dioxide. This forest degradation contributes to global warming.

Urbanization

The migration from rural to urban areas contribute to over-crowding, pollution, and poor sanitation which is damaging the environment. Urban growth increases industrialization and commercialization which will increase the use of fossil fuels which the major cause of global warming and climate change.

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Shift in Vegetation patterns

Vegetation can affect climate and weather patterns due to the release of water vapor during photosynthesis. This release of water vapor into the air alters the surface energy and leads to cloud formation. And alters the earth’s energy balance.

Agriculture

Agricultural activities such as livestock digestion, manure use, paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes, pipeline losses, and vented subsurface landfill emissions all lead to higher methane atmospheric concentrations. This methane is a big contributor to global warming.

Livestock

Livestock produces a large amount of methane, a greenhouse gas when grazed. This methane is a big contributor to global warming. Along with that, the uses of some fertilizers release nitrous oxide, which is another greenhouse gas. 

Cement manufacture

Cement manufacture produces carbon dioxide when calcium carbonate is heated, producing lime and CO2.to provide heat for the cement manufacturing process fossil fuels are burned, which produce carbon dioxide. It is estimated that the cement industry produces around 5 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, of which 50 percent is produced from the chemical process itself.

Aerosols

Aerosols (particles suspended in the atmosphere) from fossil fuel combustion, exert a cooling influence by reducing sunlight. The use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFSs) has increased in refrigeration systems also contributes to climate change.

SOLUTION WITHIN OUR REACH

Human is the cause, human is the solution.

Everyone knows the fact that human activities are the main drivers of all the causes of climate change. This helps all to understand how and why our climate is changing and makes it clear that this problem is in our reach to address.

We cannot ignore the warming and other changes caused due to heat-trapping emissions present in the atmosphere for 100 years. But by adopting aggressive measures to reduce the emission we can control this truly dangerous situation and provide future generations a sustainable world.

The Paris Agreement of 2015 calls for a reduction in emissions worldwide enough to keep global warming under the dangerous threshold of 2°C. We can reach that goal by adopting technologies that increase energy efficiency and expand the use of renewable resources. Also, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce its effects. We need to stop deforestation and take steps to create a climate-friendly agricultural system. The process of deforestation should be reduced.

Human emissions and activities have caused the highest percentage of global warming, which has resulted in climate change, in recent years. The global warming indicators are clear from increased temperature, humidity changes, sea level rising, showing that the land is warming up very fast due to fossil emissions, and thus changing the climate.