Global warming

Aug 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Global Warming, Green House Gas Emissions, Health and Climate Change, IPCC, Opinion

WeekendObserver: According to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) in its scientific report, “Global temperatures are expected to increase 3.5 to 8 decrees Fahrenheit by 2050, and there is a 1 in 10 chance that the increase could be far worses, a risk that many expert believe is too great to be ignored.”

Do not get carried away and think that 2050 is still too far from now and think you might be dead by then. If you are 20 years old now you would be just above 70 years from now. If you would be dead, at least think about your children or grandchildren the conditions they might face because of our actions today. Global warming is not joke, but a threat to us all.

The report state human activity has been a major contributor to climate change since the industrial revolution, which began around 1750. The report further states with certainty that human activity has been the primary cause of the rising temperatures the globe has experienced since 1950. The report warns that global warming is likely to continue for centuries, and that is already too late to stop some of the serious consequences it will bring even if mankind could somehow hold the line on greenhouse gas emissions worldwide starting from today.

Global concentration of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the most notable greenhouse gases that have increased significantly over the past 250 years as direct result of human activity. The increase in greenhouse gases is primarily the cause of the use of fossil fuel such as oil and coal and the changes in land use such as cutting down of trees to make way for farming, housing and other development. Methane and nitrous oxide are especially due to agriculture.

It is very much unfortunate that consequences of global warming and climate change will hit hard people in the developing countries. Rising temperatures will alter global weather that directly has an effect on water supply and agriculture. Deserts will expand and the severity of drought and heat waves will expand and snow will disappear in most places except in the highest mountain peaks. Sea levels are expected to rise worldwide between 3 and 9cm by 2100, and will continue to rise at least the next 1000 years. Rising sea levels will create millions of environmental refugees as people will be forced to leave the coastal areas. Many nations especially in the developing countries are unequipped to cope with the wave of immigrants looking for new homes.

Fierce storms such as hurricanes will become more frequent and floods will occur due to rising sea levels. The future does not look good if human beings continue with the current rate emissions. Scientists predict that continuing global warming will also lead to a rise in many diseases that are deadly to humans. Flooding will contaminate water in some areas giving rise to water borne diseases. Rising temperatures will also increase the range and breading grounds of mosquitoes and other diseases bearing insects.

It is said that a moderate increase in the build of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could push global temperatures to levels last seen 125000 years ago. At that time sea levels were 5 to 20 feet higher than what they are today. Much of this water from that period is now frozen in the Greenland and Antarctica, but many ice fields are beginning to melt due to the current global warming. The consequences of global warming out weighs effects of any war the world has ever experience. Human kind must not allow that to happen. We have come too far to allow global warming to destroy us. Let’s all unite against phenomenon.

Tip: Some of the worst air quality is to be found in the home: fumes from paints and cleaning products can lead to a build up of chemicals like benzene, a known carcinogen. Plants filter out many air impurities and give off oxygen, so why not grow a few indoors? The African daisy, green spider plant, peace lily and philodendrons are particularly good air filters.

For comments and contributions, do contact the Renewable energy association of Swaziland on 2404 9040 or email reaswa@swazi.net

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