Global warming is the greatest environmental challenge facing the Earth today. So much so, that if no preventive measures are taken to stop its negative effects, the survival of the animal species that inhabit it, including the human race, would be in danger in the long term. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Although the term is appearing more and more in the media and other scenarios of our daily life, do you still not know what this phenomenon consists of and what are its real implications? Today, we explain it!
The truth is that global warming is already a reality. Just a glance at some points of the planet – such as the poles, desert areas, river and ocean levels or forests, among others – confirms that in one way or another we already live with its most devastating effects. Let’s find out where it originates!
Global warming: know the 5 main causes
Before mentioning the main causes of global warming, it should be clarified that variations in the earth’s temperature are a natural process, that is, they have occurred for thousands of years as part of its evolution. In this process, glacial periods have alternated with others in which the temperature of the planet rose.
The novelty in the challenge we now face is that the action of the human race during the last two centuries has accelerated this warming and has caused an unprecedented deterioration since measurements of this kind were made.
It is on these artificial causes that we are going to focus, since they are the ones that have the greatest impact on the increase of the earth’s temperatures. Do you have any idea what these causes are? Here we present you the 5 most important ones:
Increase in greenhouse gases
The excessive industrial activity that has taken place in the world since the Industrial Revolution is the main cause of global warming. The vast majority of these processes release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases that, once in the atmosphere, deteriorate the ozone layer and, at the same time, expose the Earth directly to the sun’s rays.
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the best known gas because it is primarily responsible for preventing heat from escaping into the lower layers of the atmosphere. National Geographic confirms that its production has increased by about 6 billion metric tons per year since 1990, or about 20%. There is also nitrous oxide and many other derivatives of electricity production, but this is only the first cause!
Fossil fuel burning
A good part of the greenhouse gases are generated after the burning of fossil fuels, that is, all those derived from products such as coal, oil and natural gas. We see this, for example, in large urban centers with the massive burning of fuel by cars and other heavy transport.
The negative effect of fossil fuels is twofold if we consider the air pollution and health problems that can result from this. For example, the World Health Organization estimates that there are currently about 300 million people in the world who suffer from asthma, a figure that will increase proportionally to the presence of harmful substances in the environment. Let’s continue!
Deforestation of jungles and forests
It is often thought that the deforestation of forests and jungles only generates effects in the closest environments. However, the damage that is generated is global. Trees have the ability to convert CO2 into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, thus contributing to reduce air pollution. But if we reduce their number, the concentration of CO2 and other gases will be higher and, therefore, land temperatures will increase.
Forests and jungles still cover about 30% of the Earth’s surface, but every year a similar extension is lost as in countries like Panama. Shall we tell you more?
Excessive use of fertilizers
Pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals used in sectors such as agriculture and livestock are another direct cause of global warming. All of them have a high content of nitrogen oxide, which is even more harmful than carbon dioxide. Hence the need to invest in more natural forms of cultivation and food production. Let’s see the last one!
High waste production
The high production of waste also favors global warming. In what way? The more waste we produce daily, the higher the levels of methane gas in the environment, an element that is generated during the decomposition of materials in landfills.
In addition, massive consumption means greater demand, which will lead industries to increase their production levels and, therefore, the levels of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere will be higher.
What can you do to stop global warming?
Stopping global warming basically requires measures promoted by high level organizations, governments and institutions worldwide. However, this does not mean that all of us as citizens cannot contribute to this process. On the contrary, there are different ways to do it:
We can control the level of waste generated daily, recycling plastics, clothing and other materials. In addition, it is necessary to carry out an adequate classification of waste in order to throw each item in the appropriate container and take advantage of materials, articles or products that have completed their first life cycle.
Changing to a responsible consumption model
It is important to know what our real needs are as consumers. It is not a question of buying just for the sake of it, it is a question of doing so responsibly and based on a real need and not on a whim.
Participate in global citizenship initiatives
We can also be part of local, sectorial or regional initiatives that generate sensitivity in the population and promote joint solutions to generate positive changes.
Acquiring Fair Trade products
In our role as consumers, we can influence the reduction of greenhouse gases if we support consumer initiatives that do not use chemical or artificial products and that, at the same time, contribute to the social development of their environments, such as Fair Trade.
Are you ready to implement all these measures from today? As you can see, you are also part of the solution to stop global warming. You can do it day by day with daily practices and by generating sensitivity towards this issue in those around you. Don’t let another day go by!