These Are Human Activities That Cause Global Warming
Global warming is a huge issue that we cannot ignore. And yet, we all know that there are activities being carried out by us daily which are contributing to the cause. We should always remember to take our own steps to help combat the problem and make efforts to reduce these activities by engaging more in environmentally safe human activities.
1. Human Activities That Cause Global Warming
2. Burning Fossil Fuels Like Coal and Oil
3. Cutting Down Forests Which Store Carbon
4. Using Fertilisers That Release Nitrous Oxide
5. Using Appliances That Consume Energy
6. Not Recycling Paper, Plastic and Glass
7. Carbon Emissions and Carbon Pollution
Human Activities That Cause Global Warming
Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, release carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the air. Most of the warming that has occurred over the past 50 years is due to human activities.
Some of these activities, such as clearing land for agriculture, are minor contributors in comparison to fossil fuel burning and deforestation.
Concern about climate change emerged when scientists realised that greenhouse gas emissions related to human activities could alter Earth’s climate.
The potential effects of climate change range from increased droughts and floods to sea level rise and more frequent or intense heat waves. These effects may be gradual or sudden, local or global. Scientists disagree on how much the Earth will warm and what impacts that warming will have on our planet.
But they are certain that a warming trend has already begun and that we must reduce emissions if future generations are to avoid severe consequences.
The Earth naturally absorbs carbon dioxide through plant photosynthesis and releases it back into the air through plant decay and respiration. However, human activities are releasing huge amounts of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate that far exceeds what plants can reabsorb.
In fact, human activity is causing about 100 times more carbon to be released into the atmosphere than natural processes do. This has disrupted the balance that exists between the sources and sinks of carbon on Earth.
As a result, approximately one-third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions remain in the atmosphere for centuries. The other two-thirds are typically absorbed by plants on land or dissolved in the ocean.
Burning Fossil Fuels Like Coal and Oil
But burning these fossil fuels causes pollution and messes with Earth’s climate. Coal, oil, and natural gas are made of carbon and hydrogen atoms, which react with oxygen in the air to produce carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas: it lets light in but traps heat on Earth’s surface, like a blanket covering the planet.
The more greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere, the more heat gets trapped—and the hotter our planet gets.
Climate change has many effects on Earth. Sea levels are rising as ocean water swells and land ice melts. High tides wash over low-lying coastal areas where people live.
Hotter weather means bigger wildfires that destroy homes and habitats. Warmer temperatures cause animals to migrate north or to higher altitudes where it’s cooler. This is to find food sources that have also moved, or to compete with new species for scarce resources.
Droughts dry up streams where fish need cold water to survive; changing seasons mean plants bloom earlier than their pollinators emerge from hibernation.
The good news? If we stop dumping carbon into the atmosphere, our climate will eventually stabilise. If we don’t, we’re looking at a lot of changes on Earth—changes that could make life hard for us humans.
Yep, burning fossil fuels like coal and oil is bad for the environment. It emits lots of pollution into the air that contributes to global climate change.
And, over time, it will all lead to Earth becoming a planet that’s never really been seen before: one that’s hotter, and where extremes of heat or cold will be more common.
Cutting Down Forests Which Store Carbon
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. This means it absorbs and emits heat energy from the sun. Levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere, which is affecting the climate.
The world’s forests also play an important role in reducing climate change through their ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide. Forests currently absorb nearly a third of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil.
Without forests, much more of this gas would remain in the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise and leading to more extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and storms.
Deforestation releases this stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when trees are burned or decay. The loss of trees also means that less rain falls on the cleared land, leading to further removal of vegetation and soil degradation. This vicious circle is called desertification.
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When trees are cut down, they no longer absorb this gas, contributing to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In addition, trees store carbon in their trunks, branches, leaves, and roots.
When a tree is cut down or burnt, this stored carbon is released as carbon dioxide.
Cutting down forests also releases other greenhouse gases. For example, when trees are burned or decompose, they release methane gas into the atmosphere.
The clearing of forests can also lead to increased soil erosion and drainage of peatlands which release organic carbon (composed of plant material) into streams and rivers.
Using Fertilisers That Release Nitrous Oxide
In order to focus on the problem of global warming we should look into its major causes. We know that activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
But there are also other ways that human activities can cause global warming. For example, what you put on your lawn or garden can make its way into the air and contribute to global warming.
Fertilisers that release nitrous oxide can get into the air or leach into groundwater. Nitrous oxide is a known greenhouse gas and a pollutant. It’s also easily lost from soil, so some fertilisers are made with inhibitors to reduce this loss.
Use organic fertilisers. Organic fertilisers tend to have fewer nitrates than synthetic ones, and those that do contain nitrates tend to be slow-release ones.
If you choose to use synthetic fertiliser, try using one that is a slow-release formula. Synthetic slow-release fertilisers are less likely to leach into groundwater or wash away in the rain as readily as fast-release formulas.
Don’t overwater your lawn or garden. You can easily overwater, which will cause your lawn or plants to become waterlogged, and this can lead to root rot.
Overwatering also increases the likelihood that fertiliser will wash away and pollute waterways. So, watering properly is good for the environment in general.
Using Appliances That Consume Energy
You may be surprised to learn that the biggest contributor of greenhouse gases is the burning of fossil fuels to create electricity.
But you’re still responsible for the energy you use in your home, whether it comes from a coal plant or a wind farm. Using appliances that consume energy, like your refrigerator, stove, microwave and computer-especially during peak hours.
And when they’re older, smaller models this can cause a big spike in the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
These appliances also generate heat, which can make the ambient temperature in your home higher than necessary. That means you’ll have to run your air conditioner more often, which requires more energy.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to use less energy without making any major lifestyle changes.
In addition, your home’s heating and cooling system also consumes a lot of energy.
To help reduce global warming, all you must do is make small changes to your daily routine by turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging electrical devices when they’re not in use.
You can also help reduce greenhouse gases by purchasing energy-efficient appliances when it’s time for an upgrade. Energy Star appliances are certified to be more energy efficient than standard models.
Not Recycling Paper, Plastic and Glass
Recycling is the means of transforming waste materials into new materials and items. It is an alternative to “traditional” disposal of waste, saving material use and helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling can avoid the waste of possibly useful materials and lower the use of fresh raw materials, thereby lessening energy usage, air pollution (from burning), and water pollution (from landfilling).
The most common household items that can be recycled are plastic, paper, and glass. These three materials can be turned into a wide range of new products, ranging from soda cans to carpeting.
Plastic is one of the most easily recycled materials because it can be melted down and reshaped into new products without losing any of its chemical properties.
Plastic containers are typically marked with a number between 1 and 7 to indicate what type of plastic they’re made from. Recycling centres may not accept all types of plastic, so check your local regulations before setting out your recycling bin.
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Paper is another material that’s easy to recycle and reuse. Paper can be recycled seven to ten times before its fibres become too short to be useful.
Glass is often processed at bottle-to-bottle facilities and turned into new glass containers. Glass recycling is limited by the fact that broken or chipped glass can contaminate the supply, which makes it difficult to process.
When you recycle, used items are transformed into new products, lessening the need to consume natural resources.
For example, recycling paper decreases the demand for virgin wood pulp and saves energy, water and air emissions that are used in creating paper from trees.
Recycling is more than just the right thing to do — it’s also a smart thing to do. You’re helping to reduce the need for landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving money and creating jobs.
Carbon Emissions and Carbon Pollution
Humans have been pumping carbon pollution into the atmosphere for a long time since the Industrial Revolution. The results are clear: global warming is occurring.
There are several human activities that generate carbon pollution and contribute to global warming. Most of these activities involve burning fossil fuels (such as coal, natural gas, and oil). By burning fossil fuels, we create carbon dioxide and other air pollutants.
One of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide pollution comes from burning coal to produce electricity. Coal contains rich stores of carbon — when coal burns, that stored carbon is released as carbon dioxide gas.
Similar amounts of CO2 are emitted when we burn other fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas.
Gasoline-powered cars and trucks emit carbon dioxide as they burn gasoline. Trucks also burn diesel fuel, which emits even more CO2 than gasoline per gallon burned.
Although cars and trucks make up a large percentage of all motor vehicles on our roads, they account for only a portion of transportation emissions because heavy vehicles (such as freight trucks) account for most of the total miles travelled by motor vehicles.
Global warming is something that should concern everyone, regardless of political affiliation and personal beliefs on climate change.
Hopefully we have shed some light on the consequences of global warming and how we can help reduce our carbon footprint.
Just by making a few small changes to your day-to-day activities, you can make a significant impact.
Find out about human activities that cause global warming, learn what you can do now to reduce global warming and how we can save our Planet Earth.