The causes of global warming, its effects, its potential along with impacts on the environments, remedies, etc. are explained in this article.
Before understanding the causes of global warming, or global warming potential, or GWP, let’s try to understand global warming first. In recent times, our environment gets impacted by various factors.
Technological advancements are having a wider negative impact on the environment. One of them is the greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases are abbreviated as GHGs.
Here, the term Global warming potential comes into play.
Global warming potential means the potential by which Earth’s surface temperature is increased with respect to the previous periods of time by greenhouse gases.
The visible changes due to global warming are climate changes which can be seen all over the world nowadays.
We can say,
Before knowing more about the global warming potential, we should know about greenhouse gases and global warming in brief. Because greenhouse gases are the largest contributor to global warming.
Starting with the names of gases these are,
Also, note that without the greenhouse gases the earth’s temperature would be -18 degrees Celsius.
Based on history & the modern era,
If you are thinking that O2, N2 is already present in our environment so why don’t they affect the environment? They are not greenhouse gases because molecules containing two atoms of the same element such as O2 and N2 have no net change in the distribution of their electrical charges when they vibrate, and monatomic gases such as Ar do not have vibrational modes.
This is the reason they don’t affect by infrared radiations. There are vast effects of greenhouse gases and the major is global warming.
Let’s see how they are contributing to global warming.
There are many causes of global warming. The earth absorbs the light rays from the sun and radiates them to gives out heat. So in the atmosphere, there are various gases including the greenhouse gases as mentioned in the above section.
After the industrial revolution the extraction of fossil fuels, deforestation continued for a long time. Every country was adopting the industrial revolution era and trying to produce more and more without any measures and thoughts about the environment.
Because of this the levels of,
If the numbers are to be checked,
From the last 8000000 years, the CO2 levels have never been so high as they are today. The CO2 emissions primarily come from the burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation and industrial processes add up the levels of CO2 again.
These gases don’t get washed away and stay for years in the atmosphere. The years they remain in the atmosphere their time frame is measured. This task is done in the global warming potential scenario. Now it’s time to move towards actual Global warming potential.
Check out a nice video on Global Warming Causes & Effects,
In simple words, the global warming potential (GWP) is the ability of greenhouse gases to trap the extra heat in the atmosphere over time relative to carbon dioxide (CO2).
The carbon dioxide (CO2) due to its large time sustainability is considered as the reference value for calculating the GWP.
The value of GWP of carbon dioxide (CO2) is 1.
Now considering GWP CO2 as 1, we can find out how much a particular gas can contain or trap the heat. This common scale allows us to find out the emissions from different sectors and the efforts we need to control them.
There are few basic considerations for GWP,
Calculating global warming potential depends generally on three factors.
The important term considered in the global warming potential is the time horizon, let’s know more about it.
The global warming potential is calculated over a time period of years. As we have seen earlier, the short-lived gas is mostly not considered, it may have some effects initial phase but not for a longer period of time.
Like methane has a potential of 34 over 100 years but it has 86 GWP number for the first 20 years. The GWP value also depends on how much time gas can sustain or decays over time. Generally, 100 years of time is used.
Let’s check out the global warming potential of some common gases. This list is according to the IPCC 2013-AR5.
|Name of||Lifetime||GWP Number||GWP Number|
|Gases||(years)||20 years||100 years|
|3.) Nitrous oxide||121||264||265|
|4.) HFC- 23||222||10800||12400|
|5) HFC- 134a||13.4||3710||1300|
|7) Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)||3200||17500||23500|
|8) Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)||500||12800||16100|
As we already knew the main cause of global warming is greenhouse gases. They come from various sectors and the GWP is helpful to counter the emissions by quantifying measures.
The effects of global warming are much wider and it’s a threat to life on earth.
Let’s know some of the effects of increasing the GWP of gases in other words the impacts of global warming.
The main and most issue we all should worry about is climate change. Climate change can affect in various ways on humans, wildlife, and all the other aspects. Are you wondering what exactly is climate change?
In this 2020-year coronavirus pandemic, the factories were shut down. On-road vehicles and everything was shut down for years. India recorded pretty much higher rainfall even in the drought areas.
The tipping points and long terms impacts are predicted to be seen soon as the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting.
Nature and wildlife effects
As we have seen in the above section, there is really vast drought situation at one end and on the end, there is flood like situations.
Effects on humans
Climate change is affecting every being on the earth. Uneven climatic conditions are making it difficult for living in some parts of the world. The natural calamities are increasing day by day.
Because of these conditions, economic stability is getting destabilized. The developing nations may face challenges soon.
Food and health
The extreme weather conditions are causing a lot of damage to health.
The production of agricultural products and their yields are greatly reduced. Uneven rainfalls and climatic conditions are getting difficult for the crops to survive. In drought areas, water availability is becoming a much larger issue.
These are some of the effects of global warming. If they are not controlled the effects are irreversible.
Let’s see some solutions employed in brief.
Reducing the use of Greenhouse gases
The international panel on climate change (IPCC) has proposed to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels to avoid drastic effects.
Use of clean energy
Most of the greenhouse gases come from vehicles, fossil fuel burnings.
Reduction of carbon content
The factories in the productions give out carbon dioxide. Rather than releasing it, it can be stored.
Global warming has increased drastically till now. For the present effects there should be ways to counter the effects, like
Adaptation is getting a more important factor in surviving climate changes.
In the year 1992, the causes of global warming and effects were highlighted. The united nations conference on the environment and development was held in Rio De Janeiro. The united nations countries joined the protocol.
Kyoto protocol’s main objectives were to control the emissions of human-produced greenhouse emissions.
A solution like this is expected to slow down the global warming temperature rise. It is a serious issue because the effects are irreversible and natural calamities are not easy to stop or survive. Also, there are difficulties for developing nations to employ the clean energy solution due to lower funding.
Hence, we got the basic knowledge of global warming potential along with causes & effects.
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