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Global warming, human activities and their footprints – TheCable

BY IFEOLUWA NAOMI AYANDIJI

Global warming is an event occurring every minute that leads to the earth’s climate. But the question we should ask ourselves is, do we really know the meaning of the term “global warming?” Global warming is the gradual increase in the earth’s temperature generally due to the greenhouse effect caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs and other pollutants. This has affected every living organism, animal, crop as well as human beings in many ways.

It is never too late to stop global warming although it might take a lot of work. One of the difficult questions people are so scared to ask is, how do we know what the greenhouse gas as well temperature levels were in the last decade? One controversial issue on this topic has been if human activity is primarily responsible for global warming. On one hand, some people argue that the effects of global warming have forced governments and scientists to implement policies to reduce or even stop emissions. On the other hand, global warming deniers believe that global warming is just part of a natural cycle – it is not dangerous – and it is in fact good for the earth. My view is that environmental concerns should be prioritised over economic issues. Global warming should also be controlled and that change starts with us, students.

The real question is, how can global warming be controlled and managed for the earth to be a better place for future generations to live in? Limiting global warming will prevent the destruction of human homes. I would offer here an adequate amount of knowledge I have acquired through reading newspapers, textbooks, and online articles. I would as well present questions along with plans on how to locate my answers and eventually I would point out those who are likely to be the target of my submission.

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The first step in solving this issue of global warming is to first identify the causes. Issues like this are unpredictable and yet cause a lot of damage to humans. So, identifying global warming and its causes helps in some level of control over the future. In the last few centuries, the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil increased the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide and changed the balance and climate of the earth. The long-term use of carbon dioxide had an effect on the earth’s tectonic plate and volcanic activities. Marine organisms were also affected as a result of human carelessness. When carbon dioxide gets mixed with water, the water becomes acidic and the ocean’s Ph drops, causing some of the animals with shells to dissolve into the ocean water. When all this happens, there will be nothing left to regulate gas and this will result in global warming as people know.

There are a few things I know about global warming, the first being that the average surface temperature of the earth has grown by 1.0 degrees Celsius in the past century. Research by Climate NASA also shows that ancient evidence reveals that the current global warming is occurring ten times faster than the average rate of ice age recovery warming, meaning that carbon dioxide from human activities is increasing more than 250 times than it did from nature sources during the ice age. The NASA research goes on to point out that the year 2020 was the second warmest year on record. The surface temperature for the year 2020 was 0.98 Celsius. It was warmer than the 20th century average of 13.9 and 1.19 degrees celsius warmer than the pre-industrial period.
Another thing I know about this issue is that the United States is one of the biggest contributors to emitting Co2 into the atmosphere because of its fuel consumption, deforestation and agriculture. The US is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, with almost every one burning fossil fuel which leads to frequent droughts, heavier hurricanes and rainfall. Research done by Amanda Mac Milan and Jeff Turrentine in 2015 concluded that the lengthy and heavy drought in California had intensified global warming by 15 to 20 per cent. A research I found while reading the conversion article written by James Ruppert Jr and Allison Wing shows that the hurricanes of 2020 were caused by the excess heat trapped by the greenhouse caused by human activities.

Hurricanes are caused by the heat transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere. These hurricanes provided less time for evacuation when they got worst and this led to death and destruction of people’s properties.

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I still have some questions about the issue that I need to research like: what is the role of the ocean when it comes to global warming, can the sun also be the cause of global warming and are there any benefits of global warming? Are there any anthropogenic effects caused by global warming? Finally, how accurate are the projections of the future of global warming? I believe it takes a lot of experiments and monitoring of the activities that happen around us to come to the real answers. But in looking for answers to these questions, I will have to listen to different podcasts done by meteorologists like TIL Climate and Hot take. I would also have to borrow books from my nearest local library, watch interviews and read documents that have to do with the issues of global warming. Books like “Unsettled’, written by Steven E. Koonin, and ‘The discovery of global warming’ by Spencer R. Weart would also be explored. Finally, I will talk to my professors and other scholars that are well versed on the topic.

They are so many different people that are interested in the issues, especially students. They will get to understand and address concerns, the impacts and the effects of climate disasters. Educating students about this issue will allow them to develop a culture of caring for the earth and learn to also adapt to climate change. Educating students as well as children on the topic of global warming helps them to know the consequences of their actions on not only the earth but also humans as well.

Research shows that 75 per cent of students do not know the science behind global warming, its changes and how it evolves. Some teachers do not even know much nor have the knowledge about global warming to teach their students and many of the textbooks provided to students do not touch on this topic. They have been neglected in science education. Teaching students about this issue allows them to develop critical analysis skills and synthesise pieces of information. They will be able to use the knowledge they have acquired to face the world outside the classroom. Finally, teaching them about global warming will allow them to ask questions like: how does one action affect the environment, why should we care about recycling and in what way do the changes in the environment affect everyone?

Farmers will also be interested in the issue of global warming because agriculture is at risk due to its increase in water shortage, heavy floods and drought and lower crop yields. Farmers will need to use clean energy and renewable fuel that is suitable for the environment such as solar panels, minimizing petroleum fertilisers and wing turbines. Farmers learning about land management will help vegetations to store carbon in their carbon Sequestration Systems, save water and protect the soil from erosion. Doing this will also result in reducing farmer’s electricity bills.

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Ayandiji is a 100 level student at the Department of Criminal Justice, University of Texas, Arlington, USA

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