Winter is surprisingly warm this year. The calendar states that it is February outside the window. And the thermometer, apparently, was not told about this: instead of winter frosts and snow-plus temperature, dirt and sprouts of garlic, onions and tulips. Is this the result of global warming, which is constantly being talked about by the media?
One of the most prominent topics in recent publications is the issue of global warming on our planet. Climate scientists have gone from being unknown nerds with glasses to social news stars.
Version 1: It’s all our own fault
The epic of climate change began in the 70s of the last century. Scientists have noticed that over the past couple of centuries – since the beginning of the industrial revolution – the temperature of the climate system of our planet has increased.
According to the latest report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human activity has raised the temperature of the planet by as much as 1.5 °C. Do not think disdainfully about such a small value: we are talking about the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system. And on a global scale, this is a significant change.
Climatologists and paleoclimatologists are trying to build hypotheses and calculate possible scenarios of the terrible consequences of an increase in temperature for the Earth, if something is not done urgently.
This phenomenon is called global warming and is explained by the greenhouse effect created by greenhouse gases – a mixture of water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone and halogenated hydrocarbons (used as additives to gasoline, in paint materials, detergents, silicone production, etc.). Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb the heat of the Earth and do not allow it to escape into space – summer residents do not need to explain the principle of the greenhouse.
Climate scientists, “green” journalists, politicians and the general public are concerned about the greenhouse effect. According to the proponents of the theory of global warming, a further increase in the average temperature of the planet at this rate can make the universal flood described in the Bible a reality on one part of the planet, and turn the other half into a dry hot desert. Here are the consequences of global warming waiting for us:
- melting of glaciers and reduction of ice shells in the Arctic and Antarctic;
- permafrost thawing;
- rising sea levels – it is assumed that all modern coastal cities will cease to exist;
- increasing the area and number of deserts;
- changing the usual weather conditions towards hotter ones;
- lack of fresh water;
- increase in the number of natural disasters – tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires;
- the disappearance of many species of animals and plants.
In addition to direct, there are also indirect consequences-the death of people in disasters, famine, refugees, epidemics. Adherents of the theory of global warming believe that by some indicators, humanity has already passed the point of no return.
But, nevertheless, many believe that our planet can still be saved from the terrible consequences of global warming – if we reduce the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The main “pest” in the matter of warming is recognized as carbon dioxide. Although the main role in creating the greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere (unlike Mars and Venus) belongs to water vapor.
The result of the active position of the fighters against warming was the Kyoto Protocol (adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005) and the Paris Agreement that replaced it. According to these documents, the participating countries undertake to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Proponents of anthropogenic influence on climate change are calling for decisive action. That is, not only to reduce the negative impact of industry and agriculture to the necessary minimum, but also for everyone to start with themselves: do not buy extra things, use less transport, save energy, do not use disposable dishes and packaging.
Do you know what your carbon footprint is? If not, then you are not in the trend: possible global warming and calls to reduce anthropogenic pressure on the environment have led to an absurd, in my opinion, fashionable trend-the calculator of the private carbon footprint. Now you can calculate how much harmful CO2 you have personally contributed to our planet’s atmosphere. And even install an app on your smartphone – to always be aware of where your carbon footprint leads.
But we will not go into the subtleties of counting and life hacks to optimize the carbon footprint-such as “refuse to fly on private planes”. As well as to discuss how much less harmful to the climate is a designer eco-friendly dress made of banana peel in comparison with the usual linen. And even the topic of ecosexuality (this is hugging trees as a contribution to the fight against global warming, if you don’t know) will not be raised.