Understanding Global Warming
Centuries ago, we used to know of something called the Ice Age. In that era, different peoples from various parts of the world were said to have connections with one another because the ice made it easy to cross oceans overland. The famed mammoth hunters existed during this period. It was incredibly cold. Fast forward to hundreds of years later and the Ice Age really is just a cool story a teenager could read beneath the blanket. It can exist easily in our imaginations and even be fanned when we watch movies like Frozen or see news clips on the Greenland. That is probably the closest we can ever get to knowing the Ice Age. However, the world is now witnessing today what is a direct antithesis to the Ice Age — global warming.
Global warming is a concept that simply means what it means; a warming globe. It implies that temperatures of the earth are increasing beyond previously seen levels. It is a situation which utterly changes the way we interact with the world. This is because global warming is believed to be caused by large scale industrial activities of developed countries.
The emission of greenhouse gases such as methane (found in fecal droppings of cattle) and carbon dioxide from a time as far back as the industrial revolution has forced a weakening of the ozone layer, increasing our exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. When this happens, it has extremely huge effects. Global warming is already showing itself through rising ocean levels. This rise is caused by a melting of ice.
The Greenland ice, for instance, has been reported by scientists to be seeing some of its biggest depletions in history. The heat of the sun forces a weakening in the ice over time and later creates problems such as floods. Countless people whose homes are in coastal areas are at the most risk of spillovers from the ocean, their livelihoods are threatened and viable resources are brought down in a massive sweep.
The effects of global warming actually vary across continents. That is, while it may pose the risk of tsunamis in Europe, in Africa it strikes a great threat to food security. Global warming for Africa translates to less rain and more sun. Less rain means a death of rain-dependent crops. It means drying up water sources especially in landlocked countries. Drying up in turn means a scramble for control if the little that is left of water and from there, there is a fervent race for survival.
In the flip side, global warming for some countries signals an opportunity to mine new resources. For instance, in Russia’s Siberia, natural gas is a plentiful resource. Previously hard spots for mining natural gas are more accessible to heavy drills. In international politics, China and the United States also seek to control as much of the icy gas-rich areas as they can.
Yet, whatever the implication for different people, the consensus which is very important for everyone, is that proactive steps need to be taken to mitigate the impacts of global warming. Above all, it is vital to emphasise the need for a different, unified sort of approach to tackling global warming. Countries must singularly proceed to fulfill their commitments under international agreements that stipulate emission levels.
© 2020 AFRN