Primarily, climate change is caused mainly by Earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun, as well as variations in the energy output from the sun (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). The climate system responses variably to external yet natural forcing factors such as solar activity, volcanic gas emissions, earth’s in-place rotation and greenhouse gases. Most of human activities are considered main authority in increased accumulation of greenhouse gases (Global Warming, 2007). The major reasons of temperature variations are merely divided into three, namely, astronomical, atmospheric, and tectonic causes.
The astronomical causes include cyclic solar variation and Earth’s combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the Sun (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). According to IPCC, there is a low level of systematic perception on the contribution of solar power to climate changes. Leidig and Nikkhah (2004) emphasized that increasing solar radiation is responsible for recent global climate changes. Included list of atmospheric causes is the constant accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) to Earth’s atmosphere that will lead to a temperature elevation.
Along with this, the greenhouse effect by which emission of infrared radiation is due to atmospheric gases, can lead to a warm environment. The composition of natural greenhouse gases includes water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane. Among those components, the water vapor has the most part in the process of greenhouse effect. Other causes include deforestation and fossil-fuel burning, which comprises about 75 percent of CO2 atmospheric emission (Global Warming, 2007).
Human gas emissions just contribute the least part to greenhouse effect (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). The tectonic causes include shifting of continents (continental drift) that results to variations in circulatory patterns of ocean currents and sea floor spreading (Hieb and Hieb, 2006). Some of the immediate effects, on both living environment and human, due to results of global warming include melting of glacier, ice shelf destruction, sea level variation, irregular rainfall patterns, increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes and extreme weather occurences.
Moreover, the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever can be accounted. According to study, almost half of 1,103 animal and plant species would be extinct by 2050 according to future climate projections and variations (Global Warming, 2007). All across the globe, hotter summers could lead to more cases of heat stroke and deaths among those who are vulnerable, such as older people with heart problems. In fact, big part of Europe experienced temperature increases and unpredictable precipitation this century.
The warming is clearly perceptible in mountain regions by the widespread retreat of glaciers (GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs, 1999). According to Weier (2002), some possible effects of global warming are the outpouring of low-elevated islands due to rising sea levels, increased frequency of rigorous storms, and the draw back of glaciers and icecaps. Land masses will increase in temperature over the summer months much more than the ocean due to seawater mounting from run-off of the melting of continental glaciers.
In this modern time, seeking ways on how to stop this global warming problem is really alarming. Some of these include technological innovation and development, carbon offsets, renewable energy utilization such as wind power, solar power, and nuclear power; practical energy saving, premediated production and usage of aerosols, and lastly, population control (Global Warming, 2007). Also, ways of reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to power vehicles and generate electricity should be considered.
(GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs, 1999) Internationally, there is a chief international cooperation on fighting and stopping the causes and effects of global warming—it is known as Kyoto Protocol. Technically, it is an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wherein countries that produce high level of greenhouse gases emissions can endorse and commit to diminish their emissions (Global Warming, 2007).
Actually, as a responsible citizen of the world, we can do many practical things to stop the serious problem on global warming. For car matters, we must choose a hybrid car that is fuel efficient and has revolutionized air filter that can emit lesser carbon dioxide. Reduce, recycle and reuse our garbage. Composting helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of trips trucks must make to the landfill as well as the amount of methane released by our landfills (GWIC, 2006)