Global warming is a phenomenon that has been recorded worldwide for the past few decades. It refers to a progressive increase in the average temperatures of the oceans and the terrestrial atmosphere, which has consequences for flora and fauna, in addition to impacting critical sectors such as agribusiness. This warming is caused by the greenhouse effect, a phenomenon first described in 1859 , by Irish scientist John Tyndall .
Causes of Global Warming
There are many causes of global warming, but most of them point to the same factor. In summary, it is caused by the interventions of man in nature for the exploitation of its resources. The main relationship is with the intensification of the greenhouse effect, which changes the planet’s climate. This natural phenomenon is intensified by the increase in anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the main sources of these gases for the atmosphere.
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
The climate crisis in which humanity finds itself has its origins in the worsening of the greenhouse effect. This is a natural phenomenon by which the planet retains the heat emitted by the sun , ensuring that the atmosphere maintains a temperature suitable for the existence of life on Earth. Without the greenhouse effect, our planet would have extremely low temperatures, impairing the survival of most living beings.
Experts estimate that temperatures on the Earth’s surface would be around minus 18ºC. For comparison, the current average considering the coldest and the hottest spots, is 14.78 ° C. Thus, we understand that the greenhouse effect is essential for humanity. Although it is a natural and necessary process , it has intensified a lot in the last decades, making it possible to reach the 21st century with the highest average temperatures on record. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the post-Industrial Revolution period, has had worrying consequences for the world’s climate.
How does the Greenhouse Effect happen?
It all starts with the sun’s rays reaching our planet. Around 50% of infrared radiation is retained in the atmosphere , while the rest reaches the surface, heating it and radiating heat. Greenhouse gases act as a kind of protective blanket that prevents this heat from being returned to space, absorbing and trapping it in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases isolate our planet, absorbing part of the energy radiated by the Earth and allowing temperatures suitable for life.
There are four main Greenhouse Gases:
Carbon dioxide (CO 2 )
Methane gas (CH 4 )
Nitrous oxide (N 2 0)
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ).
How can we avoid the Greenhouse Effect causing Global Warming?
Global warming is a worldwide problem and, so, should be treated as a priority, without exceptions. It is important to put pressure on heads of state and parliamentarians to establish policies that enable sustainable development, capable of guaranteeing the promotion of a low carbon economy. Companies need to adapt to the new reality faced by the planet, and the consumer must be alert to demand policies that focus on sustainable development. Thus, it is the role of governments to create and monitor the use of development policies. As it is the role of each one to demand the application of these policies by the State and the private sector. This, associated with unrestrained consumption and the deforestation of important biomes, constitutes a destructive formula that directly influences global warming.