The Disquieting Effects of Global Warming



Studies conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007) conclude that the mean global temperature near the earth’s surface experienced an increase of 0.74 + 0.18 degrees Celsius during a period of 100 years from 1905 to 2005. The IPCC has also projected that the global temperature will experience a further increase of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius through the twenty-first century. (2007) Owing to the rather obscure nature of changes taking place in the atmosphere, this phenomenon remains surrounded by controversy. A portion of the masses refuses to accept the magnitude of global warming and proclaim that the phenomenon is caused by completely natural sources like solar variations and volcanic eruptions. But some very alarming facts stated later will assure everyone of the damaging implications global warming has had on our planet. The IPCC blames the human race for a major part of global warming, “ most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations” Greenhouse gases are the gases present in the atmosphere even under normal conditions. These gases, which include (in order of their abundance) water vapour, carbon-di-oxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFC’s, are essential to bring about the Greenhouse effect. These gases capture the infrared radiations from the sun’s emission and retain it, thus warming the earth’s atmosphere. If it wasn’t for the greenhouse effect, the earth’s temperature would have been close to –19 degrees Celsius.