The global climate change is not an alien concept in the contemporary society. It is a trend that is continuing and can be attributed to human activities. The global climate change is therefore man made. Humans contribute to the change by causing potential changes in the atmosphere in the amount of aerosols and green house gases and cloudiness. The biggest contribution to the climate change arises from burning of the fossils releasing carbon IV oxide gas to the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels is not a natural phenomenon; it is a process that is instigated by the human work on the environment. As such the human activities on the environment have direct and indirect impact on climate change. The aerosols and greenhouse gases lead to the change due to the alteration of the solar radiation and the infrared radiation, which form a significant component of the energy balance of the earth.
The beginning of the Global Climate Change
Climate change, from its very roots, is a human driven trend. It began back in the 1750 when the industrial era began. Industrial revolution was an age that saw factories emit substantial amount of gases to the atmosphere thereby resulting to the change. The revolution came with a warming influence that substantially changed the climate. The impact of the human activities during this exceeded the known natural changes such as volcanic eruptions and solar changes.
Climate scientists agree that the trends in the global climate change are mainly caused by the activity of man on the land. The human beings constantly expand the green house effect and the trend has been so for a very long time in history. The warming happens when the atmosphere traps heat that radiates from the atmosphere.
How Climate Change Occurs
Climate change happens when some gases in the atmosphere block heat from the earth from escaping. These gases are emitted mainly as a result of the human activity on the surface of the earth. One of these major gases is the carbon (IV) oxide. Accordingly, the human activities that emit such gases are potential producers of climate change. When gases remain in the atmosphere for a long time, they fail to respond to the changes in temperature whether physical or chemical and force the climate change to occur.
There are those gases that are the potential producers of global warming. One of those gases is water vapor. This is the most abundant greenhouse gas, but it also plays the significant role of being a feedback to the changes in climate. As the atmosphere warms, the amount of water vapor it contains increases. This increases the amounts of precipitation hence making it act as a significant mechanism for feedback.
Another important greenhouse gas is carbon (IV) oxide. It appears minor, but very significant. Although this gas is released into the atmosphere through natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruption, the amount released is insignificant to cause climate change. Human activities still remain the greatest emitters of the gas that cause the climate change that threaten to tear the world’s future apart. Emission of carbon (IV) oxide occurs due to activities such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, land use changes. It is estimated that the emission of this gas has increased by a third due to the human activities. It is the effect on climate change that has stood the test of time. This is due to the fact that human beings continuously encroach into new lands, burn forests; establish urban centers and other activities that emit the gas into the atmosphere.
Another potential contributor is methane. Like Carbon (IV) oxide, this hydrocarbon gas can arise from natural sources including the decomposition of wastes in the landfills. However the greatest contributor to the emission of methane is the human activities. Such activities as agriculture, cultivation like that of rice and manure management of domestic livestock are some of the potential man made causes of the emission of this gas in the atmosphere. Methane is more active greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when viewed on the basis of molecule-for molecule.
Another powerful greenhouse is Nitrous oxide, also released to the atmosphere through human activities. Nitrous oxide mainly comes from soil cultivation practices, especially the use of organic and commercial fertilizers. It also comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, the burning of biomass and production of nitric acid. All these processes are not natural and are contributed effectively by the activities of human beings as they seek to survive on earth. In the course of human endeavors, they have to perform economic activities that help them earn a living. Much of these activities cause the emission of the gases, thereby causing the climate change.
The next category of gases causing climate change is the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These are synthetic compounds of industrial origin that are used in many applications. The CFCs are currently regulated due to their destruction of the ozone layer. The international agreement signed by representatives across the globe resolved that the emission of the CFCs be regulated to prevent the eminent climate change.
The Human Effect
Human activities change the natural greenhouse on earth. In the previous century, the fossil fuel burning like oil and coal was not taking place at unprecedented rates as it does today. The concentration of the Carbon (IV) oxide gas continue to increase as humans continue to encroach into new lands, clear forests and establish urban centers. Agricultural activities have played very significant roles in the emissions of these gases just as much as manufacturing factories.
It is not easy to predict the consequences of altering the natural atmospheric greenhouse caused by these human activities. However, there are potential impacts that will certainly arise. Averagely, the earth will continue to become warmer than it is. Some places of the earth may become warmer than others depending on the concentration and frequency of the human activities taking place in the said regions. The conditions that become warm will lead to more evaporation and precipitation. As such, some regions will become wet and others dry.
A very strong greenhouse effect is likely to warm the oceans and melt glaciers and increase the sea level. It is also likely that the water in the oceans will expand as it warms, thereby leading to further rise in the sea level. In the meantime, some crops and plants may favorably respond to the increased atmospheric carbon (IV) oxide. The high temperatures and changing climate patterns will certainly change the areas where plants grow well and affect the natural make up of plant communities.
The industrial activities in the modern civilization have led to an increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. A combination of the gases emitted by human beings in factories, agriculture and burning of fossil fuels has caused a lot of increase in the earth’s temperatures. The assumption that changes in the sun’s energy output can generate climate change may be realistic, but not to the extent of the change currently witnessed.
From the foregoing, the current trends in climate change can be attributed mainly to human activity on earth. There are other natural factors that can potentially produce the change, but they are not enough to have the effects that human activities have. The solar variability is a factor that many scholars may blame for climate change, but this reasoning now belongs to the past. The major cause of climate change is well known: it is the human activity. Since the 1750s, the average amount of sun’s energy has remained constant or increased only slightly. As such, blaming these insignificant changes for the climate change will be unfounded and unfortunate. If indeed the warming came from the active sun, then scholars would have expected warmer temperatures in all atmospheric layers. Instead, the upper atmosphere has been observed to be cooling and the lower parts warming. This is because the lower atmosphere traps heat due to the existence of the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. Other climate models such as solar irradiance cannot reproduce the temperatures observed in the past centuries. Greenhouse gases must have played a huge role in the change. These gases arise mainly from human activities. It is prudent to conclude that global climate change is a man made phenomenon.