Environmental Issues Facing The World

A tremendous power of nature includes floods, disasters, storms, rising sea level, etc. Climate change is changing the image of our planet. Vagaries of weather are not unusual; they are becoming the norm in today’s reality. The ice is melting on the planet, and it changes everything. Everyone who closely follows scientific news has no shortage of evidences of global warming. So, we are going to prove the thesis that global warming is the most pressing environmental problem facing the world today because it threatens the planet with major environmental disasters and no one can remain indifferent to the countless victims of these disasters.

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To start, we need to mention that the concept of “global warming”, being one of the most discussable issues in our society, is also considered to be a tremendous challenge to the whole humanity. To date, Paterson (1996) declared that the global scientific community has received the irrefutable proofs of the secular trend of global warming, and these proofs serve as an indicator of climate changes on the Earth. According to Cline (2007), the surface temperature of the atmosphere has increased by 0, 74 °C over the past century. And this fact brightly demonstrates the necessity to look at the problem more attentively for the purpose to develop some measures to improve a situation.

Moreover, we see climate changes every day, and an appeal “Stop Global Warming!” looks like a part of modern life. According to the opinion of thousands of climate scientists presented in Allen’s, Seaman’s & Delascio’s (2009) book, global warming is not only one of the greatest problems facing humanity in our century, but it is also a great challenge to politics and science. Both categories are sure that environmental problems are so important that it is time to look at them attentively, and to stop destroy nature because it may destroy us in one day.

Of course, according to Cheryl & DeFries (1992), there exist many supporters of the position that global warming is a fiction, but the nature is not interested in our discussions and thoughts, and ice continues to melt. So, taking into account the fact that global warming is one of the most complicated items, we can also look through a solid argument in defense of the position that global warming is not a valid threat to the earth, and we are going to do it for the purpose to demonstrate the argument’s invalidation. For instance, one group of scientists still do not recognize the fact of warming and prefer to talk about it as a plausible hypothesis that needs to be carefully scrutinized because of the complexity of the analysis of global temperature changes. Yet the amount of different evidences becomes more visible and frightening every year.

To continue, another group of scientists are sure that global warming is just a myth, but even having such a position, they continue to struggle against an increase of industrial garbage in human activities that harm our environment. There are no doubts that all forecasts are different, and it would be wrong to believe in those which promise the destruction of our planet in several decades, but it is always necessary to remember that the future of humanity is in our hands, and not to believe in some disasters is not the same what we understand under the concept to stay calm and do nothing. So, on the one hand, we have many obvious reasons to worry about the future. Scientists see many signs that global warming is progressing; while on the other hand, contemporary situation is not so hopeless, and a great deal of “facts” about the global catastrophe that is threatening Earth proved to be just gossips.

Thinking about consequences of global warming, Weart (2003) stated that widespread phenomena, such as rising sea levels, melting glaciers and polar ice sheets (particularly in the Arctic), the reduction of snow and ice covered areas of the earth’s surface, the increase in rainfall in some regions (the eastern part of North and South America, Northern Europe, North and Central Asia ) and a decrease in others, the expansion arid zones (Africa, South Asia, part), more frequent tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic, etc. are connected with the concept of global warming. Both concepts such as the global warming and climate change affect the condition of many natural ecosystems in negative ways, and thus, they have an impact on climate conditions in the biosphere as a whole, while the biosphere influences on human existence.

Being more specific, we need to state that the list of the main greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), the latter of which is a secondary product of aluminum smelting and the most potent of the greenhouse gases. However, Vasche (2009) said that the main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, and 80% of its anthropogenic entrance into the atmosphere is associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.

So, global warming, as it was proven by the latest research, is caused by human activities. Awareness of the seriousness of this situation gradually penetrates into the world public opinion. And the problem becomes to be possessed by the world’s attention. The media and politicians are more increasingly discuss the global warming. Moreover, a big amount of scientific researches and documentaries describe the challenges of global climate change in a full measure. Thus, it is still possible to mitigate the negative consequences, avoiding the worst.

Observing the actions to stop global warming, it is possible to claim that the main solution lies in the surface of rational use of energy resources. This means the implementation of measures aimed at reducing the consumption of fossil fuels for heating, domestic hot water, industrial production and improving the efficiency of transport. Another category of effective measures to protect the environment and address the problem of global warming is the use of renewable energy sources (solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, biofuel, etc.). To add, according to Harris (2003), the scientific community has offered specific recommendations to governments of different states, but the question is whether politics are going to listen to the recommendations of scientists.

According to Gore (2009), many political debates are still focused on reducing carbon emissions, but there are many other ways to fix the world’s climate. For instance, there exists an interesting method for atmospheric control. Solar radiation management delivers best hopes. Atmospheric greenhouse gases allow sunlight to pass, but they absorb heat and diffuse near the surface of the earth. Preserving other conditions, their higher concentrations will lead to an increase in temperature. Solar radiation management would return the sunlight into the space. So, reflection of only 1-2% of the total amount of sunlight that reaches the surface of the planet will offset the effects of a doubling of pre-industrial warming corresponding to the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Another perspective direction is seen in whitening of marine clouds by dispersion of droplets in marine clouds to reflect more sunlight. This enhances the natural process by which the salt from ocean water forms a steam with nuclei of condensation which is the base of the formation of clouds.

In such a way, observing the above mentioned variations, we can say that many of the risks of climate control have been overstated. Moreover, it is a fact that whitening of marine clouds will not lead to permanent atmospheric changes and can be used only in a case of a hot necessity because conversion of sea water into the clouds is a natural process. Meanwhile, the biggest difficulty is public interpretation. Ruddiman (2005) mentioned that many environmental lobbyists oppose even the study of the climate control. This is surprising, taking into account all the possible benefits. If we most care about the measures to avoid rising of the temperature, it seems we should rejoice that this simple and profitable approach gives so much hope.

In conclusion, we have observed the issue of global warming from different perspectives, and proved the thesis that global warming really threatens the planet with major environmental disasters, while everything of this was caused by negative and destructive human activities, which even now resulted in human victims. To add, we have also discussed positions of some scientists which consider global warming a myth, and proved that even they afraid of possible climate problems in future. Moreover, we have also showed that climate control is a spare variation to be used in a case of necessity, or we could turn it on today’s agenda. In any case, there are good reasons to consider it. We are on the way to become the generation that has spent decades in the debate on reducing carbon emissions and failed to stop the harmful effects of warming. So, it will be a shameful legacy, which could be avoided by reviewing climate policy, and humanity suppose to provide some improvements in the way of living because it is never late to start living in harmony with our “small blue house”.