The global environment is the entirety of our planet’s natural systems. It encompasses ecosystems, climate, geology, regional environments, and human societies and artificial environments. It can also be termed as Mother Nature or Mother Earth in a broader perspective. It can also be described simply as the state of our surroundings.
Global warming is the phenomenon of abnormal changes in the global environment because of continuously increasing temperatures of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans. One of the main causes of global warming is the thinning of the ozone layer due to the release of ozone destructive chemicals in the atmosphere that breakdown the O2 particles of the said layer. Such occurrence is also known as ozone depletion.
The green house effect is also considered a major, if not the biggest contributor to global warming. The green house effect warms the earth by trapping the heat from the sun, preventing it from rising out of our atmosphere. Carbon monoxide and other pollutants make heat remain near the earth’s surface, similar to how a green house absorbs heat and prevents it from getting out.
Through the years, global warming has become synonymous with climate change because experts believe that of all the effects of the earth surface heating up, climate change is the most disturbing and dangerous.
• Abnormal amounts of rainfall occur all over the world because of the change in weather patterns brought about by changes in temperature. Days or even weeks equivalent of rain sometime pour down in a matter of hours. Such heavy rainfall can cause destructive floodings.
• Abnormally high temperatures can also cause very high evaporation rates that lead to more frequent and longer lasting droughts. Such droughts can lead to famine and food shortage in some areas.
• The rapid changes in temperature have caused more and stronger hurricanes and storms.
Another abnormal change in the global environment brought about by global warming is the rapid rising of sea levels. This is because abnormally high temperatures are melting the polar ice caps. Sea levels have already risen severely in the past decades and some countries are beginning to become submerged in water. Ocean waters in some regions have also become acidic and dangerous to life. Acidic waters coupled with high sea-surface temperatures have already claimed the life of over a quarter of the world’s known coral reefs.
Changes in the global environment due to climate change have caused sudden changes in the planet’s ecosystems. Hundreds of plant and animal species which have failed to adapt to the abrupt changes have already faced extinction.
Measures need to be taken now before even mankind is pushed to the brink of extinction. One move being pushed by the United Nations is the use of green sources of energy instead of the conventional ones that pollute the environment. Support for the sustainability industry is being called for and waste-to-energy processes are under extensive research and development. The newest discovery in green technologies is the biosphere gasification process which involves the efficient and eco-friendly conversion of solid wastes into green electricity.