Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans.
The causes of global warming are:
- The greenhouse effect
- Synergic phenomena
- Human activity
The greenhouse effect is a process by which radiative energy leaving a planetary surface is absorbed by some atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases.
They transfer heat to other components of the atmosphere, and also re-radiate the energy in all directions, including back down towards the surface.
The volcanic activity is one of the factors which have been underestimated until recently.
Human activity is another major cause of global warming.
The effects of the global warming are manifested upon:
The effects of global warming upon atmosphere include:
the increase of vaporization, rainfalls and of the number of storms;
The effects of global warming upon hydrosphere include:
The melting of the ice cap;
The disappearance of the glaciers and of the snow;
The raise of the sea level, the increase of the acidity of the oceans, the cessation of the salt thermo-siphon;
The effects of global warming upon lithosphere include:
the increase of the soil temperature, which leads to the drying of the soil, with direct favorable effects upon forest fire
Upon the economy
Measures that need to be taken to prevent global warming:
The states within EU have agreed upon measures which are meant to prevent the increase of global warming with no more that 2 degrees Celsius.
The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aimed at fighting global warming. The goal of this protocol is achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % up to the year 2020.
More than 160 states in the whole world have signed and ratified the protocol.
Romania was the 60th country to sign and ratify the Kyoto protocol, which has become mandatory through the law on February, 16, 2005. according to the Kyoto protocol, Romania will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2008-2012 with 8% from the emissions level recorded in 1989 and to establish, no later than 2007, a national system for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions
The main measures that need to be taken in order to abide by the points of the Kyoto Protocol are:
Increase of energy efficiency in main economic sectors or activities
Rehabilitation of the district heating systems
Construction (or rehabilitation) of co-generation installations (combined production of thermal and electric energy)
Recuperation of GHGs coming from urban waste landfills
Fuel switching in energy productive installations
Construction (or rehabilitation) of energy production installations which create clean energy (especially hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, solar, biogas or biomass)
Minimization of GHGs emissions coming from agriculture or cattle breading activities
Afforestationand/or reforestation of land
The scientists all over the world agree that the main cause of global warming is the increase of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as a result of human activity.
The CO2 level was 280 ppm before the industrial revolution; nowadays it has increased to 430ppm, which means that it has almost doubled. It is estimated that by the year 2035 the CO2 level could reach 550ppm unless the GHG natural absorption capacity is maintained, which would lead to an increase by 2 °C of the global temperature.
Another very important cause of global warming is represented by massive deforestation. The immediate consequence of it is the increase of toxic gases in the atmosphere and the depletion of the ozone layer. In order to stop the negative effects of deforestation, scientists argue that people should plant trees covering 20% of the area of the forests which already exist nowadays.
The average temperature near the surface of the soil has increased with 0,74 ±0,18 °C within the last hundred years, while the sea level rose with about 10-20 cm. The concentration of the GHG has reached the highest level within the last 20 million years and the rate of increase is the fastest within the last 20000 years.
In Romania the average temperature has increased with 0,5 °C in the last century. The effects of climate change could be noticed, especially in the last decade. The transition from winter to summer is no longer a slow process, it happens all of a sudden, with huge variations of temperature.
In July 2007 in Calafat, a town in the south –west of Romania, the temperature reached 44 °C. During that month there were most consecutive boiling hot days with temperatures of over 35°C and nights with temperatures of over 20 °C.
The main causes of global warming and climate change in Romania are:
The extension and intensification of agriculture. Many natural eco-systems have become agricultural fields meant for intensive production of crops at the expense of nature and of the quality of the environment.
The rapid development of industry has led to the setting up of huge plants and factories, which contribute massively to the increase of pollution. Some of the most polluting industrial branches are the metallurgy of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the chemical and petrochemical industry and the mechanical engineering. All these types of industry pollute the air, the waters and the soil.
The defective use of the installations which should depollute and clear away all the chemical substances discharged by the main industrial pollutants.
The increase of the production of energy based on the consumption of inferior types of coal.
Urban development and the transfer of population from the rural areas, along with insufficient and inefficient measures to collect and depollute the sewage waters.
The consumption of renewable and un-renewable natural resources in order to increase the industrial production.
The global warming has affected the quality of life in a negative way. In order to save the planet, by the year 2050, the GHG emissions should decrease to half of the current amount at the scale of the entire planet, while in the highly industrialized countries it should be reduced to a quarter of the current amount.
To conclude, all the states of the world should make significant efforts to abide by the international treaties concerning the protection of the environment because global warming poses a real threat to the life of our generation and of the future generations.
People can and must take immediate measures to prevent global warming.