You must have heard about global warming and climate change right? This event is an event that has been going on since time immemorial and can have a big influence on life on Earth. As the name suggests, global warming has an impact on the climate change of the Earth which is getting warmer.
This event has started millions of years ago and has become more severe lately. The progress of human civilization is the most dominant factor in supporting global warming.
Global warming that is not immediately addressed will threaten the lives of our grandchildren and other living things on the surface of the Earth. Even slowly the ecosystem of life can be disrupted. This industry-wide era will trigger gases released into the air, so global warming will occur as a result of the greenhouse effect.
All gases in the form of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and so on are trapped in the atmosphere, then absorb sunlight and reflect solar radiation which will make the climate on Earth increase.
- 1 What Is Global Warming?
- 1.1 The Greenhouse Effect of the Earth
- 1.2 Climate Past and the Role of Carbon Dioxide Against Climate Change
- 1.3 Increase in the Amount of Carbon Dioxide during the Industrial Period
- 1.4 Who is Responsible?
- 1.5 What is the IPCC
- 1.6 What Is Climate Change?
- 1.7 The Relationship Between Climate Change and Global Warming
- 2 The Cause of Global Warming
- 2.1 Industrial Exhaust Gas
- 2.2 Vehicle Emission
- 2.3 Reduced Forests
- 2.4 Use of Excessive Electricity
- 2.5 House Building with Modern Design
- 2.6 Burning Organic and Inorganic Waste
- 2.7 Use of Products Containing CFC
- 2.8 Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Industry
- 2.9 Mining Activities
- 2.10 Ocean pollution
- 2.11 Impact on Ocean Conditions
- 2.12 Impact on Climate and Weather in the World
- 2.13 Impact on the Neighborhood
- 2.14 Impact on Flora and Fauna
- 3 How to Overcome Global Warming
What Is Global Warming?
The Greenhouse Effect of the Earth
Earth’s temperature is controlled by a balance between input from solar energy and the emission of solar energy back into space.
There are certain atmospheric gases which are very important for the equilibrium temperature of the earth known as greenhouse gases. The energy received from the sun is in the form of short-wave radiation, for example as visible spectrum and ultraviolet radiation.
Not all energy emitted by the sun on earth is received by the earth. About one third of the short wave energy that enters the earth is reflected back into space (outside the atmosphere).
The rest is partly absorbed by the atmosphere and most of it is absorbed by the land and the ocean. As a result, the earth’s surface warms and emits ‘infrared’ radiation as a long wave.
Greenhouse gases trap and retransmit some of these long waves of radiation, and warm the atmosphere.
Naturally greenhouse gases consist of water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, and nitrous oxide, and together they create the greenhouse or blanket effect, heating the Earth by 35°C.
Although greenhouse gases are often depicted in diagrams as one layer, this is only to show their ‘blanket effect’, because they actually mix in the entire atmosphere.
Another way to understand greenhouses in nature is to compare the two closest planets of the earth, Mars and Venus.
Scientists have examined that the planet’s climate is affected by several main factors such as planetary mass, distance from the sun and the composition of its atmosphere, which some particle content is also part of a greenhouse.
The distance of Venus and Mars to the sun is almost the same as the distance of the earth to the Sun, so the distance factor with the sun has little effect on the temperature difference between Earth, Mars and Venus.
So the thing that needs to be compared is related to planetary mass and the composition of the atmosphere.
It is known, the mass of Mars is very small, and therefore its gravity is too small to maintain air density; the atmosphere is about a hundred times thinner than Earth and consists mostly of carbon dioxide. The average surface temperature of Mars is around – 50° C (below zero), so very little carbon dioxide freezes in the soil.
Instead, Venus has a mass that is almost the same as Earth but a much denser atmosphere, which consists of 96% carbon dioxide. This high percentage of carbon dioxide produces intense global warming and Venus has a surface temperature of more than + 460 ° C.
The percentage of greenhouse gases contained in the Earth’s atmosphere is relatively small. In comparison, our Earth’s atmosphere consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and the remaining 1% is another gas. This other gas includes what is called a greenhouse.
There are 2 of the most important greenhouse gases, namely Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O). At present the amount of carbon dioxide is only 0.03% – 0.04% of the total atmosphere, while water vapor has a content that varies in the range of 0 to 2%.
If there is no greenhouse gas content in the Earth’s atmosphere, the average temperature of the earth can be -20 ° C (below zero).
Because there is a striking difference from the gas deposits in the atmosphere between Earth, Mars and Venus, this is what makes the temperature difference striking between the three planets.
But the temperature of Mars and Venus is more stable compared to the average temperature of the Earth.
This is due to the amount of carbon dioxide and water vapor which often changes in the Earth’s atmosphere so that the earth’s temperature is often unpredictable (changes).
Climate Past and the Role of Carbon Dioxide Against Climate Change
One way to know the importance of the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in controlling global climate is through research on our past climate.
For the past two and a half million years the climate of Earth has changed between the great ice ages, with the thickness of the ice sheet above 3 km in North America and Europe, to the present conditions where the ice sheet is already thinning.
The main evidence is obtained from ice cores drilled in Antarctica and Greenland. Like falling snow, it is light and smooth and contains a lot of air. Now slowly through the old natural process of falling snow is compressed to form ice, some of the air that falls with snow is trapped in the ice.
By extracting air bubbles trapped in ice that have been buried, scientists can measure the percentage of greenhouse gases contained in the atmosphere in the past.
Scientists have drilled more than two miles down into the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, allowing them to reconstruct the amount of greenhouse gases that occur in the atmosphere over the past half million years.
By examining the isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in the ice core, it is possible to estimate the temperature at which ice is formed.
There is a striking result in the variation in the amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) and the correlation with temperature increases in the last 400,000 years.
The results of this study support the opinion that increasing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, and others) has a relationship with increasing temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere.
This is what becomes our concern, namely about climate change in the future, especially those that will affect our children and grandchildren in the future.
One worrying thing from the results of this study is that the climate varies regionally by 5 ° C in the last few decades, which shows that this increase no longer follows a linear pattern (has become nonlinear).
Therefore we must act dramatically to overcome this greenhouse effect because it could have a big impact on the lives of our future grandchildren.
Increase in the Amount of Carbon Dioxide during the Industrial Period
One of the things that has been universally accepted is that there has been a significant increase in carbon dioxide since the start of the Industrial period.
This is evidenced by the measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide carried out in 1958 on the summit of Mauna Lowa in Hawaii at an altitude of 4000 meters. This location is deliberately chosen because it is far from the industrial location. At that time the measurement results showed the amount of carbon dioxide amounted to 316 parts per million by volume (ppmv). The same measurement was carried out in 1998 with the amount of carbon dioxide increasing to 369 ppmv.
The data from the results of research at Mauna Loa can be combined with research data on ice cores to get complete results on atmospheric carbon dioxide records since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
The result is that there has been an increase in CO2 concentration since the pre-industrial period of around 280 ppmv to more than 370 ppmv where an increase of 160 billion tons meant an increase of 30% of the total.
If we compare the increase in carbon dioxide in the ice age period by 200 ppmv to the pre-industrial period of 280 ppmv, an increase of 160 billion tons now (from 280 ppmv to more than 370 ppmv) means that there is a supply of pollution that causes increased carbon dioxide significantly in the last 100 years.
As a result, currently industrialized countries must assume the primary responsibility for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to around 22 billion tons per year. North America, Europe and Asia produce more than 90% of the total carbon dioxide produced by industrial processes.
Who is Responsible?
The UN Framework Convention on climate change has been formed to produce the first international agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
But the task carried out is not easy, because carbon dioxide emissions are not produced evenly in various countries.
The main source of carbon dioxide comes from the burning of fossil fuels, because the main causes of carbon emissions come from the results of energy production, industrial processes and transportation. This is not evenly distributed throughout the world due to uneven industrial distribution in various countries.
As a result, currently industrialized countries must assume the primary responsibility for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to around 22 billion tons per year. North America, Europe and Asia produce more than 90% of the total carbon dioxide produced by industrial processes.
The second main source comes from clearing forests for agriculture, urbanization or roads.
The pattern of carbon dioxide emissions caused by land clearing is different from South America, Asia and Africa which is responsible for more than 90% of carbon emissions due to land use, around 4 billion tons of carbon per year.
So, who is most responsible for increasing carbon dioxide gas emissions?
Of course from the above review we can conclude that developed countries which since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the second half of the 1700s have emitted most of the greenhouse gases.
The next major problem is about sharing responsibility. On the other hand, non-industrial countries are also struggling to improve the living standards of their citizens, so they also increase greenhouse gas emissions in their countries, because economic development is very closely related to the production of energy that will produce carbon dioxide.
For example, China has the second largest emission of carbon dioxide in the world. But the per capita emissions of Chinese people are ten times lower than the United States which ranks the top. So this means that every person in the United States is responsible for the production of 10 times more carbon gas emissions.
So all the draft international agreements on emissions cuts since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 were not included in developing countries, because they were seen as unfair to their economic development.
But this can also cause significant problems because, for example, China and India are experiencing accelerated industrialization, with a combined population of more than 2.3 billion people who will provide large amounts of pollution.
What is the IPCC
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations in the field of the United Nations Environmental Panel and the World Meteorological Organization because of concerns about global warming.
The main objective of the IPCC is a further assessment of what is known about climate change, the environment and the socio-economic impacts and strategies to overcome them.
The meeting in The Hague in November 2000 and in Born in July 2001 was the second and third attempt to ratify the protocol set up in Kyoto in 1998.
Unfortunately President Bush pulled the United States out of negotiations in March 2001.
However,186 other countries made history in July 2001 by agreeing to the most comprehensive and far-reaching world environmental agreement.
The IPCC has 3 working groups plus 1 unit tasked with calculating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by each country. The following are the tasks of each working group:
Working Group I: Assessing the scientific aspects of the system and climate change;
Working group II: Determine aspects of various aspects or effects of climate change on humans and nature, including the negative and positive effects of climate change and the choice to adapt to these changes;
Working group III: Assess options for limiting greenhouse gases and other mitigation to climate change, including in the economic field.
What Is Climate Change?
Climate change can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as changes in regional and global temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, expansion and contraction of ice sheets and variations in sea level.
Regional and global climate change is a response to the imposition of internal and external mechanisms on the Earth.
An example of coercing an internal mechanism is the variation in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere which modulates the greenhouse effect. While forcing an external mechanism is a long-term variation of Earth’s orbit around the sun, which changes the regional distribution of solar radiation to Earth. This causes waning and ending the ice age.
So in terms of looking for evidence of global warming and predicting future climate change, we need to take into account all factors including internal and external coercion factors.
The Relationship Between Climate Change and Global Warming
We have seen that there is clear evidence that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased since the industrial revolution in the 18th century.
As per the current scientific consensus that changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere do indeed cause changes in global temperature.
However, the biggest problem with the hypostesis of global warming is understanding how sensitive the global climate is to increasing the level of carbon in the atmosphere. Even if it is understood, it is complicated to predict climate change because it involves many different factors that respond differently when the atmosphere warms up, including changes in regional temperature, melting glaciers and ice sheets, changes in sea level, storm intensity, El Nino and even ocean circulation.
The relationship between global warming and climate change is complicated because every part of the global climate change system has a different time response.
For example, the atmosphere can respond to external or internal changes in a day, but the deep ocean may take decades to respond, while vegetation can change the shape of its structure in a few weeks (for example changing the number of leaves) but its composition (such as the exchange of plants) a century to change.
So we need to separate natural climate variability from global warming. We need to understand how different parts of the climate system interact, given that all have different response times.
We need to understand what causes climate change and whether it will be gradual or catastrophic.
We also need to understand how various regions of the world will be affected; for example, it is said that additional greenhouse gases will warm the poles more than the tropics.
This is one of the challenges to understand more about the climate system and its relation to future climate predictions.
The Cause of Global Warming
There are several other causes that make global warming events even more troubling. Including the following :
Industrial Exhaust Gas
Today industries throughout the world are growing rapidly. Indonesia is no exception, which is known as one of the lungs of the world.
Industrial activities that have already been exploded are very difficult to stop. Because it can have an impact on the economic turnover of a region. In fact, these industrial exhaust gases are very dangerous.
These gases contain carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and so on, which will make the greenhouse effect.
Also, these gases can pollute the air and become pollutants around it. Not to mention waste that is dumped carelessly can also pollute the local ecosystem.
Motor vehicles also experience increasingly sophisticated evolution so that the volume on the streets is very dense. Private vehicles and public vehicles are mixed together so that the problem of air pollution is inevitable.
Smoke from motor vehicles also emits carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide which are harmful to the health of the body and survival in the long term. You will find it difficult to find clean air in densely populated areas, such as our own capital, Jakarta.
Forests filled with trees actually have an important role in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Whereas now the forest area is narrowing, caused by the misuse of land for the interests of certain parties.
Those who do not think about the future of earth civilization actually cut down or burn forests in order to build new places that support the economic sector. Unconsciously, this activity is precisely the cause of increasing global warming.
Use of Excessive Electricity
Inefficient use of electricity can also be a cause of global warming. Because evaporation of electricity is what will cause carbon dioxide gas.
Indeed the percentage is small, not as large as industrial gas or motor vehicle fumes. However, it is better if you use electricity as efficiently as possible, for the sake of electricity supply that can be spread evenly.
At this time a campaign has been promoted to save electricity to prevent increasingly severe global warming. This effort will succeed if we can do it together. Use electricity when you need it and turn it off when you don’t use it.
A small example is putting out the lights during the day.
House Building with Modern Design
Houses with modern concepts are now more widely implemented buildings consisting of glass. It may indeed look more exclusive, but did you know that this glass can accelerate the greenhouse effect? The glass is not able to absorb sunlight so that it will be reflected into the air.
This is why you should apply the concept of building with glass to a minimum. You can make it for windows, but try to make other parts of the building use other, more sturdy materials.
Burning Organic and Inorganic Waste
The next activity that contributes to global warming is the burning of waste, both organic and inorganic waste.
As you know, burning smoke contains some harmful gases — moreover, the gas generated by inorganic waste, such as plastic.
Therefore, if there is garbage accumulating around you, do not destroy it by burning. Find out more useful ways. You can recycle it to become a more useful object than before.
Use of Products Containing CFC
Cloro Four Carbon (CFC) is a chemical that is mixed with other ingredients in the interest of the production of household appliances.
That is, there are some household appliances that you should watch out for. Usually, the CFC content is found in the refrigerator and AC. Until now, the use of refrigerators is still needed and is useful for preserving food ingredients.
However, you can reduce the use of air conditioning little by little. For hot areas such as Jakarta and Surabaya, it may be difficult to avoid air conditioning.
You can outsmart it by saving on AC usage. This also certainly will affect electricity consumption too.
Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Industry
It turns out that the livestock and agricultural industries also play a big role in making global warming. From the livestock industry itself which causes global warming is cattle farming.
Cows produce large amounts of methane and spread into free air. The gas comes from fart and cow dung.
Originally from cellulose decomposing bacteria in the cow’s stomach. Given the many benefits of cows for milk and meat, it is not surprising that these animals have a significant influence.
While in the field of agriculture itself can be found from the fertilizer used. Usually, the fertilizer contains nitrous oxide gas which is released into the air. The gas is also one of the causes of the greenhouse effect.
Mining of crops can also cause global warming. Some of them are coal and petroleum mines. Mining activities that are carried out every day will produce carbon dioxide which will fly freely into the atmosphere.
The vast ocean on earth can absorb carbon dioxide levels in quite a large capacity. Unfortunately, now many seas are polluted by industrial waste and garbage.
This pollution makes the marine ecosystem disturbed and damaged. As a result, the sea cannot absorb carbon dioxide properly.
Impact of Global Warming
After knowing some of the causes of global warming, now we turn to the effects that can be caused. Some of the major impacts are:
Impact on Ocean Conditions
• Increase in Sea Level
The first global warming impact seen from sea conditions is rising sea levels. You may not feel this impact directly. You might not even feel it.
But consciously or not, these decades of sea level rise have sunk small islands. If this continues, then over time the island we inhabit also sinks.
The increase in sea level is caused by the melting of icebergs in the north and south poles.
There is the coldest temperature of the earth and there are mountains of ice. However, the warmer temperature of the earth due to global warming can melt the mountain of ice. So that the volume of the ocean is increasing and increasing.
• Sea Water Temperature Increases
Due to the temperature of the earth that is too hot, no wonder the sea water also experiences a rise in temperature. Sea water will feel warmer than before. This temperature change also certainly has a bad influence on the underwater ecosystem.
• Animals in the Dead Sea
One of the bad influences of marine ecosystems as an impact of global warming is that many marine animals die.
Not all marine animals will withstand changes in rising sea temperatures. As a result of this insecurity, they will die. There have been many cases where suddenly mass dead sea animals float on the surface of the sea water. This could be the impact of warm sea water.
Impact on Climate and Weather in the World
• Weather That Becomes Hotter
The impact of global warming is of course what makes the Earth warm, of course, it will also make the weather hotter than usual. Maybe you often feel lately compared to your childhood, right?
This is a sign of global warming that is increasingly rampant. The temperature also increases and makes us all feel warm. Even though the sunlight is not too hot, we will still feel the heat that stings the skin and swells.
• Erratic Weather Changes
The next impact is that it can be seen from uncertain weather changes. This makes us humans unable to predict the weather properly.
For example, now it is in the rainy season. Suddenly the next day the weather will be very hot and hot accompanied by warmth. Or it could be during the dry season; a thunderstorm appears accompanied by strong winds.
• Unequal Season Duration
Global warming can cause the duration of the old season not to be the same. We take the example of the season in Indonesia which is divided into two, namely drought and rain. Generally, each season will last for six months. The dry season is April – October and rainy from October – April.
However, the existence of global warming makes the duration of the season can be longer or shorter.
Several years ago Indonesia had experienced a rainy season that almost lasted throughout the year. Sometimes the dry season also comes longer and makes some areas experience drought.
• The season that comes does not fit the period
This impact is related to the unequal duration of the season. When the rainy season in Indonesia should take place from October to April, suddenly in January the sun will immediately be greeted by a sign of the dry season.
While in the dry season, which should take place from April to October, a storm of rain hits in June. This condition can occur for some time before the climate or the weather returns to its original season.
Impact on the Neighborhood
• Number of natural disasters that occur
Lately, natural disasters often occur in several parts of the world, including Indonesia itself. Most likely the cause is global warming. Moreover, Indonesia has a very strategic area, so there are often storms, tornadoes, and floods.
All these natural disasters will certainly damage the surrounding environment, even their own homes. You will experience many losses regarding material and non-material. Because a great natural disaster can also cause casualties.
• The air feels hot when it rains
Rain is synonymous with cold temperatures. Usually, you can enjoy the cool air after the rain. But don’t expect you to feel it now.
Even if it rains, you will feel unusually hot. This hot air can be caused by global warming.
• Rampant Fire Events
The next disaster is a fire disaster that often strikes especially during the dry season. This event generally occurs in forests or plantations. The fire initially appeared on the friction of leaves and twigs, but due to the temperature which was also hot, the fire was getting smoldering quickly.
Impact on Flora and Fauna
• Extinct Rare Fauna Species
One of the major threats to global warming is to destroy rare animals. Call it the polar bear that lives in the north pole. They have special specifications for living in super cold areas.
God has created thick hairs to keep the body warm. Then what happens when the earth’s temperature rises and ice melts? They have no habitat and their body feathers will automatically fall out. This situation will make them over time not stand and die.
• Various kinds of flora are many that die
Climate change that is too extreme also makes some plants and plants unable to adapt properly. Especially if the dry season arrives. Plants and plants need water supplies to keep them alive. But the prolonged dry season causes the environment to experience drought and the plants and plants cannot survive.
How to Overcome Global Warming
Global warming cannot be overcome instantly, but there are several efforts to reduce its impact. The following are the actions we must do:
Reducing the use of motorized vehicles
The first way we can do this is to reduce the use of motorized vehicles. You can switch to using bicycles to take short distances.
As for long distances, try to use public transportation. Indeed public vehicles are still classified as motorized, but at least you have reduced the volume of vehicles on the highway by not driving a private vehicle.
Many people still feel proud to take public transportation, but if you care about the fate of this Earth, then do it for the good of all. Especially now that public vehicles are being heated up so that the passengers feel comfortable.
Don’t cut down a tree, instead plant a Tree
The case of tree felling is indeed rampant. But you need to realize that this activity will have an impact on other disasters that will come.
Think carefully about common interests, rather than personal interests. Trees are the source of life where the creature can convert carbon dioxide in the air into oxygen.
Carbon dioxide is a gas which is the main cause of the greenhouse effect. Imagine if you could plant a lot of green trees, surely carbon dioxide levels would be drastically reduced and replaced with oxygen that nourishes the lung organs.
Reducing the Use of Plastics and Other Materials that Are Difficult to Decompose Land
Next is to reduce the use of plastic and other materials that are difficult to decompose. All of these ingredients will eventually accumulate and become trash. You will not be able to eliminate the garbage except by burning it.
But unfortunately, burning activity is very dangerous and is not the right solution. Except, you can process it properly to be recycled and created into new objects that have use values.
Not Disposing of Indiscriminate Industrial Waste
Industrial waste that is disposed of carelessly can pollute the surrounding environment like land, gardens, rivers and even the ocean. Before you set up a particular industry, make sure that the waste will not cause adverse effects.
Or at least find a way to recycle it. Wasted industrial waste if it reaches the sea will inhibit the role of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide in the air.
Providing Counseling about the Dangers of Global Warming
There are still many people who are not aware of the effects of global warming. Therefore, your job is to provide counseling to residents and closest colleagues.
Invite them to plant trees together or reduce the use of motorized vehicles. Convey in a gentle way so that they understand and want to make changes in a better direction.
It needs good cooperation between humans to be able to overcome the problem of global warming. Everyone must have the same awareness. Dispose of each other’s selfish feelings to improve the condition of the Earth which is increasingly alarming.
Source: Global Warming, A Very Short Introduction – Mark Maslin