Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing the world today.
Defined as “an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climate change,” it poses a significant risk to the overall climatic condition and the world population in general. Substantial scientific evidence proves that a marked rise in the global average temperatures by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels poses a significant threat to natural ecosystems.
A sustained temperate increase of this magnitude may cause a considerable melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, resulting in a distinct global sea level rise of up to several feet. Scientists fear that such climate change is hazardous to many life forms and predict that this could potentially cause entire species to be wiped out.
Consequences of Global Warming
Several studies, not just in the recent times attest to this fact. It is projected that temperature rises if allowed to continue may many species stranded and unable to adapt to the swiftly changing conditions. It has been indicated that the coral reefs are prone to bleach and may be destroyed in circumstances of persistent warming.
Other climatic changes of global warming include frequent storms and dangerous hurricanes, and unexpected or sudden variations in the weather including deadly heat waves, drought and wildfire.
Several anomalies are known to develop that impact tropical precipitation under global warming. It has been shown that a significant fall in moisture levels is induced by the warmer tropospheric temperature and therefore precipitation is decreased. The variation in the gross moist stability is a potential factor that causes discrepancies in the predicted regional tropical precipitation (Chou, & Neelin, 2004).
Statistical Evidence and Analysis
When the Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 Greenpeace, the attempt was lauded as a positive sign of environmental sensitization. There was now a price to be paid for causing climate pollution – penalties for polluters. The dreams of a ‘low-carbon economy had been born.
Two years later, however, projections show that the European Union has fallen woefully short of its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, from the committed 8 per cent cut from the 1990 levels by year 2012. Estimating based on current measures and policies by 2010 the emissions will fall by a mere 0.6% below 1990 levels (Clogherty 2007).
Several studies indicate that the concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere at or below 450 parts per million CO2-equivalent would halve the chances of a global temperature rise above a 2°C average.