Global warming has emerged as one of the most serious threats to the maintenance of ecological balance in the contemporary world. Methane, carbon dioxide and other such heat-trapping greenhouse gases are playing an increasingly prominent role in raising the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. The trends of global warming are becoming more pronounced over time too, much to the concern of environmentalists. In the first half of this article, we will focus our attention on some of the recent trends of global warming. A few of the ill-effects of this alarming worldwide phenomenon would be highlighted next.
Global Warming: Recent Trends
2012 was the ‘ninth-warmest’ year ever, as per NASA reports.
The worldwide ocean levels have risen by around 8 inches, over the last 40 years or so.
The previous decade (2001-2010) had been the hottest ever, since temperature recordings were started
around 133 years back. In the absence of adequate environmental preservation activities, like scrap recycling, this alarming trend is likely to continue.
The yearly rate of rise in the global ocean levels have more than doubled, from the early part of the 1990s.
The total volume of snow cover in the Arctic circles have diminished by almost half, since the 1980s. More seriously, the rate at which ice has been melting in these areas have been gaining in pace over the last few years.
After the year 2000, the Earth has witnessed nine of the warmest years in its history.
Each of the decades since the 1970s have been progressively hotter than the previous one.
- Over the entire previous century, the average surface temperature of the planet has gone up by around 0.75 degrees Centigrade.
Global Warming: Effects
With such prominent trends over the recent past, it is hardly surprising that the effects of global warming has also been profound. Adverse effects have been witnessed both on the environment, in general, and on human health, in particular. Let us here take a look at some such effects of global warming:
Frequency of serious heat waves
Over the last half a century or so, the frequency of heat waves has more than doubled, in practically all parts of the world. According to experts, heat waves are likely to become even more frequent occurrences in the 21st century.
Floods and natural droughts
Weather extremities have gone up rapidly, due to global warming. While countries like South Africa, Pakistan and several other Asian countries have experienced severe droughts, serious floods and hurricanes have occurred in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and many other European nations.
Diminishing supply of natural resources
Right from the stock of drinking water, to the availability of clean and hygienic air
every valuable natural resource has been going down at a pretty rapid pace. The overall biodiversity levels have suffered too, particularly due to deforestation and unfavorable climatic changes. Landfill volumes have increased as well, with the recycling other waste treatment activities not keeping pace.
- Incidence of serious diseases
The health hazards of global warming have been, literally, ‘life-threatening’. Cardiac and lung problems have increased manifold, while reports of serious asthma attacks are also becoming more common. Pest attacks have risen to an all-time high, with humans suffering from allergies, infections, insect-bites, and other such resultant maladies. The drastic changes in weather conditions also claim a significant number of casualties every year.
In such a grim situation, the onus is on us to try and lessen the impact of global warming, and preserve our environment. Recycling and reusing scrap items, along with controlling the levels of toxic emissions are some eco-friendly activities that have to be pursued with greater seriousness. For example, if you are a resident of Scarborough, you will find several firms dealing with metal recycling in Scarborough, whose services you can avail of. The effects of global warming are getting more serious
and it’s high time you took up steps to combat the same.