Global Warming: Are We Burying Our Heads in the Sand?

Good Essays
Global warming refers to the rise in global average temperature caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, hydrochlorofluocarbons, hydrofluocarbons, chlofluocarbons and sulphurhexafluoride. Much like covering oneself with a blanket and feeling warm, greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation from the sun which ensure favorable temperatures for living organisms and life processes. However, when such gases exceed acceptable concentrations in the atmosphere they absorb more heat and thus cause a rise in atmospheric temperature. In recent past, there has been growing criticism of whether global warming is real and more so that it has been caused by human activities.
As the global warming debate rages on, some facts about GHGs concentration stand out. According to Etheridge D.M. (1998) the current concentration has been as a result of general increase of 49.4 ppm of CO2 from 284.3 ppm in 1832. As Blasing (2013) observed the increase is attributed to Industrial Revolution – an era when heavy reliance of fossil fuels led to more addition of carbon dioxide and other minor gases in the atmosphere. When burned these sources of energy release CO2 to the atmosphere. CO2 and other GHG gases trap heat and thus causing a greenhouse effect. Although clouds and water contribute about 36-72% of the greenhouse effect, CO2 and N2O are of particular interest since the two gases retain heat for much longer. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 and N2O are
Get Access