Global warming is defined as the increase of the average temperature on earth. This increase in the earth’s temperatures is the cause of natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and droughts which are becoming increasingly frequent all over the world. Former American Vice President, Al Gore, whose documentary film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ explored the perils of global warming claims that it is the “largest and most serious challenge human civilization has ever confronted”.
He also feels that the world is woefully unprepared to meet the crisis. Carbon dioxide, released by the use of chemicals and the burning of fossil fuels, is the chief culprit in global warming. High levels of carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere. This can play havoc with the climate of a region.
Global warming can cause many natural disasters. Prolonged and widespread droughts caused by soil moisture evaporation, heavy floods due to ocean evaporation, very severe storms, melting of glaciers which again lead to floods, are just some of them. There will be more hurricanes and cyclones in many parts of the world.
But that is not all. Disease causing parasites thrive in warmer climes. They include ticks and mosquitoes. This will lead to dangerous epidemics. According to Gore, four factors help us to resist germs. They are colder winters, colder nights, stable climates and rich biodiversity. But global warming threatens all these.
It has also led to more deaths from heat waves, shellfish poisoning and more cases of cholera and kidney stones. New ways of agriculture have also contributed to this problem. The melting of glaciers threatens the survival of animals that live in the Polar Regions. According to scientists, sea levels have risen 17 cm during the 20th century. To prevent the dangers posed by global warming we have to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels drastically as the first measure.
Countries should get together to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy efficiency is the order of the day. Vehicles, buildings, appliances, etc. must display high standards of energy efficiency. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power must be popularized. We should grow more trees and rely more on sustainable development. Such measures are the need of the hour.