Global warming definition is characterized by a chemical process, which is caused by the natural dynamics of planet Earth in addition to human actions that cause damage to the environment. Understand how this process came about and what its consequences.
Is global warming a fraud? How did it happen?
First of all, no: global warming is not a hoax. There are many people who try to demoralize the climate change debate using as justification the fact that the Earth has its natural heating and cooling movements.
This aspect of the debate exists because there is a scientific theory, from 1920, called Milankovitch Cycles, named after the scientist responsible for the discovery.
This theory explains, for example, the Ice Ages that the Earth lived, as it demonstrates that every cycle of 41 or 100 thousand years the planet has a change in its rotation and axis, causing the incidence of solar radiation to be different. when the cycle is changed.
Climate deniers use this explanation of the natural process to claim that there is no human contribution to the Earth’s warming process, but the chemical explanation of this phenomenon is quite clear.
The planet has always had a greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect has been present on Earth for at least 400 million years. It is a thin layer of ozone (a variation of oxygen) that covers the Earth that generates this effect.
This layer is fundamental for two reasons: 1 — it prevents the sun’s rays from reaching the atmosphere at their full potential and simply frying any manifestation of life; 2 — it prevents this portion of heat that arrives at the surface from escaping into space at a very fast speed, saving the Earth from being an icy planet.
The greenhouse effect is one of the great enablers of life. However, humanity’s actions have turned this ally against us.
How is the process of global warming characterized?
This process is channeled by our production of greenhouse gases. These gases, such as the famous carbon dioxide or methane, have the property of absorbing part of the solar radiation, keeping the heat in themselves.
What happens is that these gases were in full equilibrium. Production by natural actions was not high and a good part of this carbon was sequestered by forests, which used it as an ingredient for their respiration, photosynthesis.
However, after 1800, with the discovery of steam engines and their use for the Industrial Revolution, we began to emit massive amounts of these gases, which have accumulated in the atmosphere until today.
In addition, chlorofluorocarbons also had their share of contribution. The famous CFCs are, chemically, organic halides formed by chlorine, fluorine and carbon. These were widely used until 1970 in insecticide aerosols, perfumes, deodorants, as well as in refrigerator and air conditioner engines. The big problem is that, when released, these atoms went straight up to the troposphere and interacted with the ozone layer, stealing their atoms for new compositions, weakening this important shield.
It was with this terrible combo that humanity managed to make temperatures rise by 1.1 degrees celsius, according to the UN (United Nations), which is already enough to cause a lot of damage such as rising sea levels, lethal fires and heat waves.
Global warming definition
According to the most recent report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the earth’s temperature will increase by at least 1.5 degrees Celsius, if we manage to achieve zero emissions by 2050, which is a challenge that involves all nations and a radical change. on how we function as a society.
The effects of global warming
Global warming is already having many effects on Earth’s biomes and wreaking havoc. In the image, you can check some of the main red alerts according to the IPCC report.
Devastating fires like the ones that happened in the Pantanal (Brazil) or California (United States) must become more and more frequent, once more frequent and intense. Extreme heat waves make it easier for these episodes to happen, in addition to criminal fires with the aim of deforestation.
Lethal heat waves are also a dangerous alert — and no one is safe. In June 2021, for example, the Lytton region (Canada) reached an all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius. Estimates are that around 500 Canadian lives have been lost as a result of the temperatures.
One of the saddest results of climate change is desertification. Deforestation on a scale for cattle ranching, grain plantations and charcoal means that much of the natural forest is disappearing, irrecoverably.
As plants and nutrients are removed from the soil and burned, the region loses its regeneration potential, literally becoming a desert. This feature makes the planet warmer overall and makes the region uninhabitable. Desertification also generates a consequence that should frighten everyone: there is no way to grow food in the desert. How to feed the 8 billion people on the planet?
Although heat is always related to climate change, all other natural phenomena are also thrown into disequilibrium, such as rainfall, which, in addition to having its cycle completely altered, is also becoming more violent and frequent. In many cities around the world, there are catastrophic episodes, in which it rains in just one day the forecast for five.
This has a direct impact on urban dynamics, causing deaths and leaving many families homeless, in high social vulnerability. Added to sea level rise, it can be a major factor in emergency migration for millions of people to other cities, resulting in other types of social problems.
How can we avoid global warming
The situation as a whole can cause a lot of anxiety and be very desperate, but you have to stay focused at this moment. It is necessary to be aware that individual acts will not solve the problem.
If you stop eating meat or stop using a gas-powered car, of course it helps, but proportionately the damage you do in the world is very, very small compared to the political decisions of each nation and the big global companies, which generate billions of tons of carbon.
It is necessary to act quickly and find allies in this fight, for the good of the planet and the preservation of the species. You can dedicate yourself in different ways to this cause. The two main ways to help are: with your work or with your financial power.
Financially, you can contribute to NGOs for reforestation, species preservation or equipping indigenous communities in your state or country, as indigenous people are the biggest defenders of native forests on the planet. As long as it is a serious institution, where you can follow the work and see the actions happen, you are already joining forces with thousands of other articulate people.
The other way is to dedicate your skills to the environmental cause. What can you do to help today? Maybe you can volunteer in actions and institutions that are involved in environmental recovery.
Perhaps you are someone in the scientific field and can research solutions to eliminate carbon in the atmosphere. Maybe you can switch your small business suppliers to suppliers that are sustainable.
Charging the government, companies and allying with groups already fighting climate collapse are key ways to be someone who makes a difference.
You can make a diffference
The Hourglass project exists to help those who are fighting rentlessly to avoid the worst consequences of global warming and climate change. You can join our community and be part of our planet healing program. Read more here.