Global Warming, Climate Change and the Need for Change in Human Practices

Global warming has become an issue of discussion which affects our humanities sustainability and our local as well as global ecosystem. The issue of global warming cannot be discussed without its negative effects on the environment, its causes of climate change and how this then trickles down to affecting humans. Essentially, global warming is caused by both climate change, but mainly the actions of humans and society as a whole. A brief discussion about climate change will inform this essay, then the negative effects of global warming will be described, followed by the positive changes needed in Canada, in order to defuse and reduce the risks of global warming. Solutions and recommendations to reduce the detrimental effects of global warming will be proposed, and the position will be taken, that the greatest importance is to take care of the negative consequences of global warming because we are in dire need of dealing with the damaging effects.

One the most impactful changes to the ecosystem are the forces of climate change. One of the causes of climate change is the consequence of global warming. When global warming occurs, it affects temperature and precipitation. This in turn will affect any living creature, such as fauna, vegetation, humans and all living things on the planet. When global warming happens, it causes an imbalance and various regions. Prairie ecozones will grow and forested ecozones will contract as precipitation levels fall. Furthermore, due to droughts caused in the Prairie Potholes, this then creates a reduction in population of varying species. It has been said that Thirty to fifty percent of prairie ponds will hold less water by spring 2060. This factor will in turn cause a reduction in ducks settling to breed in these usual areas. Due to the different animal cycles being disturbed, insects, animals used a prey and foods usually available for animals, will be jeopardized.

environmental issues

Directly related to the phenomenon of global warming, are the changes that occur in particular seasons. Spring migration is happening earlier in the year and fall migration is occurring later for many types of species. Sadly, the climate change caused by global warming then causes a plethora of extinctions. The reason for this rise in the annihilation of certain species is because many are incapable of adjusting to the rapid climate changes. One species that global warming is affecting today is polar bears. In both Canada and the U.S, polar bears are in the Endangered Species Act due to the high rate of melting ice. As a result, climate change will inevitably affect the cycle of the ecosystem, which then influences the way energy and chemicals flow through carnivores, herbivores, soil organisms and plants. Interaction between predators and prey structure the food webs, causing changing conditions in the food chain.

The cause of global warming is ultimately related to the shift in the atmosphere, caused by gases that humans are causing. Scientifically, global warming refers to an increase in the earth’s average surface temperature, one aspect of climate change. After absorbing radiation emitted from the surface, greenhouse gases subsequentially reemit infrared energy of slightly different wavelengths. Some of those gases travel back downward, warming the troposphere and the planet’s surface in a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. Therefore, global warming refers to the ability of one molecule of a greenhouse gas to contribute to warming. Although greenhouse gases are one cause of global warming, it has been found that the most negative cause of global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2), the most potent of greenhouse gases. As Dr. Withgott mentiones “… carbon dioxide’s abundance in our emissions makes it the major anthropogenic contributor to global warming”. Another reason for the plight of global warming is the release of methane (CH4) we humans cause when raising livestock that emit methane as metabolic waste. Since 1750, atmospheric methane concentrations have risen 250%, and today’s concentration is the highest by far in more than 65, 0000 years. It has also been recorded that human activities have also augmented atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxides. These greenhouse gases, by-products of feedlots, chemical manufacturing plants, auto emission, and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, have risen by 18%. After looking at the negative effects that climate change and global warming has on our humanity and on our earth, I decided to look into solutions that we could take individually and as a global community to decrease the effects of global warming and slow its progress.

Due to the high number of cities like Toronto that are experiencing similar situations and even worse, a discussion to propose solutions needs to occur. Here, I will be looking at varying places in Canada to identify some key actions to a healthier environment. Many cities are already experiencing environmental downfalls like pollution and smog. Hence, there needs to be sustainability plans in place to diminish the effect of city urbanization on the environment. First and foremost, the reduction of using cars is necessary. Public transportation, bikes, car pooling are all options that can reduce the density in cities and can disable negative environmental conditions like smog and pollution. Another problem that most urbanized cities face is lack of space. If the reduction of space in cities is made a priority, then we would see immediate changes in the climate of these cities. Using less land for housing and retailers will make more room for more public transit and the rejuvenation of natural land and resources. Along similar lines in reference to housing, when new buildings and urban systems are designed, they could have designs that reduce energy waste. An example of this is shown when new builders build edifices to last longer and policies need to be in place in order to encourage sustainability. Another way to reduce space is combining retail and housing into one building.

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