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Global Warming Challenges and Potential Solutions Essay

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Updated: Jul 17th, 2022

Summary

Global warming is a major threat that has been in existence since time immemorial. As of 1880, the combined temperature of land and ocean has risen by an average of 0.07°C every decade. This trend has been of universal interest owing to its effects on health and economic development. Different studies and government databases indicate that this notion has become one of the major challenges worldwide as a result of the related outcomes on people, oceans life, freshwater, ecosystems as well as temperature.

Notably, some of the key attributes of this problem have been alluded to as changing patterns in storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts witnessed in different parts of the world. Some of the recent encounters exemplifying the presence of global warming include the aspects of climate change which resulted in wildfires in forests such as those witnessed in the Amazon Rainforest alongside other evidence of deforestation worldwide.

Specifically, global warming is considered a cause and effect of climate change, primarily focusing on the shifting trends of average temperatures. According to the 2019 Global Climate Summary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States, since 1981, the average rate of temperature increase has more than doubled (0.18°C). This additional heat is an important cause of regional and seasonal extreme high temperatures, melting of polar glaciers, and increased rainfall.

Extreme weather events will become more serious. Consequently, the topic of global warming has a fundamental role in shaping government planning and budgeting because it is a key concept in sustainable environmental management and planning among the various governments worldwide. Governments worldwide face significant challenges on how to ensure sustainable development and ensure the prevention of further global warming while aiming at its elimination for future generations.

Implications of global warming on ecological health

Rising temperatures will warm the ocean. This will bring more heat energy, which will increase the chance of tropical cyclones. As the warming temperature will bring more water vapor, heavy rainfall and snow will become more frequent, thus making floods and cyclones more severe. NOAA found that tropical cyclones in the past 40 years have become wetter, more destructive, and more frequent, and warmer sea temperatures will produce more powerful storms. According to the NOAA model prediction, if the global temperature rises by 2° C, the number of tropical cyclones around the world may increase by 1% to 10%, and precipitation will increase by about 14% (Jordan, 2019).

Such statistics indicate that there is a clear concern over the management of environmental and population health. In essence, all the facets of the ecological systems portray critical alterations in the normal ways of life with the emergence of different diseases. Concurrently, the need to understand the development patterns and the implications of each sector on the ecosystem and environmental safety are pertinent in ensuring sustainable development.

At the same time, worsening temperature elevation results in extreme patterns which become more severe and detrimental to ecological health. Over the last decade, more deaths and migration patterns have been witnessed as a result of increasing implications of extremely severe weather patterns, including droughts, more intense storms, and raging floods. Scientists predict that global warming is a leading threat to life in the 21st century, with impacts spreading across all generations. In the US, for instance, several heat-threatening conditions have been reported, including cardiovascular, kidney diseases, and heatstroke alongside heat stroke. These challenges are also evident in other parts of the world as well because of the consistent universal demands in the ecosystem.

At the same time, occurrences of snow melting, and rising sea levels have been witnessed more often in the 21st century as a result of global warming. The emissions absorbed from melting glaciers and ice often result in elevated levels of acid content in marine lives, which threaten the ecological balance in such ecosystems. Moreover, there are potential threats of extinction of both human and animal species worldwide as a result of the prevailing adverse weather patterns, endearing rapid changes in land, water, and air. Likewise, the prevalence of global warming and climate change tend to result in changed immigration patterns among pests and other disease-causing vectors.

According to Jordan (2019), change in climate patterns has resulted in a paradigm shift in migration patterns as vectors like mosquitoes shift the distribution of diseases from one region to the next. At the same time, other creatures such as Snowbirds find their comfort zones altered, forcing them to move to other areas. Concurrently, some wild animals, including the wild beast, have now found some of their historical habitats- migration patterns unbearable because of the growing severe alteration of the standard weather patterns. Primarily, there are several aspects of environmental concerns associated with the rising population demands from different parts of the world. Currently, the global concerns over waste management alongside the increasing pollution challenges attract massive economic investment from all sectors.

Global Warming, the Economic Burden and Government Planning

NOAA estimated that in 2015, the extreme weather patterns caused approximately more than $ 1 billion as a result of disasters related to the extreme like storms, floods, drought, and wildfire management (Lauro, 2020). At the same time, this body NOAA estimated that extreme weather conditions had been a major economic burden in government budgeting and planning because of the associated disasters.

According to Lauro (2020), global warming showcases the potential for huge economic concern, which may persist in the future if nothing is done to avert the challenge. The main determinants prevalent in such disasters include cyclones and floods, which have resulted in reduced agricultural production and lowered economic prowess in economic development. For instance, the current occurrence of cyclones in East Africa indicates how global warming has had far-reaching implications on the coastline and nearby ecologies. As a major challenge in sustainability, global warming presents a wide range of concerns among human populations worldwide because of the threatening weather patterns.

There are also indirect consequences of these weather patterns, which involve unpredictable damage to land tenure in famine, huge immigration of pests like locusts, alongside the direct destruction of infrastructure by the reigning floods and droughts. Lauro (2020) further asserts that the average economic cost of managing flood-related disaster damages in the US accounted for more than $ 4 billion on average in the 1990s.

Concurrently, the average damages related to the same disasters amounted to more than $ 1.2 billion in the next decade up to 2000. Such figures showcase substantial economic investment endured by the government in various segments for disaster management and planning. These values are further heightened by the elevated growth in the human population. With the world population projected to grow exponentially, environmental organizations worldwide are charged with the mandate to consider fundamental decisions which will save human populations and other creatures from extinction.

Water supply

Global warming has caused extreme high temperatures, which in turn caused droughts in local areas. For example, the drought situation in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is already very difficult and threatens water availability in populations. Cape Town’s government officials have issued warnings that they will soon enter Day Zero when the water supply in the area will not be able to meet basic needs. This is the first time such a situation has occurred in a large city.

Cities in northern China have been plagued by drought, so they used the South-to-North Water Diversion. Divert water from areas with abundant rainfall to arid areas. The project consists of three water transfer lines: the last line, the middle line, and the west line. The first phase of the east line was officially opened on November 15, 2013, and the first phase of the middle line was officially opened on December 12, 2014. As of early 2021, the South-to-North Water Diversion Project has transferred more than 40 billion cubic meters of water.

The blue economy initiative is one of the current campaigns targeting the reduction of water resource management and sustainable development. In essence, this strategy will focus on protecting ocean water and biodiversity by using the resources in a sustainable manner. Using this notion, countries can come up with strategies that aim at generating value from every procedure in water resource utilization. Primarily, there is a need to ensure proper use of the available water resources to avoid pollution and degradation to maximize their utility in the long run.

Energy supply

One cause of global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. This is due to the existing energy supply systems in automobiles, manufacturing sectors, industries, and other heavy production sectors.

The prowess of all technological innovations and urbanization are all driven by the demand for energy. These anthropogenic activities result in the accumulated production of CO2, which is a major component of greenhouse gases. The prevalent industrial revolution and civilization milestones seem to have resulted in massive utilization of fossil fuels and eventual fossilization of sunlight. Concurrently, the situation resulted in alteration of the atmospheric strata prompting the split of the ozone layer, whose windows then account for increased global warming in modern societies.

The main way to change can be to develop new energy for mankind to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the development of nuclear energy threatens the air quality and safety of the environment in different ways (Rhodes, 2018).

Large-scale construction of nuclear power can reduce the burning of fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions; nuclear energy is very efficient, the energy released by the fission of 1 gram of uranium is equivalent to the complete combustion of 2.5 tons of coal, and a million-kilowatt generating set requires only 30 supplements a year A ton of nuclear fuel can be pulled away by a heavy truck, while a thermal power plant consumes 3 million tons of raw coal and requires a 40-car train every day (Shayan Moghaddam, 2020). At the same time, nuclear power generation produces almost no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides which then results in more accumulated greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, nations need to adopt a circular economy in generating energy to avoid environmental pollution. One of the major concerns about energy generation is the emission of greenhouse gases alongside heavy metals, which often degrade the air quality. Countries need to come up with mechanisms to reduce emissions of such wastes into the atmosphere. Adopting a green transition is another perspective to limit environmental pollution.

Countries should focus on adopting practices that promote environmental sustainability and protection. Notably, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has come up with different conventions of parties to advocate for the reduction of emissions as designed in the carbon footprint (Peter, 2018). Overly, there have been multiple meetings to convey a global front of the campaign to reduce the pollution effects and avert global warming for sustainable development.

Disease spread

The impact of climate change on vector-borne diseases is mainly manifested in changing the ecological environment and geographical distribution of insects as transmission vectors, increasing vector reproduction speed, and invasiveness, and shortening the incubation period of pathogens, thereby affecting the incidence of vector-borne diseases and affecting the migratory patterns. The larger ones include malaria, schistosomiasis, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis. It is predicted that malaria, schistosomiasis, trypanosomiasis, dengue fever, and yellow fever caused by global warming will suffer up to 600 million patients each year, and the death toll will reach 2 million (Visos, 2019). Such values also portray the trend of the shift in immigration of wildlife, pests, and vectors from one region to the other.

The main solution is to increase the popularization rate of population vaccination. In addition, people should keep their surroundings clean, fill in the water ditch, etc., to reduce mosquito breeding. Likewise, reducing all forms of waste can help in reducing the vector population. Government agencies and private firms should focus on refusing, reducing, recycling, reusing, and repurposing wastes to ensure that there is cycling management of the resources. Utilizing the framework of circular economy and waste management will help ensure sustainable use of natural resources like water and air to avert the threats of global warming.

According to Williamson et al. (2018), managing global warming and climate change requires a critical change in human behavior and the adoption of modern strategies, including environmentally sound initiatives like the green economy. Peter (2018) further asserts that the best way to reduce energy-related global warming is to initiate practices that reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide in the air and focus on sustainable production designs.

To conclude, global warming is a major threat to the world economy, presenting multiple challenges. The adverse weather patterns, including storms, floods, drought, and wildlife migrations, present overwhelming concerns among countries and private institutions attracting huge economic investment. Interestingly, the main causes of global warming involve the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

These gases tend to break the ozone layer leaving the surface vulnerable to adverse weather elements from sun rays. Globally, there have been multiple occurrences of an extreme pattern of climatic conditions with the ability to cause disasters in different states. Concurrently, the persistent growth in the human population asserting more demands on natural resources has had a great role in environmental pollution, which threatens to cause global warming in one way or the other. In essence, all the variables constituting air pollution and human development should be handled carefully to enhance sustainable development.

References

Williamson, K., Satre-Meloy, A., Velasco, K., & Green, K. (2018). Climate change needs behavior change: Making the case for behavioral solutions to reduce global warming. Arlington, VA: Rare.

Peter, S. C. (2018). Reduction of CO2 to chemicals and fuels: a solution to global warming and energy crisis. ACS Energy Letters, 3(7), 1557-1561.

Rhodes, R. (2018). Why nuclear power must be part of the energy solution. Web.

Jordan, R. (2019). Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Web.

Visos, B. G. (2019). . Web.

Steinberger, E., Shayan Moghaddam E. H., (2020). Web.

Lauro, I. (2020). What is the short-term economic impact of climate change? Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

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