The topic of my essay is extremely significant to the time we are in now to understand the greenhouse effect and global warming issues that are talked by geologists. Bill McKibben has in his article ‘Sounding the Alarm Bell, explained the reasons for spreading awareness on global warming. Global warming has been a big issue that has effects on our environment and if not stopped, the results can be catastrophic. Carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced by at least eighty percent if we are to avoid a global warming disaster in the near future.
Bill Mckibben, the author of “Sounding the Alarm Bell” witnesses dozen of men, women and kids ringing the church bell 350 times in a small town of Massachusetts of Sherborn. The number 350 is a very significant and important number on earth. Studies by James Hansen, a NASA scientist show that carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere used to be 350 parts per million when civilization developed on earth, now it seems to have increased to 387 parts per million. This proves why the Artic has melted in a great speed in the last decade.
According to Bill McKibben, the global warming is something that should be paid close attention to. Bill also mentions how the number 350 would demand in the span of 20 years, that people will stop burning coal and find efficient and environmental safe ways to power our lives. In the Himalayan Mountains, a group of Buddhists have formed a giant human “350” to endorse the 350 campaign. Four percent of people who live in the U. S produce a quarter of the world’s CO2, that CO2 is the cause of sea rises and increase in global warming.
Pulling the rope in the church and ringing the bell 350 times for the people is like sounding an alarm on their behalf. The levels of carbon dioxide has been increasing, as noted by NASA in the article ‘Global climate change’ and in the core reading by McKibben, “The power of the fossil fuel industry, and the inertia of all of us who are used to things the way they are, are right now too strong”. We should now take drastic measures to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere by burning less fossil fuels and to use carbon free energy sources such as solar power and wind power.
In order to talk more about global warming we must first understand the causes of greenhouse effect and the gases involved. According to national geographic, water accounts for eighty percent of the natural greenhouse warming and the other twenty percent is due to gases present in small amount such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide. Carbon dioxide is the big absorber of sun rays, it is released through burning of fossil fuels and emissions from cars which increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to increase in temperatures.
An environmental effect of global warming is high temperatures that lead to changes in water cycle. This explains the fact mentioned by Mc Kibben in his article, ‘the Arctic has melted with stunning speed the last two summers and the pH of the oceans has shifted dramatically just in the last decade’. Increase in temperatures due to rising carbon dioxide levels will cause the ice in Polar Regions to melt off quickly and upset our water cycles, leading to ocean level rising and increase in the level of diseases. In order to stop global warming much has to be done.
Another impact of rising carbon dioxide levels is that more diseases are more likely to spread very easily such as Malaria, Cholera and Dengue fever. It has been known that places such California, Texas, Florida, Michigan and New York are prone to cases of malaria due to the fact that the summers are very hot and humid. According to a study by natural resources defense council, the malaria transmission would increase from forty five percent of the globe to sixty percent if the atmospheric levels of these gases continue to increase. Global warming is becoming a major problem as we move to he twenty first century and beyond.
As discussed earlier, the greenhouse gases released are trapped by the heat rays and kept in our atmosphere which cause an increase in the temperature. Emission of fossil fuels by human is a big factor to the release of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Controlling these emissions should be the number one step in order to prevent the global warming. Although the process cannot be reversed, global warming has to be stopped by reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide if we want to survive better in this world and make it a better place for the future generations.