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So it is time for us to ACT

I still do recall the first day when my Geography teacher, Mohammed Shifo introduced to us the word global warming. It was around seven years ago, since then I used to wonder how can it be possible for the world temperature to increase. I did not understand much about this, and I taught this means that the temperature of the globe will increase nothing more. The next few years whenever I heard global warming I used to ask myself when I will feel the increase of the temperature. Nevertheless, it was during my second year of the secondary school when I met the topic again. Starting from that class, I do understand the really threats of global warming and I believe its effects will be even much more than we expect. That was brief information about my understanding of global warming. This trimester was the third time which I was taught global warming. During week six, Prof Evangelos Afendars asked us to think about world’s ten biggest issues. There are many problems facing the globe, therefore students came up with different lists.

However, based on my earlier knowledge about global warming I decided to reflect on it and share with my class mates. Global warming is defined as the rise of world’s temperature caused by greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane. Due to industrialization the release of such gases is more; hence they build up in the atmosphere and trap the sun’s heat. This will have huge impacts on earth both environmentally and socially. It is proved that the temperature is rising steadily and scientists recorded this decade as the warmest since 1880. More badly, they estimated that the earth could warm by an additional 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit during the 21st century if we fail to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil.

Global warming will have profound negative impacts on all creatures on earth. First, the sea levels will gradually rise which will lead to flooding in many low land areas like Indonesia’s tropical islands. This is caused by the increase of the temperature of the water, and as common water will expand if their tempeture increases. Secondly, the glaciers in the North Pole will shrink and currently the glaciers started retreating and disappearing. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and arctic sea ice. Thirdly, many animals could not adjust with the changes and they will extinct.

Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adelie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years. In addition, some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have mover farther north or to higher, cooler areas. The fourth impact could be deadly heat waves which swept across Europe in 2003, killing around 35,000 people. It is predicted that extreme heat waves will happen two or four time more often now. Lastly, global warming will change the world’s pattern of rainfall or more scientifically precipitation. This will lead to more storms and floods and in my view we do not need a prove for this as we witnessed more storms and floods during the last 40 years. Due to the changes in the rainfall pattern, some parts of the world will be affected by severe droughts. This will lead to decrease of water supply and a decrease in agricultural productions. Therefore, global food production and supply will be in danger and many people will be at risk for starvation. Today, countries like India and sub-Saharan Africa are already experiencing droughts, and experts predict precipitation could continue to dwindle in the coming decades. Assuming all the things mentioned above happen, people will start fighting to survive. This would increase conflicts and wars, and more badly the world’s economy will be crippled.

It is apparent that global warming is one of the most dangerous problems that we face, and without immediate and effective action, it will go out of our hands. It is the responsibility of the world leaders to come together and find plans to reduce emission of greenhouse gases. It shameful to say that the developed countries contribute 90% of the global warming, while the third world countries which will be affect the most contribute less than 10%. People in the developed world should realize this and start to take care of the environment. They can do this by using public transportation as well as controlling their use of energy at home like electricity. We live in a time of transition, a time when all is changing and being challenged – weather systems, ecosystems, our interaction with nature, our understanding of other beings. We now understand that we are all interconnected and interdependent. Somewhere along the line, our actions as human beings have created enormous instability to the planet and the millions of species who reside here. So it is the time for us to ACT.

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