Global Warming - How Much Do You Know About It?
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation (From Wikipedia). Then, how does global warming become one of the most serious environment issues, and what should we do to deal with this problem?
The recent attention to the topic of global warming is due to the fact that human actions have caused global warming on a scale and with a rapidity unseen before.
Global average air temperature near the Earth's surface has increased by 0.56-0.92 C over the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that this observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in greenhouse gas concentrations due to such activities like burning coal and fossil fuels, cutting down forests, and overgrazing the land. These activities have increased the greenhouse effect, which in turn, has warmed the temperatures near the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere.
Global warming has continued to be a major international policy issue since 1979, as the Rio Summit in 1992 proposed actions to constrain the emissions and the Kyoto Summit in December 1997 established binding agreements that would commit nation states to the constraints.
Europe, Japan, and the United States have agreed in principle to adopt the "Berlin Mandate" that requires them to cut their CO2 emissions to 15% below their 1990 levels by 2010. The US is not totally convinced this is the right approach, however, as the US Department of Energy has conducted a study that suggests the "Berlin Mandate" will not reduce world-wide emissions of CO2.
In fact, the study suggests that the "Berlin Mandate" could raise CO2 emissions because many energy intensive industries would be forced to leave the US, Europe, and Japan where the constraints are enforced to countries that have either not adopted the mandate or that don't strictly enforce them, and because those countries likely would have less energy efficient industries, that would likely raise the level of CO2 emissions.
Now, as you see, human behaviours have done a great harm to the earth. If we still hope to live on this planet, if we are concerned about the future of our offspring, we should strive on to make up for the problems we have caused, such as global warming.