Humans have immensely contributed to climate change, and there is no doubt whatsoever. In the status quo, many individuals have contributed to the planet earth to live comfortably. As a result of these actions, the global environment is more dangerous to plant, animal, and human life. Uncountable scientists in more than 100 countries have pointed out that humans are the leading cause of global climate change ("Environmental Defense Fund," n.d). Many humans as well acknowledge the fact that environmental problems caused by climate change are becoming more intense. However, they continue to involve themselves in activities that mainly have contributed to climate change since they feel it is inevitable to destroy the environment during buildings and road construction, which are vital to world development. The paper will discuss human activities such as deforestation, gas emissions as the main human factors that have immensely contributed to climate change.
Deforestation is the constant removal of trees to retain spaces for performing human activities such as farming and building and using the trees in building or charcoal (Derouin, 20190. According to the World Wildlife Fund, at least more than 30% of the earth comprises the forest, which majorly provides food, medicine, water, fuel, and jobs for around 54.4 million people across the world (Derouin, 2019).
One of the reasons for deforestation is farming activities such as agriculture and grazing, where humans manually cut the trees or lit fires to clear the land for use. Farming of commodities such as soy, beef, palm oil, and wood products have been suggested by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) as the significant contribution to deforestation with an area of 14,800 square miles lost to deforestation each year (“Union of Concerned Scientists,” 2016).
Slash-and-burn type of agriculture majorly practiced by the indigenous communities is also a significant contributor to deforestation. The Aboriginal communities believe that small scale practice of slash-and-burn agriculture is essential to biodiversity and the soil. As much as this activity is vital in farming, it leads to the destruction of at least 50 acres of land every hour across the world and the destruction of the protective canopy of forest due to the spread of fire to the unintended areas during the slash-and-burn. During the dry season in the Amazon forest, slash-and-burn farming is intensified, and the smoke produced leaves the areas even drier. The most devastating outcome of this farming activity is that the soil nutrients produced last for only two years. After this, the farmers pack and move to the next section of the forest, which results in more and more deforestation (Bennet, 2017).
Deforestation has contributed most to climate change since it affects how water vapor is generated over the canopy leading to reduced rainfall. According to a study in Ecohydrology, parts of the Amazon rainforest that were transformed into agricultural land had higher air temperatures, which exacerbate drought conditions (Derouin, 2019). Additionally, deforestation reduces carbon sequestration due to the removal of vegetation that is essential for removing carbon dioxide from the air. Tropical trees are estimated to contribute around 23% of the climate moderation needed to offset climate change (Derouin 2019). Moreover, trees act as natural conditioners that discharge cloud-forming water such that when it falls, the local temperature and eventually impair global warming (“Global witness,” 2020).
Human industrial activities and greenhouses lead to the emission of dangerous gases, which are very unfriendly, which have had immensely contributed to climate change. Greenhouse gases and emissions from burning fossils lead to climate change by fluctuating incoming solar radiation and outward-bound thermal radiation, which are the significant components of planet Earth's energy balance. Greenhouse gas emissions change the atmospheric abundance of these significant components leading to global warming. According to the European Environmental Agency (n.d), since the start of the Industrial Age, the general effect of human activities such as industrial activities has been a warming influence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that the greenhouse emanations now noticeably exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years. Each effect assumes a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius and a sea-level rise of 0.5 meters by 2100 (Leahy, 2018). The increase in sea levels majorly affects biodiversity and human life. Some species, such as sea turtles and temperatures, determine the sex of their offspring with a rise in temperatures leading to more female offsprings.
It is essential to recognize that both natural inconsistency and global warming from humans are pervasive. Knowing that human activities are the leading causes of global warming helps understand how and why there is climate change and devise solutions to curb this problem. Since developing the world is inevitable, then planting more trees to replace the ones that have been cut will contribute mainly to the reduction of global warming effects. Additionally, scientists and farmers should develop nature-friendly farming methods to replace environmental-unfriendly farming methods such as slash-and-burn. It will reduce deforestation and promote ecological energy balance. The world should consider developing the world by making buildings and roads that are primarily in harmony with nature since cutting trees during these processes is unavoidable. Therefore, the roads and buildings should be designed in a way that they can coexist with the environment and its components.
It is difficult to change the world and cut off global warming effects at a glance. However, humans ought to acknowledge our activities as the primary cause and try all measures in our capacity to address the issue. To protect us and the generations from coming from the dire global warming effects.
Bennet, M. (2017, October 05). Bennet Leads Efforts to standardize the Cost of Climate Pollution. https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/10/bennet-leads-effort-to-standardize-the-cost-of-climate-pollution
Derouin, S. (2019, November 06). Deforestation: Facts, Causes, and Effects. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html
Global Witness. (2020, January 02). Looking Ahed to 2020: The Changes we Want to See. Global Witness. https://www.globalwitness.org/en/blog/looking-ahead-2020-changes-we-want-see/
Leahy, S. (2018, October 07). Climate Change Impacts Worse than the Expected, Global Report Warns. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/ipcc-report-climate-change-impacts-forests-emissions/
Union of Concerned Scientists. (2016, February 08). What’s Driving Deforestation? Union of Concerned Scientists. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/whats-driving-deforestation
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