Today there is no doubt about the fact of global warming. Scientific publications inform people that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere increase continuously. The ice in the Arctic is rapidly melting, the Earth’s temperature has been steadily rising and it promises to rise by at least 2 ° C till the end of this century. In non-scientists cycles, formed of those interested in the theme, various legends and myths appeared, proving the issue to be the phenomenon of global proportions. Those people who want to believe that nothing would change into worse argue that warming is a part of the climate system oscillations, as warming and cooling have been replacing each other for many hundreds of years. Those people, who, by contrast, tend to believe in the disaster, fear that global warming would put the world in an ice age and they will not be able to live their normal lives.
Today the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one-third higher than the normal characteristic of the interglacial. Under the influence of industrial emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it continues to grow very rapidly, causing quick and sharp warming of the atmosphere. Why such a warm-up is dangerous? The fact is that the climate system involves many factors and they are beginning to change in response to the heating of the atmosphere. The heating of the atmosphere is the first link in the chain of global changes. Warming means ice melting. There are two large glaciers on our planet right now: one is in Greenland and its maximum thickness is up to 2 km. The other is in Antarctica and its thickness reaches 4 km. In addition, perennial ice sheets, formed in the Arctic Ocean as the pack ice with the relatively small thickness of the ice that makes up to 4 m. That means that there is quite a lot of ice on the planet and it would cause lots of trouble while melting. One of the dangers that cause ice melting is pretty obvious – it is raising the level of the oceans. Even now, there are land areas that are either below sea level (for example, the western Netherlands), or above sea level by a small height. People inhabiting these areas right now are afraid of the fact and are aware of the necessity to build and maintain the dam in order to protect them from the devastating floods. However, this is not the only problem which people would face during the period of ice melting.
The coefficient decreases because of the ice surface reduction. The term “albedo” refers to the ability of the surface to reflect solar energy. The lighter the surface, the harder it reflects sunlight and the lower surface is heated. Ice reflects about 80-90% of the solar energy and the surface of the ocean is just 5%. The rest of the energy is absorbed and goes on heating. This factor accelerates the global warming process.
In addition, large areas of the land of the Earth are covered by permafrost. They were formed during the Ice Age when kilometers-big thick ice sheets occupied a huge part of the land. Climate warming caused the melting of the glaciers, but the crust does not have time during short warm summers to melt the ice. The top layer of soil is melting because the depth of freezing sometimes exceeds 1000 meters. Permafrost is more than 25% of the area of the world. It covers not only two continents, Africa and Australia, but it is also widespread in Siberia and the Baikal region as well as Altai. It is well known that 65% of the territory of Russia is permafrost. The problem is that permafrost is a powerful potential source of carbon dioxide and methane. It is estimated that it contains 2 times more CO2 as compared to the present amount in the atmosphere. The heating of the atmosphere leads to accelerated melting of permafrost and the release of CO2 and methane, respectively, must inevitably exacerbate the greenhouse effect. Therefore, the melting means that not only the level of water will raise but that lots of CO2 and methane will appear in the atmosphere that would worsen the problem of greenhouse gas emission and warming.
Thus, it becomes clear that the rate of global warming in the long term will be further accelerated. Now, however, scientists agree that people still have more than 100 years in stock in order not to give the chance for this process to develop into a global catastrophe. However, if the situation is not reversed, the worst fear of scientists may come true. This fear is connected to the fact that a large amount of melted water, produced by melting ice of the Arctic and Greenland would make the sea surface in the Norwegian-Greenland Basin more insipid and disrupt modern ocean circulation. As a result of the Gulf Stream and overlaps cold snap will occur, which could lead to a new ice age onset. However, it is fair to say that the latest estimates show that in order to face such an outcome, a very large amount of meltwater is needed. And still, this is the reason that makes people look for a way out of this situation as soon as possible to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
There are lots of facts that show how much people are close to the great consequences of global warming and it is no doubt that it can be fiction or myth. The development of civilization caused a lot of bad effects on the Earth and the great amount of carbon dioxide that was produced during industrialization caused the atmosphere destruction. Now it is time for people to think about the Earth’s problems and to brainstorm the global warming problem in order to give chance for future generations to live in the world we know today.