Climate change is certainly a global issue. The rise in the emission of greenhouse gases, global warming, suffocating oceans, rising temperatures and several other associated factors are disturbing the ecological balance of the planet. These factors are threatening to make parts of the planet uninhabitable or inhospitable for life. The climate has always been changing, but this time it is changing at a very fast pace, making all of us to think how to counter this global problem.
One of the major factors responsible for carbon emission is the burning of the fossil fuels. The burning of the fossil fuels is responsible for the emission of the greenhouse gases which in turn are offering adverse impact on the ecology of the planet. Due to their emissions, no part of the world has been untouched by freak weather conditions. Most continents have recorded record high temperatures in summer, record lows in winter and increased frequency of typhoons and hurricanes, record dry spells, drought and flooding.
It’s time to adopt green energy or renewable energy sources. As far as renewable energy sources are concerned, they produce little to no global warming emissions. If we talk of each phase of renewable energy life cycle – manufacturing, installation, operation, decommissioning, the emission associated with it is minimal. The burning of natural gas for electricity releases between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2E/kWh), coal emits between 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of CO2E/kWh, but on the other hand wind is responsible for only 0.02 to 0.04 pounds of CO2E/kWh on a life-cycle basis; solar 0.07 to 0.2; geothermal 0.1 to 0.2; and hydroelectric between 0.1 and 0.5.
Reforestation is another solution to this global problem. Most of the forests are being cleared in order to practice agriculture or to establish factories and industries. Most of you must be aware of the fact that plants take carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Research suggests that reforestation is the single largest nature-based climate mitigation opportunity. Not only forests provide cleaner water, cleaner air, flood control, and more fertile soils, not to mention wood products and tree crops but also help in controlling pollution. It is the clarion call of the hour to avoid further deforestation in critical locations and starting reforesting on degraded lands.
Putting a check on the use of synthetic fertilizers in agriculture is another step towards sustainability. Application of synthetic fertilizers on crops results in release of nitrogen. This nitrogen reacts in the air to form nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon. It should be checked that the amount of nitrogen applied to the field does not exceed the amount that the plants can absorb.
These are few but vital solutions that can help in putting a check on global warming. It’s time to start spreading awareness about the climate change and global warming. Furthermore, as an individual you should also start using green and energy efficient products. Together, we can help in protecting our beautiful planet earth.