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Of the many challenges that are being experienced in the world, global warming is one of them as it has proved difficult to find a lasting solution. With practically no argument to challenge the reality of climate change, this incessant public policy issue demands the attention of not only the environmental scientists, but everyone human being alive as its effects are nondiscriminatory; affects every individual. This paper compares natural and anthropogenic climate changes, shows Evidence of global warming and Current mitigation strategies for global warming, and the proposed speculations on policy to stabilize global climate.
Comparison and Contrast of Natural Versus Anthropogenic Climate Changes
Climate change refers to the changes experienced in regional or global climatic patterns. The changes became apparent in the 20th century onwards. Climate change is attributed to both natural and anthropogenic activities and phenomena. From a natural perspective, main climate changes occur due to volcanic eruptions, orbital and solar variations and ocean circulation. On the other hand, anthropogenic climate changes result from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and the disproportionate use of the greenhouse gases (Stern & Kaufmann, 2014). The main difference between natural and anthropogenic climate changes is their causative agents. For the natural changes in climate, the factors leading to the phenomena are natural while in anthropogenic the causes are human engineered. Natural causes, however, insufficiently explain climate changes that are currently experienced; rather, human-engineered activities are to blame for the climate change.
Evidence of Global Warming
There are several indicators of global warming that have been identified by the scientists. First, the earth’s temperature, of both land’s surface and air, has escalated to higher levels than it was the case several past decades. Approximately, 90 percent of the excess heat emitted by the biosphere is absorbed by the greenhouse gases which are in return absorbed by water which covers 75 percent of the earth’s surface (Seinfeld & Pandis, 2016). The temperatures of the water rise too, an explanation of the high temperatures on earth. The significance of the warming is not only the heat but also the pace at which the phenomenon occurs. The sea ice extends and snow cover on the Arctic regions has in the recent past, decreased at an alarming rate, more so during summer and spring. The decrease in ice on these extremely cold regions is caused by the escalated atmospheric temperatures, and in return, the ice loss also causes global warming through the albedo effect (Seinfeld & Pandis, 2016).
Current Mitigation Strategies for Global Warming
1. Carbon Sequestration
Carbon sequestration refers to both deliberate and natural processes through which CO2 is diverted from various sources or removed from the air and stored in a terrestrial environment like sediments, vegetation, and soil or in the ocean (Ong, Black & Wilson, 2015). To facilitate the process, people are encouraged to uphold forest and soil conservation practices like the establishment of new and restoration of old forests, grasslands, and wetlands so as to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration might be a costly process especially in the planting of new trees and expenses and risks involved in geological carbon sequestration. Some countries might not comply with the policy as the extra budget for the mitigation measure might not be within their reach.
2. Carbon Taxing
Carbon tax refers to the taxes that are imposed on fossil fuels that are used in vehicles. The process, agreed upon by 195 countries across the globe, is intended to decrease the production of CO2, by a certain percentage, and in return limit climate change. The member countries, as per the Paris Agreement, submitted the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in 2015 on their contributions to mitigating on carbon reduction, and are expected to update the NDCs after every five years as from 2020 (Chen & Hafstead, 2016). Carbon taxation is a costly process if the implementation is delayed as it would affect carbon price path. More so, countries that supply carbon-based fuels are likely to go at a loss since the cut in the percentage of carbon emissions would imply less use hence reduced the purchase of the products.
Proposed Speculations on Policy Changes to Stabilize Global Climate
Climate change is a universal problem; thus, all nations should take accountability in whichever manner they contribute to the degradation of universal resources like air and water. Policies should be made that make it compulsory to all nations to adhere to the set environmental regulations, and if not heavy penalties and sanctions should be imposed until the nation complies with the set rules. Countries like the US should not be allowed the freedom to pollute in its economy-related selfish agendas and yet fail to be a part of the Paris Climate Agreement. More so, energy industries, transportation and agricultural sectors should be held to more strict standards since they contribute the most to greenhouse emission and global warming.
The environment is as delicate as it sounds since it gives back what is channeled into it, and even in worse measures. Through the various mitigation measures to counter climate change like carbon taxation and sequestration, everyone should bear the burden of taking care of the environment as it will, in turn, protect them from for sustainable coexistence. Nations should be held responsible for the pollution they cause and in doing so, there is a hope of taking back the environment where it was decades ago.
Chen, Y., & Hafstead, M. A. (2016). Using a Carbon Tax to Meet US International Climate Pledges.
Ong, C. K., Black, C., & Wilson, J. (Eds.). (2015). Tree-crop interactions: agroforestry in a changing climate. CABI.
Seinfeld, J. H., & Pandis, S. N. (2016). Atmospheric chemistry and physics: from air pollution to climate change. John Wiley & Sons.
Stern, D. I., & Kaufmann, R. K. (2014). Anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change. Climatic change, 122(1-2), 257-269.
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