The term global warming is used for describing the recent trend of average temperature increase on the surface of the Earth. Most of us are aware of the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, but are not doing anything significant to contribute towards solving it. This essay will examine the main causes and effects of global warming, as well as the possible solutions that depend on each individual.

The major force that is driving global warming on the Earth is the human race. We are releasing so much carbon dioxide and other harmful substances in the atmosphere, that our planet cannot handle it. We add more carbon dioxide to the air every time we use our cars. Fertilizers contain harmful nitrous oxide, mining for oil and coal releases methane, which adds to the amount that is already being released through leakage from natural gas fields. To make things even worse, we are responsible for the devastating deforestation, which means that our nature is not capable of neutralizing the large amounts of CO2. All these gasses intensify the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, which is responsible for a warmer climate on the planet’s surface because they trap energy from the sun and don’t allow the heat to be released back into space.

The significantly increased concentration of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide has an effect to all animals, plants and microbes on Earth. The consequences of global warming are concerning for all of us. Besides lost ecosystems, we are also facing floods, drought and disease. Since the first measurements in 1958, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has been constantly increasing. That is directly correlated to the simultaneous growth of the global temperatures. Due to those changes, the arctic ice surface is now thinner by 10-15%. The ice cover of lakes and rivers in the Northern hemisphere has a decreased duration by 2 weeks.One of the most concerning associated climate changes is the increase in the global sea-level by 1-2 mm per year. Although these effects seem deceivingly insignificant at first, we should all be aware that their impact to every aspect of our lives is undeniably serious.

As members of the human race, we are responsible for ourselves and millions of other species that live on our planet. Each individual is a big part of the problem, but has the potential of becoming part of the solution as well. Although it is difficult to stop the industries from burning fossil fuels, there are many actions that we can take for the sake of our planet. Saving energy in homes, schools and business environments will not reverse the current effects, but will be a significant preventive measure against further damage. Each individual has responsibility to prevent the problem from advancing by using compact fluorescent bulbs, unplugging electronics when they are not being used, planting trees and leaving the car at home whenever possible. We should minimize the burning of wood, use energy-efficient windows and doors, and install solar panels in order to reduce the damage made to our environment. According to the estimations of the World Energy Council , the renewable energy sources will satisfy nearly 40% of the energy needs of our planet by 2050. We can all contribute towards that brighter future through our humble, but significant lifestyle changes.

During the past 100 years, people have irreversibly damaged the planet Earth. The things we consider advantages of modern life are a serious problem for our environment. Automobiles, factories, industrial growth, deforestation, mining – all these factors are culprits for the green house effect. We cannot neglect this issue and continue living carelessly. In this era of “convenience”, procrastination and blaming everyone else but ourselves, it is time to take real actions and start being responsible for the sake of the generation to come.