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Global warming is defined as the long-term heating of the Earth’s surface, which has been observed since the industrial revolution (Shahzad, 2015). It has occurred as a result of human activities such as fossil fuel burning that produces heat-trapping greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming starts when sunlight reaches the Earth, part of it is reflected back into space, and the remaining amount is absorbed by air, land and water bodies. Part of the reflected sunlight is reabsorbed by greenhouse gases, such as the ozone and carbon dioxide, due to their heat-trapping capacity. Global warming began to become a challenge when greenhouse gases were artificially increased by human activities at an unsustainable rate. The steady increase in Earth’s temperature has resulted in adverse consequences, such as floods, drought, melting of glaciers, heat waves, and rise in sea levels, prompting the need for ways of preventing global warming.
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Use of alternative energy sources
One of the ways of preventing global warming is to discontinue the use of fossil fuels and use alternative sources of energy. Humankind’s need for energy is unending and constantly increasing. The traditional source of energy is fossil fuels, which greatly contribute to global warming and are limited. The fossil fuel reserves decrease yearly, proving to be unsustainable in addition to their harmful environmental impact. The excessive utilization of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas is a major culprit of global warming and thus needs to be decreased and ultimately eliminated.
Alternative energy refers to a set of promising approaches to generating energy from renewable sources that are not widespread as traditional sources but are valuable as they have a low risk of harming the environment and are sustainable (Samarina et al., 2018). Alternative sources of energy refer to wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy sources. Using these sources is significant in preventing global warming as they do not generate any pollution or toxin gases, such as greenhouse gases and do not threaten the ecological balance.
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It is widely acknowledged that alternative sources of energy substantially meet electricity demand and reduce emissions (Majid, 2020). According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), projections indicate that renewable technologies can generate more than eighty percent of electricity by 2050, with the rest twenty percent being produced by nuclear and natural gas (Renewable energy: A Key Climate Solution, 2022). This will bring an end to the heavy dependency on fossil fuels. Other than increasing the portion of renewable energy, a decrease in power sector emissions shall also arise from energy efficiency measures taken in industries to lower the use of electricity for heating and cooling.
Decreasing greenhouse gases emissions
Another way of preventing global warming is by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are the major driver of global warming. Thus, decreasing their emission is a feasible solution for preventing global warming in the short term. Reduction of fossil carbon emissions from diverse industrial sectors is key to decreasing carbon emissions due to the massive material flow they process and the large quantities of energy they consume (Huisingh et al., 2015). The transport industry is a key producer of carbon emissions. Motor vehicle exhausts produce a significant amount of carbon dioxide and thus have a high carbon footprint. A feasible solution to preventing global warming is to decrease their production and shift towards the production of vehicles that use sustainable energy sources, such as electric cars. Also, individuals should be encouraged to embrace walking or cycling to short destinations rather than using cars.
Another sector is the iron and steel industry, a major producer of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Substantial energy efficiency improvements of present steel production processes, such as top gas recycling, can meet the binding climate target when combined with carbon capture and storage. The low fossil-carbon transition of the iron and steel industry is key to achieving carbon dioxide decrease targets. The cement industry is also key in decreasing emissions since it is a main carbon dioxide producer. The sector accounts for more than eight percent of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Cement is the most widely utilized building material in civil engineering and has significantly increased in demand as a result of fast and massive urbanization. Replacing carbonate-content materials with non-carbonate materials and altering the clinker ratio are significant ways of decreasing carbon dioxide content on low meal and process emissions. Other industries, such as the agricultural and oil industries, have a substantial carbon footprint. Reducing emissions from sectors is key to preventing global warming.
Global warming is a significant threat to human survival. The main factor that is causing global warming is the increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The main emitters of carbon dioxide are fossil fuels which have been widely used since the industrial revolution. To prevent carbon emissions, traditional fossil fuels need to be replaced with alternative energy sources that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Decreasing carbon emissions is also important in preventing global warming as the world transitions to alternative energy sources.
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- Huisingh, D., Zhang, Z., Moore, J. C., Qiao, Q., & Li, Q. (2015). Recent advances in carbon emissions reduction: policies, technologies, monitoring, assessment and modeling. Journal of cleaner production, 103, 1-12.
- Majid, M. A. (2020). Renewable energy for sustainable development in India: current status, future prospects, challenges, employment, and investment opportunities. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 10(1), 1-36.
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