NASA Predicted 8 Future Global Warming Effects to Warn Us

Global warming is real. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, acid rain is causing havoc, settling animals are on a constant move, and humans don’t care.

Since the industrial revolution, the thermometers of global warming are rising rapidly due to anthropogenic (man-made) activities.

The latest temperature research conducted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for space studies (GISS) shows Earth’s average temperature has increased by a little more than 1 degree Celsius (2 Fahrenheit) since 1980.

Our planet is warming from pole to pole. Climate change is a fitting name to global warming.

Climate change is not only the rising temperature of the earth, but wildfires, extreme rains, flooding, wild winds, typhoons, and other extreme natural phenomena happening more often due to global warming.

Human activities related to energy use, overpopulation, and illegal waste dumping is pushing the Earth’s temperature at an alarming rate.

Let us learn about global warming, its cause, NASA’s predictions, and what we can do to avoid it.

What is Global Warming?

The average increase temperature of the EARTH’’s surface due to greenhouse gases is called global warming.

What are greenhouse gases?

Gases in the atmosphere like co2 tend to trap the heat of the sun in the atmosphere like a glass roof of a greenhouse are called greenhouse gases.

These gases cause the greenhouse effect which is the main reason behind global warming.

The four main greenhouse gasses are:

· Carbon dioxide (CO2)

· Methane (CH4)

· Water vapors (H2O)

· Nitrous oxide (n2o)

What is the greenhouse effect? — An in-depth look

The concept of the greenhouse is the same as an ordinary greenhouse. An ordinary greenhouse is a building with glass walls and a glass roof.

The glass structure is used to trap the heat generate from radiations of the sunlight in the winter. Such heat is used to warm the air inside for crop growth.

Greenhouse heat up the air, and the air remains warm at night.

The greenhouse effect works the same as an ordinary greenhouse does.

When sun rays reach the surface of the earth, some rays are absorbed by the surface, and some bounces back from the surface.

The returning heat wants to go back to space, but the greenhouse gases (CO2, H20, CH4, N20) traps the heat in the atmosphere, and absorb it.

This phenomenon results in an average increase in temperature of the Earth, hence, Global warming.

This process isn’t new. The greenhouse effect has been balancing our Earth’s temperature since its birth so why are we experiencing extreme temperatures and other natural disasters?

We will cover this topic later, but first, let us address an important issue.

Why should we care about only one+ degree of warming?

The temperature fluctuates all the time. A couple of degrees here and there where we live, so why an only 1-degree rise in the Earths’ average temperature is caution all that commotion?

The global temperature means average temperature over the entire surface of our planet, not any specific area. Earth’s circumference is 40075 kilometers. The one-degree rise represents this entire area.

The global temperature depends on the energy received by the Earth from the Sun, and how much energy radiated by the Earth to space.

The energy radiated back from the sun depends on greenhouse gases. If the quantity of such gases is greater in the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect will cause global warming.

A one-degree rise in the global temperature is extremely significant because the amount of heat required to warm the oceans, surface, and atmosphere is massive.

In the older age:

· A drop of 1–2 degrees forces Earth to go under an ice age.

· A 4.5–5 degree was more than enough to cover a large part of North America under a thick cover of ice roughly 2000 years ago.

The map will tell you that temperature isn’t rising by one degree at every time. It means, in a given year or decade, the temperature may rise 4–5 degrees in one region, and drop 1 degree in another. Extreme cold weather in one area may be followed by scorching hot summers.

In simple words, the cold winter in one area might be balanced by an extremely warm summer in another part of the globe.

Before starting NASA’s researched predictions, let us explain the causes of Global warming.

Causes of global warming/climate change

Global warming is the direct result of un-monitored men-made activities. In this section, we will only on such activities because the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a direct result of human energy use.

Following are some major global warming causes:

1. Fossil fuels

2. Tree cutting, and deforestation

3. Farming

4. Agriculture

1. Fossil fuel burning:

The average co2 emission into the atmosphere in 2019 was 37 billion tons. Imagine how much fossil fuel had been used last year.

When we use fossil fuels (gas, oil, and coal) to produce energy, heat, and electricity, tons of co2 is released in the atmosphere. Not to mention the partially burned CO (carbon monoxide) which is more dangerous).

We use fossil fuels in our:

· Cars

· Public transportations

· Other vehicles

· Power plants

· Airplanes

· Ships, etc.

The amount of energy required to extract fossil fuels from mines and sites should be mentioned too.

2. Tree cutting & deforestation

Around 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees are cut down each year. According to the World Bank, the number of trees cut down between “1990–2016 “is roughly 1.3 million square kilometers of area.

According to WWF:

Up to one-fifth of global greenhouse gas pollution comes from deforestation and forest degradation.”

Around 20% of the world’s oxygen is supplied by the Amazon forest alone. Tree cutting and deforestation play an important role in Global warming. Trees not only supply continuous oxygen to our planet but absorb excess carbon from the air as well.

We clear vast areas of forestation, vegetation, and trees around the world for modern infrastructure, farming, or to sell tree-related products like timber, etc. At an alarming & uncontrolled rate.

The stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere that was previously stored within these trees, and vegetation. It ultimately contributes to global warming.

We only blame fossil fuels for global warming, but the deforestation is worse than that. Deforestation not only contributes to global warming, but we are cutting down our oxygen supply.

3. Farming

Livestock like cattle and sheep produce methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas. According to WWF:

Australian farming contributes 16% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.”

It is impossible and almost nonsensical to yet think about banning livestock. Livestock is our global culture since the dawn of Earth.

Farmers use fertilizers that release nitrous oxide which is another greenhouse gas.

These were some well-known causes, now let’s get to the topic.

8 future effects of global warming predicted by NASA

According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC):

Insert the screenshot here:

IPCC includes more than 1300 scientists from the US, and other countries.

Some of the long-term effects of climate change are as follows:

1. The change will continue beyond this century

2. Temperature will rise

3. Growing season and the frost-free season will lengthen

4. There will be a change in precipitation patterns

5. More droughts and severe heat waves

6. Stronger and intense hurricanes

7. Sea levels will rise

8. The Arctic may become ice-free

1. The change will continue beyond this century

The global climate will change throughout this century and beyond. The global climate change over the next few decades depends on the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to those changes.

The graph above displays the global sea measured by the satellites.

2. The temperature will rise:

Because of the anthropogenic (man-made) activities, the global temperature is disturbed. The temperature will not be smooth throughout this century and beyond.

According to NASA:

“Earth’s global surface temperature in 2019 was the second warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1880 and 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degree Celsius) warmer than 1951 to 1980 mean.”

3. Growing and the frost-free season will lengthen

The frost-free season and its corresponding growing season have been increasing since the 1980s.

If greenhouse gases continue to grow, the frost-free and growing seasons are projected will be lengthened in most areas of the U.S.A by the end of the century.

Western U.S will see the largest increase (more than 8 weeks) in frost-free season, particularly in coastal and high elevated areas.

4. There will be a change in precipitation patterns:

Since 1900, the average precipitation levels in the US has been increased. But not all areas. Some areas are receiving more precipitation and others less.

The northern US is subjected to receive more precipitation while the southern US will encounter less precipitation.

The increased precipitation levels over the US are expected to be increased in the future. This trend will even affect the area where total precipitation has never been increased before.

5. More droughts and severe heat waves

Droughts and severe heat waves are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense over time.

Summer temperature will rise while moisture levels in the soil will reduce. This will intensify the heat waves. The effects will be worse in the western and central U.S.

According to NASA:

“By the end of this century, what has been once-in-20 year extreme heat day (one-day events) are projected to occur every two or three years over most of the nations.”

5. More droughts and severe heat waves

6. Stronger and intense hurricanes

The intensity, power, frequency, and duration of the North Atlantic hurricanes, and the frequency of the strongest hurricanes (category 4 to 5) have drastically increased since the 1980s.

The cause is anthropogenic activities (men-mad). These hurricanes are projected to intensify as the climate continues to warm.

Stronger and intense hurricanes

7. Sea levels will rise

By 2100, sea level will rise 1–8 feet. Currently, the global sea level has risen about 8-inches. This is the result of glacier melting and the expansion of Sweetwater as it warms.

In the coming decades, intense storms and high tides could combine with seas which could result in more increase flooding in many regions.

According to NASA:

“Sea level rise will continue past 2100 because the oceans take a very long time to respond to warmer conditions at the Earth’s surface.”

Therefore, oceans will continue to warm hence, seas level rise.

8. The Arctic may become ice-free

Before mid-century, the Arctic Ocean may become ice-free. The continuous global warming and the never-ending fossil fuel consumption are already damaging the Arctic Ocean.

What are the solutions for global warming/climate change?

A positive climate change will require many solutions — there is no magic in it. Yet, all of the global warming solutions exist today.

Almost all the solutions depend on the way we behave, consume food and energy.

This will occur if civilians and government cooperate to encourage less water, public transport, smart use of technology, less fossil fuel consumption, and slowing shifting power plants and factories from conventional fuel to renewable energy like solar power, wind turbines, tidal, etc.

There is an argument that nuclear power — despite immense water usage, the release of toxic thermal waster into the rivers, and safety concerns — should be part of the global warming solution.

The argument is healthy because nuclear plants don’t release harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Let’s see some of the available solutions for the problem:

· Reducing the use of fossil fuels:

Oil, gas, and coal are the main contributors to climate change. We use fossil fuels in our daily lives hence increasing carbon footprints. The complete shutdown of fossil fuels in almost impossible, because they are being indirect or indirectly in almost everything.

Following bullet points may help individuals to reduce the use of fossil fuels:

· Using public transport 3–4 times weeks rather than driving individual vehicles. In big cities, clusters of people work at the same plaza, area, building, or office most of the time. So why not use public transport once in a while. It may not seem much but, we could save gallons of oil by doing so.

· Switching to solar power instead of oil-driven generators as a backup.

· Slowly and gradually switching our homes to renewable energy. Solar energy is a popular concept now. Free electricity with zero pollution is ideal. Switching 40–60% of the energy consumption of our homes may reduce individual carbon footprints.

· I am using solar power as a primary source of electricity in my home. Only air-conditioner and refrigerator is working on local electricity.

· Change won’t overnight, but slowly and gradually reducing our fossil fuel consumption to eco-products could save us from certain doom.

· Reducing wood usage:

I am indirectly referring to the deforestation and tree cutting for furniture, firewood, and other stuff for centuries.

It is almost impossible to stop using wood, but we can plant some trees if we are using its byproducts.

Home décor is a vast department in modern cities. Shouldn’t we minimize our luxuries for the sake of our planet?

Reduce usage of wood, and paper in your daily life.

· Renewable energy:

A cheap, pollution-free, and free energy alternative to fossil fuel is renewable energy sources like solar, wind, tidal, hydro, and geothermal.

Such energy usage is not only limited to large scale power plants or factories, but it is also available for domestic use to cut the energy bills. Isn’t that amazing, a free source of energy that will not produce any co2 or other greenhouse gases.

According to https://www.c2es.org/:

“18% of the energy consumed globally for heating, power, and transportation was from renewable sources in 2017”.

That similar data shows renewable made up 26.2% in 2018. The target is 40% renewable energy share in the global energy mix.

The world is switching to renewables. There are thousands of eco-friendly products available on online and offline markets, start using them to participate in mitigating global warming.

· Plastic bags are oxygen killers:

Plastic is not the primary source of greenhouse gases, but once burned, they produce a ridiculous amount of CO2 and chlorofluorocarbons.

One chlorine kills hundreds of ozone molecules at a rate that the ozone layer is depleting faster than its recovery.

According to https://www.eea.europa.eu/:

“Since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol, European consumption (EEA-28 in 1986) has fallen from approximately 343000 ozone-depleting potential (ODP) tones to around zero in 2002, where it has remained ever since”

Another reason is plastic bags take millions of aquatic lives each ear.

Reduction in plastic bag usage will save millions of aquatic lives, and maybe our ozone will be whole again.

Final verdict

The evidence and future effects of global warming calculated by NASA are real. We need to wake up now. Global warming has already started to damage several parts of the World, but the future holds more chaos.

I have written this article because I am an environmental engineer, and I must spread awareness about the destruction of our mother EARTH.

If you don’t contribute then how are we going to water outdoor succulents because extreme will scorch them? How are we going to play a thrilling game of paintball because rough weather and burning sun rays are waiting to harm us? How are we going to enjoy normal winters in hot areas and normal summers in cold areas?

The world will be in a disarray, so we got to step up.

References:

https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/

https://paintballmaskarena.com/what-to-wear-for-paintball/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-effects/

I am an energy and environmental engineer having 4 years of experience in environmental and social working sector.