Earth is the fourth planet from the Sun and perhaps the only planetary object known to support and sustain life. About 29.7% of Earth’s surface area is land which includes oceans, continents, and islands. The remaining portion of the planet is made up of rock and other solid surface materials. The composition of the planet is very diverse with volcanic activity bringing forth iron from beneath the earth’s crust, while plate tectonics and fluid precipitation bring about magma internal heat. A variety of geology such as fault lines and mountain ranges provide the habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The planet’s geography also has a significant contribution in the earth’s climate as the distribution of ice masses and moisture vapors affects the climate cycle. The distribution of clouds determines the changing climate on earth and the distribution of sunspots affects the climate’s heat. Since the inception of mankind, observation and study of the earth’s climate has been a subject of interest as many expeditions to the planets have been launched and some have succeeded in finding evidence that supports theories of global warming. In addition, satellites have been used to monitor the location, composition, and altitude of the various celestial bodies and these global weather observations help scientists develop better models of climate on earth.
Global Warming is believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect that results due to the increase in levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere caused by human activities like burning of fossil fuels for heating, construction of concrete buildings, and manufacturing of vehicles and other products which release carbon dioxide. The increased concentration of this gas in the atmosphere results in the absorption of infrared rays coming from the sun that reaches the earth and alters its temperature, thus affecting climate on earth. Another major cause for global warming is the imbalance of solar radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere, causing warming. Evidence found near the poles proves that at higher altitudes there was an early onset of global warming which was accentuated by the large amount of sunlight the polar ice caps can receive.
Polar Ice Caps: A Thawening of the Polar Ice Caps may also be considered as another factor contributing to global warming. The poles were previously covered by thick ice; however, recently the thaw has caused the start of melting of the polar ice caps. This process results in the release of methane gas, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Also, the melting ice reduces the absorption of sunlight, which causes a further warming effect. Thus, the reduction of ice in the polar regions results in an increased absorption of infrared radiation from the earth, which affects the climate on earth.
Ozone Layer: Evidence has also been found to show that there might be another reason for the rapid rate of global warming on earth. This is the result of the fact that the earth has an ozone layer, which acts like a barrier to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from entering the earth’s atmosphere. However, increased use of aerosols which act as chemical refrigerants, particularly CFCs and chlorofluorocarbons have resulted in the over-richification of these substances. This results in the blocking of the suns natural heat and causes the earth to absorb more ultraviolet rays. This in turn causes the atmospheric moisture to increase resulting in the earth heating up rapidly.
These are some of the natural cycles that cause warming of the earth. It is important to observe all these factors and take preventive steps. In case the warming starts getting too much, then it is advised to go for natural cooling methods. This will help in slowing down the earth’s heating and cooling process.