The greenhouse effect did not appear immediately. It has been existing since the planet has got atmosphere and without it the temperature of surface layers of the atmosphere would be thirty degrees lower than it is actually observed. However, in the past century the content of some greenhouse gases in the atmosphere greatly increased. Also new gases and particles appeared in the atmosphere as chlorine and fluorine-hydrocarbons including the notorious freon. The cause of rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions is our entire civilization, from the fires of primitive hunters to modern industries, domestic gas stoves, cars, etc based on the rapid oxidation of carbon compounds, the output product of which is CO2. The increase of methane, nitrogen oxides and organic chlorine content in the atmosphere is also related to human activity. Perhaps, people do not have great influence only on the content of water vapor.
Even in the 17th century it was much colder in Europe. This was the peak of the so-called interglacial period between the ice ages, which takes place today as well.At that time the Thames froze in London. The development of the industrial revolution led to the increase of year temperature for 1 degree Celsius in 20th century. At the end of the 20th century rapid warming took place. Average temperature increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius for 25 years. It didn’t change in equatorial zone, but it is very noticeable close to the poles. The temperature of water under the ice increase by 2 degrees, so that melting of ice has begun.
The issue of global warming was firstly described in the 19th century. It is supposed that this warming is of the natural character. After all many scientists stress that we live at the end of the ice age. But the rate of warming makes us think of anthropogenic nature of this phenomenon as well.
What Should We Do?
Looking for guilty of global warming is not the way out. At the UN Conference on climate change the UK has warned that the world may miss a vital opportunity to prevent harmful effects of global warming. Despite the remaining disagreements in major issues, there are signs of possible compromise from the European countries. Such a compromise would allow the United States set realistic goals for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
Fortunately, not everyone shares the major fears. Recent data obtained by processing incoming satellite images do not confirm the outlook for global disaster outlined by pessimistic scientists. It gives us hope that humanity is able to cope with the impending threat. For example, it is reached by using great range of energy sources nowadays. People started to use alternative energy for their needs and now they already take some part in modern energy development. Nuclear power doesn’t produce any bad emissions to the atmosphere, though it is dangerous in another way. Anyway, people try to build clear future for their children. And now more and more of us become involved in this problem.