Global Warming and its Impact on the Buea Municipality
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Background to study
Global warming is a scientific phenomenon which explains the rising in temperature of earth. This rise of temperature is characterized with the increase of carbon emission in the environment. Reason why the world has witnessed an identical change in global climate in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The term climate change and global warming are used interchangeably (Manstrandrea and Schneider, 2009). Within scientific journals, however, global warming refers to surface temperature increase, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increases greenhouse gas amounts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2001) defines climate change as any change in climate over time whether due to natural variability or human activities. Similarly, Manstrandrea and Schneider (2009) enumerate climate change as a long term alteration in global weather pattern such as increase in temperature and stom activity. Climate scientist believe that the earth is currently facing a period of rapid warming brought on by rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases retain the radiant energy (heat) provided to the earth by the sun in a process known as greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases occurs naturally and without them, the planet will be too cold to sustain life. However, since the industrial revolution human activities have drastically enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the earth’s average temperature to rise by almost 1 degree. This is creating the global warming today. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, based in San Diego, California, began monitoring cabondioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere from Hawaii’s remote Mauna Loa Observatory located 3000m above sea level. When the study started, CO2 concentration in the earth’s atmosphere was 315ppm.However, CO2 concentration has seen then increased to 323ppm by 1970 and 335 by 1980. By 1988, atmospheric CO2 had increased to 350ppm (Hernes, 1998). As other researchers confirmed these findings, scientific interest in the accumulation of greenhouse gases and their effect on the environment slowly began to grow.
In the past, when the earth experiences increase in temperature it was the result of natural causes but today it is being caused by the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere produced by human activities. The continuous rise in temperature of the planet is really a problem. The root cause of this is global warming. Global warming begins when sunlight reaches the earth. The clouds atmospheric particles, reflective grounds surface and of ocean sends back about 30% of sunlight back into the space, while the remains is absorbed by oceans , air and land. This consequently heat up the surface of the planet and atmosphere, making life feasible. As the earth warms up, the radiated by thermal radiation and infrared rays, propagating indirectly out to space thereby cooling the earth. Some of this outgoing radiation is re-absorbed by carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone, methane and other gases in the atmosphere and is radiated back to the surface of the earth. These gases are commonly known as greenhouse gases due to their heat-trapping capacity. The planet has experienced the largest increase in surface temperature over the last 100 years. Between 1906 and 2006, the earth’s average surface temperature augmented between 0.6 to 0.9 degree Celsius, however, the last 50years, the rate of temperature increase nearly double. Sea level have shown a rise of about 0.17 meters during the 20 century. Out per year, millions of pounds of methane gas are generated in landfills and agricultural decomposition of biomass animal manure. Nitro oxide is released into the atmosphere by various nitrogen-based fertilizers including urea and ammonium phosphate and other soil management utilizations. Once released, these greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for decades or even longer. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon dioxide and methane levels have increased by 35% and 148% since the industrial revolution of 1750.
The environment has been influenced by human beings for centuries. However, it is only since the beginning of the industrial revolution that the impact of human activities has begun to extend to a global scale. Today, environmental issue becomes the biggest concern of mankind as a consequence of scientific evidence about the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the changing climate of the earth. Globally temperature is increasing and the amount and distribution of rainfall is being altered (Cubasch 2001). Global warming and climate change has emerged as an important global concern cutting across geographical and national boundaries. The ongoing over production of greenhouse gases has meant that more and more heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, so it essentially heat up. This is what is known ad global warming (UNDP 2008).
Global warming has already threatened the human existence in some regions of the world. Projected submergence of the Maldives by 2025 is one burning example. South Asia is the most vulnerable region to global warming due to its geographical location and under-development, while Nepal remains at the forefront. And also human activities have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere CO2, mainly from deforestation and fossil fuel combustion, methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture and waste and fluorinated gases from industrial processes. These additional greenhouse gases are responsible for the additional warming of the earth. This is the enhance greenhouse effect. We can measure greenhouse gases I the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentration has gone higher than before 1750, N2O about 50% higher, and CH4 approximately doubled. Rising quantities of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrogen dioxide (N2O), and a rise in this gases has caused a rise in the of heat from the sun withheld in the earth’s atmosphere, heat that would normally be radiated back into space. At this moment, it is imperative that the causes, effects and challenges of global warming are assessed and effective measures are taken before any disaster.
- Statement of problem
Global warming is real, so are its impacts; thus is threatening human existence and the eco-system at large. Lack of commitment from all has made the issue more complex-putting existence of mankind at stake. The major factor of global warming is human beings however, on-human factors ie natural processes also contribute to global warming. Human factors is being given more emphasis since human factors have disturbed the ecological balance. Many developed and developing countries are the major carbon emitters thus the main reason for global warming. There is multitude of problems arising from global warming ranging in the various domain of national security. The impact of climates of climate change on humans systems, due to warming or shifts in precipitation patterns, or both, have been noticed all over the globe. Production of wheat and maize globally has been affected by climate change. While crop production has increased in some mid-latitude regions such as the UK and Northeast China, in some areas like Cameroon the crops depreciate, economies loses due to extreme weather events have increased globally. So the researcher seeks to study the causes and effect of warming in the Buea Municipality global.
- Research questions
1.3.1. Main research question
What are the causes and effects of global warming in Buea community?
1.3.2. Specific questions
What are the causes of global warming to the Buea Community?
How has global warming influence activities of the people of Buea?
What are the contribution of the government to stabilize the Buea climate?
1.3. Research objectives
1.3.1. General objectives
To identify the causes and effect of global warming in the Buea community
1.3.2. Specific objectives
To investigate the causes of global warming to the Buea community
To investigate the effects of global warming on the people in Buea
To analyze the solutions put by the government to stabilize the Buea climate
1.4. Research hypothesis
- Global warming has greatly affected the Buea community
- Global warming and other factors have greatly affected the buea community
- The government is working hard to fight against global warming