Global warming: myth or reality?

The global warming or the climate change refers to the same matter: the rise in the average temperature of our planet’s climate system and the effects caused by it. Most scientists say that global warming is caused by the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases and other human activities so if we manage to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases and the impact of the human activities, the global warming should seize or at least slow down.

A list of the effects of the climate change includes the rise in sea levels, changes in the amount and the pattern of precipitation, the possible expansion of subtropical deserts, and melting of glaciers. Also is expected an increase of the extreme weather episodes such as heat waves, droughts, heavy snowfalls, heavy rainfalls and floods. We all witnessed such events in the recent years and the scientists all agree that the human race had a major impact in the climate change especially during the industrial era.

It’s time to make some changes and the first major political agreement to address the problem of global warming was made 20 years ago. Back then 165 states signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was an environmental treaty but with no binding limits or enforcement mechanisms. Since then a total of 196 parties have joined the convention and they meet annually to evaluate the progress made in the fight with the climate change.

In 1997 the Kyoto Protocol introduced legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and in 2010 the Cancun agreement stated that the future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C compared to the pre-industrial level. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ended in 2012 so a new one was proposed, the Doha Amendment, in which 37 countries have binding targets. To meet the need of further actions, in 2011 the parties made a new treaty, the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which should be adopted at the 21s Conference of the Parties this year and implemented starting from 2020.

It’s hard to predict if the efforts made by many countries to limit the greenhouse gas emissions will have the desired effect on the climate change but at least they are doing something. Most scientists say that by taking these small actions we can stop the accelerated deterioration of the climate change at the current level. If we can do that maybe in the near future we can even go back to the climate that was before the industrial era.

Besides the global efforts undertaken by the nations worldwide, we all can contribute to the fight against the global warming, even if it seems insignificant. With small gestures and actions made each day we can reduce our own carbon footprint which represents the amount of greenhouse gas we produce as individuals. This way we reduce the impact of our life on the climate, and it’s useless to say that the more people do that the grater will be the effect.