Industrialization is the process of transforming a human society from agricultural to industrial civilization on an economic and social level. Growing social and economic changes led to urbanization, increased educational institutions and a rise in the number of wage workers. We believe industrialization is the pointer towards better standards of living, however, it affects the environment and contributes towards climate change. We can understand climate change as a long-term change in weather patterns caused by anthropogenic activities. The rate of global temperature has increased substantially since the industrial era.
Global temperature graph (1851-2020)
What Is Causing Global Warming?
The global temperature graph predicts that there has been a constant increase in surface temperature over 1.5 degrees Celsius. The global temperature has increased by 0.07 degrees Celsius since 1880. With the global warming process, environmental disasters have become the most visible threat today. The global warming trend can be predicted from the industrial revolution era (1851-1935) to the modern period today (1936-2020).
The 18th-19th century was a period of economic development noticeable by the introduction of power-driven machinery when the industrial revolution began. Researchers discovered the method to produce electricity and oil exploration was established. There was an increasing use of coal and oil and enormous burning of fossil fuels that resulted in emissions of greenhouse gasses in our environment which led to global warming. In the global temperature graph, several economies progressed from 1870-1914. Over the past 80 years, there has been a focus on steel production and mass-produced consumer goods. The establishment of these technologies made city life very convenient which created a demand for other products such as clothing that improved the standard of living. In a short time, people started migrating to cities in search of employment as factory workers. Although these advancements resulted in substantial gains, they came at the expense of burning fossil fuels. The increased burning of fossil fuels resulted in huge emissions of greenhouse gases, which has been warming the globe. Greenhouse gasses emissions averaged 280 parts per million during the mid-17th century, however by the late 19th century, they had surged to 380 parts per million.
The Modern Period 1936-2020
The digital revolution began in the 1950s when electronics and information technology were used to automate production. Revolutionary innovations swept over different parts of the world causing massive modernization as well as trade. The world soon became reliant upon environmental assets, which were diminishing at a faster rate in the early modern period. Humans, as well as things, started to travel over and above as globalization along with merchandise expanded after the 1950s. Population growth peaked at 2.1% per year between 1965 and 1970. The demand for natural resources increased as the population increased. Utilization of limestone to create cement, land-use changes and use of coal and oil, such anthropogenic activities resulted in the rapid change of greenhouse emission into the oceans from the earth’s surface as well as the ecosystem interrupting the balance. 2.3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been emitted into the environment. Probably the majority of it has been swiftly dissolved inside the sea or consumed into the biome, whereas the rest remained in the air. As a consequence, worldwide carbon emissions have expanded between 280 ppm to 415 ppm presently, also, the rate of expansion of concentration has been rising over 1 ppm annually in 1960 to approximately 3ppm today.
What Does IPCC Say?
According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the amount of carbon dioxide produced has boosted the global temperature by 1.1°C and further addition by anthropogenic activities will result in 1.5°C of warming. In 2015, the Paris agreement was established where countries pledged together to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Warming exceeded 0.87 degrees Celsius in the decade 2006-2015 owing primarily to human activities. The global temperatures every decade are now increasing at a rate of 0.2 degrees. Human-induced warming reached 1 degrees Celsius given that the global temperature is presently increasing by 0.2 degrees every decade. And if this rate of expansion continues it will reach 1.5 degrees around 2040.
The rate at which global warming is increasing might become an existential threat to humankind. If we understand and take climate change seriously, individuals and communities can take up action and play an important role in it. Small steps lead to big changes, starting to take climate change seriously and stepping forward to make a change is the best we can do to protect our planet. For example,
Saving energy at home: where electricity is powered by coal and oil; we should use less energy and energy-efficient appliances.
Using public transport: Vehicles that run on diesel and petrol emit a major amount of greenhouse gasses, switching to public transport will help to reduce it.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: To protect the climate, we must buy a few things, consider shopping second-hand, and do recycling and upcycling.
We all can play our part to protect our environment, combat climate change and spread awareness among everyone.