Essay on Prevention of Global Warming for Students and Children

500 words essay on prevention of global warming.

Global warming is a term you must have heard by now as it is very prevalent in today’s world. Moreover, it has become a very dangerous environmental issue which we must resolve as soon as possible. If we do not prevent it now, soon we will find it hard to survive on this planet.

essay on prevention of global warming

Every person needs to contribute equally to help prevent global warming. Similarly, we must identify the causes that are contributing to this dangerous phenomenon and work hard to find solutions. Furthermore, we must immediately put a halt to all those activities which are causing global warming .

Causes of Global Warming

There are many activities through which global warming is happening. Mostly human activities are contributing to this damaging phenomenon. The carbon dioxide levels are increasing in the air which is causing global warming. Moreover, the increase in greenhouse gases is also contributing to this phenomenon.

Furthermore, the usages of hot water for various purposes like bathing, cleaning and more release gases contribute to it. After that, when we make use of ordinary bulbs instead of LED lights, we contribute majorly to global warming. Similarly, the way people leave their electronic devices unattended when not in use also plays a big role.

Most importantly, deforestation and cutting plants everywhere just make it worse for our planet. The way we burn wood and fossil fuels only makes the condition of global warming worse. Similarly, when we use too much of automobiles that release harmful toxins in the air, the temperature of earth increases and causes global warming. In order to prevent global warming, we must adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle to make the future safe for our future generations.

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Ways to Prevent Global Warming

There are many changes we can bring about in our life both big and small to prevent global warming and save our planet. Firstly, we must stop deforestation in all forms. Do not cut down more trees as it will only worsen the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Instead, encourage people to plant even more trees to create a fine balance in nature.

Moreover, it reduces the usage of energy everywhere. It does not matter if you are at your home or at your office, the higher the energy used the more the carbon dioxide produced. Thus, do not waste electricity as it requires the burning of fossil fuels. As a result of the burning of fossil fuels , greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase rapidly and contribute to global warming. Moreover, reduce the carbon footprint and do not travel through planes that often.

Most importantly, replace all your ordinary bulbs with LED lights. It will help in reducing the use of energy by a massive amount. Similarly, do not waste that energy. Instead of becoming more dependent, we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and electricity right away.

Opt for eco-friendly options like solar energy and win power. Take up the habit of recycling and reusing. Do not throw away things instead learn to reuse them properly. Further, carpool with your neighbors and relatives to not contribute to automobile exhausts and emissions.

FAQs on Prevention of Global Warming

Q.1 What is causing global warming?

A.1 There are many human activities that cause global warming. Some of them are the usage of hot water, old light bulbs, burning fossil fuels, wasting electricity, using excessive automobiles, deforestation and many more.

Q.2 How can we prevent global warming?

A.2 We can prevent global warming by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Try to carpool with your relatives and friends to not produce carbon emissions. Moreover, do not cut down trees unnecessarily and also replace old electronic gadgets.

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Responding to the Climate Threat: Essays on Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

Responding to the Climate Threat: Essays on Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

A new book co-authored by MIT Joint Program Founding Co-Director Emeritus Henry Jacoby

From the Back Cover

This book demonstrates how robust and evolving science can be relevant to public discourse about climate policy. Fighting climate change is the ultimate societal challenge, and the difficulty is not just in the wrenching adjustments required to cut greenhouse emissions and to respond to change already under way. A second and equally important difficulty is ensuring widespread public understanding of the natural and social science. This understanding is essential for an effective risk management strategy at a planetary scale. The scientific, economic, and policy aspects of climate change are already a challenge to communicate, without factoring in the distractions and deflections from organized programs of misinformation and denial. 

Here, four scholars, each with decades of research on the climate threat, take on the task of explaining our current understanding of the climate threat and what can be done about it, in lay language―importantly, without losing critical  aspects of the natural and social science. In a series of essays, published during the 2020 presidential election, the COVID pandemic, and through the fall of 2021, they explain the essential components of the challenge, countering the forces of distrust of the science and opposition to a vigorous national response.  

Each of the essays provides an opportunity to learn about a particular aspect of climate science and policy within the complex context of current events. The overall volume is more than the sum of its individual articles. Proceeding each essay is an explanation of the context in which it was written, followed by observation of what has happened since its first publication. In addition to its discussion of topical issues in modern climate science, the book also explores science communication to a broad audience. Its authors are not only scientists – they are also teachers, using current events to teach when people are listening. For preserving Earth’s planetary life support system, science and teaching are essential. Advancing both is an unending task.

About the Authors

Gary Yohe is the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus, at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He served as convening lead author for multiple chapters and the Synthesis Report for the IPCC from 1990 through 2014 and was vice-chair of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Henry Jacoby is the William F. Pounds Professor of Management, Emeritus, in the MIT Sloan School of Management and former co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which is focused on the integration of the natural and social sciences and policy analysis in application to the threat of global climate change.

Richard Richels directed climate change research at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He served as lead author for multiple chapters of the IPCC in the areas of mitigation, impacts and adaptation from 1992 through 2014. He also served on the National Assessment Synthesis Team for the first U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Ben Santer is a climate scientist and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow. He contributed to all six IPCC reports. He was the lead author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC report which concluded that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”. He is currently a Visiting Researcher at UCLA’s Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science & Engineering.

Access the Book

View the book on the publisher's website  here .

Order the book from Amazon  here . 

global warming essay prevent

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Global warming.

The causes, effects, and complexities of global warming are important to understand so that we can fight for the health of our planet.

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Ash spews from a coal-fueled power plant in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, United States.

Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet’s overall temperature. Though this warming trend has been going on for a long time, its pace has significantly increased in the last hundred years due to the burning of fossil fuels . As the human population has increased, so has the volume of fossil fuels burned. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas, and burning them causes what is known as the “greenhouse effect” in Earth’s atmosphere.

The greenhouse effect is when the sun’s rays penetrate the atmosphere, but when that heat is reflected off the surface cannot escape back into space. Gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels prevent the heat from leaving the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses are carbon dioxide , chlorofluorocarbons, water vapor , methane , and nitrous oxide . The excess heat in the atmosphere has caused the average global temperature to rise overtime, otherwise known as global warming.

Global warming has presented another issue called climate change. Sometimes these phrases are used interchangeably, however, they are different. Climate change refers to changes in weather patterns and growing seasons around the world. It also refers to sea level rise caused by the expansion of warmer seas and melting ice sheets and glaciers . Global warming causes climate change, which poses a serious threat to life on Earth in the forms of widespread flooding and extreme weather. Scientists continue to study global warming and its impact on Earth.

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A sunset lights a glacier in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park. Around the world, many glaciers are melting quickly as the planet warms.


Are there real ways to fight climate change? Yes.

Humans have the solutions to fight a global environmental crisis. Do we have the will?

The evidence that humans are causing climate change, with drastic consequences for life on the planet, is overwhelming .

Experts began raising the alarm about global warming in 1979 , a change now referred to under the broader term climate change , preferred by scientists to describe the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas , and a range of other impacts.  

Over 200 countries—193 countries plus the 27 members of the European Union—have signed the Paris Climate Agreement , a treaty created in 2015 to fight climate change on a global scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which synthesizes the scientific consensus on the issue, has set a goal of keeping warming under 2°C (3.6°F) and pursuing an even lower warming cap of 1.5 °C (2.7° F).

But no country has created policies that will keep the world below 1.5 °C, according to the Climate Action Tracker . Current emissions have the world on track to warm 2.8°C by the end of this century.  

Addressing climate change will require many solutions —there's no magic bullet. Yet nearly all of these solutions exist today. They range from worldwide changes to where we source our electricity to protecting forests from deforestation.  

The promise of new technology

Better technology will help reduce emissions from activities like manufacturing and driving.  

Scientists are working on ways to sustainably produce hydrogen, most of which is currently derived from natural gas, to feed zero-emission fuel cells for transportation and electricity.  

Renewable energy is growing, and in the U.S., a combination of wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable sources provide 20 percen t of the nation’s electricity.  

New technological developments promise to build better batteries to store that renewable energy, engineer a smarter electric grid, and capture carbon dioxide from power plants and store it underground or turn it into valuable products such as gasoline . Some argue that nuclear power—despite concerns over safety, water use, and toxic waste—should also be part of the solution, because nuclear plants don't contribute any direct air pollution while operating.

Should we turn to geoengineering?

While halting new greenhouse gas emissions is critical, scientists say we need to extract existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, effectively sucking it out of the sky.  

Pulling carbon out of the atmosphere is a type of geoengineering , a science that interferes with the Earth’s natural systems, and it’s a controversial approach to fighting climate change.

Other types of geoengineering involve spraying sunlight-reflecting aerosols into the air or blocking the sun with a giant space mirror. Studies suggest we don’t know enough about the potential dangers of geoengineering to deploy it.

a melting iceberg

Restoring nature to protect the planet  

Planting trees, restoring seagrasses, and boosting the use of agricultural cover crops could help clean up significant amounts of carbon dioxide .  

The Amazon rainforest is an important reservoir of the Earth’s carbon, but a study published in 2021, showed deforestation was transforming this reservoir into a source of pollution.  

Restoring and protecting nature may provide as much as   37 percent of the climate mitigation needed to reach the Paris Agreement’s 203o targets. Protecting these ecosystems can also benefit biodiversity, providing a win-win for nature .

Adapt—or else

Communities around the world are already recognizing that adaptation must also be part of the response to climate change . From flood-prone coastal towns to regions facing increased droughts and fires, a new wave of initiatives focuses on boosting resilience . Those include managing or preventing land erosion, building microgrids and other energy systems built to withstand disruptions, and designing buildings with rising sea levels in mind.

Last year, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law and was a historic investment in fighting and adapting to climate change.

( Read more about how the bill will dramatically reduce emissions. )

Recent books such as Drawdown and Designing Climate Solutions have proposed bold yet simple plans for reversing our current course. The ideas vary, but the message is consistent: We already have many of the tools needed to address climate change. Some of the concepts are broad ones that governments and businesses must implement, but many other ideas involve changes that anyone can make— eating less   meat , for example, or rethinking your modes of transport .

"We have the technology today to rapidly move to a clean energy system," write the authors of Designing Climate Solutions . "And the price of that future, without counting environmental benefits, is about the same as that of a carbon-intensive future."

Sarah Gibbens contributed reporting to this article.


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  • Prevention of Global Warming Essay


Essay on Prevention of Global Warming

Global warming is an extremely serious concern and we humans must take immediate measures to control it as soon as possible. Industrialization has led to the fast growth of technology, health, and economy but has been ruining planet Earth for the last few centuries. The monumental increase in the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere has raised an alarm. It will cause a chaotic change that we humans will not be able to survive. This effect also endangers the rest of the species existing harmonically with nature.

Global warming is a serious environmental issue that we need to concentrate on and solve immediately. It all starts with the identification of its causes. It has become a very threatening man-made disaster for the entire planet. We need to immediately act on the causes and stop them so that we can save our planet.

What Causes Global Warming? 

Man-Made activities such as running industries, using appliances emitting CFCs, have contributed to a humongous increase in the accumulation of global warming gasses. These glasses have an innate physical property to trap heat and cause the average temperature of the earth to increase. The accumulation of these gasses creates an invisible blanket in the earth’s atmosphere. This blanket lets the sun rays enter and heat up the earth’s surface. When the earth’s surface emits heat, this blanket does not allow it to pass through and traps it leading to the elevation of the average temperature of the earth.

It has been found that these gasses tend to accumulate more on the polar ice caps. It has a direct influence on the melting of ice caps causing the global sea level to rise. This is resulting in an increase in the average temperature of marine water and hampering its ecosystem. On the other hand, the coral reefs are getting extremely damaged from the rise in temperature too. Marine animals, as well as, freshwater animals are unable to adjust to such drastic changes and are suffering from the threats of extinction.

The rise in average atmospheric temperature will also cause the islands to drown. Many archipelagos of geographical significance will be underwater within a decade. In fact, the coastal lines are also receding causing turmoil in many countries. Scientists across the world have come to the conclusion that we have only 7 years left in our hands to make a change or this global warming will become irreversible causing a catastrophic change in the entire planet.

What can we do as Responsible Human Beings to Control Climate Change? 

Small changes will have a great impact and will help us to fight against global warming. For instance, if we use LED bulbs instead of light bulbs and CFLs, we can contribute to the cause. We can spread awareness regarding the emission of different global warming gasses from factory chimneys and domestic appliances. These glasses should be treated before they are released into the atmosphere. We can also pledge to use eco-friendly products that show immense responsibility towards our planet’s crises.

We can also stop deforestation and do our part by planting more trees. We need to restrict the use of fossil fuels and seek alternative renewable sources of energy. Our lifestyle should become eco-friendlier and more responsible for Mother Earth. Now is the time to act and make everyone aware. Start small but make it big by including everyone you know to protect our planet. We live in a big harmonious ecosystem. Disturbing its balance with manmade disasters like global warming will not leave a chance to survive if not checked. It is time to act accordingly and do every bit on our part to stop this catastrophe.

Some Facts about Global Warming

Global warming is defined as an increase in the average surface temperature of the Earth as a result of greenhouse gasses that accumulate in the atmosphere like a blanket that traps the sun's heat which causes the globe to warm.

Greenhouse gasses trap heat at the surface of the planet, making it habitable for people and animals. Global warming, on the other hand, is mostly due to an excess of these gasses and fossil fuels (natural oil, gasoline, coal).

The industry started growing in the 1700s, as a result, people began to use more fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas to power our automobiles, trucks, and factories. You will save money on petrol and help to avert global warming by driving a "smarter" automobile. 

Today's atmosphere contains more carbon dioxide than at any time in the past 800,000 years.

Global sea levels have risen by around 8 inches since 1870. 

The planet has already been affected by climate change. Glaciers have been shrinking constantly for years now, ice on rivers and lakes has broken up earlier, plant and animal ranges have altered, and trees have begun to bloom earlier.

Heatwaves brought on by global warming increase the risk of heat-related disease and mortality, especially for diabetics who are elderly or very young.

As the water heats, scientists fear that coral reefs may be unable to adapt rapidly enough to the consequent shifting circumstances, leading to an increase in bleaching incidents and illnesses.


FAQs on Prevention of Global Warming Essay

1. What is Global Warming?

Too much carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the atmosphere behaves as a blanket, trapping heat and warming the earth, resulting in global warming. Carbon accumulates over time and overloads our atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas for electricity or cut down and burn forests to construct pastures and plantations. Other strong global warming gasses, such as methane and nitrous oxide, are released by certain waste management and agricultural methods, worsening the situation. 

2. What Effects are being Witnessed due to Global Warming?

There has been a drastic change in the climatic conditions over a few decades. Due to heavy industrialization and uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases, the average temperature of land and water is increasing. It has harmed the survival of many aquatic and terrestrial animals. If a pillar of an ecosystem is affected, the rest will be affected too. It will trigger a chain reaction causing the human species and other animals to go extinct. Marine life is highly affected. Coral reefs are extremely damaged due to an increase in water temperature. The storms and rainfall have become much stronger. These are a few effects of global warming that scientists have concluded.

3. What can We do to Control Global Warming?

We need to plant more trees, stop the emission of greenhouse gasses as soon as possible, and make people aware of the problem. It is our smallest initiative that will make a huge change in the forthcoming years. We need to stop using any product that contributes to this problem. All we have to remember is that we do not have a spare planet to live on.

4. What is the greenhouse effect?

The greenhouse effect describes how "greenhouse gasses" trap heat at the Earth's surface. The gasses are like a blanket wrapped over the earth which traps the heat, keeping it warmer than it would be otherwise. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides are examples of greenhouse gasses. Carbon dioxide's warming impact, according to scientists, aids in the stabilization of the Earth's atmosphere. The terrestrial greenhouse effect would be destroyed if carbon dioxide was removed. The Earth's surface would be 33 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) colder without carbon dioxide.

5. What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

Although the phrases "global warming" and "climate change" are frequently interchanged, "global warming" is simply one facet of climate change.

Global warming refers to the planet's long-term warming. Since the early 20th century, and especially since the late 1970s, global temperatures have been steadily rising. In comparison to the mid-20th century, the average surface temperature has risen roughly 1 °C (nearly 2 °F) globally since 1880. (of 1951-1980). This comes on top of an extra 0.15 degrees Celsius of warming between 1750 and 1880.

"Climate change" refers to a larger spectrum of changes that are taking place on our planet than just global warming. Sea levels are also rising day by day, mountain glaciers are decreasing constantly, ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic is increasing, and flower/plant blooming periods are shifting. All of these are results of global warming, which is mostly caused by humans burning fossil fuels and emitting heat-trapping gasses.

6. Is it too late to prevent climate change?

Humans have already triggered massive climatic changes, and we are on the verge of causing many more. But, if we immediately stopped generating greenhouse gasses, the rise in global temperatures would begin to level out within a few years. Temperatures would subsequently reach a plateau but would stay substantially above normal for several centuries. Although there is a lag between what we do and how we feel, it is less than a decade.

While the consequences of human actions on Earth's climate to date are irreversible on the timeframe of today's people, every amount of prevented future temperature increases results in less warming that would otherwise endure indefinitely. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions provide advantages in the same period as the political actions that result in such reductions.

7. Where can I find notes and questions on Global Warming?

Vedantu provides students with notes and questions on global warming. This contains topics such as what is global warming, the effects of global warming, solutions to global warming, climate change, and much more.  Vedantu's content is created by teachers who are experts in their fields. Furthermore, the data is organized in a way that makes it easier for students to understand and remember the principles. Vedantu also offers study materials and a variety of competitive exams to students in grades 1 through 12. The content includes notes, important topics and questions, revision notes, and other things. All of these resources are available for free on Vedantu. To access any of these resources, students must first register on the Vedantu website. You may also join up using the Vedantu smartphone app.

Global Warming 101

Everything you wanted to know about our changing climate but were too afraid to ask.

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What is global warming?

What causes global warming, how is global warming linked to extreme weather, what are the other effects of global warming, where does the united states stand in terms of global-warming contributors, is the united states doing anything to prevent global warming, is global warming too big a problem for me to help tackle.

A: Since the Industrial Revolution, the global annual temperature has increased in total by a little more than 1 degree Celsius, or about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Between 1880—the year that accurate recordkeeping began—and 1980, it rose on average by 0.07 degrees Celsius (0.13 degrees Fahrenheit) every 10 years. Since 1981, however, the rate of increase has more than doubled: For the last 40 years, we’ve seen the global annual temperature rise by 0.18 degrees Celsius, or 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit, per decade.

The result? A planet that has never been hotter . Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since 2005—and the 5 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2015. Climate change deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” or a “slowdown” in rising global temperatures, but numerous studies, including a 2018 paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters , have disproved this claim. The impacts of global warming are already harming people around the world.

Now climate scientists have concluded that we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 if we are to avoid a future in which everyday life around the world is marked by its worst, most devastating effects: the extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, tropical storms, and other disasters that we refer to collectively as climate change . These effects are felt by all people in one way or another but are experienced most acutely by the underprivileged, the economically marginalized, and people of color, for whom climate change is often a key driver of poverty, displacement, hunger, and social unrest.

A: Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and other air pollutants collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Normally this radiation would escape into space, but these pollutants, which can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter. These heat-trapping pollutants—specifically carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and synthetic fluorinated gases—are known as greenhouse gases, and their impact is called the greenhouse effect.

Though natural cycles and fluctuations have caused the earth’s climate to change several times over the last 800,000 years, our current era of global warming is directly attributable to human activity—specifically to our burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas, which results in the greenhouse effect. In the United States, the largest source of greenhouse gases is transportation (29 percent), followed closely by electricity production (28 percent) and industrial activity (22 percent). Learn about the natural and human causes of climate change .

Curbing dangerous climate change requires very deep cuts in emissions, as well as the use of alternatives to fossil fuels worldwide. The good news is that countries around the globe have formally committed—as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement —to lower their emissions by setting new standards and crafting new policies to meet or even exceed those standards. The not-so-good news is that we’re not working fast enough. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, scientists tell us that we need to reduce global carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent by 2030. For that to happen, the global community must take immediate, concrete steps: to decarbonize electricity generation by equitably transitioning from fossil fuel–based production to renewable energy sources like wind and solar; to electrify our cars and trucks; and to maximize energy efficiency in our buildings, appliances, and industries.

A: Scientists agree that the earth’s rising temperatures are fueling longer and hotter heat waves , more frequent droughts , heavier rainfall , and more powerful hurricanes .

In 2015, for example, scientists concluded that a lengthy drought in California—the state’s worst water shortage in 1,200 years —had been intensified by 15 to 20 percent by global warming. They also said the odds of similar droughts happening in the future had roughly doubled over the past century. And in 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine announced that we can now confidently attribute some extreme weather events, like heat waves, droughts, and heavy precipitation, directly to climate change.

The earth’s ocean temperatures are getting warmer, too—which means that tropical storms can pick up more energy. In other words, global warming has the ability to turn a category 3 storm into a more dangerous category 4 storm. In fact, scientists have found that the frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes has increased since the early 1980s, as has the number of storms that reach categories 4 and 5. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season included a record-breaking 30 tropical storms, 6 major hurricanes, and 13 hurricanes altogether. With increased intensity come increased damage and death. The United States saw an unprecedented 22 weather and climate disasters that caused at least a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 2020, but, according to NOAA, 2017 was the costliest on record and among the deadliest as well: Taken together, that year's tropical storms (including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria) caused nearly $300 billion in damage and led to more than 3,300 fatalities.

The impacts of global warming are being felt everywhere. Extreme heat waves have caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years. And in an alarming sign of events to come, Antarctica has lost nearly four trillion metric tons of ice since the 1990s. The rate of loss could speed up if we keep burning fossil fuels at our current pace, some experts say, causing sea levels to rise several meters in the next 50 to 150 years and wreaking havoc on coastal communities worldwide.

A: Each year scientists learn more about the consequences of global warming , and each year we also gain new evidence of its devastating impact on people and the planet. As the heat waves, droughts, and floods associated with climate change become more frequent and more intense, communities suffer and death tolls rise. If we’re unable to reduce our emissions, scientists believe that climate change could lead to the deaths of more than 250,000 people around the globe every year and force 100 million people into poverty by 2030.

Global warming is already taking a toll on the United States. And if we aren’t able to get a handle on our emissions, here’s just a smattering of what we can look forward to:

  • Disappearing glaciers, early snowmelt, and severe droughts will cause more dramatic water shortages and continue to increase the risk of wildfires in the American West.
  • Rising sea levels will lead to even more coastal flooding on the Eastern Seaboard, especially in Florida, and in other areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Forests, farms, and cities will face troublesome new pests , heat waves, heavy downpours, and increased flooding . All of these can damage or destroy agriculture and fisheries.
  • Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and alpine meadows could drive many plant and animal species to extinction.
  • Allergies, asthma, and infectious disease outbreaks will become more common due to increased growth of pollen-producing ragweed , higher levels of air pollution , and the spread of conditions favorable to pathogens and mosquitoes.

Though everyone is affected by climate change, not everyone is affected equally. Indigenous people, people of color, and the economically marginalized are typically hit the hardest. Inequities built into our housing , health care , and labor systems make these communities more vulnerable to the worst impacts of climate change—even though these same communities have done the least to contribute to it.

A: In recent years, China has taken the lead in global-warming pollution , producing about 26 percent of all CO2 emissions. The United States comes in second. Despite making up just 4 percent of the world’s population, our nation produces a sobering 13 percent of all global CO2 emissions—nearly as much as the European Union and India (third and fourth place) combined. And America is still number one, by far, in cumulative emissions over the past 150 years. As a top contributor to global warming, the United States has an obligation to help propel the world to a cleaner, safer, and more equitable future. Our responsibility matters to other countries, and it should matter to us, too.

A: We’ve started. But in order to avoid the worsening effects of climate change, we need to do a lot more—together with other countries—to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and transition to clean energy sources.

Under the administration of President Donald Trump (a man who falsely referred to global warming as a “hoax”), the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, rolled back or eliminated dozens of clean air protections, and opened up federally managed lands, including culturally sacred national monuments, to fossil fuel development. Although President Biden has pledged to get the country back on track, years of inaction during and before the Trump administration—and our increased understanding of global warming’s serious impacts—mean we must accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the lack of cooperation from the Trump administration, local and state governments made great strides during this period through efforts like the American Cities Climate Challenge and ongoing collaborations like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative . Meanwhile, industry and business leaders have been working with the public sector, creating and adopting new clean-energy technologies and increasing energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, and industrial processes. 

Today the American automotive industry is finding new ways to produce cars and trucks that are more fuel efficient and is committing itself to putting more and more zero-emission electric vehicles on the road. Developers, cities, and community advocates are coming together to make sure that new affordable housing is built with efficiency in mind , reducing energy consumption and lowering electric and heating bills for residents. And renewable energy continues to surge as the costs associated with its production and distribution keep falling. In 2020 renewable energy sources such as wind and solar provided more electricity than coal for the very first time in U.S. history.

President Biden has made action on global warming a high priority. On his first day in office, he recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement, sending the world community a strong signal that we were determined to join other nations in cutting our carbon pollution to support the shared goal of preventing the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. (Scientists say we must stay below a 2-degree increase to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.) And significantly, the president has assembled a climate team of experts and advocates who have been tasked with pursuing action both abroad and at home while furthering the cause of environmental justice and investing in nature-based solutions.

A: No! While we can’t win the fight without large-scale government action at the national level , we also can’t do it without the help of individuals who are willing to use their voices, hold government and industry leaders to account, and make changes in their daily habits.

Wondering how you can be a part of the fight against global warming? Reduce your own carbon footprint by taking a few easy steps: Make conserving energy a part of your daily routine and your decisions as a consumer. When you shop for new appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers, look for products with the government’s ENERGY STAR ® label; they meet a higher standard for energy efficiency than the minimum federal requirements. When you buy a car, look for one with the highest gas mileage and lowest emissions. You can also reduce your emissions by taking public transportation or carpooling when possible.

And while new federal and state standards are a step in the right direction, much more needs to be done. Voice your support of climate-friendly and climate change preparedness policies, and tell your representatives that equitably transitioning from dirty fossil fuels to clean power should be a top priority—because it’s vital to building healthy, more secure communities.

You don’t have to go it alone, either. Movements across the country are showing how climate action can build community , be led by those on the front lines of its impacts, and create a future that’s equitable and just for all .

This story was originally published on March 11, 2016 and has been updated with new information and links.

This story is available for online republication by news media outlets or nonprofits under these conditions: The writer(s) must be credited with a byline; you must note prominently that the story was originally published by and link to the original; the story cannot be edited (beyond simple things such as grammar); you can’t resell the story in any form or grant republishing rights to other outlets; you can’t republish our material wholesale or automatically—you need to select stories individually; you can’t republish the photos or graphics on our site without specific permission; you should drop us a note to let us know when you’ve used one of our stories.

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Home / For Educators: Grades 6-12 / Climate Explained: Introductory Essays About Climate Change Topics

Climate Explained: Introductory Essays About Climate Change Topics

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Climate Explained, a part of Yale Climate Connections, is an essay collection that addresses an array of climate change questions and topics, including why it’s cold outside if global warming is real, how we know that humans are responsible for global warming, and the relationship between climate change and national security.

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Climate Change Basics: Five Facts, Ten Words

Backgrounders for Educators

To simplify the scientific complexity of climate change, we focus on communicating five key facts about climate change that everyone should know. 

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Why should we care about climate change?

Having different perspectives about global warming is natural, but the most important thing that anyone should know about climate change is why it matters.  

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  • Biology Article
  • Essay on Global Warming

Essay On Global Warming

Essay on global warming is an important topic for students to understand. The essay brings to light the plight of the environment and the repercussion of anthropogenic activities. Continue reading to discover tips and tricks for writing an engaging and interesting essay on global warming.

Essay On Global Warming in 300 Words

Global warming is a phenomenon where the earth’s average temperature rises due to increased amounts of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and ozone trap the incoming radiation from the sun. This effect creates a natural “blanket”, which prevents the heat from escaping back into the atmosphere. This effect is called the greenhouse effect.

Contrary to popular belief, greenhouse gases are not inherently bad. In fact, the greenhouse effect is quite important for life on earth. Without this effect, the sun’s radiation would be reflected back into the atmosphere, freezing the surface and making life impossible. However, when greenhouse gases in excess amounts get trapped, serious repercussions begin to appear. The polar ice caps begin to melt, leading to a rise in sea levels. Furthermore, the greenhouse effect is accelerated when polar ice caps and sea ice melts. This is due to the fact the ice reflects 50% to 70% of the sun’s rays back into space, but without ice, the solar radiation gets absorbed. Seawater reflects only 6% of the sun’s radiation back into space. What’s more frightening is the fact that the poles contain large amounts of carbon dioxide trapped within the ice. If this ice melts, it will significantly contribute to global warming. 

A related scenario when this phenomenon goes out of control is the runaway-greenhouse effect. This scenario is essentially similar to an apocalypse, but it is all too real. Though this has never happened in the earth’s entire history, it is speculated to have occurred on Venus. Millions of years ago, Venus was thought to have an atmosphere similar to that of the earth. But due to the runaway greenhouse effect, surface temperatures around the planet began rising. 

If this occurs on the earth, the runaway greenhouse effect will lead to many unpleasant scenarios – temperatures will rise hot enough for oceans to evaporate. Once the oceans evaporate, the rocks will start to sublimate under heat. In order to prevent such a scenario, proper measures have to be taken to stop climate change.

More to Read: Learn How Greenhouse Effect works

Tips To Writing the Perfect Essay

Consider adopting the following strategies when writing an essay. These are proven methods of securing more marks in an exam or assignment.

  • Begin the essay with an introductory paragraph detailing the history or origin of the given topic.
  • Try to reduce the use of jargons. Use sparingly if the topic requires it.
  • Ensure that the content is presented in bulleted points wherever appropriate.
  • Insert and highlight factual data, such as dates, names and places.
  • Remember to break up the content into smaller paragraphs. 100-120 words per paragraph should suffice.
  • Always conclude the essay with a closing paragraph.

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UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

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A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned , with scientists arguing that it’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

#LIVE NOW the press conference to present the #IPCC’s latest #ClimateReport, #ClimateChange 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. Including a Q&A session with registered media. IPCC IPCC_CH

His comments reflected the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, Mr. Guterres said in a video message, which also forecast “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”.

Horror story

The UN chief added: “This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5-degree (Celsius, or 2.7-degrees Fahreinheit) limit ” that was agreed in Paris in 2015.

Providing the scientific proof to back up that damning assessment, the IPCC report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed by 195 countries - noted that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, have increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.

In an op-ed article penned for the Washington Post, Mr. Guterres described the latest IPCC report as "a litany of broken climate promises ", which revealed a "yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality."

He wrote that high-emitting governments and corporations, were not just turning a blind eye, "they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects."

Urban issue

An increasing share of emissions can be attributed to towns and cities , the report’s authors continued, adding just as worryingly, that emissions reductions clawed back in the last decade or so “have been less than emissions increases, from rising global activity levels in industry, energy supply, transport, agriculture and buildings”.

Striking a more positive note - and insisting that it is still possible to halve emissions by 2030 - the IPCC urged governments to ramp up action to curb emissions.

The UN body also welcomed the significant decrease in the cost of renewable energy sources since 2010, by as much as 85 per cent for solar and wind energy, and batteries.

Global net anthropogenic emissions have continued to rise across all major groups of greenhouse gases.

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Encouraging climate action

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “ I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries . There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

To limit global warming to around 1.5C (2.7°F), the IPCC report insisted that global greenhouse gas emissions would have to peak “before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030”.

Methane would also need to be reduced by about a third, the report’s authors continued, adding that even if this was achieved, it was “almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold”, although the world “could  return to below it by the end of the century”.

Now or never

“ It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F); without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible ,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, which released the latest report.

Global temperatures will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5C (2.7F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s, the IPCC report states.

“This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2C (3.6F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”

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Policy base

A great deal of importance is attached to IPCC assessments because they provide governments with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

They also play a key role in international negotiations to tackle climate change.

Among the sustainable and emissions-busting solutions that are available to governments, the IPCC report emphasised that rethinking how cities and other urban areas function in future could help significantly in mitigating the worst effects of climate change.

“These (reductions) can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature,” the report suggested. “There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities,” it said.

Echoing that message, IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Priyadarshi Shukla, insisted that “the right policies, infrastructure and technology…to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour, can result in a 40 to 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

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Home — Essay Samples — Environment — Global Warming — How To Prevent Global Warming


How to Prevent Global Warming

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Words: 627 |

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 627 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, transitioning to sustainable agriculture practices.

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Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions. As greenhouse gas emissions blanket the Earth, they trap the sun’s heat. This leads to global warming and climate change. The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history. Warmer temperatures over time are changing weather patterns and disrupting the usual balance of nature. This poses many risks to human beings and all other forms of life on Earth. 

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What can we do to slow or stop global warming?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to stopping or slowing global warming, and each individual, business, municipal, state, tribal, and federal entity must weigh their options in light of their own unique set of circumstances.  Experts say  it is likely many strategies working together will be needed. Generally speaking, here are some examples of mitigation strategies we can use to slow or stop the human-caused global warming ( learn more ):

  • Where possible, we can switch to renewable sources of energy (such as solar and wind energy) to power our homes and buildings, thus emitting far less heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
  • Where feasible, we can drive electric vehicles instead of those that burn fossil fuels; or we can use mass transit instead of driving our own cars.
  • Where affordable, we can conserve energy by better insulating our homes and buildings, and by replacing old, failing appliances with more energy-efficient models.
  • Where practicable, we can counterbalance our annual carbon dioxide emissions by investing in commercial services that draw down an equal amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, such as through planting trees or  carbon capture and storage  techniques.
  • Where practical, we can support more local businesses that use and promote sustainable, climate-smart practices such as those listed above.
  • We can consider placing an upper limit on the amount of carbon dioxide we will allow ourselves to emit into the atmosphere within a given timeframe.

Note that NOAA doesn’t advocate for or against particular climate policies. Instead, NOAA’s role is to provide data and scientific information about climate, including how it has changed and is likely to change in the future depending on different climate policies or actions society may or may not take. More guidance on courses of action can be found in the National Academy of Sciences' 2010 report, titled  Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change . Also learn more  here,   here,  and  here .

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Stabilizing global temperature near its current level requires eliminating all emissions of heat-trapping gases or, equivalently, achieving a carbon-neutral society in which people remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as they emit. Achieving this goal will require substantial societal changes in energy technologies and infrastructure that go beyond the collective actions of individuals and households to reduce emissions.

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Global Warming Essay and the Main Types of Pollution for Writing Essays

Global Warming Essay and the Main Types of Pollution for Writing Essays

global warming essay prevent

Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, dying cloud forests, and extinction of wildlife - all these phenomena are clear signs of the global warming process that has already been launched. But, what do we know about it?

What we call global warming is actually a very broad term. In a nutshell, it means fluctuations in the climate of our planet as a whole or in its individual regions over time, caused by a variety of different factors. Apart from changes in temperatures, global warming also results in a whole range of changes in long-term weather patterns and even causes extreme weather events, which bring irreparable damage to our entire ecosystem.

For centuries, human activities have been taking us closer and closer to the point of no return, and, now, global warming is already a major problem. Today, when changes are already occurring, the entire humanity is wondering how to stop global warming. While the answer is not clear yet, this issue became a common topic for debates and even academic papers.

Pretty much every student faces the need to write my essay about global warming at least once in a lifetime. If you are studying in one of the best colleges for astrophysics working on one now, you’ve come to the right place! Our article will tell you what types of pollution there are, share handy examples, and help you choose the best topic for your essay on global warming that will be interesting for you. Let’s dive in!

Causes of Global Warming

Most of the causes are there because of people and their activities. But, it’s also worth noting that there are some natural causes of global warming. Typically, writing an environmental pollution essay, you’ll have to cover both human-caused and natural reasons. To help you get started, let’s look at the biggest ones.

  • Burning fossil fuels - probably the biggest cause that leads to faster global warming is a mass burning of various fossil fuels that results in large emissions of CO2 into our atmosphere. The activities that bring the most emissions include transportation, electricity production, and industrial activity.
  • Clearing of forests and woods - the next big cause is deforestation, whether natural or human-made. As you may already know, trees play a huge role in restoring the atmosphere and, respectively, regulating the climate as they absorb CO2 emitted into the air and release oxygen back to replace it.
  • Farming - this may surprise you, but the biggest natural cause of global warming is animals that also release greenhouse gases. Thus, a significant percentage of emissions is caused by agriculture and farming.
  • Resource extraction - another reason for climate change is the extraction of natural materials that can’t be restored naturally for human use.
  • Pollution - finally, one last cause that speeds up the process of global warming is pollution. This spans air and water pollution, as well as the big share of plastic waste - all the pollution types we are going to discuss further.

global warming essay prevent

Effect of Global Warming

Apart from analyzing some core causes, writing essays about global warming will also require you to delve into the effects it can have. Needless to say that the emaciation of natural resources, pollution, deforestation, and changes in the atmosphere can’t go unnoticed. But, what exactly will happen after global warming?

The primary negative effect of global warming is the drastic change in our planet’s climate. This includes rising temperatures, unpredictable weather patterns, and an increase in extreme weather events. But, this is not all that is there. Due to a changing climate and more extreme weather conditions, some side effects of global warming can include:

  • Rising sea levels;
  • Land degradation;
  • Loss of biodiversity;
  • Loss of wildlife.

These are the primary effects on our environment that can be caused by global warming.

Apart from that, there are also some possible social effects that we will feel on ourselves. The lack of natural resources and land degradation will likely lead to a significant shortage of water and food and, as a result, will trigger global hunger. Some other negative impacts on our lives can include the loss of livelihood and shorter lifespans, poverty, malnutrition, increased risks of diseases, and mass displacement of people.

Global Warming Solutions

Another important point to cover in essays on climate change and global warming is the possibility of solving the problem. So, let’s take a moment to talk about some of the solutions.

First and foremost, in an attempt to stop global warming, people are already trying to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Some of the most common solutions include a switch to alternative energy resources, transportation methods, and alternative industrial and other activities.

Apart from that, people are becoming more conscious about their everyday consumption behavior. For example, some opt for reusable bottles, shoppers, cups, and other items to reduce the use of plastic.

Finally, we can already observe a global trend for eco-friendliness in various spheres of our lives. People strive to make their homes, offices, and lives in general “greener” to help save the planet.

At this point, the solutions we discussed earlier are all that we can do for now. However, there is still a need for more innovative and effective solutions. So let this serve you as motivation. After all, who knows, maybe while writing your essay about global warming, you will suddenly discover more innovative solutions that will help us save the planet.

Now that you know everything about the definition, causes and effects, and possible solutions for global warming, let’s move on and consider different types of pollution that can cause it and that students can use as the base for essays global warming.

Glitter Pollution Essay Sample

Water pollution essay.

The first type of pollution and, concurrently, a great topic for an essay on global warming is water pollution. It shouldn’t be a secret for you that the world ocean covers 90% of the entire surface of our planet. It also shouldn’t be a secret that every living organism needs clean water to support vital functions. Given that, we can confidently say that mass pollution of water is a huge problem that we must drive attention to. So, there is no wonder why students are often assigned to write essay for me about water pollution.

If you are wondering what you can write about in your essay on water pollution, the ideas are countless. The pollution of the world ocean has been a pressing issue for decades, so there is plenty of information and examples to cover in an essay.

One great example for your essay is a worldwide famous oil company. Not so long ago, it became known that one of the oil-production leaders has been polluting rivers in Nigeria for many decades. The pollution had affected the lives, environment, and health of many locals, which made this case so high-profile. So, be sure to use it as an example in your paper.

Another good point to cover in an essay is the process of cleaning the world’s oceans from plastic waste. You can use this idea if you are planning to write a how to prevent water pollution essay.

Air Pollution Essay

We have already said a lot about gas emissions and how it affects the quality of air. So, here you have another type of pollution.

Just like water pollution, the rapid pollution of the air is also a big problem. Apart from natural causes of gas emissions, there are also many human-made reasons that make the problem worse. Namely, if you will be writing a causes of air pollution essay, you can write about the rising number of gasoline cars that boost emissions.

Also, you can tell your readers about different manufacturing and industrial activities that also harm our environment by producing too much CO2. 

Another great idea is to write an essay for me answering the question, “how does air pollution affect our health?” Some of the negative effects include the risk of diseases and shorter lifespans. Not to mention a poor quality of life that results from air pollution.

Finally, you can write a solution of air pollution essay. With air pollution being a big issue in the modern world, we can already see humanity trying to resolve it. Some of the best-known solutions that are already there are alternative energy resources such as solar panels and alternative means of transport such as electric cars. But, you can definitely discover more solutions if you research the problem well. There are tons of helpful materials on the web, including air pollution articles for students that can be used for your essay.

Plastic Pollution Essay

Another common type of academic assignment is an essay on plastic pollution. So, this is the last type of pollution we are going to discuss here.

The issue is real. For decades, people have been trapped in the endless circle of large-scale plastic production and no-lesser plastic consumption. Each of us uses lots of plastic in our household. Not to mention that this material is generally used in all areas of our lives.

If you are planning to write my essay for me on this type of pollution, we would recommend you to write plastic pollution in the ocean essay. As for 2021, there are already over 5 trillion micro and macro pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. The total weight of this plastic can reach 269,000 tonnes. About 8 million pieces are being thrown into the oceans every single day. And, the amount of plastic in the form of garbage is also huge. 

To beat plastic pollution, it is vital that we learn how to recycle and reuse it instead of throwing all the waste away. So, here you have another possible topic for your essay. You can write about the global campaigns on cleaning the oceans and our planet from plastic.

Finally, one more topic you can cover is the Plastic Pollution Coalition. In case you haven’t heard of it, it is an existing social organization and advocacy group that found its mission in reducing plastic pollution.

After reading this article, you should agree that global warming is one of the biggest issues we’re facing in the 21st century. After decades of pollution, thoughtless consumption of resources, and blatant disdain for our environment, humanity finally begins to recognize the issues. And that is why essays on global warming and climate change are so important to write.

Global warming essays can help us drive more attention to the problems that we are already facing and the negative effects we can have. Also, writing such papers is a great way to inform students and other people about the solutions we can adopt to make a positive change.

If you are still hesitating whether it is worth writing a pollution essay or not, leave all the doubts behind. First of all, by writing such essays, you are doing a good deed. And, secondly, writing such papers isn’t as hard as it can seem. Though we still have many unresolved problems in this area, there is lots of information on this topic. If you research it well, you can find plenty of books, articles, scientific papers, and other materials on global warming. It is also possible to find a documentary on global warming, as well as many feature films. So rest assured that you won’t face a shortage of information. So, don’t hesitate and start writing your essay on global warming, and don’t neglect the tips and examples we shared here!

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He’s Got a Plan for Cities That Flood: Stop Fighting the Water

A landscape architect in China has a surprising strategy to help manage surges of water from storms supercharged by climate change.

A photo of Kongjian Yu, visible from the waist up in a red sweater, at a somewhat cluttered standing desk with two monitors, a keyboard, books and papers.

By Richard Schiffman

Cities around the world face a daunting challenge in the era of climate change: Supercharged rainstorms are turning streets into rivers, flooding subway systems and inundating residential neighborhoods, often with deadly consequences.

Kongjian Yu, a landscape architect and professor at Peking University, is developing what might seem like a counterintuitive response: Let the water in.

“You cannot fight water,” he said. “You have to adapt to it.”

Instead of putting in more drainage pipes, building flood walls and channeling rivers between concrete embankments, which is the usual approach to managing water, Mr. Yu wants to dissipate the destructive force of floodwaters by slowing them and giving them room to spread out.

Mr. Yu calls the concept “sponge city” and says it’s like “doing tai chi with water,” a reference to the Chinese martial art in which an opponent’s energy and moves are redirected, not resisted.

“It’s a whole philosophy, a new way of dealing with water,” he said.

Through his Beijing-based company, Turenscape, one of the world’s largest landscape architecture firms, Mr. Yu has overseen the development of hundreds of landscaped urban water parks in China where runoff from flash floods is diverted to soak into the ground or be absorbed into constructed wetlands.

Mr. Yu said growing up in a village in Zhejiang Province toward the end of the Cultural Revolution showed him how earlier generations in rural China had “made friends with water.” Farmers in his region built terraces, berms and ponds to direct and to store excess water during the rainy season.

That stood in sharp contrast to the urban landscapes in modern China. Traditionally, cities in China would set aside areas capable of absorbing floodwaters. But such nature-friendly urban design largely ended with the Industrial Revolution, Mr. Yu said. More recently, millions of acres have been paved over to build cities, some of them rising up virtually overnight.

“We’ve been using the conventional drainage infrastructure for 200 years and we haven’t solved the flooding problem,” he said, noting that much of China has a monsoon climate subject to extremely heavy bursts of rain that pose an increasing hazard as climate change advances. That’s because warm air can hold more moisture, resulting in heavier rainstorms.

Currently, 65 percent of urban areas in China experience some degree of flooding each year, according to Mr. Yu. The country is currently the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases. The United States is the largest historical emitter

“The concrete drainage systems that came here from the West just can’t handle it,” Mr. Yu said. “We need a new solution.”

The sponge city program was formally inaugurated by President Xi Jinping in 2015 with pilot projects in 16 Chinese cities and has since expanded to more than 640 sites in 250 municipalities around the country.

You can see the concept in Houtan Park, a mile-long strip of greenery along the Huangpu River in Shanghai that Mr. Yu designed on a former industrial site.

Terraces planted with bamboo and native forbs and grasses are bisected by wooden walkways that zigzag between ponds and constructed wetlands. The wetlands filter water, slow the river’s flow and provide habitat for waterfowl and spawning fish.

The goal, at least on paper, is that by 2030, 70 percent of the rain that falls on China’s sponge cities during extreme weather events should be absorbed locally rather than accumulate in the streets.

Whether enough land can be converted is a key question.

Edmund Penning-Rowsell, a research associate at the University of Oxford who focuses on water security, said the scale of the sponge city projects would have to be huge to cope with flooding on their own. “Take New York City,” he said. “How many Central Parks would you need to absorb this kind of problem? You’d probably need half of Manhattan.”

Zhengzhou, in northeastern China on the banks of the Yellow River, was an enthusiastic early adopter of the sponge city concept, spending hundreds of millions of dollars building related projects from 2016 to 2021. But torrential rains inundated much of the city in July 2021, creating scenes of destruction and killing hundreds , including at least 14 in a subway tunnel.

Why were the floods so disastrous in Zhengzhou? Mr. Yu said some of the money earmarked for sponge projects was diverted to other programs and that the land set aside for them was insufficient. If permeable surfaces or green spaces make up 20 to 40 percent of a city’s area, he said, “you can virtually solve the problem of urban inundation.”

Niall Kirkwood, a professor of landscape architecture at Harvard who has known Mr. Yu for years, acknowledged that it can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to convert land in city centers that have already been densely built. Still, he said, Mr. Yu’s impact as a innovator has been incalculable.

“He’s created a clear and elegant idea of enhancing nature, of partnership with nature that everyone, the man on the street, the mayor of a city, an engineer, even a child, can understand,” Professor Kirkwood said.

Where large tracts of land are not available, sponge city projects are replacing concrete and asphalt with permeable pavement, installing green roofs and creating trenches called bioswales that channel storm-water runoff and use vegetation to filter out debris and pollution.

The sponge city concept is not unique to China. One of Mr. Yu’s projects abroad is the Benjakitti Forest Park, a maze of ponds, trees and miniature islands in Bangkok that was opened to the public in 2022 and occupies more than hundred acres on the site of a former tobacco factory.

Separately, in 2007 the Dutch government began a program called Room for the River that consists of more than 30 projects around four rivers, including the Rhine. The idea is to restore natural floodplains in key areas around sites that need protection. The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is using “floodable parks” that turn into temporary ponds during heavy rains. Philadelphia and Malmo, Sweden , also have projects.

In addition to flood control, these projects have the advantage of being an inexpensive way to recharge local aquifers and a low-tech adaptation to help overheated city neighborhoods, because evaporating water has a cooling effect.

John Beardsley, the curator of the Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, which was awarded to Mr. Yu last year, echoed Professor Kirkwood, saying Mr. Yu’s impact on policy in China, a country that has been more likely to imprison environmental activists than take their messages to heart, has been astonishing.

Mr. Beardsley attributes this to Mr. Yu’s adroit political skills and infectious enthusiasm, as well as the Chinese government’s powerful incentive to appear to be addressing the problem of urban flooding, which has grown alarmingly in recent years.

“Kongjian has managed to be very critical of the government’s environmental policies while still maintaining his practice and his academic appointments,” he said. “He’s both brave and deft in this regard, threading a very narrow needle.”

“Sponge cities isn’t a total solution, but it makes a significant impact,” Mr. Beardsley said. “I mean, we need to start doing something.”

Learn More About Climate Change

Have questions about climate change? Our F.A.Q. will tackle your climate questions, big and small .

Decades of buried trash in landfills is releasing methane , a powerful greenhouse gas, at higher rates than previously estimated, a study says.

Ocean Conservation Namibia is disentangling a record number of seals, while broadcasting the perils of marine debris in a largely feel-good way. Here’s how .

To decarbonize the electrical grid, companies are finding creative ways to store energy during periods of low demand in carbon dioxide storage balloons .

New satellite-based research reveals how land along the East Coast is slumping into the ocean, compounding the danger from global sea level rise . A major culprit: overpumping of groundwater.

Did you know the ♻ symbol doesn’t mean something is actually recyclable ? Read on about how we got here, and what can be done.

President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda Provides the Single Largest Industrial Decarbonization Investment in the Nation’s History, Driving $20+ Billion in Total Investment to Revitalize Manufacturing Communities and Create and Maintain Good-Paying Jobs 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda , the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $6 billion for 33 projects across more than 20 states to decarbonize energy-intensive industries, reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, support good-paying union jobs, revitalize industrial communities, and strengthen the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness. Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, the projects will create and maintain tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and help accelerate the commercial-scale demonstration of emerging industrial decarbonization technologies crucial to meeting the Biden-Harris administration's climate and domestic manufacturing goals.  

The projects will focus on the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies will have the greatest impact, including aluminum and other metals, cement and concrete, chemicals and refining, iron and steel, and more. Together, the projects are expected to reduce the equivalent of more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year—an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 3 million gasoline-powered cars. Many of the projects will deploy first-in-the-nation emissions-reducing technologies that have the potential for sector-wide adoption and transformation, multiplying the magnitude of the emissions cuts and supporting the future of U.S. manufacturing. Today’s announcement is the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in American history, helping to position American manufacturers and workers to lead the global clean energy economy.  

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s industrial strategy, DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the history of the United States. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.” 

This transformative federal investment will help strengthen local economies and create and maintain tens of thousands of good-paying, high-quality jobs—particularly those that support worker organizing and collective bargaining. As part of President Biden’s efforts to build an equitable and inclusive clean energy future, each project is also expected to develop and ultimately implement a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan that ensures meaningful community and labor engagement. Nearly 80% of the projects are located in a disadvantaged community, as defined by President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative , offering a significant opportunity to invest in good jobs and clean air in communities that have experienced years of divestment. 

The industrial sector contributes nearly one-third of the nation’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. This transformative federal investment is matched by the selected projects to leverage more than $20 billion in total to demonstrate commercial-scale decarbonization solutions needed to move the industrial sector toward net-zero emissions. Funded projects will cut carbon emissions by an average of 77%. The industrial sector’s unique and complex decarbonization challenges require equally unique and innovative decarbonization solutions that leverage multiple pathways including energy efficiency, electrification, and alternative fuels and feedstocks such as clean hydrogen. The projects announced today are part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program , managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), and will help strengthen America’s manufacturing and industrial competitiveness. Funding for these projects includes $489 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $5.47 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Decarbonizing Energy- and Emissions-Intensive Industries

The 33 projects selected for award negotiations represent difficult-to-decarbonize industries, including seven chemicals and refining projects, six cement and concrete projects, six iron and steel projects, five aluminum and metals projects, three food and beverage projects, three glass projects, two process heat-focused projects, and one pulp and paper project.  

An overview of selected projects broken down by industry include:  

  • Chemicals and Refining : The seven selected chemicals and refining projects demonstrate how one of the world’s largest industries can turn its carbon intensity from a liability into an advantage, increase circularity, and onshore critical supply chains for clean fuels and key electric vehicle components. These projects plan to demonstrate opportunities to upcycle captured carbon to value-added products, create high-quality fuels and materials from recycled products, and replace fossil-fired, high-heat processes with decarbonized fuels. Together, the seven projects would create products like clean fuels for the marine sector, electrolytes for electric vehicle batteries, and high-quality plastics.  
  • Cement and Concrete : The six selected cement and concrete projects plan to demonstrate a comprehensive set of technologies capable of eliminating all CO2 emissions from today’s plants while setting the stage for a future where cement—one of the single largest sources of CO2 emissions globally—can be net-negative. These game-changing projects will revolutionize a sector that has relied on emissions-intensive processes for millennia. From capturing and sequestering the emissions from one of the largest cement plants in the U.S. to pioneering chemistry changes to mitigate emissions at their source, DOE’s investments can fundamentally transform cement—the world’s most abundant man-made material and a building block of our world’s infrastructure. Together, the projects will develop new pathways for making traditional Portland cement with lower or zero emissions and to pioneer new materials and new mixtures that can drive the sector to zero emissions.  
  • Iron and Steel : The six selected iron and steel projects plan to demonstrate emerging technologies, including some of the world’s first clean hydrogen-fueled direct reduced ironmaking facilities, which can eliminate the vast majority of steelmaking emissions. The projects will help decarbonize iron and steelmaking and enable the industry to phase out more traditional carbon-intensive production methods that rely on coal. This investment is expected to help create products like high grades of steel for the automotive industry, while solidifying the nation’s position as the global leader in low-carbon iron and steel products.  
  • Aluminum and Metals : The five selected aluminum and metals projects include a major capital injection to decarbonize and revitalize the U.S. primary aluminum industry along with world-leading recycling approaches for both aluminum and copper. After decades of decline, these investments lay the groundwork for a potential rebound of this critical sector. These investments aim to improve U.S. industry’s competitiveness and efficiency while simultaneously decarbonizing and onshoring supply chains for materials critical for defense and energy sectors. In addition to the high-purity aluminum needed for the defense and energy sectors, the selections include projects that would create recycled aluminum for the food and beverage industry and copper for semiconductors and electric vehicles.  
  • Food and Beverage : The three selected food and beverage projects will demonstrate highly replicable energy efficiency and electrification solutions for low- to medium-temperature process heat across 16 locations. These projects can increase consumer awareness around embodied emissions by decarbonizing products that Americans consume every day like ice cream, ketchup, and BBQ sauce.  
  • Glass : The three selected glass projects plan to validate electric/fuel hybrid furnaces producing low-emission glass bottles, tableware, and food packaging. This suite of projects will help decarbonize high-temperature heat and set a roadmap for other heat-intensive industrial processes.  
  • Process Heat : These two projects plan to validate the use of electric boilers and electric steam production to reduce emissions associated with process heating across a wide range of industries. By demonstrating applicability across sectors, these projects will chart a path for addressing one of the biggest challenges in the industrial sector—heat-related emissions. 
  • Pulp and Paper : The one selected pulp and paper project aims to improve energy efficiency by using a novel membrane for an important separations process instead of heat. This technology is highly replicable for many applications, including chemicals and critical materials.  

Learn more about the 33 projects selected for award negotiations . 

Laying the Foundation of an Inclusive Clean Energy Future 

The Biden-Harris administration is dedicated to working in partnership with communities and industries to build an equitable clean energy economy that benefits every American. As part of the Administration’s commitments to invest in America’s workforce, support high-quality American jobs, advance environmental and energy justice, and strengthen tribal energy sovereignty, each project was required to develop and ultimately implement a comprehensive community benefits plan —which will be informed by early and meaningful community and labor engagements in each region. Applicants were required to describe how their proposals would provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people in a facility’s location, recognizing the opportunity this funding provides to address pollution for those disproportionately affected by industrial sector emissions and begin remediating existing social, economic, and health burdens.  

To kickstart ongoing engagement around these projects, OCED will hold a series of national and regional virtual briefings to provide information on the selected projects, introduce OCED’s approach to clean energy demonstrations, and provide opportunities for industry and communities to engage further on specific projects of interest. Learn about IDP engagement opportunities and register to attend .  

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the selected applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time. Lead applicants also may change during the award negotiations process. If awarded, OCED will evaluate these projects through a phased approach to project management that includes “go/no-go” decision points between each project phase where DOE reviews and evaluates implementation progress, including community benefits. 

Learn more about how OCED , the Department’s Pathway to Industrial Decarbonization Commercial Liftoff , the Department’s Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap , and the Industrial Technologies Joint Strategy support the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies that will help the U.S. industrial sector reach President Biden’s ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. 

global warming essay prevent

Atmospheric observations in China show rise in emissions of a potent greenhouse gas

T o achieve the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change—limiting the increase in global average surface temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels—will require its 196 signatories to dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Those greenhouse gases differ widely in their global warming potential (GWP), or ability to absorb radiative energy and thereby warm the Earth's surface.

For example, measured over a 100-year period, the GWP of methane is about 28 times that of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), and the GWP of sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ) is 24,300 times that of CO 2 , according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report.

Used primarily in high-voltage electrical switchgear in electric power grids, SF 6 is one of the most potent greenhouse gases on Earth. In the 21st century, atmospheric concentrations of SF 6 have risen sharply along with global electric power demand, threatening the world's efforts to stabilize the climate.

This heightened demand for electric power is particularly pronounced in China, which has dominated the expansion of the global power industry in the past decade. Quantifying China's contribution to global SF 6 emissions—and pinpointing its sources in the country—could lead that nation to implement new measures to reduce them, and thereby reduce, if not eliminate, an impediment to the Paris Agreement's aspirational goal.

To that end, a new study by researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Fudan University, Peking University, University of Bristol, and Meteorological Observation Center of China Meteorological Administration determined total SF 6 emissions in China over 2011-21 from atmospheric observations collected from nine stations within a Chinese network, including one station from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network.

For comparison, global total emissions were determined from five globally distributed, relatively unpolluted "background" AGAGE stations, involving additional researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and CSIRO, Australia's National Science Agency.

The researchers found that SF 6 emissions in China almost doubled from 2.6 gigagrams (Gg) per year in 2011, when they accounted for 34 percent of global SF 6 emissions, to 5.1 Gg per year in 2021, when they accounted for 57 percent of global total SF 6 emissions. This increase from China over the 10-year period—some of it emerging from the country's less-populated western regions—was larger than the global total SF 6 emissions rise, highlighting the importance of lowering SF 6 emissions from China in the future.

The open-access study, which appears in the journal Nature Communications , explores prospects for future SF 6 emissions reduction in China.

"Adopting maintenance practices that minimize SF 6 leakage rates or using SF 6 -free equipment or SF 6 substitutes in the electric power grid will benefit greenhouse-gas mitigation in China," says Minde An, a postdoc at the MIT Center for Global Change Science (CGCS) and the study's lead author. "We see our findings as a first step in quantifying the problem and identifying how it can be addressed."

Emissions of SF 6 are expected to last more than 1,000 years in the atmosphere, raising the stakes for policymakers in China and around the world.

"Any increase in SF 6 emissions this century will effectively alter our planet's radiative budget—the balance between incoming energy from the sun and outgoing energy from the Earth—far beyond the multi-decadal time frame of current climate policies," says MIT Joint Program and CGCS Director Ronald Prinn, a co-author of the study. "So it's imperative that China and all other nations take immediate action to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, their SF 6 emissions."

More information: Minde An et al, Sustained growth of sulfur hexafluoride emissions in China inferred from atmospheric observations, Nature Communications (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-46084-3

This story is republished courtesy of MIT News ( ), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching.

Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Emissions of SF6 in China. Credit: Nature Communications (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-46084-3


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