The Consequences of Global Warming

Global warming is an environmental issue which concerns the whole world. The air-polluting substances reach every corner of the Earth through air circulation.

The most harmful substances are the following:

These substances are the main cause of the greenhouse effect, which triggers global warming. Warming has several harmful effects. First, the increasing area of deserts, which diminishes the cultivatable areas, leads to famine in the developing countries. Secondly, because of shrinking of natural vegetation, production of oxygen content of the air decreases. Thirdly, a huge amount of fresh water gets into the Atlantic Ocean, as a result of which the North-Atlantic current could change its direction, slow down or disappear completely. Consequently, the winter average temperature could fall by 10 degrees Celsius. Due to the melting of the icecaps the level of the oceans is rising because the volume of warm seawater is bigger. In the first place, the rise of water level concerns the island countries, (Ireland, Iceland) and coasts whose altitude is lower then the water level of the sea (The Netherlands).

Not only does the polar ice melt, but the glaciers are shrinking; moreover, they are disappearing because in the summer a larger quantity of ice melts than gets frozen in the winter.

Those weather phenomena that cause storms and floods at the East coast of North- and South America and at the same time cause drought in Southeast Asia and the Western part of the Pacific Ocean are called El Nino. The phenomenon occurs when, for some reason, a west- east warm current appears in the Pacific Ocean, which decreases the cold Humboldt- and Peruvian-current arriving from Antarctica. This warm current can be so strong that it blocks the currents upwelling from the depth to the surface.

One third of carbon-dioxide produced by human activities, (25 million tons/day) is absorbed by the sea.

These problems cannot be solved, only the quantity of polluting materials can be reduced. The aim of the 6th point of the European Union is to reach an air quality in the EU which does not endanger human health and the environment. The EU takes actions against air pollution in several ways: law enforcement; co-operation with companies responsible for air pollution; the involvement of national and regional authorities and non-governmental organizations; and also research.