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[Ecosystem] [Column]1.Climate Change and Global Warming_Lee Sang-Dohn

by Eco Generation | 21-03-2012 09:31 Comments 16 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

Climate Change and Global Warming


Prof. Lee Sang-Dohn at College of Environment Studies, Ewha Womans' University



1. When did climate change begin?


Earth is getting warmer. The "Inconvenient Truth" is a documentary film on climate change and global warming produced by Al Gore, the former vice president of U.S, and has become a title used in Gag Concert, a popular television program.  From when did global warming start to become an issue? The Club of Rome in 1972 is seen as the start of expressing concern about environmental pollution. Environmental issues have been raised regionally but this was the very first conference that nations of the world have mentioned global pollution. Then in 1985, as greenhouse effect was pointed out as the cause of global warming in a report by the World Meteorological Organization(WMO) and UNEP, the UN Environment Programme organization, many scientists in late 1980?s have paid great attention on global warming and greenhouse gases. In 1988, interest in global warming started to increase as IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was organized. CO2 is known as the main substance causing the global warming, but to be more precise, they are the 4 greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide(CO2), nitrogen monoxide(N20), methane(CH4), and chloro fluoro carbons(CFC). Compare to other gases, carbon dioxide has very low level of contribution in greenhouse effect, but our interest is focused on carbon dioxide because significant amount is released through fossil fuel, such as coal and oil, and a lot of efforts are being made to reduce the amount. Furthermore, global warming is receiving special attention as the main cause of unusual weather phenomena that has increased since 1990, such as drought, flood, heavy snow, abnormally warm winter, and abnormal cold wave.  


Global warming phenomena, not just from industry, but agriculture or forest are becoming more evident. Since the beginning of agricultural industry, many portions of wetlands or lowlands have transformed into the agricultural land, and even though the amount of crop production has increased, it significantly affected the global warming due to the changes in land usage. Because methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases below the wetlands were released in the process of reclaiming wetlands or around the river for farming. Also the clearing of vegetation absorbed carbon dioxide and interrupted photosynthesis by plants that generates oxygen, and has caused a phenomenon of more carbon dioxide to be remained inside the atmosphere.    



2. How did ecosystem change from global warming?


There is considerable difference in scale and condition of global warming by regions. It is a matter of course to accompany accurate weather observation and research to identify regional conditions and scale. For example, the global warming of today is progressing at a more rapid speed in high latitudes than the low latitudes. Due to such phenomena, glacier at both poles and mountain glacier at Alps and Himalaya are being melted. If mountain glacier melts, this will be the direct cause of rising sea levels, and rising sea levels will cause flooding and inundation in coastal areas where 1/3 of human population is living in.


There is a report on how coral reefs islands in the Pacific Ocean are disappearing into the ocean. Global warming will cause changes in ecosystem and agriculture patterns, and will also affect our health. Specially, global warming will be the cause of frequent abnormal weather that people have never experienced as it triggers changes in climate pattern. According to a study by Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, a number of people who contracted contagious disease are increasing more and more in Korea as well due to the climate change. Predicted major diseases are in the order of tsutsugamushi, malaria, bacillary dysentery, vibrio parahaemolycius, and leptospira, and it was identified that the outbreak of contagious disease increases by 4.27% when temperature is increased by 1 degree. For malaria, the number of infected people in 2006 was 2,051, 2,227 in 2007, 1,345 in 2009, and 1,772 people in 2010. Isn?t it shocking how climate change directly threatens our health? 



3. Our attitude towards ?Climate Change?


The climate change that we are experiencing today is being recognized as much more powerful than any other global warming phenomena that the human race has experienced for the past 10,000 years before 20th century. For this reason, the effect on humankind is predicted to by incalculable. In order to understand such global warming phenomena accurately, scientists are putting a lot of effort to identify the degree of influence that carbon dioxide is making on global warming and how fast the concentration will increase. Also, discussion on how to slow down the speed of disforestation is needed. Discussion on quota system to reduce levels of carbon dioxide is being discussed actively in each country. It is an undeniable fact that the nations and businesses have caused the carbon dioxide emission. When emission is not reduced, license to release carbon dioxide has to be purchased from countries or companies with less emission.  


Our effort is also needed to decrease carbon dioxide. We can plant trees, save water, walk short distance or ride bicycle, save energy, and use less disposables are things that we can do easily. Now is the time to pay attention on climate changes in the future and to put our effort to minimize global warming. Because the future belongs to you!





Jasmine Karki

  • Jasmine Karki says :
    Really informative and wonderful report'!!!
    Posted 31-03-2020 02:53

Jobyear Hasan  Mojumder

  • Amy Lim says :
    Thanks for sharing:)
    Posted 20-06-2018 14:18

  • Amy Lim says :
    thanks for sharing:)
    Posted 17-06-2018 17:01

  • says :
    Highly Informative
    Posted 24-05-2015 16:03

  • says :
    Very informative!
    Posted 25-11-2014 18:25

  • says :
    Its highly informative!
    Posted 27-01-2014 13:16

  • says :
    thank you
    Posted 31-12-2013 00:22

  • says :
    very much informative
    Posted 27-12-2013 03:11

  • says :
    there are the global issues
    Posted 23-12-2013 00:06

  • says :
    its a very global issue that we should deal about
    Posted 15-12-2013 01:26

  • says :
    thanks for sharing, very informative
    Posted 31-08-2013 03:47

  • says :
    Our efforts are certainly needed to reduce the impacts of climate change.
    Posted 23-07-2013 22:08

  • says :
    thanks for sharing information on climate change
    Posted 20-07-2013 02:58

  • says :
    surely very informative
    Posted 19-07-2013 02:19

  • says :
    Past 100 years have been most destructive. We are facing once a century phenomenon like Tsunami, Hurricanes, Floods regularly.
    Posted 17-06-2013 23:30

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