In recent years, we are witnessing characterized climatic changes by an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface. The years follow one another, and we pass increasingly hot periods never recorded. At the origin of this scourge is the imbalance of a phenomenon called: the greenhouse effect, which is basically a natural mechanism that warms the earth without which life would be impossible; but what could have influenced this mechanism for the temperature rise?
What is the greenhouse effect?
When the earth is illuminated by the sun, its surface re-emits part of the radiation to space; but some gases such as carbon dioxide CO2, methane CH4, nitrogen dioxide NO2, water vapour and halocarbons present in the atmosphere absorb these emitted radiations, which will be in return sent back to the earth to warm it up. These gases are called greenhouse gases. greenhouse (GHG), which function is to warm the air and the ground; note that for some time, the proportion of these gases in the atmosphere continues to climb, and this is not without consequences.
What influenced this mechanism?
Indeed, this natural mechanism plays a capital role in the development of life on Earth because, without it, the average temperature on the Earth’s surface would be around -18°C. But with the industrial revolution, the demographic pressure and the disproportionate ambitions of man, the use of fossil fuels (coal gas, oil) will be increased. In addition to deforestation and intensive agriculture, huge amounts of GHGs will be emitted into the atmosphere (by 2022, anthropogenic activities emitted 40.6 billion tonnes (Gt CO2)). All these emissions have ended up inflating the proportion of GHGs in the atmosphere, which leads to a rise in temperatures because the more the concentration of GHGs increases, the more the average temperature increases on Earth: this is the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Once vital, this phenomenon now threatens life on earth, and each of us witnessed these repercussions:
- global warming;
- melting of sea ice and glaciers;
- sea level rise;
- disruption of many ecosystems;
- periods of significant drought;
- periods of major flooding and
- the emergence of certain diseases, particularly diseases transmitted by vectors.
This alarming situation concerns us all because our survival and that of the earth depend, and efforts must be reconciled to mitigate this scourge. It is obvious that every individual, community, business and industry adopts responsible attitudes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Ibrahima DIABY