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UPSC Mains 2022

Discuss global warming and mention its effects on the global climate. Explain the control measures to bring down the level of greenhouse gases which cause global warming, in the light of the Kyoto Protocol, 1997.

General Studies Paper - 3, Topic: Environment

Jan 03, 2023

2 min read

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Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet due to the increasing levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun and prevent it from escaping back into space, causing the Earth's surface temperature to rise. The main cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

 

The effects of global warming on the global climate are numerous and varied. It is causing the Earth's average surface temperature to rise, leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods. It is also causing sea levels to rise, which can lead to coastal flooding and the displacement of people who live near the coast. Global warming is also causing changes in precipitation patterns and the melting of glaciers and ice caps, which can have serious impacts on water availability and ecosystems around the world.

 

To bring down the level of greenhouse gases and mitigate the effects of global warming, it is necessary to implement control measures that reduce the emission of these gases. One such measure is the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that was adopted in 1997 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol sets binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The protocol also provides mechanisms for countries to offset their emissions through the use of carbon credits and the development of clean energy technologies. Although the Kyoto Protocol has been successful in reducing emissions in some countries, it has faced criticism for not being ambitious enough and for not including developing countries in its emission reduction targets.

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