Atmosphere And Weather

Global Warming and the Potential Effects on Crop Growth

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"Global Warming and the Potential Effects on Crop Growth"
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Many of us have noticed the gradual rise in temperature on the earth throughout the year. This ‘heating' of the earth is chiefly due to global warming. As the name suggests, global warming is referred to as ‘the warming of the globe’. During research, it was discovered that the earth’s average temperature has increased by about 0.8 Degrees Centigrade since the beginning of the 20th century. Furthermore, about two-thirds of this rise has occurred since 1980.

The major cause of global warming is the emission of various greenhouse gases. This phenomenon is known as greenhouse effect. Some examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc.

Global warming has potential effects on several aspects of the ecosystem, such as forestry, climate, plant growth, etc. The outcomes of global warming, which may have an impact on crop growth, are temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, rainfall and exposed ultra violet radiations. Global warming destroys the ozone layer, thus, unfiltered ultra violet rays enter the earth’s atmosphere. The rise in temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations can accelerate the procedures of photosynthesis in plants. Therefore, crop yields would increase. On the other hand, the high ranges of temperature result in plant diseases and production of pests. In addition, UV radiations cause noticeable damages to plants, such as burning of the leaves, wilting, etc. It can change the pH of the soil as well, which could harm plant growth.

UV radiations also affect DNA molecules of living cells including that of plants. Hence, DNA molecules change their shape that may alter the data within, due to which the altered data may enter the daughter cells (newly created cells) during cell division. This seems like a minor and insignificant problem, but it could have harmful consequences. Lastly, the amount of rainfall also affects crops. The amount of rainfall rises due to global warming. Global warming causes exceeding evaporation of water and melting of glaciers, resulting in high levels of precipitation (rainfall).  The high amount of rainfall results in good crop yields, but we must not forget that the severe rain in some areas causes difficulties in the everyday lives of people by causing floods and other problems, and can damage plants instead of benefitting them.

In conclusion, global warming is a very controversial issue and can directly or indirectly cause many issues in the next few decades. Hence, it is essential that crucial steps are taken to minimize global warming.  Even by simply using public transport more often to reduce nitrous oxides emissions in the atmosphere, mankind can cause a decline in global warming.

More about this author: Muneer Moosa Dhamani

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