Global warming is one of the biggest threats our world is currently facing right now. Governments and nations constantly disregard global warming and its impact, some even calling it an outright “hoax” which shows us that most people aren’t aware or even slightly prepared for the threats to come.
Global warming has already started causing various natural disasters on our planet. This is evident from the constant melting of glaciers at the North pole, the lengthening of winters and summers, and countless new forest fires around the world.
Another recent event were Australian Bushfires which happened at the end of 2019, leading to countless deaths of wildlife as well as loss of habitat for animals left to live. Furthermore, millions of hectares of forests got burned due to the extreme heat in that region. There will be increased heat in near future, if reforestation is not planned appropriately.
We need to be prepared and come up with solutions to combat global warming. It is now time that we must start taking measures which may help alleviate the threat of global warming before it becomes too late.
78 solutions to global warming have been classified under the following 9 categories:
- Health and Education
- Carbon Sinks
- Food and Agriculture
- Coastal and Ocean sinks
- Engineered Sinks.
P.S: Click on any of the categories to navigate.
Health and Education
1. Education is Awareness
Education can be used to lay down a foundation for people early on in their lives, as it gives children the necessary knowledge required to understand global warming and the environmental repercussions they or their future generations may face if they don’t prevent it. Awareness is the first step to fighting global warming effectively.
Other than that, sharing is caring. Ask your family members how they’re making earth-friendly decisions. Educate your friends more about how to make better decisions by sharing these tactics!
2. Family Planning
What is also required is the adoption of family planning by societies; this is beneficial because it allows the overall population to be controlled and maintained so that there may be less pollution and lower emissions affecting the environment.
As we go ahead into the article, you may find that some of the ways of fighting global warming are fit into a specific category even when they fit in multiple categories. We had to do this to avoid excessive repetitions.
Industrial Solutions to Global Warming
The production of waste has increased ten-fold over the last hundred years and will likely keep on increasing if drastic measures aren’t taken. One of the best ways to reduce waste is by recycling waste. Recycling is now being adopted by various communities, industries, and countries all around the world. Recycling involves the conversion of waste products into products that can be deemed for use once again.
Countries must start setting up more recycling facilities to reduce landfill and land pollution caused by improper waste disposal. Regulations must be imposed on industries to push them to start recycling of products as well, or at least promote recycling by manufacturing their products from recycled raw materials. On an individual level, we can promote this by buying products manufactured mainly from recycled materials.
4. Recycling of paper
One of the most used materials in the world is paper which is used for a vast number of activities. Most of the paper being utilized is sent to scrap. But as awareness has increased more and more, re-purposing and recovery of paper has started to commence which has led to the reduction in emissions from the paper industry to as high as about 7 percent annually and increasing. This means people are becoming more aware and buying Eco-friendly recycled paper. As should you!
5. Waste to Energy
Industries may choose to use the enormous waste from their industrial processes to produce energy rather than dumping it into landfills. This can be done by processes such as gasification, pyrolysis, and incineration; all this helps to reduce waste and convert that waste into vital heat and electricity. Not only that, this also helps in the reduction of emissions and therefore improving health and the environment of the people living around the industrial land.
6. Refrigerant Management
Refrigerator and air conditioners all contain Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) as cooling agents. These chemicals are the main cause of ozone depletion, eventually leading to an increase in the greenhouse gas effect. Timely management of these leaks and adequate disposal of these chemicals can help to reduce the greenhouse gas effects on Earth.
7. Alternative Refrigerants
The fluorinated gases can be avoided completely, by using an alternative. Natural Alternatives to conventional refrigerants include Ammonia and trapped Carbon dioxide.
8. Alternative Cement
Cement is one of the widely used substances in the world and it is heavily employed in the sector of infrastructure due to its strength. Unfortunately, it is also a source of high emissions. The emissions can be reduced from cement by changing its chemical composition so that less amount of carbon emissions can be produced. The cement with altered chemical composition is known as ‘alternative cement’.
9. Methane Digesters
These are large scale anaerobic digesters, now being used by industries to control the decomposition of organic waste. This helps in the reduction of emission of methane and converts organic waste into biogas, which is a fuel that can also be used as a fertilizer in the agriculture sector.
10. Landfill Methane capturing
Landfills are massive in size and emit a high amount of methane once the waste decomposes. Instead of letting that methane enter into the atmosphere and polluting it, methane can be captured and be used to produce energy.
11. Biodegradable plastics
We are mostly using plastic made of fossil fuels that take years to degrade or decompose, ultimately causing pollution and landfills. The alternative to this is the use of biodegradable or compostable plastics, which decompose very quickly thereby reducing land pollution; it also provides some vital nutrients to the soil thereby maintaining the fertility of the soil to grow plants or crops.
Transport Solutions to Global Warming
12. Bicycle infrastructure
Bicycles can be used more often as an alternative to cars, buses, motorcycles, or public transits. The government must build a system consisting of an infrastructure which makes it safe for people riding their bike around the city, thereby cutting down emissions.
13. Electric Bicycles
Bicycles can be made electric by the simple installation of small battery-powered motors. This gives these bicycles the much-needed speed, making trips shorter. This can also be adapted as an alternative similar to the traditional bicycles. Not only that, bicycles are understandably good for your heart.
People should be encouraged to sharing rides while going on common destinations or events rather than taking or hiring multiple rides for the same journey. Carpooling helps to reduce fuel, as it is used more efficiently and also cuts down on emissions.
15. Efficient Aviation systems
Airplane emissions can be lowered with various technologies and improve upon operational practices. These include light-weighting the plane, using more efficient and cleaner engines, and wingtips. This overall improves the efficiency with which fuel is being used and also emissions.
A major leap in the aviation industry would be the introduction of electric planes. The weight of the batteries and jet fuel being more efficient than batteries makes hybrid planes sound better for long-distance flights.
16. Efficient Ocean Shipping
Ships must be designed in a way that they save fuel and reduce emissions into the sea and air. This will help to preserve marine life if there is a technological improvement in ocean shipping worldwide.
17. Efficient Trucks
Existing trucks should be retrofitted, and those trucks with high amount of road emissions must be stopped and be made non-operational. Governments could provide incentives for efficient replacements of old low-efficiency truck engines. New trucks must be manufactured in such a way that they bear the importance of fuel preservation and emission rates.
18. Electric Cars
More and more companies should start making electric cars consisting of electric motors to supplement diesel and gas engines which are a widespread cause of emission and pollution.
19. Electric Trains
Conversion of the train system into a more advance electric system will allow the dispatching of diesel-burning engines. The electricity for those trains can be sourced from renewable energy sources and could potentially save millions to the government.
20. High-speed railways
High-speed rails can be used as an alternative to cars just like the bicycle and electric bicycle we mentioned previously. It does require the production and placement of newly designed tracks but can significantly curtail emissions.
21. Hybrid Cars
A combination of an electric motor and battery with the traditional combustion engine has been employed for centuries. This fusion helps to improve the fuel economy, reduce fuel consumption and more importantly, limit emissions.
22. Public transits
The use of public transit by the public can help to minimize the greenhouse effect.
The interaction of people and businesses online through video chat allows a reduction in travel across various parts of the world thereby reducing emissions. Good high-end internet connections and surveys are required to carry this out though.
1500 pounds of Carbon emissions are saved when a single person attends a meeting virtually rather than in-person.
Popularity of Telepresence has significantly increased with the emergence of coronavirus and social distancing. This is the perfect time to notice that if we were to shift to tele-presence, we could really make a difference.
24. Preference for walking
Cities must be designed and planned in such a holistic manner that they encourage the people living within them to walk rather than to drive. This way they will surely reduce the emissions produced by their city. Another thing to mention is that walking is good for your heart! Walking keeps away all the morbidness associated with a sedentary lifestyle such as heart attack, stroke or diabetes.
Infrastructure and Building practices to fight Global Warming
Note: Some of the solutions mentioned here in Building also fit in Electricity but we’ll only mention them here to avoid excessive repetition.
25. Smart Thermostats
Thermostats are the main control center when it comes to heating and cooling of a building. Smart thermostats use complex algorithms and sensors to be more energy-efficient over time. More and more households and buildings should prefer installing smart thermostats to lower emissions and also lower their electricity bills.
26. Solar Water Heaters
Solar hot water, rather than using conventional energy sources such as radiators to provide hot water, use the radiation of the sun to heat and provide hot water to the household. This is a cleaner alternative to the already existing sources. You can also read more on Solar Water Heaters.
27. Net-zero buildings
Buildings should be built and used with the idea that the net consumption of electricity in these buildings is eventually zero. This is done by sourcing the electricity from renewable sources of energy either present on-site or off-site.
For example, if a building uses 50kW of electricity and a solar system on the building premises generates and provides that 50kW, the building will be termed as a net-zero building.
Mind you, if the solar system or any renewable energy source is elsewhere but is still covering the energy needs of this building, it will still be a net-zero building.
28. Low-flow fixtures
More efficient fixtures and appliances must be used for laundry, cleaning, transportation, and heating of water.
Good proper insulation helps to create impedance in unwanted airflow inside the building. It makes heating and cooling more efficient, allowing reduction in utility bills due to reduced workload on HVAC systems.
30. Cleaner Cookstoves
Cookstoves being used should be highly efficient and cleaner so that they may address the pollution concerning them. A good alternative would be to use electric induction plates which takes care of the methane and CO2 emissions, and if you’re a net-zero home; all the better.
31. Use of High-performance glass
The installation of high-performance glass helps in improving the insulation of that building; making it more efficient with regards to heating and cooling.
32. Use of High-efficiency heat pumps
Heat pumps serve the function of being an extractor of heat from the air. It then transfers this heat from indoors out for cooling, or from outdoors in for heating. Due to its high efficiency in its function, it can lower the energy costs of buildings.
33. Green and Cool Roofs
Rather than fitting insulation into a home or a building; green roofs act as a natural insulator by utilizing soil and vegetation. Additionally, you’ll be planting vegetation on the roof which will help the planet. Cool roofs help to reflect heat energy which might be absorbed into the building thereby increasing electricity costs to keep the building cool.
34. Dynamic Glass
Dynamic glass, responds to sunlight and change in weather conditions by altering the energy required for cooling, heating, and lighting a building as needed to maintain indoor temperatures.
35. District Heating
A central plant and pipe network is more efficient in heating water and indoors of many buildings, with significant reduction in emissions compared to on-sites systems being currently used.
Retrofitting improves upon insulation, efficient lighting, and advancement in heating and cooling systems, all of which helps in addressing and tackling the problems related to electricity costs and fuel waste.
37. Automated Systems installed in buildings
The use of an automated system takes away the control from humans and gives it to the system, which constantly surveys the temperature both outside and inside the building; thus helping to control heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings. This helps to reduce emissions by the building and maximize the efficiency of energy being used.
Biogas should be more and more used for cooking. Biogas stoves are also available which can reduce emissions. Biogas can be produced from methane digesters, anaerobic digesters, or organic waste.
Carbon Land Sinks as Solution to Global Heating
39. Farmland restoration
Degraded farmlands that have been abandoned and they quickly turn into desert. These deserts can be restored once again to bring the land back into productivity. This will allow further carbon sequestration.
40. Production of Bamboo
Bamboo is great at carbon sequestration and can thrive in this function, especially in degraded lands. Bamboo if long-lived can also help to store carbon over long periods.
A type of agroforestry which involves the integration of livestock, trees, and forages into one coherent system. It can be very beneficial in reducing emissions and improving biodiversity if the system is well integrated and managed.
42. Restoration of Temperate Forests
There is a need to restore the temperate forests to their original look and fall, especially after almost all of the world’s temperate forests have become altered in some way or another for human gain.
43. Restoration of Tropical Rainorests
Tropical rainforests have been one of the most affected landscapes in the world when it comes to habitat loss, degradation, clearing, and loss of biodiversity. It is now time that these forests must also be restored just likes the temperate forests so that they may function as the carbon sinks of our planet.
44. Intercropping of Trees
Intercropping is the growth of trees and crops simultaneously. This is also one of the many forms of agroforestry, just like Silvopasture. The tree intercropping helps to increase biomass, organic matter of soil and helps with carbon sequestration.
45. Tree Plantations
Lands that have degraded are a potential site for tree plantations. If they are managed well; they may restore the soil to its original nature and fertility, reduce soil erosion, and help produce more wood resources.
Electricity Modifications to Fight Global Warming
Note: Some of the mentioned ways concerning electricity are also mentioned in the categories of Industry and Building already, that’s why we have opted not to repeat them here again.
EPA has identified Electricity as one of the major contributors (28%) to global warming.
46. Improvement of water distribution
Addressing water leaks around the distribution networks, especially for larger cities helps to mitigate water loss and saves an enormous amount of electricity which is required for pumping water from one place to another.
47. Solar Photovoltaic Systems
Solar photovoltaics should be used at a utility-scale. This can be done with hundreds or even thousands of panels to harness the sun’s clean energy and reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy resources like fossil fuels.
48. Energy Storage
Energy stored on a large-scale setup helps in matching the supply-demand of electricity. It enables shifting to renewable energy resources and puts a stop on emissions.
49. Small Hydropower
Small hydropower captures the energy of moving water. It does this without the need of any dam. This can help in replacing diesel and gas generators being used. These small hydropower plants are also known as micro- and pico-hydropower plants.
50. Onshore Wind Turbines
Wind turbines being used onshore will help to generate electricity on a utility-scale. They may help in people opting for renewable energy resources, replacing fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy resources in the process. For now, China is leaps forward in generating electricity from wind power.
51. Offshore wind turbines
There are stronger winds with greater consistency on the sea as compared to on land. This can be utilized by wind turbines placed offshore which can generate utility-scale electricity.
52. The Power of Oceans
The natural flow of water in oceans can be used in wave and tidal energy-powered systems to produce energy without any pollution.
53. Nuclear Power
It may be slow, expensive, and even catastrophic at times, but there is no doubt that it is one of the most important forms of renewable energy resources that are available with limitless potential. Another thing to mention is that Nuclear is one of cleanest resources of renewable energy.
The microgrid is the grouping of distributed electricity generation technology that is localized and paired with energy storage and tools to manage demand or load. This centralized setup will help to transfer people from the waste energy being produced, towards more clean energy.
55. Micro wind turbines
Micro wind turbines possess the capability to generate electricity in a diverse and isolated location without the need of a central grid. These turbines can even be installed on the roof of off-grid homes to generate electrify.
56. Lighting with LED
The light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs available on the market. They transfer more energy towards the emission of light, rather than that energy being wasted in forming heat like conventional tungsten bulbs.
57. Grid Flexibility
Smart grids are critical towards adopting renewable energy resources. The use of smarter and more flexible grids can help mitigate energy losses that occur during its distribution.
58. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy uses the energy of hot water in underground locations to power geothermal power plants and use geothermal energy to produce electricity. It can be used to produce electricity without any pollution.
59. Distributed Solar Photovoltaics
Your solar system can be part of a connected grid or maybe a standalone system offering clean and green generation of electricity. The rooftop solar panels are one of the examples of distributed solar photovoltaic systems.
60. Distributed Energy Storage
These include batteries for electric vehicles that can store electricity, enabling a constant electrical supply whenever required on the road.
Biomass can be used to replace fossil fuels or other non-renewable energy resources in generating heat and electricity.
62. Concentrated solar power
This employs the sunlight from the sun as a source of heat. Large mirrors (solar dishes) concentrate the sunlight to heat water and produce steam, this steam is then used to rotate turbines and generate electricity. The electricity generated from this is completely clean and devoid of any pollution or burden on earth.
Food and Agriculture Solutions to Fight Global Warming
Note: Some of the ways that fit in Food and Agriculture are mentioned in Land Carbon Sinks.
63. Conservational agriculture
Conservational agriculture uses cover crops, rotation of crops, and minimizes tilling to protect the soil, and avoid emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
64. Farm irrigation efficiency
The irrigation of farmland must be carried out more effectively to minimize water loss. This may be done through drip and sprinkler irrigation amongst other various technologies and practices which conserve water and energy.
65. Protection of Forests
Forests are one of the best storage sites for carbon. Its protection will help a long way in improving the biodiversity of the region, along with reducing the greenhouse effect that carbon emissions cause worldwide.
66. Protection of grasslands
Grasslands must be protected the same way as forests are protected so as to conserve wildlife and put the foot down on carbon emissions.
67. Improvement in Rice Production
Improved rice production involves better management of nutrients, improvement in soil, water is used more efficiently, and the practice of tilling to produce much better grain of rice in large amounts.
68. Forest Tenures
The securing of land tenures protects the rights of indigenous people. This allows them to carry on living and practicing their culture, and in turn, protecting the ecosystem diversity.
69. Nutrient management
Nutrients must be managed with care and use of excessive amount of nitrogenous fertilizers must be avoided, which is a source of nitrous oxide. More efficient use and management of fertilizers can help to reduce emissions and global warming in the region.
70. Peatland protection
Peatlands are at high risk due to forestry, farming, and fuel extraction being carried out in them. They must be protected and rewetted so that degradation is halted, allowing them to carry on their function as carbon sinks just like forests.
71. Adopting plant-rich diets (Veganism)
The constant consumption of diet which involves the use of excessive meat and dairy are not always recommended. If these meet-full diets are not altered, they may lead to various morbidities in humans. The use of plant-based food along with meat and dairy may help in reducing fertilizer usage, greenhouse gas emissions, burping of cattle, and land clearance.
72. Food waste reduction
Roughly, one-third of the world’s food is never consumed. There must be measures taken or put in place to reduce food waste. A reduction in food waste will automatically reduce the incoming demand of food from farms and factories. The best method for that is raising awareness regarding food waste, reducing food security and world hunger to make people more aware about consequences of wasting food.
73. Regenerative annual cropping
Regenerative annual cropping may include compost application, organic production, and green manure thereby helping to build upon conservative agricultural practices.
74. Sustainable Intensification
These practices are generally beneficial for small farm holders, as they may increase the yields of existing farms and reduce the demand to clear additional land.
75. Rice intensification
This is a way to cultivate rice in a sustainable manner by employing a more holistic approach which conserves water and alternates dry and wet conditions. Rice intensification helps in reducing methane production in the region, fighting off global warming.
Ocean and Coastal Sinks Solutions to Fight Global Warming
76. Protection of Coastal Wetlands
Coastal wetland consists of mangroves, sea grass, salt marshes, and more along with phytoplankton which are sequesters of massive amounts of carbon. Protecting coastal wetlands will help to tackle global warming as the carbon storage will not reduce and therefore continue reducing greenhouse gases.
77. Restoration of Coastal Wetlands
Natural disasters, industrialization, urbanization, and agriculture have all either hindered the growth or have outright degraded coastal wetlands. Restoring these wetlands is vital, as they will help in carbon sequestration and also help in maintain diversification of land and species within the region.
Engineered Sinks as Solutions to Fight Global Warming
78. Biochar production
Biochar is biomass which when burned without any oxygen becomes biochar. Even after being burned, it still retains its ability to store carbon and hence can be buried in the soil to provide enrichment.