Perception of global warming among undergraduates of the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Global warming is one of those topical issues that gets all sorts of people excited. This is because its impact is global, threatening human existence on planet earth. The study assesses the scope of knowledge about the causal factors, effects and control of global warming among undergraduates of the University of Jos. The research design employed was the crosssectional survey method, where 300 students from Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities were selected through stratified random sampling technique. Semi-structured questionnaire was employed to collect relevant data for analysis while Chi-square (X²) was used to test the hypothesis formulated. Data was analyzed with the aid of SPSS version 16 software and results were presented in frequency tables and percentages. Results showed that 59.7% of the respondents have some good knowledge about global warming and their main sources of information were through lectures (35.6%) and several others sources (19%). The five leading causal factors of global warming as perceived by the respondents were burning of fossil fuels (61.7%), industrial pollution (60.3%), power generation (56.7%), deforestation (54.0%) and urbanization (47.0%). The effects of global warming identified by the respondents were extremes of weather (68.3%), skin cancer (64.0%), soil erosion (63.0%), extinction of species of organisms (62.3%), floods (61.0%), drought (56.7%) and increased temperature (55.3%). Ways of controlling the menace frequently identified by the respondents were, planting of trees (87.7%), recycling of pollutants (70.3%), use of renewable energy (63.7%), use of improved fuel combustion engines (59.0%) and turning off air conditioning system(ACS),
refrigerators and other appliances when not in use (51.7%).The Chi-square test result obtained (X²cal.=139.81>tab~5.99. at 0.05) shows that students’ discipline significantly influenced their knowledge on global warming in the study area. The paper concludes by recommending the need for inclusion of environmental education in the curriculum for implementation at all educational levels, formation of environmental clubs and societies, and pursuance of sensitization programmes to enlighten and conscientise students on how they can partake in the fight against global warming and other environmental hazards.
Keywords: Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases, Causal Factors, Effects, Control, Undergraduates of Unijos
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