Light Energy is rapped and used to convert carbon dioxide, water, and other minerals into oxygen and energy rich organic compounds. Carbon Dioxide is emitted into the air as humans exhale, burn fossil fuels for energy, and deforest the planet. Every year humans add over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by these processes, and it is up thirty percent since 1750. An isolated test at Manna Lola in Hawaii revealed more than a 12% (316 pump in 1959 to 360 pump in 1 996) increase in mean annual concentration of carbon dioxide.
Manna Lola, located in Hawaii, is the worlds largest volcano at 40,000 cubic km and 4,170 meters above sea level. Ice core samples have also shown a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide levels. Drilling deep into glaciers and polar ice caps and taking out samples of ice, then melting the ice and capturing the gas has shown an increase in carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 100 years. Ice core samples are essentially “drilling through time”, because the deeper the ice is, the older the ice is. In 1996, carbon dioxide world emissions increased by 2. 8%. The U. S. Reported a 3. 3% increase in CO concentrations.
The U. S. Continues to emit more than any other country in the world, accounting for 25% of all emissions. The European Union had an increase of 2. 2%, much larger than a small increase of 1 in 1995. Eastern Europe had a decreasing rate of -2. 4%. China’s increase in 1996 was 4. 7%. Fossil Fuels were created chiefly by the decay of plants from millions of years ago. We use coal, oil and natural gas to generate electricity, heat our homes, power our factories and run Our cars. These fossil fuels contain carbon, and when they are burned, they combine with oxygen, forming carbon dioxide.
The two atoms of oxygen add to the total weight. The World Energy Council reported that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels rose 2% between 1 990 and 1995. The increase from developing countries was three times that from developed countries. Middle East carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels increased 35%, Africa increased 12%, and Eastern Europe increased rates by 75% from 1990-1995. The following pie chart gives the role of different major things in increasing the CO concentration in atmosphere: [pick] Methane Methane is a colorless, odorless, flammable gas.
It is formed when plants decay and where there is very little air. It is often called swamp gas because it is abundant around water and swamps. Bacteria that breakdown organic tater in wetlands and bacteria that are found in cows, sheep, goats, buffalo, termites, and camels produce methane naturally. Since 1 750, methane has doubled, and could double again by 2050. Each year we add 350-500 million tons of methane to the air by raising livestock, coal mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, rice cultivation, and garbage sitting in landfills.
It stays in the atmosphere for only 1 0 years, but traps 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Rice cultivation has developed into a large business; farmland has doubled in the past 45 years. It feeds 1/3 of the World’s population. It grows mostly in looted fields, where bacteria in waterlogged soil releases methane. Livestock such as cows, sheep, goats, camels, buffaloes, and termites release methane as well. Bacteria in the gut of the animal break down food and convert some of it to methane. When these animals belch, methane is released. In one day, a cow can emit h pound of methane into the air. Imagine 1. Billion cattle each burping methane several times per minute!
Nitrous Oxide Nitrous oxide is another colorless greenhouse gas, however, it has a sweet odor . It is primarily used as an anesthetic because it deadens pain and for this characteristic is called laughing gas. This gas is released naturally from oceans and by bacteria in soils. Nitrous oxide gas risen by more than 15% since 1750. Each year we add 7-13 million tons into the atmosphere by using nitrogen based fertilizers, disposing of human and animal waste in sewage treatment plants, automobile exhaust, and other Sources not yet identified.
It is important to reduce emissions because the nitrous oxide we release today will still be trapped in the atmosphere 100 years from now. Nitrogen based fertilizer use has doubled in the past 15 years. These fertilizers provide nutrients for crops; however, when they breakdown in the soil, nitrous oxide s released into the atmosphere. In automobiles, nitrous oxide is released at a much lower rate than carbon dioxide, because there is more carbon in gasoline than nitrogen. IF raccoons Fluorocarbons is a general term for any group of synthetic organic compounds that contain fluorine and carbon.
Many of these compounds, such as chlorofluorocarbons(CIFS), can be easily converted from gas to liquid or liquid to gas. Because of these properties, CIFS can be used in aerosol cans, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Studies in the 1 sass showed that when CIFS are emitted into the atmosphere, they break down molecules in he Earth’s ozone layer (World Book). Since then, the use of CIFS has significantly decreased and they are banned from production in the United States. The substitute for CIFS are hydrocephalus’s (Huff’s).
Huffs do not harm or breakdown the ozone molecule, but they do trap heat in the atmosphere, making it a greenhouse gas, aiding in global warming. Huffs are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. The way to reduce emissions of this gas is to be sure that in both devices the coolant is recycled and all leaks are properly fixed. Also, before throwing the appliances away, be sure to recover the coolant in each. CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING ; Natural ; Man-made Natural Causes Natural causes are causes that are created by nature.
One natural cause is a release of methane gas from arctic tundra and wetlands. Methane is a greenhouse gas and a very dangerous gas to our environment. A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Another natural cause is that the earth goes through a cycle of climate change. This climate change usually lasts about 40,000 years. Some of the important causes are given below: Volcanic Eruptions Large volcanic eruptions can throw so much dust into the sky that the dust acts as a shield to solar radiation and causes a cooling trend in the atmosphere.
You probably can ‘t remember such an eruption as they are rare and infrequent occurrences. Sunspots Changes in the Earth’s solar radiation levels can have some impact on the Earth ‘s climate. Increased solar activity can cause short-term warming cycles on the Earth. The Wobbly Earth As the Earth spins, it does not achieve perfect rotation. It actually wobbles slightly, thus alternately exposing the northern and southern latitudes to more and less solar radiation. This wobble in the Earth’s rotation has been causing changes in the temperature of the atmosphere for many millions of years.
Ocean current changes Ocean current changes are also considered to be a natural cause of global warming, since the rise and fall of the current creates global change. Currents have a significant effect on heat changes around the earth. The effect of ocean current on heat changes, varies from region to region and this may be related to the rotation of the sun. Man-made Causes Man-made causes probably do the most damage. There are many man-made causes. Pollution is one of the biggest man-made problems. Pollution comes in many shapes and sizes. Burning fossil fuels is one thing that causes pollution.
Fossil fuels are fuels made of organic matter such as coal, or oil. When fossil fuels are burned they give off a green house gas called CO. Also mining coal and oil allows methane to escape. Methane is naturally in the ground. When coal or oil is mined you have to dig up the earth a little. When you dig up the fossil fuels you dig up the methane as well. Another major man-made cause of Global Warming is population. More people means more food, and more methods of transportation, right? That means more methane because there will be more burning of fossil fuels, and more agriculture.
Now your probably thinking, ‘Wait a minute, you said agriculture is going to be damaged by Global Warming but now you’re saying agriculture is going to help cause Global Warming? ” Well, have you ever been in a barn filled with animals and you smell something terrible? You’re smelling methane. Another source of methane is manure. Because more food is needed we have to raise food. Animals like cows are a source of food which means more manure and methane. Another problem with the increasing population is transportation. More people means more cars, and more cars means more pollution. Also, many people have more than one car.
Since CO contributes to global warming, the increase in population makes the problem worse because we breathe out CO. Also, the trees that convert our CO to oxygen are being demolished because we’re using the land that we cut the trees down from as property for our homes and buildings. We are not replacing the trees (an important part of our CEO system), so we are constantly taking advantage of our natural resources and giving nothing back in return. CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING The effects, or impacts, of Global warming may be physical, ecological, social or economic. Physical impacts:
The following are some of the physical impacts of the Global warming: Effects on weather Increasing temperature is likely to lead to increasing precipitation but the effects on storms are less clear. Extraterritorial storms partly depend on the temperature gradient, which is predicted to weaken in the northern hemisphere as the polar region warms more than the rest of the hemisphere. Let also affects Biochemical’s cycles and hence disturb the ecological balance. Glacier retreat and disappearance It has been found that, on average, mountain glaciers and snow cover had decreased in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
This widespread decrease in glaciers and ice caps has contributed to observed sea level rise. With very high or high confidence, numbers of predictions are made relating to future changes in glaciers: ; Mountainous areas in Europe will face glacier retreat ; In Latin America, changes in precipitation patterns and the disappearance of glaciers will significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture, and energy production ; In Polar regions, there will be reductions in glacier extent and the thickness of glaciers. Temperature rise From 1 961 to 2003, the global ocean temperature has risen by 0. Co from the surface to a depth of 700 m.
There is variability both year-to-year and over longer time scales, with global ocean heat content observations showing high rates of warming for 1 991 to 2003, but some cooling from 2003 to 2007. The temperature of the Antarctic Southern Ocean rose by 0. 17 Co (0. 31 OF) between the sass and the sass, nearly twice the rate for the world’s oceans as a whole. As well as having effects on ecosystems (e. G. By melting sea ice, affecting algae that grow on its underside), warming reduces the ocean’s ability to absorb CO. Socioeconomic scones ounces
Socioeconomic impacts of global warming could be substantial depending on the actual temperature increases over the next century. Models predict that a net global warming of 1 to 3 Co (1. 8 to 5. 4 OF) beyond the late-20th-century global average would produce economic losses in some regions (particularly the tropics and high latitudes) and economic benefits in others. For warming beyond these levels, benefits would tend to decline and costs increase. For warming in excess of 4 Co (7. 2 OF), models predict that costs will exceed benefits on average, with global mean economic losses estimated between 1 and 5 percent of gross domestic product.
Substantial disruptions could be expected under these conditions, specifically in the areas of agriculture, food and forest products, water and energy supply, and human health. Environmental consequences of global warming Global warming and climate change have the potential to alter biological systems. More specifically, changes to near-surface air temperatures will likely influence ecosystem functioning and thus the biodiversity of plants, animals, and other forms of life. The current geographic ranges of plant and animal species have been established by adaptation to long-term seasonal climate patterns.
As global warming alters these patterns on timescales considerably shorter than those that arose in the past from natural climate variability, relatively sudden climatic changes may challenge the natural adaptive capacity of many species. It has been estimated that one-fifth to one-third of all plant and animal species are likely to be at an increased risk of extinction if global average surface temperatures rise another 1. 5 to 2. 5 Co (2. 7 to 4. 5 OF) by the year 2100. This temperature range falls within the scope of the lower emissions scenarios. Species-loss estimates climb to as much as 40 percent for a warming in excess of 4. Co (8. Level that could be reached in the Epic’s higher emissions scenarios.
A 40 percent extinction rate would likely lead to major changes in the webs within ecosystems and have a destructive impact on ecosystem function. Other impacts include the destruction of many coastal wetlands, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps as a result of rising sea levels and the loss of certain rare and fragile habitats that are often home to specialist species that are unable to thrive in other environments. For example, certain amphibians limited to isolated tropical cloud forests either have become extinct already or are under serious wreath of extinction.
Cloud forests-?tropical forests that depend on persistent condensation of moisture in the air-?are disappearing as optimal condensation levels move to higher elevations in response to warming temperatures in the lower atmosphere. STOPPING GLOBAL WARMING The biggest cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide released when fossil fuels such as oil and coal are burned for energy. So when you save energy, you fight global warming and save money, too. Here are some easy steps that you can take to help make a difference: Limit global warming pollution Raise your voice.
Congress needs to enact new laws that cap carbon emissions and require polluters pay for the global warming gases that they produce. Send a message to your elected officials, letting them know that you will hold them accountable for what they do or fail to do about global warming. Green jobs and clean energy Choose renewable energy. Pick a Green-e-certified energy supplier that generates at least half of its power from wind, solar energy and other clean sources. If you don’t have that option, look at your current electricity bill to see if you are able to support renewable energy in another way.
For details, e Marc’s guide to buying clean energy. Offset your carbon footprint. You can make up for your remaining carbon output by purchasing carbon offsets. Offsets represent clean power that you can add to the nation’s energy grid in place of power from fossil fuels. Not all offset companies are alike. See rouged to carbon offsets for tips on how to choose an offset supplier. Drive smarter cars Choose an efficient vehicle: High-mileage cars such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids use less gas and save money. Over its lifetime, a 40-MPEG car will save roughly $3,000 in fuel costs compared with a 20-MPEG car.