Right now the average temperature of the Earth is about 13 co, or 56 OF. Increasing temperatures can lead to rising sea levels, extreme theater events and changes in precipitation. Global warming can also affect agriculture and glacier retreat and can facilitate the spread of disease and the extinctions of species. Many countries have been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming; some have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol for this purpose. However, others feel that this is either ineffectual or unnecessary.
The increasing global temperature causes changes such as rising sea levels, which is consequently expected to increase the occurrence of extreme weather events (hurricane, floods, and famine). In edition, the amount and pattern of precipitation is affected by increasing global temperature. The effects of global warming have been in the past disastrous and may be very disastrous even in the future. Other climatic change effects include, low agricultural yields, trade routes, glacier retreat, species extinctions and disease vectors increase.
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The paper will discuss the causes of global warming, the effects and measures that have been taken to reduce it. Discussion Causes of Global warming The greenhouse gases emissions have greatly contributed to global warming and still continue to be a threat even in the modern world. Examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and nitrous oxide. Carbon dioxide emissions may come from the power generating plants, vehicles, airplanes and industrial pollution. Carbon dioxide from power plants stems from electricity generation through the burning of fossil fuels.
Coal as a raw material this accounts for a high percentage of the carbon dioxide emissions due to its use in the electricity utilizing industry. For example, in 2002, of U. S. Carbon dioxide emissions were estimated to be from fossil fuel burning. As compared to the natural gas coal emits much more carbon per unit of energy. Fuel used by vehicles through internal combustion engines emits carbon dioxide by the burning of gasoline. Examples of cars and light trucks that have internal combustion engines include minivans, sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks and jeeps.
Vehicles with poor gas mileage contribute most to global warming with the aviation industry contributing an estimated 3. 5 per cent of all global warming gas emissions, according to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel. It is also estimated that carbon dioxide emissions may come from structural buildings though in much smaller amounts. Methane ranks second after carbon oxide as a green house gas that contributes to global warming; it is considered to be more than 20 times effective in trapping heat compared to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Sources of methane gas include rice paddies, fossil fuel production, and bogs (through bacteria). Water vapor can be termed as the most powerful greenhouse gas, though its increase is a result of other greenhouse gases. Two-thirds of heat is held by water vapor, where the heat has been trapped by all the other greenhouse gases. Another greenhouse gas is Nitrous Oxide (NON), commonly known as ‘laughing gases. Oceans and rain forests are natural producers of nitrous oxide.
Man-made sources of nitrous oxide include the nylon and nitric acid production, agricultural use in farms, cars with catalytic converters, and organic matter burning. All these greenhouse gases have contributed greatly to increases in global temperatures with a high percentage being as a result of human activities. Other human activity that encourages warming apart from fossil fuel burning, is the deforestation of natural habitats (Radiant, W. F. 2005). The increase in demand for fuel has encouraged cutting and burning of an estimated 34 million acres of trees each year.
Millions of acres f the rain forests are being lost every year from deforestation activities where burning of trees for fuel emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and reduces the absorption rate of carbon by the forests. Natural sources of global warming include the ocean emissions and frozen wetlands of the North Pole and South Pole, (Radiant, W. F. 2005). Permafrost in frozen wetlands has carbon trapped in the soil which is released into the atmosphere after the soil layer is thawed due to human interference.
Volcanic eruptions have also been recorded to emit high amounts of carbon in the atmosphere that may contribute to global warming. Effects of Global warming The effects of global warming are numerous and varied, both to the environment and human life. One major effect of global warming is the extreme weather conditions whereby the increase in precipitation is related to the temperature increases. Many changes in climate are a result to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, storms and even famine (Hansen, J. 2000).
Most recently, hurricane Strain has been said to probably have occurred as a result of global climatic changes. There has been an increase in the storm strength, indicated by the hurricane intensity of the proper aspiration index (Emmanuel K, 2008). The local climates are destabilize, a good example being the temperature rise of OIC to ICC in the northern hemisphere Arctic region with glaciers retreating or disappearing over the many years of global warming. Glacier retreats have been observed in Andes, Alps, Himalayas, Rocky Mom maintains and North Cascades.
The sea level rises with temperature rise due to warming, which affects the coastal ecosystems (both in the ecosystem functioning and survival of aquatic species). In addition, warming reduces the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide wrought the natural processes; for instance, absorption of carbon dioxide from living organisms (dissolved gas or skeletons of marine creatures that become limestone). High levels of carbon dioxide from industrial wastes in Water, forms carbonic acid which lowers the water p. H.
Increased acidification may have detrimental effects on the corals and other marine organisms with calcium carbonate shells (Larry, O. 2006). Economic costs of global warming emerge from damages on property and infrastructure, plus human and animal diseases and other health disorders from pollution (gas emissions). In the agriculture sector, crop yields have reduced due to side effects of high levels of ground level Ozone gas while the rain-fed agriculture is affected by the vulnerability of climatic conditions caused by global warming.
Global warnings combined effects can be very harsh to people or states that lack resources to mitigate them. Furthermore, ecosystems are predicted to change in the future if global temperature continues to rise and there may be some species that may be at a risk of extinction. However, increased temperature and carbon dioxide may be said to have a positive effect of improving ecosystems productivity (Thomas, C. D. 2004). Global warming has been recognized as a major environmental threat where the problem of global warming was high on the agenda of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in ROI De Jeanine, Brazil in 1992.
There were great concerns for countries to reduce carbon dioxide In 1997, nations that had signed the UN framework convention emissions. On climate change in ROI De Jeanine met again in December, in Japan’s city of Kyoto. Carbon emission limitation from industrial nations was encouraged, especially in the US. The Kyoto protocol was signed with the objective of educing green house gases and member countries have the responsibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Another meeting in November 2005 in Montreal Canada acted as a starting point for formal talks on mandatory post 2012 reductions in greenhouse gases. The most recent meeting of the nations that signed the Kyoto Protocol was held in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2006 where calls were made for measures to be implemented to stop or reduce global warming. Other measures that have been taken to reduce the emissions are the manufacturing of fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce emissions from fuel-combustion which also cuts down the high penitence on oil as a source of gas emissions.
Solutions There are many different ways we as humans can slow the deterioration of the ozone layer. Individuals could reduce energy consumption. There are many ways you can save the ozone layer by recycle and reuse goods. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. By reducing and reusing, consumers and industry can save natural resources and reduce waste management costs. Unfortunately, the amount of waste generated in the united States has been increasing. Between 1 960 and 2009 the amount of waste each person creates increased from 2. O 4. 3 pounds per day. This results in about 243 million tons of waste generated in the US in 2009. Waste prevention, or “source reduction,” is the strategy behind reducing and reusing waste. By designing, manufacturing purchasing, or using materials in ways that reduce the amount or the toxicity Of trash created, less waste is generated and fewer natural resources are used. Reuse is often part of the waste prevention strategy, stopping waste at the source due to preventing or delaying a material’s entry in the waste collection and disposal system.
People could use cars less, when possible use public rainspout or walk instead. Many feel as though once you get your drivers license then you need not use public transportation. That is not always the case. You save more using public transportation. You don’t have to put gas you’re your car. You don t have to get inspection stickers or registration for your vehicles. You save more and help the environment all at the same time. Yet, when having a personal car, choose from fuel-efficient models, or from new models which will be powered by other than fossil fuels.