These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries. What is Greenhouse Effect? The greenhouse effect refers to circumstances where the short wavelengths f visible light from the sun pass through a transparent medium and are absorbed, but the longer wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass through that medium.
The trapping of the long wavelength radiation leads to more heating and a higher resultant temperature. Besides the heating of an automobile by sunlight through the windshield and the namesake example of heating the greenhouse by sunlight passing through sealed, transparent windows, the greenhouse effect has been widely used to describe the trapping of excess heat by the rising incineration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide strongly absorbs infrared and does not allow as much of it to escape into space. What are Greenhouse Gases?
A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GOGH) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth ‘s surface would average about ICC (OFF) colder than the present average of 14 co (57 OF).
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to a 40% increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280 pump to 397 pump, despite the uptake of a large portion Of the emissions through various natural “sinks” involved in the carbon cycle. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (ICC) emissions (I. E. , emissions produced by human activities) come from combustion of carbon based fuels, ironically wood, coal, oil, and natural gas.
Greenhouse Gas Chemical Formula Anthropogenic Sources Atmospheric Lifetime Carbon Dioxide Fossil-fuel combustion, Land-use conversion, Cement Production -100 years Methane CHI Fossil fuels, Rice paddies, Waste dumps 12 years Nitrous Extraterritorial, Industrial processes, Combustion 114 years Troposphere’s Ozone 03 Fossil fuel combustion, Industrial emissions, Chemical solvents hours-days CUFF-12 CLIFF Liquid coolants, Foams 100 years HCI-22 CUFF Refrigerants years Sulfur Hexafluoride SF Dielectric fluid 3,200 years
The Main Greenhouse Gases, their sources and atmospheric lifetime CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning power plants Our ever increasing addiction to electricity from coal burning power plants releases enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 40% of U. S. ICC emissions come from electricity production, and burning coal accounts for 93% of emissions from the electric utility industry.
Every day, more electric gadgets flood the market, and without widespread alternative energy sources, we are highly dependent on burning coal for our personal and immemorial electrical supply. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning gasoline for transportation Our modern car culture and appetite for globally sourced goods is responsible for about 33% of emissions in the U. S. With our population growing at an alarming rate, the demand for more cars and consumer goods means that we are increasing the use of fossil fuels for transportation and manufacturing.
Our consumption is outpacing our discoveries of ways to mitigate the effects, with no end in sight to our massive consumer culture. Methane emissions from animals, agriculture such as rice daddies, and from Arctic seabed Methane is another extremely potent greenhouse gas, ranking right behind ICC. When organic matter is broken down by bacteria under oxygen-starved conditions (anaerobic decomposition) as in rice paddies, methane is produced.
The process also takes place in the intestines of herbivorous animals, and with the increase in the amount of concentrated livestock production, the levels of methane released into the atmosphere is increasing. Another source of methane is methane accelerate, a compound containing large amounts of methane trapped in the crystal structure of ice. As methane escapes from the Arctic seabed, the rate of global warming will increase significantly.
Deforestation, especially tropical forests for wood, pulp, and farmland The use of forests for fuel (both wood and for charcoal) is one cause of deforestation, but in the first world, our appetite for wood and paper products, our consumption of livestock grazed on former forest land, and the use of tropical forest lands for commodities like palm oil plantations contributes to the mass deforestation of our world. Forests remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, ND this deforestation releases large amounts of carbon, as well as reducing the amount of carbon capture on the planet.
Increase in usage of chemical fertilizers on croplands In the last half of the 20th century, the use of chemical fertilizers (as opposed to the historical use of animal manure) has risen dramatically. The high rate of application of nitrogen-rich fertilizers has effects on the heat storage of cropland (nitrogen oxides have 300 times more heat-trapping capacity per unit of volume than carbon dioxide) and the run-off of excess fertilizers rates ‘dead-zones’ in our oceans. EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING Greenhouse gases can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds and thousands of years.
No matter what we do, global warming is going to have Some effect on Earth. Here are some Of the cautious effects of global warming. Spread and More outbreaks of deadly diseases As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them. Indeed some scientists believe that in some countries, thanks to global warming, malaria has not been fully eradicated. As suggested, with warmth comes disease. Climate greatly influences some of the most deadly and widespread diseases currently affecting millions of people across the world.
With disease-bearing insects such as mosquitoes able to multiply in staggering numbers thanks to even small rises in temperature, global warming looks set to facilitate the spread of diseases like Malaria, West Nile virus and Dengue fever to parts of the planet usually untouched. The increased number of sick people could even overwhelm public health services – especially in poor or unprepared countries. The Deadly Dozen is a group of 12 diseases that have been identified as those most likely to spread due to global warming. It includes Avian ‘Flu, Cholera, Plague, Bola and Tuberculosis.
Other sources of serious illnesses are exacerbated by the effects of pollution and the release of CIFS that harm the ozone layer. Drought Although some areas of Earth Will become wetter due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a dangerously rare commodity in Africa, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will exacerbate the conditions and could lead to conflicts and war.
Economic consequences Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be good. And these effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts exacerbate all of these. Polar ice caps melting The ice caps melting is a four-pronged danger. First, it will raise sea levels. There are 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice APS, glaciers, and permanent snow. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet.
Luckily, that’s not going to happen all in one go! But sea levels will rise. Second, melting ice caps will throw the global ecosystem out of balance. The ice caps are fresh water, and when they melt they will desalinate the ocean, or in plain English – make it less salty. The desalination of the Gulf current will “screw up” ocean currents, which regulate temperatures. The stream shutdown or irregularity would cool the area around Northeast America and Western Europe. Luckily, that will slow some of the other effects of global warming in that area!
Third, temperature rises and changing landscapes in the Arctic Circle will endanger several species of animals. Only the most adaptable will survive. Fourth, global warming could snowball with the ice caps gone. Ice caps are white, and reflect sunlight, much of which is reflected back into space, further cooling Earth. If the ice caps melt, the only reflector is the ocean. Darker colors absorb sunlight, further warming the Earth. More floods Flooding represents one of the most dangerous hazards to human talents and is one of the most potentially momentous impacts of global warming.
As the climate changes, a warming of the seas creates ‘thermal expansion’. This is where warm water begins to take up more space than cool water, making the sea’s surface level increase. Thermal expansion has already raised the height of the oceans by 4 to 8 inches (10 to CACM), according to National Geographic. Steadily melting glacial ice also adds significantly to the elevation in water surface level, and many low-lying or coastal communities and facilities will be under threat of eradication should the sea levels continue o rise. An increase of just a single meter (3 Ft) would submerge considerable sections of the U.
S. Eastern seaboard, while one sixth of Bangladesh could be lost permanently by a rise of 1. 5 m (5 Ft), to name just two examples. The relocation of power stations, refineries, hospitals, homes and so on would become an expensive priority. Also, warmer air can hold more water vapor, increasing the level of rainfall and bringing flooding to inland areas. Fires and wildfires As the planet continues to warm, dry areas of land that are already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and seductive episodes.
In 2007, more than 3,000 fires brought destruction to Southeastern Europe thanks to a long summer that created arid and parched conditions – a situation that would become normal as a consequence of the greenhouse effect. What’s more, the carbon dioxide and ‘black carbon’ (a very fine soot) released by these large-scale fires together with the deforestation they cause further compounds the problem of air pollution – as the gases that help to create the greenhouse effect are supplemented and less mature trees survive to draw ICC from the atmosphere.
Destructive storms With ocean temperature being a key factor for hurricane formation, the consequences of global warming will inevitably include the increased generation of storms and hurricanes with greater power and frequency. The destructive power of hurricanes has increased by some 50% in the last 30 years, a figure that is closely connected with the rising temperature of the ocean. Warmer water leads to greater evaporation, which in turn helps to not just ‘prime’ the coalescence of hurricanes and cyclones but also to maintain their vigor once extant.
Simply put, warmer oceans make for more extreme either including devastating storms. Death by smog A powerful combination of vehicular fumes, ground-level ozone, airborne industrial pollution and the stagnant hot air associated with heat waves, smog represents an immediate and chronic health threat to those living in built-up urban areas. It exacerbates pre-existing health conditions that affect the respiratory system such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, and in general impedes the immune system’s ability to fight against infection and disease.
Desertification How global warming affects desertification is not entirely understood, yet it is Lear that an elevation in atmospheric and ground-level temperatures is likely to aggravate soil and vegetation loss in already hot climes. An increase in photoengraving’s and the accompany eying decrease in rainfall mean that already semi-arid and sub-humid areas found across the world would face a future barrenness that is almost irreversible. This would negatively affect biodiversity and have a major impact on local human cultures and wildlife.
Tsunamis Although global warming does not directly influence the formation of tsunamis, they can be generated by events that are brought about by an amplification of the planet’s temperature. One example is the melting of ice sheets. Being extremely heavy, massive glaciers apply a considerable amount of pressure to the Earth’s surface underneath them. This anchorage decreases as the glaciers diminish, resulting in a ‘freeing up’ of tectonic masses that can lead to massive earthquakes and significant volcanic activity, both of which are capable of creating deadly tsunamis. Creased volcanic activity As already noted, melting glaciations can usher in new, more frequent and more dangerous episodes of volcanic activity. The shifting pressures brought bout by the lightening of the vast ice sheets allows the Earth’s crust to ‘bounce back’ and can cause eruptions in unexpected places – like the one experienced during Iceland’s Go;lap eruption, where magma reached the surface at an unusual intermediary point between two volcanoes. Migration, conflict and wars It is possible that future centuries could see increased friction between nations and ethnic groups as dwindling resources lead to migration and conflict.
Countries and factions would seek to control precious, dwindling resources and provide safety and shelter for their own people – perhaps at the cost of others. Simultaneously, previously heavily populated places would become uninhabitable due to heat or other factors, displacing millions of people. These refugee hordes might be corralled into semi-permanent camps, or even suffer at the hands of unwelcoming native groups. Loss of biodiversity and animal extinction Loss of habitat for polar-ice edge communities such as polar bears is perhaps the most obvious consequence of having a warmer climate.
Animals that are entirely dependent on cold environments will retreat to more northerly locations as the planet heats up -? leading to encroachment upon other echo- yester and displacement of other animals from their natural habitat. A strong connection between oceanic warming, declines in reproduction and increases in mortality rates among seabirds, seals and sea lions has already been observed. Acid rain has also been identified as having an adverse influence. One example of this is the death of large amounts of snails in areas prone to acidic precipitation.
Birds depends upon the snails as a calcium-rich food source and, without a suitable replacement for this loss to their diet, lay eggs with a much higher amount of defective shells. Death of ocean life The world’s oceans absorb roughly 30% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide that seeps into the atmosphere, and so inevitably, as more fossil fuels are burned, ocean life will continue to suffer the negative consequences of global warming. One of the most critical changes brought about by global warming is the ongoing reduction of phytoplankton.
These tiny plants are an integral food source for ocean life and are responsible for around half of the world’s photosynthetic activity. Essentially, they are the foundations of the oceanic food chain, so a reduction in their numbers creates a knock-on effect that apples up the entire food chain, particularly affecting the predators at the top. Diminished food and water supplies With greatly reduced rainfall, more severe droughts and loss of soil fertility, food and water supplies would soon diminish, resulting in higher prices, famine, disease, malnutrition, starvation and, ultimately, death.
Politically unstable countries or badly affected areas might descend into various degrees of anarchy, with governmental collapses and shifts in authority as those in control of resources become more powerful. Countries that still attain good food and water resources might be unwilling to part with these vital commodities or accept the millions of refugees that would seek new homes. GLOBAL WARMING PREVENTION Government Solutions to Global Warming Governments can take several steps to reduce the threat of global warming.
First and foremost, the United States and other industrial nations must use less of the fossil fuels especially coal, oil, and gasoline that produce carbon dioxide, the most significant heat-trapping gas. Industrial countries are responsible for the largest share of worldwide emissions of heat-trapping asses. But these nations also have a great ability to switch to cutting-edge energy technologies that produce fewer of these emissions. Second, the nations of the world must negotiate a climate change treaty with legally binding limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases.
The United States can reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions through four principal strategies that make use of new energy technologies: improving energy efficiency, developing renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power, reducing gasoline consumption for transportation, and switching from coal and oil to natural gas. Improve Energy Efficiency The less energy we use, the less carbon dioxide we will produce. Over the past 20 years, American industry and consumers have begun to switch to more-efficient motors, vehicles, appliances, windows, and manufacturing processes.
This switch has saved considerable energy and money, but much greater efficiency is possible. Develop Renewable Energy Clean, safe, renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and sustainable grown biomass (plant matter), can provide us with energy but do not contribute to global warming. These technologies are ready to be deployed much more ideal, but government policies must encourage their use. Reduce Gasoline Consumption for Transportation Cars, trucks, and buses consume over half of the oil used in the United States.
Highly efficient gasoline-powered cars, and alternatively fueled vehicles such as electric and fuel-cell cars and buses, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by using less or no gasoline. In addition, policies can encourage consumers to drive less and to use alternatives to single-passenger automobile trips, such as carpools, bicycles, and public transportation. Switch from Coal and Oil to Natural Gas Although natural gas is a fossil fuel, it produces less carbon dioxide than either coal or oil.
Changing from coal to natural gas for generating electricity and from oil to natural gas for home heating is thus desirable as a quick fix, even though these switches alone cannot reduce carbon dioxide emissions nearly as much as is necessary. Additional Government Steps Reducing American use of coal, oil, and gasoline would start to address the global warming threat, but other steps, such as transferring technology to developing countries, preserving forests, decreasing atmospheric methane, intriguing to phase out CIFS, and slowing down population growth, are also important.
They can also provide benefits in addition to reducing global warming. Forest preservation, for example, would protect endangered species, while slower population growth would make it easier to supply adds Tate food for all the world’s people. Transfer Technology to Developing Countries American businesses, the government, and international organizations need to find ways to transfer advanced energy technologies to developing countries, so that those nations can build their economies without having to SE the older, polluting fossil fuel tech analogies that the industrial countries are now trying to phase out.
Preserve and Plant Forests Trees take in carbon dioxide and use it to grow. Deforestation, especially in the tropics where many of the largest, most important forests are located, contributes significantly to global warming. Efforts to preserve forests and to plant trees On deforested land are essential not only for preventing global warming but also for preserving biodiversity. Decrease Methane in the Atmosphere Although methane contributes much less to global warming than does carbon oxide, it is still responsible for about 15 percent of the problem.