We are polluting the atmosphere and with an increasingly wide range of polluting substances and these are due to the fact that there are now so many people and their human activities are altering the chemical compositing of the atmosphere through the buildup of gases. By the end of this article, you will start to wonder about what this is doing to our world.
What is global warming?
Global warming takes place because human activities are pumping vast amounts of gases. These are
Carbon dioxide – this gas is unconfined to the atmosphere when solid fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, and wood products are burned
Methane – this gas is given out during the production and transfer of fossil fuels. It also results in the decomposition of organic wastes in solid waste landfills and the raising of livestock.
Nitrous acid – this is released during such things as industrial activities and the burning of waste and once again fossil fuels.
These are also known as greenhouse gases. They produce the greenhouse effect. This takes place because these gases are trapping more and more of the heat given off from the Earths surface which then escapes into outer space. This then makes the atmosphere and the Earths surface much warmer – like a greenhouse whose glass walls and roof trap heat from the Sun. Carbon dioxide is dangerous in controlling the Earths balance in heat because it takes in infrared radiation.
As a result of this, we are growing up in a world much warmer that it was than the 20th century because of the increase of greenhouse gases. Without these greenhouse gases however, the Earth would freeze and temperatures would be 33ï¿½C colder than it is know. As concentrations of gases that absorbs and reradiate infrared energy increase, the warming effect increases.
Causes and effects of global warming
Industrial revolution has played a major part in global warming. Carbon dioxide is known to be the most important single factoring global warming. Carbon dioxide has risen to up to 30%. This is partly due to fossil fuels, which are used to run vehicles, business, to heat up homes and power factories. For carbon dioxide, a secondary factor is deforestation and the burning of deforestation. CFCs emitted from aerosols, air conditioners, refrigerators and foam packagings are the most detrimental of greenhouse gases.
Methane is released decomposing organic matter such as animal dung, swamps and waste dumps. Nitric oxide is released from car exhausts, agricultural fertilisers and power stations. The US is known to have produced up to about a fifth of all greenhouse gases. Future predictions are that there could be violent storms and sea levels will be raised. To add to that there could be more droughts torrential rainfall and even worse, parts of the polar ice caps would start melting which could flood vast areas around the edges of continents. Also scientists have predicted that by 2100, carbon dioxide concentrations are known to be 30 – 150% higher than today’s levels.
Attempts to stop global warming
A lot of attempts have been made to try and administer the problem of global warming. For example many cities and states have arranged greenhouse gas inventories and are also following guidelines that will result in declining the rate of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. A number of international meetings have also been held to find ways of combating global warming. The Montreal Protocol in 1987 aimed at phasing out the production of chlorofluorocarbons and other substances, which affect the o zone layer.
Industrialised countries were obliged to achieve a 50% reduction by 1996. However for developing countries, the obligation was even further. The Rio earth summit in 1993 made a proposition that global warming should be slowed down by cutting back emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This was to be achieved by the year 2000. The Kyoto Protocol is the most recent one held in 1997 were they tightened up commitments held at the meeting. It required industrialized nations to continue reducing greenhouse gases after the year 2000. These meetings all included
good ideas however; many countries have been unwilling to implement these agreements. None of these goals have been fully achieved.
The U.S Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates the world’s most extensive research effort on climate changes. In addition the EPA and other federal agencies are actively engaging the private sector, states, and localities in partnerships aimed at addressing the challenge of global warming and intensifying the economy. The U.S. is also working to strengthen international action and widen participation under the support of the Framework Convention of Climate Change.
What you can do to help…
There are a lot of things that you can do to preventing global warming being an even more major factor than it is now. You can 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. You can also drive less by choosing alternatives such as public transport walking or even riding a bike. Also, learn to bundle all your errands together so trips will be reduced. Also you can choose to replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. This is because they last ten times larger than incandescent bulbs. They will also lower energy bills and will keep carbon dioxide out of the air. You can also consider joining such action group’s who try and secure the changes that will stop global warming.