Through the eyes of most scientists, global warming is seen as a very serious and severe threat. The actions taken by humans, such as industry and consumption of fossil fuels plus the increase in population and agriculture have played a big part in global warming. If something is not done soon the results could be very bad. By the middle of the twenty first century, there is evidence that the Earth will be warmer than it has been at any time in human history, and quite possibly since the end of the dinosaurs, some 65 billion years ago. If we stay at the rate we our now (fossil fuel consumption / growth in population) then within the next two century the Earth's air might not be fit to breath.
Many people in the world do not think that this is a major concern and that it is normal for the Earth's temperature to increase. However, if this temperature increase is put into perspective of several hundred years, there will be many devastating effects. This is why most scientists view global warming as a very serious and severe threat. Global warming does not require a reduction of the standard of living of people.
However it does demand a rapid shift in the patterns of consumption of fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, to an economy more reliant on solar energy, hydrogen gas, wind biomass, and other renewable energy sources. The term greenhouse effect is used to describe the increased warming of the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere due to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases that absorb radiated energy in the atmosphere and then reradiate it back to the surface. But if it were not for the greenhouse effect, temperatures at the Earth's surface today would be much colder then they are now, and life as we know it could not exist. Scientists are now concerned that the greenhouse gases are being increased by human actions to levels that could be very harmful to life on Earth. Almost all specialists agree that without drastic steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the average global temperature will increase 1 to 3.
5 degrees Celsius during the next century because effective levels of carbon dioxide are expected to double sometime between 2050 and 2100. Many of the greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a long time, and because this happens their tendency to warm the Earth persist for periods that are much longer compared to human life spans. There are five naturally occurring atmospheric gases that have been responsible for the greenhouse effect. These gases are carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. The main contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming is carbon dioxide. The atmosphere contains over 700 billion tons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide.
Currently, humans burn more than 5 billion tons of fossil fuel carbon each year, all of it going into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. In addition, deforestation and subsequent burning and decay add another 1. 5 billion tons. Scientists feel that about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is taken up by the oceans or plant growth.
The remaining 60 percent stays in the atmosphere, and is responsible for the. 4 to. 5 percent yearly growth in carbon dioxide concentrations. Methane is also another major greenhouse gas that is growing significantly more and more each year. Methane is a gas that is naturally produced from decomposition of plant material and enteric fermentation in animals. Scientists say that the growth of methane is from a combination of increases in petroleum, natural gas, coal, rice farming, and increases in the population of domestic farm animals throughout the world.
Nitrous oxide is just slightly increasing each year due to fossil fuel combustion and soil fertilization. Emissions from fossil fuel combustion also react to form ozone in the troposphere. Ozone acts like an infrared absorber in the troposphere and because of this it is considered to be a contributor to global warming. The last greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming is water vapor.
Water vapor is believed to increase surface warming because its concentrations depend on the heat generated by other greenhouse gases. All of these gases are being emitted to the atmosphere at alarming rates because the human population, scale of energy use, industrial activity, and agriculture are growing drastically. Greenhouse gases come from such mainstays of modern life as electrical power plants, automobiles, and heavy industry. Growing consumption of fuel by less efficient cars and light trucks suggests that motor vehicles may soon overtake industry as the largest source of gases suspected of causing global warming by effectively creating a greenhouse around the Earth.
Many people do not want to decrease their standard of living by reducing their consumption of fossil fuels. These people do not realize that if they reduce their consumption, there will be a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases. If this does not happen and global warming continues, the long-term effects may be catastrophic. One of the most serious effects of global warming, as it continues to intensify, is the increase in the ocean levels. Thermal expansion of the ocean and glacial melting are likely to cause a.
5 to 1. 5 meter rise in the ocean level by the year 2100. As the ocean level rises and if no protection is provided, many freshwater supplies could be jeopardized. Tens and possibly hundreds of millions of people will lose their water supplies to salt water intrusion because of sea level rise. The warming of ocean surface waters could possibly create more powerful hurricanes, cyclones, and windstorms. Global warming will also have a drastic effect on the climate of the world in areas such as weather patterns and water resource supplies.
Global warming research is giving more indications, although certainly not proof, that highly volatile weather patterns are one of the consequences of rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. These altered weather patterns can have many effects such as floods, droughts, and reduction in the amount and quality of water resources. There is no indication whether there is going to be an increase or decrease in the total precipitation. Many areas will have a substantial amount of rainfall causing severe flooding, while other areas will have major droughts. However global warming will create a decrease in the snow pack in many mountainous areas because the high winter temperatures could cause more precipitation to fall as rain than as snow. This could create a run off that would fill downstream reservoirs too early.
Thus, during the spring when the reservoirs are normally filled, they would not be able too, because of the early snowmelt. As a result, the reservoirs would have a reduced amount of storage for the summer and fall. Some other areas that are effected by the increase in greenhouse gases are agriculture and ecosystems. Lower water supplies and increased weather variability may hurt the agriculture industry. On the other hand, a longer growing season and increased growth that would be stimulated by higher levels of carbon dioxide may also help it. The increase in temperature and dryness could also effect plant life and animal life.
Natural ecosystems are in delicate balance with their environments and climates. The impacts of climate change become more severe with increases in both the magnitude and the rate of change in average global temperature. Many people suggest that the uncertainties of global warming provide an excuse to do nothing and wait for more scientific research to be done. These people are looking towards the possibility that the future rate of global warming will not be as great as it is predicted now. However, these uncertainties of global warming are likely to be more severe than predicted so the solutions and prevention depend entirely on human choices. The main solution is to slow down the change of the climate by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
Using energy more wisely, such as reducing the burning of fossil fuels can do this. 'Automobiles have been designed that are as safe as the ones driven today, yet achieve two to four times the fuel efficiency. Refrigerators and light bulbs exist that consume far less electricity than the ones now in use. There is also an economic payoff to conserving energy. People who conserve energy save money by not paying for the energy they formerly wasted. Although the initial cost of more efficient products may be more, it is paid off overtime and the people save money and conserve energy.
Solar energy, wind, hydrogen gas, biomass, and other renewable energy sources also need to be used and deeply considered as solutions to slow down global warming, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Deforestation must be slowed and reforestation of previously forested land that has become agriculturally useless has to be promoted. That will require conservation incentive schemes and improvement of farm yields to reduce the pressure to clear new land. This will not be nearly as expensive as coping with the costs of global warming. Controlling populations is also a necessity in order to control the consumption of energy and fossil fuels, but you could write a whole other paper on if they could implement those laws and what human rights that interferes with. Through the eyes of most scientists, global warming is seen as a very serious and severe threat.
Global warming is caused by five naturally occurring atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapor, which are responsible for the greenhouse effect. The consumption of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas are the main way these gases are emitted to the atmosphere. The effects of global warming could be very severe if steps are not taken to control the omit tance of greenhouse gases, and that is why humans should be more reliant on solar energy, hydrogen gas, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy sources.