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Carbon dioxide plays a major part of impacting the Earth s climate. Carbon dioxide traps heat form the sun. This effect is considered global warming, which is often referred to as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect traps solar heat, like a green house for plants, which causes the solar energy from being released. Global warming or the greenhouse effect is believed to have been causing our temperatures to rise. If global warming persists, many problems will begin to occur in the coming decades.
Global warming has caused some speculation. The earth s climate has been changing for millions of years, making global warming a reality. Human activities contribute to global warming. Some of theses activities include, the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation's, anything that produces methane gas, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Climate is not weather. These activities do not change the weather, but rather climate patterns across the globe (web 2 / 15 / 00).
People are conducting an inadvertent global experiment by using basic strategies that are available. One of these strategies is called abatement. Abatement means to slow or stop. This strategy helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases released into the Earth s atmosphere. It aims to improve energy efficiency. The main goal of this strategy is to emit other sources of energy such as solar energy and nuclear power.
These other sources will help reduce the carbon dioxide that is released into the air. Another strategy being used is called adaptation. By using the strategy of adaptation, people are trying to live under the current conditions and adapt to the changing climate. The last strategy being used is the geo-engineering strategy. This means to engineer the Earth s atmosphere and oceans to reduce the amount of climate change.
This strategy is relatively inexpensive and is likely to be used if there is a severe change in a climate. All three strategies can be used in help lowering the carbon dioxide being released in the air. The twentieth century s ten warmest years all occurred within the last fifteen years. Of these years, 1998 was the hottest on record (EPA, web 2 / 6 / 00). Atmospheric disturbances brought on by the additional warming will produce more violent storms and larger death tolls. Some areas, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, will dry out and a greater occurrence of lightning strikes will set massive forest fires.
The charring of the Earth by natural and man-made forest fires will dump additional quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Changes in temperature and rainfall brought on by global warming will in turn change the composition of the forests. At the present rate of destruction, most of the rain forests will be gone by the middle of the next century. Evaporation rates will also increase and circulation patterns will change. Decreased rainfall in some areas will result in increased rainfall in others. In some regions, the river flow will be reduced or stopped all together.
Other areas will experience sudden downpours that create massive floods. The central portions of the continents, which normally experience occasional droughts, might become permanently dry wastelands. Vast areas of once productive cropland could lose topsoil and become man-made deserts. Coastal regions, where half the human population lives, will feel the adverse effects of rising sea levels as the ice caps melt under rising ocean temperatures. Global warming will have a great impact on all people. Economically developed societies, like those in North America, Europe and Japan, could use technology to reduce severe impacts.
They could develop new strategies to help crops, water systems, and costal development. Colder countries might benefit from the earth s climate heating up. It could lower their heating bills and provide longer growing seasons for crops. However, less developed countries may suffer from a severe climate change.
Countries, like those in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America depend too much on the climate today. These countries would suffer from horrible storms and rising sea levels. Droughts in Africa could become even worse. These smaller countries simply don t have the resources to adapt to theses changes.
Both developed and non-developed societies will be impacted in some way, technology plays an important part in whether the societies survive (web 2 / 15 / 00). Not only are people impacted by global warming, but nature as well. Scientists have looked at the past and found that the natural environment usually adapts to climate changes that have occurred gradually. However, rapid climate changes have caused a widespread of species to become extinct and natural ecosystems have collapsed. If trees and plants are being wiped out because they can no longer survive under the rapid change in climate, animals will die out as well. They would have no habitat to live in (web 2 / 15 / 00).
The changing regional climate could harm birds, fish, and many other types ecosystems. Deserts may expand into existing rangelands. National parks may be permanently changed. The most important impacts will depend on the amount of rainfall.
Rainfall will make or break specific areas (EPA, web 2 / 6 / 00). Life could not exist if there were no natural greenhouse effect. The reason for the natural greenhouse effect is so that all the creatures living on Earth can live and breathe. We as inhabitants of this Earth must do our part in preserving it, or there won t be much left for our children to live on.
Human activities are causing some greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to build up in the atmosphere. Each time we burn gasoline, oil, coal, or even natural gas, more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere (Global Warming and Climate Change, web 2 / 15 / 00). By cutting down the forest trees, we allow air pollution to set in. This, therefore, causes many problems in addition to many others.
Now that there are fewer trees to help filter out pollution, we are allowing more damage to the atmosphere causing global warming. These certain gases that occur naturally in the atmosphere tend to trap the sun s heat, which is called global warming. By trapping in the sun s heat, the Earth will warm up. Many of the Earth s natural disasters, such as volcanic activity, and other factors, have caused our planet s (Bates, 1990, 23) atmosphere to become either colder or warmer.
The global average temperature of the surface has increased by one degree Fahrenheit over the past century. This indicates that this warming trend is due to human influences. There are simple steps that can be taken to reduce global warming if everyone would do their part. Whenever you save energy or use it more efficiently you reduce the demand for gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas (web 2 / 16 / 00). If people would reduce the use of appliances, such as only running the dishwasher with a full load, wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot, and turn down your water heater thermostat, this could reduce up to 1, 200 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. When using home heating and cooling systems remember not to overheat or over cool rooms, and remember to clean or replace air filters as recommended.
These simple steps could save over 675 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Use common sense when using energy. Always try to conserve energy. Try to walk instead of driving and try to recycle. If people do their part and try to follow these simple steps, less carbon dioxide will be put in the air, reducing global warming or the greenhouse effect. Global warming is becoming more of a threat than people like to think.
Some people aren t aware of the dangers that could come about if carbon dioxide levels in the air keep rising. Humans, animals, and nature will all be impacted with climate change. If we as a society don t do something now, the Earth could be in great danger for the future. People need to be more informed about what global warming will do to the Earth, and what can be done to reduce it. Global warming however cannot be helped unless we as humans do our part and try to make a change now. Bates, Albert K.
Climate in Crisis: The greenhouse Effect and what we can do. Summer town, Tennessee: The Book Publishing Company, 1990. Environmental Defense. web 2 / 16 / 00 EPA. web 2 / 6 / 00 Environmental Defense. web 2 / 15 / 00 Global Warming and Climate Change.
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