Green Channel - Of Global Warming and Warning
,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said recently, listing the economic crisis and global warming as the most pressing challenges of today.The initiation of the industrial revolution brought many exciting inventions into our lives to simplify and makes our lives more efficient. Such invention included cars, household appliances and plant that burn solid waste, fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal wood and wood products for fuel. Before the revolution, human activities caused a few gases to be released into the atmosphere, but now scientists say, through the burning of fossil fuels, a large population growth and deforestation, humans are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere –paving the way for “global warming” –an entity less understood but more spoken of.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the earth has a natural “greenhouse effect” which is cased by energy from the sun controlling the earth’s surface. In response to the sun, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmosphere greenhouse gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide and other gases trap the energy leaving the earth and retaining it as heat, much like a green house ceiling. With the greenhouse effect the earth’s average temperature is more comfortable and life supporting, at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The problems that have arisen with the greenhouse effect have occurred due to the increate in atmospheric greenhouse gases.
This process, in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, was visualized in a very lucid manner. The EPA report that data collected over the last 100 years shows that the average land surface temperature has risen risen between 0.8 and one degrees Fahrenheit, precipitation has increased around one per cent over the globe, and the sea level has risen approximately six eight inches –approximately one-two inches of the rise caused by melting mountain glaciers and another one-four inches has resulted from the expansion of the ocean water as a result of the warmer ocean temperatures. Fossil fuel burnt to run automobiles, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98 per cent of the total US emission of carbon dioxide, 24 per cent of the methane emissions and 18 per cent of nitrous oxide emissions! By the year 2100, without emission control policies, carbon dioxide concentrations will be 30-150 per cent higher than they are today. Scientists also expect that the earth’s average surface temperature could rise by 1.6-6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 21000!
The environment Defence Fund (EDF) recommends using energy –efficient application ‘s in one’s home, weatherizing it and using renewable en energy source. Al Gore’s 23 -room mansion follows exactly the same (a “green switch” in his home ensures the flow of renewable energy to power all electronic usage of his home), and through this process cost more. He feels it is his “moral” duty is a responsible earthling. Observance of Earth Hour and a few such event will not save our planet for the eleventh hour’s reckoning, unless our true moral consciousness gets a wake-up call.
Again, natural gas releases the last amount of carbon dioxide and thus is recommended to replace coal and oil I power plants and factories. A household that buys energy-efficient equipment instead of standard new equipment can considerably lower the emission of carbon dioxide over the life time of the applications. Citizens can reduce their energy bills by around 30 per cent by replacing their home applications by energy-efficient projects.
A menace such as global warming is a problem that requires actions from the entire international community. The noble cause on environmental jointly take up by noble laureate. Al Gore and Virgin’s Richard Branson is highly inspirational. Richard Branson’s enthusiasm and innovative participation for combating global warming recently had a Virgin Flight tested by flying with coconut as the major input (and turbine fuel consisting roughly 20 per cent), and he is new using the best scientific minds on the globe to use bio-fuel as the only potential input to fly aeroplanes. The World awaits this miracle.
The economic impact of global warming are also not far to seek. The effects on agriculture are a mix of pros and cons. High temperature will allow farmers to grow different crops. Rainfall will increase in some places at some times, but decrease in others. The negative effects of droughts are mitigated by higher concentration of carbon dioxide is the atmosphere, which will improve the water use efficiency of crops. An industry very directly affected by risk in the insurance industry; The number major natural disaster has tripled since the 1960s, and insured losses increased 15 fold in real terms. According to one study, 35-40 per cent of the worst catastrophes have been climate change related. According to a 2005 report from the association of British Insures, limiting carbon emission could avoid 80 per cent of the projects additional annual cost of tropical cyclones by 2080s. Rods, Airport, runways, railway lines and pipelines (including oil pipelines sewers, water mains, etc), may require increased maintenance and renewal as they become subjects to greater temperature variation and exposed to weather that they were not designed for.
Some Pacific Ocean island nations, such as Tuvalu, are concerned about the possibility of environmental evacuation, as floods defence may become economically unviable for them. Melting Arctic ice may open the Northwest passage in summer, which could cut 5,000 nautical miles (9,000 km) from shipping routs between Europe and Asia. According to the Canada’s Ice service, the amount of ice in Canada’s eastern Arctic Archipelago decreased by 15 per cent between 1969 and 2004. Positive eustasy, (sea level rise) may contaminate groundwater, affecting drinking water and agriculture on coastal zones. Higher temperature will also increased the demand for water for the purposes of cooling and hydration. In Sahel, there has been one average 20 per cent decrease in annual rainfall over the past 30 year.
Reducing greenhouse emission depends in part on lowering consumption of fossil fuels. The key challenge is that nearly all forms of economic activity rely on fossil fuel energy sources, from transportation fuel, electricity from coal-fired plants, industrial furnaces to home and office heating reducing emission can be achieved through gains in efficiency producing the same benefits with similar amounts of fossil energy or by displacing fossil source as none –emitting or low –emitting sources. The scale of current fossil energy dependence poses a substantial challenge.
Gaining energy efficiency typically requires up –front investment, such as adding insulation replacing energy inefficient devices and processes, or buying hybrid vehicles. Financial and technological strategies can have a major impact on reaching a particular target, Carbon tax and carbon emission trading can be made good use of. Moreover, regulation coupled with reducing the carbon industry of energy via nuclear power of renewable energy is also necessary.
The question remains: Can we avert the impending doomsday?