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GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE

What is Global Warming?

Global warming” refers to the gradual warming of global-average temperatures due to the slowly increasing concentrations of man-made atmospheric greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide. But global warming can alternatively refer to simply the observation of warming, without implying the cause(s) of that warming. The burning of fossil fuels, mainly petroleum and coal, produces carbon dioxide as one of the by-products.

The burning of fossil fuels, mainly petroleum and coal, produces carbon dioxide as one of the by-products. As of 2010, the concentration of carbon dioxide is about 50% higher than it was before the start of the industrial revolution in the late 1800’s.

The potential warming effect of the extra CO2 is through its ability to absorb and emit infrared radiation, which is the type of radiation the Earth continually loses to outer space in response to heating by sunlight. This makes carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas, albeit a weaker one in the atmosphere than water vapor.

THE CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING

Global Warming Causes first fundamental global warming cause is an absolute dependence of the modern human society on the burning of fossil fuels, which is the most important source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Power generation is the biggest source of greenhouse gases (specifically, CO2) within the energy sector, with 31% of the energy sector’s total emissions.

Fossil fuel combustion is the primary global source of carbon dioxide, the most powerful of all greenhouse gases acting as global warming causes.

Road transport is, of course, another major generator of greenhouse emissions (15% of the total amount), as still a vast majority of road vehicles around the world are currently powered by liquid oil. Together these three sub-sectors – power generation, industrial sector and road transport – produce slightly more than 60% of the total greenhouse gas emissions related to the energy sector.

Deforestation causes 31% of the total land use emissions and is a very serious problem not only from the point of view of global warming but also in respect of irreversible plant and animal diversity loss with negative consequences for many different groups of people and the planet as a whole. Since forests are one of the largest storages of carbon, deforestation particularly through forest fires is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions globally.

Rice cultivation is one more major cause of methane emissions, producing 10% of total land use emissions. The main greenhouse gases emitted by land use activities are methane and nitrous oxide, with a significant amount of carbon dioxide produced as a result of deforestation. major man-made cause of Global Warming is population.

More people means more food, and more methods of transportation, Man-made causes probably do the most damage. There are many man-made causes. Pollution is one of the biggest man-made problems. Pollution comes in many shapes and sizes. Burning fossil fuels is one thing that causes pollution.

Fossil fuels are fuels made of organic matter such as coal, or oil. When fossil fuels are burned they give off a green house gas called CO2.

Therefore , they act as major global warming causes. The biggest greenhouse gas emitted by the energy sector in general is, without doubt, carbon dioxide – it makes up 90% of all the greenhouse gas emissions.

Global_Warming_Causes_and_Effects

BASIC FACTS ON GLOBAL WARMING

There is no debate among scientists about the basic facts of global warming.

Although water vapor traps more heat than CO2, because of the relationships among CO2, water vapor and climate, to fight global warming nations must focus on controlling CO2.

Any beneficial effects of global warming will be far outweighed by damage and disruption.

Global warming is just part of a natural cycle.

The Arctic has warmed up in the past.

The global warming we are experiencing is not natural. People are causing it. In most parts of the world, the retreat of glaciers has been dramatic.The best available scientific data indicate that Greenland’s massive ice sheet is shrinking, less ice leads to more warming and feeds global warming. Global warming and the ozone hole are two different problems

GLOBAL WARMING EFFECTS
Global Warming Effects on the Environment :
The average temperature of the planet for each year, over the last decade, has been featuring in top 25 high temperatures of all time. In fact, 1998 and 2005 were the hottest years in the history of the Earth. Global warming effects on earth are many, and to understand the overall effects of global warming on earth, we have to understand the effects of global warming on each component of the planet.

Global Warming Effects on Animals:
A large number of animal species will disappear from the planet, owing to the loss of habitat triggered by global warming.

Global Warming Effects on Plants:
Even plants will not be spared from the brunt of global warming effects on earth. Owing to the drastic changes in temperature levels, various plant species have been experiencing difficulties in adapting to the areas wherein once they flourished.

The growing season of some plant species has also been altered, which in turn has disturbed the reproduction cycle of the species, thus giving a drastic blow to the plant population.

Global Warming Effects on Weather:
Increasing temperatures will lead to adverse effects on weather as well. he Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges the fact that the frequency of intense rains has increased over the last 50 years.
On one hand, heating of the ocean due to global warming gives rise to ferocious hurricanes, while more than the normal temperature on land gives rise to intense heat waves.

Global Warming Effects on Sea Levels:
One of the most grievous among the various global warming effects on earth is the rise in sea levels, which are threatening to encroach up on land.
If the sea levels rise it will result in a watery grave to several low lying areas, tiny islands and reclaimed portions of land.

Global Warming Effects on Humans:
When the whole environment will experience the effects of global warming, naturally humans won’t be an exception. In fact, we will be the worst affected beings on the planet because directly or indirectly we are dependent on all the above mentioned components of the environment Global Warming Effects on Economy
The repercussions of various effects of global warming on earth will also be felt on the economy of various countries.

The most affected would be the countries with agriculture-led economy:
Global warming will trigger a series of changes in weather conditions which will take a toll on agriculture and allied activities Economies dependent on tourism, such as Maldives, will also bear the brunt ofglobal warming.
Considering that the world has become a global village, the domino effect of global warming will also be seen on other countries and more importantly on the world economy.

greenhouse-effect

MOST IMPORTANT ANTHROPOGENIC GREENHOUSE GASES WE HAVE:

• Carbon dioxide (CO2) • Methane (CO4) • Nitrous Oxide (N2O) • Fluorocarbons (incl. hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) and per fluorocarbons (PFCs) • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) Many of these gases come from natural sources.

Without this natural “greenhouse effect,” temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth’s average temperature is a more hospitable 60°F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth’s atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols, a common air pollutant, cool the atmosphere by reflecting light back into space; however, sulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

Why are greenhouse gas concentrations increasing? Scientists generally believe that the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities; but these releases have generally been in balance during the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution with carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial vegetation and the oceans.

What has changed in the last few hundred years is the additional release of carbon dioxide by human activities. Fossil fuels burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, 24% of methane emissions, and 18% of nitrous oxide emissions. Increased agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining also contribute a significant share of emissions. In 1997, the United States emitted about one-fifth of total global greenhouse gases.

Estimating future emissions is difficult, because it depends on demographic, economic, technological, policy, and institutional developments. Several emissions scenarios have been developed based on differing projections of these underlying factors. For example, by 2100, in the absence of emissions control policies, carbon dioxide concentrations are projected to be 30-150% higher than today’s levels.

Changing Climate
Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.5-1.0°F since the late 19th century. The 20th century’s 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent. The frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased throughout much of the United States.

Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.5-1.0°F since the late 19th century. The 20th century’s 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent. The frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased throughout much of the United States.

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