The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
For the past ten thousand years the earths climate has been extremely good and beneficial to mankind. Today however , major changes are taking place. Humans beings are changing the face of the entire planet by destroying the rain forests and pumping our pollutants into the air and water. Some of these gases are very toxic and they are destroying our ozone layers which allows life to exist on earth These things are changing the make-up of the earths biosphere and its heat balance in a very negative way.
Global Warming is an increase in the earths temperature due to the use of fossil fuels and other industrial processes, leading to a buildup of green house gasses. It has been known that using these gasses stops the suns heat rays from getting into space.
This is called the green house effect. There is a question weather this adds to Co2 levels in the atmosphere. A rise in temperature could cause coastal folding and major climatic changes. This could have serious effects on agricultural productivity. Since 1850 there has been an average rise of 1 degree calculus (1.8 Fahrenheit). But this rise could be just a natural fluctuation or it could be from humans pumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere. It can be hard to tell if it is natural or man made, but either way, in 1995 it was the hottest year on record, research shows from the British Meteorological office. Some scientists predict that if green house gasses are not reduced quickly, temperatures could raise the average temperature 1.8 to 6.3 degree Farenheit by 2100. The average temperature rose 1.8-degree Fahrenheit from 1850 to about 1998. This says the temperature is rising faster because of more fossil fuels and Co2 being pumped into the atmosphere. These increases of temperature, scientists predict, could cause sea levels to rise 20 inches and more. Many of the worlds greatest scientists say the potential consequences are so great that many are urging immediate action, and are asking for international cooperation.
Climate Change has caused some extreme and weather breaking events in recent years. There have been heat waves in European and North America, floods in Africa after nearly 2 decades of drought, and nearly continuous rain and cold in the middle of summer at other places. In the 80’s six of the hottest years of the century were recorded. This could be a result of a global climate change caused by the chemical pollution of the atmosphere. As of yet, no sign of climate change has happened yet that can be blamed on the green house effect.
The Greenhouse Effect is the roll that the atmosphere plays in insulating and warming the earths surface. The atmosphere is the part of the earth that is covered by a thin blanket of gasses. Nitrogen and oxygen are the main gasses in our atmosphere. We would not be able to survive without oxygen. When the sunlight hits the earth it turns to heat or infrared energy. Some of this heat energy is absorbed by soils, plants, and water on the earths surfaced. A lot of this is reflected back toward space, but not all.Carbon dioxide and other similar gasses absorb this heat, and prevent it from going back to space. Carbon dioxide absorbs this heat and warms the atmosphere. It is like a window in a car on a summer day. The glass lets in sunlight but keeps the heat from escaping, like a glass or plastic window in a greenhouse traps heat and protects plants from the cold. This is the greenhouse effect.
The Carbon Cycle is a natural process of carbon dioxide entering the air. It is present in some kinds of rocks and in coral reefs. Large amounts are also stored for a time in soils, in ocean waters, and in sediments at the bottom of the oceans. It is released by erosion, plants and from decaying things. The scientists learn about the earths atmosphere and past by studying glaciers. By drilling more than a mile deep in Greenland glaciers, scientists have collected cores of ice formed a hundred thousand years ago. Their studies show gas bubbles in the ice reveal changes in the earths atmosphere. The scientists have learned that the amount of carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere has changed as temperatures and other conditions have changed over thousands of years.
Greenhouse Gasses in the atmosphere really began to increase in the early nineteenth century with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. When fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are burned, carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Human use of fossil fuels has quickly added large amounts of this gas to the atmosphere. Cutting down forests also adds carbon dioxide, because when wood decays it releases its carbon slowly, also when it is burned. Each year many square miles of forests are burned to clear land for farming especially in the tropics. This cutting down of the forests has released at least a billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Methane gas is another gas released during coal mining and the production of petroleum products. Natural gas is also methane and so any leaks during the production or distribution, or in the use of natural gases also ad methane to the atmosphere. It is produced when forests or grass lands burn, but mainly when dead things decay. It a raises where ever decay occurs and there is little oxygen present, like from swamps and rice paddies, from garbage buried in land fills and even from the guts of cows and termites. Cattle are one of the greatest sources of methane because their numbers have more than doubled the number of people. Methane is chemically twenty times more effective than carbon dioxide as a heat trapping gas. Gases called chlorofluorocsrbons (CFCs) also are dangers because they are used as coolant gasses in refrigerators and air conditioners, as insulation and as propellant gasses in spray cans, also in things like the foam in car seats. When we want a quick and go to a McDonalds or any fast food place, all the plastic containers the food is served in is usually made with CFC gasses. High in the atmosphere the long-lasting CFC’s destroy the atmosphere which protects the earth from the suns rays. A CFC molecule absorbs heat ten thousand times more then co2. Evidence shows that they are adding to the green house effect in the earths atmosphere and are contributing to the warming of the earth.
Results of Global Warming have been debated heavily among scientists.
Some have wondered if the rise in temperature might simply be a result of the growth of cities near weather stations. Urban areas are heat islands because of all there pavement and rooftops that absorb more heat then soils. Research shows that cities have warmer climate than rural areas. But other research shows that todays most sophisticated climatic models estimate that global temperatures will rise between 3 and 9 degrees by the year 2030. Some of the results from this could be in the warming of oceans and rising seas. Glaciers melting due to the warmer seas will cause them to rise. Some predict a rise of 20 inches to 5 feet in the next 50 years. Just a one-foot rise in the sea level can cause shorelines to recede a 100 ft, and in flat terrain 1000-ft. Salt water would pollute freshwater wells that we use for drinking water. Coastal marshes that are vital for fish and other ocean life could also be endangered. Low lands, islands and cities in these areas, like the Caribbean Islands, or the Florida Keys, could actually disappear. Another major factor could be changing weather patterns. Scientists predict that winter temperatures will rise causing less snow, which could mean dryer soils, rivers and lakes. The oceanic currents that are generated by the contrasts in the temperature between masses of water could shift direction or slow down as well and cause some extreme climate changes. On land, rainfall patterns are likely to change in very unpredictable ways. There will be droughts in some areas that can ruin food production that would effect the entire world. Flooding would be a problem, as would more forest fires that would have a devastating effect also. As the ocean temperatures rise hurricanes will become stronger and more frequent with devastation as well.
Reducing Green House Gasses is a must and people must act soon. One of the easiest steps would be to stop the use of CFC gases. They are harmful and trapping heat in the atmosphere and destroying the ozone layer. This allows more cancer causing ultraviolet light to reach the earth. This is a big challenge because we depend so much on coal and oils and the other by-products made from these. Natural gas would be better than burning coal because it emits half the co2 that coal does. A clean and safe source for electricity would be wind, water, and solar power. There are several small solar energy plants already making electricity in California, and the cost of making it is dropping. Another solution for using less fuel would be to change to electric cars that dont put out any co2 emissions. We would need to research battery powered or solar power cars. Fuels used to heat buildings could be cut back greatly by doing things like adding insulation and replace windows that easily lose heat.
Science believe there needs to be a 50% decrease in Co2 to slow down its increase in the atmosphere
I think a good idea to have a carbon tax on manufacture utilities to make them consider switching to natural gases. They have to pay a fee for using to the gasses. Coal would be tax the most because its has the most carbon. The tropic countries should have to go more towards solar power because they have the most light. The United States should help the third world countries develop in ways that dont hurt the atmosphere. I think there should be a universal law that would protect the atmosphere. But the question is can we all corporate and work together.