Global Warming: how to Prevent
What is Global warming? How is it affecting our planet? How is it affecting the plants, animals and humans? Is it even something we should worry about? Global warming is defined as a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, and it is something we should be very worried about. We are already seeing the consequences of global warming, but how long until we are at our breaking point?
Global warming is defined by the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. It is generally caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (fully halogenated paraffin hydrocarbons that contain only carbon, chlorine, and fluorine), and other pollutants. Also, the Greenhouse effect plays a huge roll in global warming.
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How it works
The greenhouse effect is the rising heat after certain gasses are trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gasses absorb heat, preventing it from escaping but let out light; much like the walls of a greenhouse.
First, sunlight radiates onto the Earth’s surface, where it is consumed and then diffuses back into the atmosphere as heat. Then in the earth’s atmosphere, the greenhouse gases trap the heat. And, the more greenhouse gases that are in the Earth’s atmosphere, the more heat there is.
The greenhouse effect was discovered in 1824 by Joseph Fourier. He discovered this by calculating that the earth would be colder without an atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is what keeps earth’s climate livable. Because Fourier knew that heated surfaces emit radiation, he knew that Earth would emit radiation absorbed by the sun back into space, thus causing a cold and icy planet.
The levels of greenhouse gases have varied throughout Earths history, but for the last thousand years or so it has stayed fairly constant. Along with the Earth’s global average temperature. Until recently. Because of burning fossil fuels and other Greenhouse Gases, humans are heightening the greenhouse effect and causing global warming.
Another thing that adds to the warming of the earth is pollution. Pollution is defined as the presences or introduction into the environment of a substance or thing that has a harmful effect. Smog hanging over cities is the most obvious form of pollution. However, there are many different types of pollution that contribute to global warming. The leading however is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
Humans are always letting out carbon dioxide, it’s what we let out when we breathe. But carbon dioxide is also released through cars, planes, power plants, and other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. And those are very harming to the environment. Because of these behaviors, humans have raised the levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere higher in the last 150 years than it has been in thousands of years.
How does burning fossil fuels really effect the earth and how does it add to global warming? First of all, Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. Also fossil fuels includes natural resources that contain hydrocarbon that are not derived from animal or plant sources. They are also referred to as mineral fuels. The largest source of emissions of carbon dioxide is from humans burning fossil fuels, and because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas it allows radiative forcing and therefore contributes to global warming
Glaciers are melting, water levels are rising, animals are fleeing, humans are gaining more health problems and the weather patterns are insane. However these are just a few effects of global warming. Global warming is being caused by many different things but how is it effecting our planet and the things on our planet?
One of the planets biggest victims of global warming is oceans. Global warming has increased oceans tempters by .3?F since 1969. Although a warmer ocean seems inviting by humans visiting the beach, it actually has devastating consequences for the sea. One of the major consequences is ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is when carbon dioxide enters the ocean, it combines with seawater to produce carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the water, lowering its PH. This can cause oceans to become actual acid. Now this couldn’t happen until the PH falls below 7.0, however for the past 300 years the ocean’s PH has averaged at about 8.2 but today it is at 8.1 so there has been a 0.1 drop of PH. Even though it seems like we have a long ways to go before the PH level falls below 7.0 if we keep up our patterns it won’t be too long until this is a reality and not just a what if.
Also, global warming has caused the sea level to rise. Just in the last century sea levels have risen 6.7 inches, but the rate in the last decade has doubled. It has risen because when the ocean gets warmer it swells. Along with that, glaciers and ice sheets are melting. Antarctica lost 36 qubit miles of ice between 2002 and 2005. Since 1994 each year on average the earth has lost 400,000,000,000 tons from its glaciers, when all that ice melts it goes into the ocean, and like filing up a bathtub the shores can’t hold all that water, so coastal regions get flooded.
We have had increased amount of extreme weather events because of global warming. Natural disasters like tornados, floods, and deadly heat waves are more obvious to humans because of their immediate impact.
It’s not just the earth that is being affected by global warming, animals are suffering a great deal because of it. One of the most affected animals are polar bears. As temperatures rise and sea ice melts polar bears lose access to seals which is their main source of food. “As the sea ice melts earlier and earlier, polar bears are forced to swim more and more, to reach seal populations,” said author Blaine Griffen, a biologist at BYU in a release. A study by Anthony Pagano, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), shows that polar bears aren’t built for walking large distances. However when a polar bear eats a lot of seals they gain more energy and they are then able to walk farther distances without them really being affected. But because of global warming polar bears aren’t able to get seals and therefore they can’t walk as much without losing a dangerous amount of energy. When they can’t get to seals they are have to resort to other dietary options. As they starve, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food. They have to eat garbage and they cannot survive on a diet like this. They need meat and seals to keep a healthy amount of energy so they can live their normal life styles.
Another species that is effected by global warming is seabirds, like the rhinoceros auklet, the Atlantic puffin, and the tufted puffin in the North Pacific. As fish travel north in search of colder waters animals that rely on fish are left without many food options. Also seabirds that rely on plankton are struggling, because warm surface tempters cause the plankton to go to lower depths, out of reach of surface feeders. When the food supply is lower certain species do not mate and lay eggs so right now seabirds are having fewer eggs because there is not enough food.
Russell Graham, associate professor of geosciences and director of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum at Penn State University, says “global warming will most harm the animals adapted to the coldest environments, primarily those accustomed to life in the Arctic”.
Although the consequences of global warming are planet threatening, scientist believe there might be a little bit of hope to reverse the damage we have caused. There are things that scientist and the government can do to reverse global warming but there are also changes you can make in your own life.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientist there are ten changes you can make in your own life to stop global warming. One of the top changes you can make in global warming is the car you drive, when buying your next car buy the one with the best fuel economy in its class. The next thing you can do is to use a programmable thermostat, this can reduce heating and cooling emissions by 15 percent. In addition eat less meat. Also use power strips, these will curve “phantom loads” and save a large amount of your electricity bill.
Next, use different light bulbs! New LED light bulbs can do the exact same thing for 15 percent less electricity and adds up to one hundred dollars in savings each year. Also wash your cloths in cold water, they get just as clean as when you wash them in hot water but when you wash your cloths in hot water it uses five times the energy as cold water does.
In addition, upgrade things like your refrigerator and air conditioner every five years so you can use the most effective models. Lastly, consider getting an electricity monitor. These will help see where your energy in your home is going and it can help you be cautious of how much energy you’re really using.
Some other things you can do that will make a huge difference is to recycle and reuse things. Recycling can reduce garbage by reusing plastic bags, bottles, papers or glass. For instance, when we buy foods, we can use our own bags instead of plastic bags. Another example is after you finish drinking water from a plastic bottle we can reuse it or use our own bottle. If all this is being reuse, human can reduce deforestation and help save environment. Besides, turn off electricity if unused. It can save thousands of carbon dioxide and buy product that have energy saving because it saves cost and save environment. Also, walk places, take public transportation or carpool to help eliminate the amount of greenhouse gasses put into the air. Turn off electronics when you are not using them. Eat less meat and more locally grown fruits and vegetables.
When you make these changes in your life you are already making a huge difference in global warming! But we do need help from scientist to really reverse the things that we have done to our home planet. One thing we should really consider doing is finding an alternative energy source that can replace the burning of fossil fuels.
One of the most effective alternative energy’s is solar energy. Solar energy is the energy the earth receives from the sun. Solar energy could be the best alternative energy source because it’s something we will always have and it’s something we can use in remote areas that have no there form of energy. The biggest problem though is that it will not be available at night.
Another alternative energy source is wind energy. Wind energy is when the power of the wind is harnessed to propel blades of wind turbine attached to an electric generator to make wind energy. Pros on wind energy is that it is a renewable source of energy and is free of cost however, a big con is when it’s not windy we have no wind to make wind energy.
Lastly, a form of energy we could consider is tidal power. Tidal power is when you set up small dams and passing water through turbines to generate power. Earth’s surface is 71.11 percent covered by water so water is a renewal source that we can use always. Also the power generated is clean and does not cause any further pollution to the earth.
Although every alternative energy has cons the pros out way them. And if we use more than one form of alternative energy we can help stop global warming because we won’t be releasing as many greenhouse gasses into the air, and will keep our home around a lot longer than it seems like it will be right now, and that’s the biggest pro of it all.
I think that global warming is a serious issue that we need to find a change for. Some people think that global warming isn’t real however there have been many studies and research that prove otherwise. I believe that there are still things that we can do to fix this huge problem. Things that we need to do in order to insure a future for generations to come and for our home. We need to find an alternative energy source that can help eliminate the distribution of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, even though every alternative energy source has its flaws we need to find one that will work. Something we could do is use solar energy during the day when the suns out and then at night we can use a source like tidal power. Or using wind energy during windy days and when it’s not windy we could use something like solar energy.
I also think we need to do the things we can in our own homes. For example we need to recycle. It’s not hard, all you have to do is separate recyclables and trash. Also one thing that could help is by becoming vegan, if we consume less manufaced meats and animal products we could eat more locally grown fruits and vegetables. We can help change the world by doing these things so why wouldn’t we? We need to make a change before it’s too late and there is nowhere for us to live anymore.
Lastly, we need to help the suffering animals of the world. We have caused them so much pain by being selfish and curl that the least we could do is help them. The first thing we can do to help them is to stop global warming so they can eat their normal diets and survive but we also need to go above and beyond by donating to originations to help animals and by not polluting their homes and not cause them anymore pain and surfing.