Global warming is considered as one of the biggest environmental threats in the world today. Generally it pertains to the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and lithosphere in recent decades. This is quite an alarming information. Because of this phenomenon, drastic climactic changes have been tracked in various parts of the world. We have witnessed how the El Nino phenomenon swept across continental Asia and Africa bringing with it famine and long time droughts.
Stern has expressed that the current scientific consensus is that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been attributable to human activities”. Basically humans being the most developed life forms are responsible for maintaining ecological balance. Because of our desire to achieve technological advancement, we have neglected the fact that nature has its limits. We have abused nature’s balance with too much reliance on agents of technology like smoke-belching cars and coal-fired factories.
The primary causes (Amstrup, Steven, Stirling, Smith, Perham, and Thiemann) of the human-induced component of warming are the increased amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as chlorofluorocarbons, sulfides and specific oxides. These gases are emissions from factories, vehicles and other entities which has become a way of life in our modern society. These things may have made life easier for us but in the long run, they may also be the cause of the earth’s ecological downfall. The list just goes on and on. Even the aerosol sprays that we use in disenfecting or scenting our bathrooms are filled with harmful gases that might affect our atmosphere.
An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including a rising sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of rain. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves,
hurricanes, and tornados. At present, these changes are already being felt in certain areas especially in the tropics. Droughts and famines is already widespread in the African region. Countless lives have been lost in this region and it can even get worst if we don’t do something about it. On the other hand, extreme flooding which is also termed La Nina phenomenon have been recorded in areas across the tropics. In the Philippines, certain areas have experienced rainy days in a supposedly summer season. Looking at the everyday world news, it’s pretty much the same thing. Continental States is frequently striked by hurricanes of alarming magnitudes. The same thing happens in the areas surrounding the Pacific region. Only a small minority of climate scientists discount the role that humanity’s actions have played in recent warming. However, the uncertainty is more significant regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and there is a hotly contested political and public debate over implementation of policies that deal with predicted consequences, what, if anything, should be done to reduce or reverse future warming, and how to deal with the predicted consequences.
Global warming is a concern of every citizen and nation. This concerns not only us but the future of the earth as well. We should do preventive measures inorder to prevent this to worsen. The use of alternative and more readily available forms of energy, instead of fossil fuels is a major solution. Burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline, oils and coal is considered as one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide today. By resorting to renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or geothermal energy among others, we can lessen carbon dioxide concentration. The planting of trees or any form of plant cover for the soil is also highly
encouraged. In the biological process of transpiration, plants inhale carbon dioxide through their stomata while expelling oxygen in the process. We benefit from plants in two ways. First, they lessen carbon dioxide concentration and second, they provide us with a steady supply of oxygen which is vital for animal survival.
The use of alternative forms of energy and planting of more trees are the two best options in solving global warming since these methods can greatly reduce if not eradicate the release of carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere; this gaseous substance is the one of the main culprits behind global warming.
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The use of alternative forms of energy such as wind and solar energy is one of the best options in combatting global warming. These forms of energy works in different ways. With wind energy, a wind turbine is used in tapping wind energy which is in turn converted by a generator to electricity. At present, wind power is used in large scale wind farms for national electrical grids as well as in small individual turbines for providing electricity to rural residences or grid-isolated locations. This is usually constructed in windy areas with wide, open spaces. European countries like Denmark, Spain and Germany are currently employing this to an appreciable extent although it only composes less than 1% of worldwide electricity use. With solar energy on the other hand, solar cells made up of silicon are used to trap and convert solar energy into electrical. In many countries such as the United States, the Netherlands and Germany, solar energy has become one of the alternative sources of energy with the highest degree of commercialization and the widest application. Ideally however, it is best recommended that solar energy be utilized in tropical countries where there is a steady stream of sunshine all year round.
The reason in resorting to this alternative forms of energy is not just on the rising costs of petroleum and other forms of fossil fuels but also on the detriments that they cause to the environment. Statistics and studies reveal that the burning of fossil fuels in factories, vehicles and other sources is the main cause of the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are basically carbon-based and so, they release the gaseous substance carbon dioxide upon burning. Solar and wind energy eliminates the production of carbon dioxide as solar energy employs solar cells that just converts solar energy into electrical; the same goes with wind energy where a turbine traps wind power and this is converted by a generator directly to electricity. By switching to alternative and renewable sources of energy, we are not just helping the environment but we also begin to maximize other potential forms of energy such as solar energy which is basically one of our biggest possible source. There are drawbacks to this solution however. While most forms of alternative energy are already being utilized in highly developed countries, most of today’s nations are still on the backward side. Most people living in third world countries still rely on fossil fuels for their energy needs. Lack of required technology and financial matters are just some of the drawbacks to this solution. At present, competition is minimal among companies or corporations which provide these alternative energy forms and so, current prices are still way above compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. The process of installing solar panels and wind turbines also costs a lot as of present time so that only affluent countries can afford it. Lastly, solar stations and wind farms requires minimal manual supervision as compared to fossil fuel-fired power plants. The rise of solar stations and wind farms can be equated to more job losses in the populace which is of course would generally hurt the economy of a nation.
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Trees for Life (a conservation charity) stresses that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and the massive CO2 emissions due to the profligacy of our modern consumer-oriented society are a major contributor to the Greenhouse Effect – the warming of the Earth’s climate. If present trends continue, global temperatures will rise significantly this century, leading to widespread flooding of coastal areas, changes to rainfall patterns and an increase in stormy weather.
It’s not possible to truly offset carbon emissions however planting trees does absorb carbon, and is still an important way in which we can help tackle global warming. By supporting tree planting, one will be helping to reduce the effects of carbon emissions on the climate, as well as providing habitat for a wide range of life forms. Through photosynthesis, trees take out carbon dioxide out of the air, replacing it with life-giving oxygen. Scientific studies show that an average adult tree takes out about 50 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. Economic wise, it is also a cheaper way of removing excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Compared to current gadgets which remove carbon dioxide, one can plant five times as many trees and remove about 15 times carbon for the same cost.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and therefore the work of forest restoration is also a positive step to counter global warming. Currently, the establishment of national wildlife and conservation parks in various areas of the world instead of their more modern counterparts such as entertainment parks, malls and superstores is an excellent example of living in harmony with nature and a concrete example that we can have places of recreation without having to sacrifice the future of the Earth.
There are other studies and ideas however that point out the negative implications of tree planting to global warming. Some researches on the Amazon Jungle in Brazil suggest that the rainforest as a whole emit more carbon dioxide than it does absorb in some conditions. Counter studies however suggest that the relationship of the quantity of trees and carbon dioxide level in a rainforest is a complex one. During droughts or other calamities which can kill trees, the level of carbon dioxide is high due to the release of carbon dioxide in decaying tree detriments. In normal conditions however, trees generally help in lessening carbon dioxide levels in rainforests and other areas. Generally, the scientific community’s findings point to tree planting as an essential step in lessening carbon dioxide levels and global warming in general.
Ucusa.org, a non-profit organization stresses that global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. To protect the economic and health well-being of current and future generations, we must reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases by using the technology, know-how, and practical solutions already at our disposal.
As already established earlier, global warming is a concern of every citizen and nation. Basically, it can be concluded that the best ways to remedy this worsening problems is to minimize the use of fossil fuels and to encourage the planting of trees.
To minimize fossil fuel consumption, we must resort to alternative forms of energy like wind and solar. We must also lessen fossil fuel consumption in factories and vehicles. While there are some drawbacks with this like for instance the absence of required technology in underdeveloped countries in tapping alternative energy sources, its benefits still outweighs the downsides.
On the other hand, planting of trees is also highly beneficial. Overall, findings suggest that they help in lessening carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. If only each person in the world can find time in planting a tree, then this world will surely be global warming- free!