Brian John ENG 102 Vicki Besaw 15 April 2013 The green house effect is happening right now at this very moment! According to our text book in physical geography; human induced burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the green house effect and global warming. (McKnight’s, Physical Geography, P. 75, 2011)What will happen to the Earth and its people, animals, plants, lands and oceans if we fail to successfully address the environmental issues we face today?
Our global population, air quality, human health, our food supply drinking water, wild life and habitats will all be effected with global warming. What can you do to preserve and protect the environment? There are many things we can do to help our mother earth. Opposition may be the large oil, auto, and coal companies and any explanation they may give from their studies will be bias. WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING? Global Warming is defined as the increase of the average temperature on Earth.
As the Earth is getting hotter, disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods are getting more frequent. "Global Warming and Green House Effect" StudyMode. com. 09 2010. 09 2010 <http://www. studymode. com/essays/Global-Warming-And-Green-House-Effect-416843. html>. What causes the greenhouse effect one might ask? According to the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, Life on earth depends on energy from the sun. About 30 percent of the sunlight that beams toward Earth is deflected by the outer atmosphere and scattered back into space.
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The rest reaches the planet's surface and is reflected upward again as a type of slow-moving energy called infrared radiation. (movie; An Inconvenient Truth,2006) The heat caused by infrared radiation is absorbed by "greenhouse gases" such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane, which slows its escape from the atmosphere. Although greenhouse gases make up only about 1 percent of the Earth's atmosphere, they regulate our climate by trapping heat and holding it in a kind of warm-air blanket that surrounds the planet. This phenomenon is what scientists call the "greenhouse effect. Without it, scientists estimate that the average temperature on Earth would be colder by approximately 30 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit), far too cold to sustain our current ecosystem. How do humans contribute to the greenhouse effect? In our textbook “While the greenhouse effect is an essential environmental prerequisite for life on Earth, there really can be too much of a good thing. The problems begin when human activities distort and accelerate the natural process by creating more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than are necessary to warm the planet to an ideal temperature. Burning natural gas, coal and oil -including gasoline for automobile engines-raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. * Some farming practices and land-use changes increase the levels of methane and nitrous oxide. * Many factories produce long-lasting industrial gases that do not occur naturally, yet contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and "global warming" that is currently under way. * Deforestation also contributes to global warming.
Trees use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in its place, which helps to create the optimal balance of gases in the atmosphere. As more forests are logged for timber or cut down to make way for farming, however, there are fewer trees to perform this critical function. * Population growth is another factor in global warming, because as more people use fossil fuels for heat, transportation and manufacturing the level of greenhouse gases continues to increase. As more farming occurs to feed millions of new people, more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere. American Geophysical Union, Human Impacts on Climate, adopted by AGU Council, December 2003. ) Ultimately, more greenhouse gases means more infrared radiation trapped and held which gradually increases the temperature of the Earth's surface and the air in the lower atmosphere. According to the movie “The Eleventh Hour”, the average global temperature is increasing quickly. Today, the increase in the Earth's temperature is increasing with unprecedented speed. To understand just how quickly global arming is accelerating, consider this: During the entire 20th century, the average global temperature increased by about 0. 6 degrees Celsius (slightly more than 1 degree Fahrenheit). Using computer climate models, scientists estimate that by the year 2100 the average global temperature will increase by 1. 4 degrees to 5. 8 degrees Celsius (approximately 2. 5 degrees to 10. 5 degrees Fahrenheit). Not all scientists agree. While the majority of mainstream scientists agree that global warming is a serious problem that is growing steadily worse, there are some who disagree.
John Christy, a professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is a respected climatologist who argues that global warming isn't worth worrying about. Christy reached that opinion after analyzing millions of measurements from weather satellites in an effort to find a global temperature trend. He found no sign of global warming in the satellite data, and now believes that predictions of global warming by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century are incorrect.
In the course stainable development I took here at the College Of Menominee Nation we watched a short 20 minute called “The Story of Stuff”. Some ways to help the environment; Live green, reduce global warming, conserve energy. (short movie “The Story Of Stuff”) Want to put more “green” in your life by saving money and reducing waste? Here is practical information about environmentally friendly food, drink, fashions, cars and cleaning products, to name a few. Make eco-friendly lifestyle choices and buying decisions that will help sustain the environment rather than deplete it.
Reducing global warming may seem like a daunting task, but if each of us makes a commitment to taking steps now, we can make a difference. For example, if every family in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent, 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases would be eliminated. Look here for more steps, big and small, that will help to reduce global warming One way to do your part to protect the environment is to make choices every day that enable you to use less energy. Here are some of the things I learned in the sustainable development class at the College of Menominee Nation.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
Use less heat and air conditioning. Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home. Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Change a light bulb.
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every U. S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7. 5 million cars off the road. Drive less and drive smart. Less driving means fewer emissions.
Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school. When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget; it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Buy energy-efficient products. When it's time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage.
Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs. Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can't be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Use less hot water. Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old.
Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry. Use the off switch. Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need.
And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you're not using them. It's also a good idea to turn off the water when you're not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You'll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource. Plant a tree. If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime. Get a report card from your utility company. Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades. Encourage others to conserve.
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. ( Reducing Carbon-Based Energy Consumption through Changes in Household Behavior Thomas Dietz, Paul C. Stern, and Elke U. Weber Daedalus, Winter 2013, Vol. 142, No. 1 , Pages 78-89) These steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.
Works Cited (McKnight’s, Physical Geography, P. 75, 2011) "Global Warming and Green House Effect" StudyMode. com. 09 2010. 09 2010 ;http://www. studymode. com/essays/Global-Warming-And-Green-House-Effect-416843. html;. (American Geophysical Union, Human Impacts on Climate, adopted by AGU Council, December 2003. ) (short movie “The Story Of Stuff”) .( Reducing Carbon-Based Energy Consumption through Changes in Household Behavior Thomas Dietz, Paul C. Stern, and Elke U. Weber Daedalus, Winter 2013, Vol. 142, No. 1 , Pages 78-89)
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