GLOBAL WARMING, the most buzzing term since last few decades. Many scientists and researchers working day and night to find out solutions to these mammoth problems and its implication on nature and our upcoming generations. Different people over the globe have different views about GLOBAL WARMING. Some say it is a theory but some say it is a term used to define a set of some known facts. Views differ vehemently. But no one can deny the fact that the overall air getting polluted and the global mean temperature, both increasing at an alarming rate and if some concrete aren’t taken now then we definitely life on this planet is going to be affected severely.
Global warming and climate change are aspects of our environment that cannot be easily or quickly discounted. Many factions still strongly feel that the changes our Earth is seeing are the result of a natural climatic adjustment. Regardless of one’s perspective the effects of global warming are a quantifiable set of environmental results that are in addition to any normal changes in climate. That is why the effects of global warming have catastrophic potential. Global warming may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It could turn out to be the difference between a category three hurricane and a category four. Global warming as caused by greenhouse gas emissions can lead us to a definite imbalance of nature.
The premise of global warming as an issue of debate is that industrial growth coupled with non-structured methods we as humans use to sustain ourselves has created a situation where our planet is getting progressively hotter. We have seemingly negatively affected our environment by a cycle of harmful processes that now seem to be feeding upon themselves to exponentially increase the damage to our ecosystem.
Significant causes of Global Warming
Carbon Dioxide emissions
The primary cause of global warming is Carbon Dioxide emissions. CO2 is being pumped into our atmosphere at an insane pace; 8 billion tons of CO2 entered the air last year. Of course some of this is due to natural activity such as volcanic eruptions and people breathing. But the Earth is equipped to easily absorb those into the normal regenerative process. No, the beginning of global warming was caused by fossil fuels being burned and emitting plenty of CO2. Currently in the world 40% of all CO2 emissions are caused by power plants. These are burning coal, natural gas and diesel fuel. Some power plants burn garbage. Some burn methane made from garbage. And discounting those super green electrical generating plants designed to issue negligible pollutants, all of our power plants let loose into the atmosphere CO2. 33% of all the CO2 sent forth is the product of cars and trucks. Internal combustion engines burning fossil fuels…gasoline and diesel spew forth a retching amount of CO2. 3.5% of all CO2 emissions are released from aircraft travelling our friendly skies. Unfortunately, jets and other aircraft deliver their payload of pollutants directly into the troposphere.
The Greenhouse Effect
Anyone who has either spent time in a greenhouse for plants or simply gotten into a car on a hot summer day has personally experienced the greenhouse effect. Heat enters an enclosed area and then reflects back and forth building upon itself. While the ambient temperature outside might be 85 degrees Fahrenheit, inside an automobile the temperature easily zooms upward to 130F. Simply put, the greenhouse effect is what happens when heat is trapped in one way or another and then increases as more heat radiation is added.
This is fine if you are an orchid or other tropical plant. But living things, including people, require set parameters of climate. When we discuss the greenhouse effect as regarding global warming we place the effect into a specific environment. That is the Earth’s atmosphere. When referencing the Earth, our entire planet becomes the interior of an automobile in the heat of summer. The Earth of course does not have a metal roof or a glass dome around it to trap heat and reflect solar radiation back to its surface. Indeed when drawings depict and descriptions explain the greenhouse effect the principle is simplified to imply that this is the case. Actually the greenhouse effect for the Earth is somewhat different.
Green House Effect – A pictorial representation
When solar radiation passes through out atmosphere the molecules that constitute our air absorb it. The majority of solar heat is absorbed by our planet’s surface. Different types of surfaces absorb or reflect heat in different ways. A white blanket of snow will reflect much more heat than freshly paved asphalt. Still everything that the sun’s rays fall upon either absorbs or reflects heat. In the case of out snowy Polar Regions that heat is reflected back from the planet. In the case of our cities it is trapped on the surface. From there it radiates outward where living things attempt to adjust to the relative heat or cold. Our planet’s original design was for a balance of all the components. Our atmosphere absorbs enough heat to keep us warm but hopefully not bake us. The angle of the sun in areas such as the poles creates an environment suited to North and South Pole inhabitants. The people, creatures and plant life at the Earth’s equator have acclimated to their section of the world.
The greenhouse effect occurs planet wide when solar radiation either bounces off of or is radiated forth from the earth and instead of passing through our atmosphere and outward into space, is absorbed by all kinds of extra amounts of and extraneous gases and particles. These gases et al absorb heat and then radiate it outward in all directions, one of those directions, being the surface of the Earth. From there the process repeats itself until we have a global version of a car with the windows rolled up parked in the noonday sun.
We have seen the phenomena of Global Warming and its root causes in this article. Continue reading the next post for its adverse effect on climate.
Pritam+ - Co-Founder of IdleBrains, is software Engineer by profession with expertise in .NET technologies and data structures. An avid reader and writer, loves to keep himself well versed with new technologies. When not working can be found on Badminton court or chatting with friends. Among other hobbies, loves to listen old hindi numbers of Kishore Kumar and Mukesh.