Global Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect: Causes and Countermeasures
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The problem of climate change today is extremely relevant. The climate of our planet is changing and changing fast enough, that no scientist denies it. However, the agenda concerns that the natural climate change added warming caused by human activity.
Climate change does not mean a simple increase in temperature. Under well-established term “global climate change” the restructuring of geosystems is meant. A warming is seen as only one aspect of the changes. These observations suggest an increase in sea levels, melting glaciers and permafrost, increasing irregularity of rainfall, change in river flows and other global changes related to climate variability (Magadza).
Effects of climate change are already evident today, including in the form of increased frequency and intensity of severe weather events, the spread of infectious diseases. They cause significant economic damage, threatening the existence of stable ecosystems, and human health and life. Conclusions of the scientists say that the ongoing climate changes in the future may lead to even more dangerous consequences if humanity fails to take appropriate preventive measures (McMichael et al).
Climate change is the greatest threat to nature and humanity in the 21st century. Climate change is happening everywhere.
Global warming – is no accident. This problem is created by man. Each piece of coal, every liter of oil or gas, which people burn, adds to the burden of gases in the atmosphere, which cover the entire planet as a thick blanket, trapping heat, are suffocating people and nature.
Effects of global warming are evident from the equator to the poles (Boeckx et al):
Coral reefs are dying from rising sea temperatures, forests, fighting for relocation to higher, cooler regions, polar bears are under pressure to reduce the area of the polar ice caps, and melting glaciers on all continents ... the list goes on.
According to the authors of the report “Weather Report: 2010-2020” complied by professional futurologists for the Ministry of Defense, global climate change can quite unbalance the situation politic all over the world. Among the “plausible” such scenarios are mentioned as the famine in Europe and nuclear power rivalries over scarce water resources (Schwartz and Randall).
In their forecasts researchers – Peter Schwartz and Douglas Randall – based on the assumption that because of natural changes the quite different laws will unexpectedly live oceans. . Europe, Asia and North America will lose if the usual heat (Schwartz and Randall). On the contrary, in such conditions the southern hemisphere will be hotter.
The authors state: that our planet went through similar processes about 8200 years ago. Besides, Humanity knows what has happened not so long according to standards of History: the phenomenon of Small glaciation, which lasted for about five hundred years. . This phenomenon made the Europeans go from Greenland and the Vikings' civilization disappear. With only 1315 by 1319 hunger decimated people in dozens of thousands, the report said. Whereas, then humankind was much less one.
Even nowadays, considering the huge scientific and technical progress, people are very vulnerable to nature's forces. Earth's population is huge, with a large part of it lives poorly, as well as areas of “risks” from nature’s standpoint. If the predicted phenomenon will happen, it brings food and water shortages, as well as strategic minerals (for example, oil). This all sets the stage for war. “Inevitable” for soothsayers is also spread of nuclear weapons.
“As the world has only five or six key grain-producing regions (USA, Australia, Argentina, Russia, China and India), – the document says – in excess of global food supply is not sufficient to neutralize the effects of harsh weather conditions simultaneously in several regions except in four – five . As global interdependence, the report said, the United States is becoming more vulnerable to economic disaster caused by local meteorological changes in key agricultural and populated areas” (Schwartz and Randall).
From the report we can see the picture of dissociation and hostility of regions and countries in the world where the climate changed sharply, and simultaneously they show the real welfare. Believe futurists, in the unenviable position may be due to lack of food and the mass exodus of the population of Europe, which “will be colder, drier, windier, and will be more like Siberia” (Schwartz and Randall). Colder winters and hotter summers can produce large-scale famine in China.
Many countries have expressed the desire to limit global warming to two degrees. But most of the researchers suggest that we can not handle it. If we do not speed up the transition to renewable energy and the atom, humanity safely slip limit beyond which climate change becomes deadly (Farnsworth and Lichter).
Progress report on the subject was published by the World Bank. The authors argue that if nothing is done, by 2100 the planet warms by four degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Report is the result of cooperation of the International Expert Group on Adaptation to Climate Change and the World Bank with the Potsdam Institute for the Study of the effects of climate change and climate analysis (Germany).
The authors note that during the last ice age on the planet was only 4,5 %u02DA C cooler than now. In this case, the ice sheets covered much of the Northern Hemisphere. Already, in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas as there was 15 million years old, and by the end of the century the concentration will double.
In addition, the report raises the issue of a critical point, after which the earth and society will not be able to return. For example, a decrease in rainfall, temperature rise and increased soil salinity due to rising sea levels have a negative impact on agriculture. At the same time, flooding ports do not allow import and export of grain. Hence the apparent food crisis is evident...
The greenhouse effect is so complex that we apparently do not yet understand all of its mechanisms and effects. One of the unexpected results was the compression of the thermosphere.
Cooling down, the thermosphere is compressed. Orbiters encounter fewer molecules. In 2010, the thermosphere was 40-year low. This was mainly due to low solar activity, but not limited by it.
One of the researchers was suspected at the time played a role of an increase of the concentration of CO2, along with several colleagues published the results of the analysis of CO2 in the thermosphere. To conduct such measurements is very difficult. The scientists used data of Canadian satellite SCISAT-1, which from 2004 to 2012 looked through the thermosphere at the setting sun over the horizon. In order to define the effect of solar activity, experts draw the measurements of carbon monoxide. Ultraviolet light breaks some of the CO2 to CO, which can oxidize and turn again to the CO2.
It was found, that the concentration of CO2 in the thermosphere is growing at 23,5 ± 6,3 ppm per decade. This is much more than anticipated, and this is sufficient to reduce the thermosphere. Apparently, there is a greater mixing of the lower atmosphere, the thermosphere, where accumulated anthropogenic carbon dioxide. When in the climate models the level of vertical mixing was considered, the results coincide with the data (Emmert et al).
This story is a good illustration of the complexity and risk of the greenhouse effect.
The problem of anthropogenic (is caused by human activity) climate change has become a central theme of the green movement. However, outside of this theme is the movement increasingly wide public interest. Increasing worldwide awareness of the importance of climate change in a number of issues: including economic and social aspects.
Action against climate change can take many forms, but the main purpose of them all – the restriction of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol are the basis for taking necessary measures to combat climate change by the international community. These two agreements represent the international community's response to the obvious evidence, compiled and repeatedly confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as the evidence of climate change, which is largely a result of human activity.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992. It was the first international agreement aimed at combating global climate change and its consequences (United Nations Environment Programme).
The Convention sets out general guidelines to combat global climate change to the Parties, which is currently 190 states and the European Community. In this case, the UNFCCC provides for the application of the most important principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities, taking into account the different levels of socio-economic development. It is recognized that a major role in combating climate change and the adverse effects should play industrialized countries and countries with economies in transition (Annex I countries to the UNFCCC), which are in the process of economic development have made a greater contribution to the total amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (the principle historical responsibility).
A growing number of groups around the world join forces to work together to stop climate change. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from different areas are finding that they have a common theme of cooperation. In the UK, for example, 17 NGOs have recently formed a coalition called “Stop climate chaos” to illuminate the problem of climate change.
Another group, “The campaign against climate change” (the Campaign against Climate Change), was created to focus solely on the issue of climate change, and to put pressure on the government by building sufficient scale of the protest movement, to force them to take political action to confront the problem.
Effective action against climate change is possible and at the individual level; it is applicable to everyday life of ordinary people. Use of energy efficient light sources (such as compact fluorescent bulbs), energy-efficient household appliances (energy efficient marked heating devices, air conditioners, dishwashers and washing machines) help to reduce personal greenhouse gas emissions by an individual. The largest portion of the use of public transport or bicycle instead of a car for the needs of the transporter also can dramatically reduce the impact on the climate. If the use of the car for some reason you can not give up, then you can reduce CO2 emissions by choosing a more economical model (natural gas, for example, or “hybrid” model). Well-inflated tires and "tuning" cars are also considered measures facilitating reduction in fuel consumption for 1 km. Processing of secondary waste (separate collection and delivery in the processing of glass, metal, paper, plastic, composting organic waste) and recycling things help to reduce industrial electricity demand and thus reduce associated with electricity production, emissions of greenhouse gases. Planting trees (in the yard, the sidewalk, in the park, etc.) and protection of green spaces are also a positive step in the fight against climate change. Purchases of electricity (where you can choose the supplier of electricity) or self-generation of alternative renewable sources (such as solar or wind power, biofuels, small hydro power, geothermal energy, wave energy and tidal) also apply to such measures (Hunt).
As an action against climate change, available for business, recommended energy efficiency and reduction of material production and use of renewable energy sources.
Financial institutions (such as banks and investment firms, for example) can direct investments in energy with less CO2 emissions and renewable energy sources.
But humanity has no time to take strict measures, and for recent years, scientists are increasingly saying that it is completely impossible to stop global warming. However, the obvious duty of society and each of us individually is a contribution to the efforts to combat catastrophic climate change.
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