The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming Essay
The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
Global warming connotes the increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans and landmasses of the earth - The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming Essay introduction. Its causes though multifarious, have been mainly attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels, which release what are termed as greenhouse gases. With increasing density of these gases there is a corresponding increase in the atmospheric temperature, which becomes a better thermal insulator. The prediction of meteorologists is that by the year 2010 the Earth’s temperature will register an increase of 1.4 – 5.80C. The main causes for this increase in green house gases are the increasing amounts of certain gases emitted by fossil fuel burning and other such human activities. (Hart, Global Warming).
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1. Name an important greenhouse gas and describe some human activities that add it to the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Some of the human activities that contribute to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are respiration and the burning of coal and oil.
2. Name a second important greenhouse gas and describe some human activities that add it to the atmosphere.
Nitrous oxide is another important greenhouse gas. There are several anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxide; some of these are fertilizer fields, animal excreta, “fossil fuel combustion, trash incineration, traffic and some industrial activities.” The major contributor is agriculture and industrial processes.
3. Name a third important greenhouse gas and describe some human activities that add it to the atmosphere.
Natural gas mainly consists of Methane. The main human activities that result in its production are oil and gas production, coal mining and the rearing of cattle because cattle emit 600 liters of methane per diem.
4. What is the main reason that sea level will rise if the average temperature of the Earth’s surface rises?
Increase in the average temperature in the earth’s surface results in a gradual melting of the polar ice caps, glaciers and ice bergs. This results in an increase of the sea level. Moreover, water expands on heating and this effect also contributes to increase in the sea level.
5. Describe one way a non-industrial country might be contributing to the threat of global warming.
Certain agricultural practices result in the emission of greenhouse gasses. Some of these are cultivation of rice and rearing livestock. The major contribution is due to deforestation. Since, these countries are not industrialized; they are compelled to use wood as fuel and lumber. Moreover, the cleared forest provides space for the cattle to graze and land for growing crops.
6. Describe two natural processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Afforestation is a process which drastically reduces carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This is due to the fact that the process of photosynthesis takes place in the green leaves of the trees which comprise forests.
7. Describe a way of removing one of the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
One of the major greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide. It is removed from the atmosphere by planting trees, reducing or eliminating the consumption of fossil fuels and using alternate sources of energy like solar energy.
8. Describe something good that might happen if global warming occurred.
Not all the effects of global warming are harmful. Due to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the consequent rise in temperature the growth of crops will improve, this has been observed by agricultural scientists.
9. Describe something bad that might happen if global warming occurred.
Global warming results in rising sea levels and this leads to a loss of coastal wet lands. The destruction of these wet lands could prove to be very harmful to commercial aqua culture. Further, certain animal species could become extinct due to the rising temperatures. Such climatic change increases the risk posed by infectious diseases, whose vectors are mosquitoes and other insects and some of these diseases are malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.
10. What do you think is the single most important thing people should do about global warming?
The single most important thing that people should do in order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In order to achieve this, Afforestation has to be taken up on a war footing. Moreover, the consumption of fossil fuels has to be drastically reduced. Alternative sources of energy, which do not increase the pollution of the atmosphere, have to be utilized.
11. Explain why the hole in the ozone does not cause global warming.
The ozone hole permits ultraviolet radiation to enter the earth’s atmosphere. This increased ultraviolet radiation results in cancers and eye damage, and reduces the growth rate of plants. It has not been scientifically established that enhanced UV radiation has a direct bearing on global warming. (Earth system Research Laboratory, n.d)
Earth system Research Laboratory, n.d. NOAA Research. November 1, 2006. http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/infodata/faq_cat-2.html.
Hart, John. “Global Warming.” Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.