Global warming is a universal problem and it threatens all life on the planet. Due to this, people are becoming more aware of the threats posed by climate change. The media now is also putting much attention on environmental concerns. The problem here is that global warming may be a grave threat to the sustainability of life in the planet but countries can make ways to stop global from its tracks or even reverse its effects that have already began to manifest.
Simple solutions can also be done to alleviate its harmful effects One solution is the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases which is already being done under the Kyoto Protocol but still is not yet fully accepted. A second solution could be finding alternative sources of energy that produce no emissions such solar, wind and hydroelectric energy. Other solutions to the problem can be done at home as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from households would prove very beneficial to the environment.
Global warming causes many adverse effects such as the spread of disease, higher probability of hurricanes and typhoons, droughts and heat waves. Climate change contributes to the spread of diseases because insects such as mosquitoes which cause malaria and dengue hemorrhagic fever migrate because of changing temperatures. Rodents such as rats also migrate because of changing climate causing the spread of many contagious diseases. On the other hand, the high temperature causes abnormalities in weather conditions and the number of hurricanes and typhoons for every year increases.
It also causes economic problems because of the economic implications of damages caused by the occurrence of hurricanes and other natural disasters directly or indirectly related to global warming. The increase in temperature also causes the polar ice caps to melt which could lead to various problems such as a steep rise in water level and desalinization of oceans which could affect biodiversity (5 Deadliest Effects of Global Warming, 2007). Global warming has contributed to the loss of some species of plants and animals that were unable to adapt to the rising rate of temperature.
The greenhouse effect is responsible for the phenomenon that is called global warming. The greenhouse effect traps inside the earth atmosphere just like a greenhouse does. The greenhouse effect is actually not harmful in a sense but because of excessive production of greenhouse gases responsible for the greenhouse effect, too much heat is produced and is unable to escape from the earth’s atmosphere (West, What is the Greenhouse Effect). In the state of Kansas, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that the average temperature in Kansas may increase by as much as 6.
75 degrees Fahrenheit is nothing would be done to prevent global warming. Recent findings by the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies indicate that global warming will prove to be harmful particularly to agriculture, weather conditions, wildlife and water resources. As climate rises, may farmers might find it hard to grow certain crops and this could affect the state’s agricultural revenue. Also, the higher levels of ozone at the ground level may be expected as an effect of global warming and it could cause respiratory diseases. Warmer temperatures also might cause diseases from insects.
Due to the rising temperatures, many species of animals might find it hard to adapt which could lead to loss of tourism income. There are a number of wildlife sanctuaries in the state. To help stop global warming, some 70 to 100 farmers from the state are using “no-till” and other strategies which have been found to be one of the most effective strategies in order to store carbon in the soil. Likewise, these methods also provide other benefits such as the decrease in oil erosion, and increasing wildlife habitat, soil fertility and water quality.
Kansas also seeks the use of wind energy as it ranks third in the nations with wind energy potentials and it is prospected that the city could ultimately rely on wind energy (Global Warming and Kansas). To prevent further warming of the earth’s atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol was established to reduce the production of six greenhouse gases that aggravate global warming, namely, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs and PFCs. The main goal of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases by 5. 2 percent from the emissions levels in 1990 before the end of 2012.
The Kyoto Protocol designates a specific target for reduced emissions in industrialized countries. The protocol however excludes developing countries such as China and India (West, Should the United States Ratify the Kyoto Protocol? ). Initially, most industrialized countries already expressed support to the Kyoto Protocol except Australia and the United States. However, before the end of 2007, new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the protocol which leaves the United States as the only nation that does not abide by the protocol (Bell).
Many believed that the protocol would not succeed if the US is not included because it is the top producer of greenhouse gases in the world (West, Should the United States Ratify the Kyoto Protocol? ). Those against the protocol argue that “it demands too much; it achieves too little; or it is unnecessary” (West, Should the United States Ratify the Kyoto Protocol? ). If nations would meet the required rate of reduction in greenhouse emissions, slowly but surely, global warming can be stopped or maybe even reversed with continuous decline in emission levels.
Despite the argument that some critics say that the protocol is not needed, it is still better than doing nothing to stop the global warming. Doing nothing to help curb this environmental crisis is tantamount to suicide. Aside from the Kyoto Protocol, nations on their own can choose to take actions that would reduce greenhouse gases. One important aspect to consider here finding alternative sources of energy aside from oil and coal which produce excessive amounts of carbon dioxide when burned in the production of energy. Alternative sources of energy do not only mean biofuels.
Although biofuels is a good source for alternative energy sources, it somehow results in lowered food supply. Other energy sources could include hydroelectric energy, solar energy and wind energy. These energy sources produce no greenhouse gases. Hydroelectric has proven to be a very efficient renewable energy source. For one it has the lowest cost per watt hour and provides consistent electricity all year round. Other advantage of this kind of energy source is that it does not require a large battery bank, generally quiet and requires very little maintenance.
It is a reliable source of energy but it also has its disadvantages as water is not always available especially when there is a drought. During winter, the freezing of pipes could create problems. Another problem about this kind of energy source is that it costs a lot to put up a dam but once the dam has been constructed, maintenance costs are only minimal (Hydroelectric Energy). Solar energy is another energy source that has great potential. It produces no amount of greenhouse gases whatsoever.
Solar energy is already being used as an energy source for some gadgets such as calculators, water heaters and clocks. Some homes already rely on solar energy as a source of electricity. However, solar energy can be expensive to install but the good side is that the expensive installation will more than make up for what a household would same from energy bills. Once installed, solar energy comes for free. Aside from the price, it is generally a very efficient and reliable energy source (Solar Energy Advantages. org, 2008).
According to George Crabtree, senior scientist and director of Argonne’s Materials Science Division, sunlight is the most abundant energy source on the planet. He also said that it is the most versatile as it is readily convertible into electricity, fuel and heat (Argonne National Laboratory, 2007). Wind energy is also another source of energy that is free and environment-friendly. It produces no greenhouse gases because there is no combustion like solar and hydroelectric energy. This has been used as an energy source for a long time in windmills.
Wind power can be harnessed as mechanical energy or electrical energy (Alternative Energy Sources, 2006). Nuclear energy is another source of energy that does not produce greenhouse gases. However, it provides a different threat because of the possibility of a nuclear reactor meltdown which could prove very harmful because of radiation. Even just a single nuclear reactor can produce huge amounts of energy but this is not being considered because it may cause immeasurable harm in a worst case scenario. Household could also help stop global warming through simple methods.
By simply cutting down on energy consumption, a household can help prevent the more adverse effects of global warming. Cutting down on water consumption would also help as well as recycling would also prove to be an effective methods. If there are refrigeration units and air-conditioning units that have leaks, it is imperative that they should be immediately repaired. Less usage of refrigerators and air-conditioners also help reduce the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons which is a greenhouse gas. Another way to curb global warming is limiting population growth and deforestation.
Simply put, the more the people on earth, the more carbon dioxide they emit. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that plants and trees make use of in order to survive. More population means that more forests are being denuded to be transformed into residential areas. This is double jeopardy and this must be controlled. According to experts, the Earth is facing a bleak future considering these effects and immediate action would is required to stop probably irreversible effects. Nations must really make an impede global warming.
This can be done by reducing emissions. This can be done in various ways. Adoption of alternative sources of energy that produce no pollution such as solar, wind or hydroelectric energy is also advisable. Population growth and deforestation must also be controlled to help reverse climate change. Households must also do their part by avoiding acts that would produce more greenhouse gases. To sum it up, it must be a collective effort for mankind to even stand a chance at stopping global warming.
References Environmental Graffiti. 11 September 2007.5 Deadliest Effects of Global Warming. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www. environmentalgraffiti. com/sciencetech/5-deadliest-effects-of-global- warming/276 West, Larry. What is the Greenhouse Effect. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://environment. about. com/od/globalwarming/a/greenhouse. htm West, Larry. Should the United States Ratify the Kyoto Protocol?. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://environment. about. com/od/kyotoprotocol/i/kyotoprotocol_2. htm Hydroelectric Energy. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www. totalsolarenergy.
co. uk/hydroelectric- energy. html Solar Energy Advantages. org. Solar energy advantages & disadvantages. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www. solarenergyadvantages. org/solar_energy_advantages. html Argonne National Laboratory. 6 March 2007. Solar Energy Conversion Offers a Solution to Help Mitigate Global Warming. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www. newswise. com/articles/ view/527895/ Alternative Energy Sources. 3 October 2006. Wind Energy. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from http://www. netpilot. ca/aes/wind/index. html
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