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Posted on June 8th, 2012, by


The concept of global warming and hothouse effect

In 1824 the French physicist Joseph Fourier supposed that the atmosphere of the Earth has a function of glass in a hothouse: air lets a sun heat in, not allowing it to evaporate back to space. And he was right. This effect is reached due to some atmospheric gases of second-rate, for example carbon dioxide and value water fumes. They let visible and «near» infra-red light

in radiated by the Sun, but absorb distant infra-red radiation, having more low frequency. If it did not take place, the Earth would be approximately 30 degrees colder, than now, and life would practically stop beating on it.

To be more convincing, here some common data to prove that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising from year to year. First of all The Natural Resources Defense Council answer one of the most frequently asked questions about carbon dioxide:

Carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in

the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun’s

heat and causing the planet to warm up. Coal-burning power

plants are the largest U.S. source of carbon dioxide

pollution — they produce 2.5 billion tons every year.

Automobiles, the second largest source, create nearly 1.5

billion tons of CO2 annually.

So CO2 is dumped into the atmosphere in great amounts and here are the simple examples. In 1980 more than 100 million tons of СО2 were thrown out into the atmosphere in the eastern part of North America, Europe, in the western part of the former USSR and large cities of Japan. In 1985 the emission of СО2 in the developed countries was 74% of a general volume, and the amount of CO2 of developing countries was only 24%. Scientists suppose that by the year 2025 production of carbon dioxide in the developing countries will grow to 44%.

Reasons of hothouse effect

   Knowing that a natural greenhouse effect is a withstand, balanced process, it is logically to suppose that the increase of concentration of hothouse gases in the atmosphere must result in strengthening of hothouse effect which will result in global warming of climate. The amount of СО2 in the atmosphere grows steadily during more than one century because different types of fossil fuel (coal and oil) are widely used as a source of energy. In addition, as a result of human activity other hothouse gases get into the atmosphere, for example methane, nitrous oxide and a great number of chlorinated matters. In spite of the fact that they are produced in small amounts, some of these gases are more dangerous than carbon dioxide from point of global warming.

Today a few scientists can contests the circumstance that human activity leads to the increase of concentration of hothouse gases in the atmosphere. According to the opinion of the Intergovernmental commission on the change of climate, the increase of concentration of hothouse gases will result in the warming-up of underlayers of atmosphere and ground surface. Any change in the ability of the Earth to reflect and to take in warmth, including caused by the increase of maintenance in the atmosphere of hothouse gases and aerosols, will cause the change of atmosphere’s temperature and world oceans and it will violate the steady types of circulation and weather.

Nevertheless, bitter disputes are conducted round what is the concrete amount of these gases that will cause a rise in the temperature of climate. The world middle temperatures can strongly hesitate within the limits of a few years and decades – thus according to natural reasons.

The changes in temperature

What temperature should be considered as a middle one, and what criteria should be taken into account?

There is a consensus among scientists, that annual global temperature has risen 0,18 – 0,7 degrees during the last one hundred years.

However there is a disagreement among them in views about the phenomenon that has caused warming.

  • The consequences of temperature rising

In scientists’ opinion, if the tendency of global warming will be saved, it will cause the change of weather and increase of amount of precipitations that will result in buildup of World Ocean. Scientists have already marked the change in the picture of precipitations. They counted that in the USA and the former USSR degradation increased by 10 percents during the last 30-40 years. At the same time, the amount of precipitations in equatorial zone decreased by those ten percents. A further change in the system of precipitations will affect agriculture, displacing the areas of cultivation to the northlands of North America and Eurasia. In addition, the increase of temperature will be increased by evaporation of moisture from the surface of ocean. It will result in the increase of degradation on 11 percents.

The consequences of rise in the temperature of climate will be felt on the North and South poles, where the increased temperature will result in thawing of glaciers. On the calculations of scientists this increase of temperature will cause the increase of level of World Ocean on 5-6 meters that will result in flood of many coastal territories in the whole world. Moreover the Natural Resources Defense Council underline that the nearest consequences will be droughts and wildfires and intense rainstorms:

Warmer temperatures could also increase the probability of

drought. Greater evaporation, particularly during summer and

fall, could exacerbate drought conditions and increase the

risk of wildfires Warmer temperatures increase the energy of

the climatic system and lead to more intense rainfall at some

times and in some areas.

  • Measures for the prevention of temperature rising

Because the supposed rise of the temperature is caused by the human activity, as a result of consumption of energy, there is a conclusion that in order to prevent a crisis, it is necessary to change practice of this consumption. In opinion of Agency on the guard of environment of the USA, a world association must undertake serious measures.

In opinion of environmentalists, the most effective will be such measures as the increase of efficiency of the power consumption and passing to the alternative types of fuel.

Political side of this ecological problem

In December 1997 on meeting in Kyoto (Japan), devoted to the problems of global change of climate, a convention, obligating the developed countries to shorten the emission of СО2, was accepted by delegates from more than one hundred sixty countries. It obligates thirty eight industrially developed countries to shorten the emission of CO2 by the years 2008-2012 on 5% from the level of 1990. The European Union must shorten the emission of СО2 and other hothouse gases on 8%. The USA – on 7%. Japan – on 6%.

Nevertheless, negotiations of the countries are very difficult. Foremost a conflict exists at the level of officials and business from one side and nongovernmental sector from the other. Nongovernmental ecological organizations consider that the attained agreement does not decide a problem, because 5% reduction is not enough in order to stop a rise in a temperature. In addition, a conflict exists at the level of the states. Such developing countries, as India and China, bringing in a considerable contribution to the pollution of atmosphere with hothouse gases, were present on meeting in Kyoto, but did not sign the agreement.

The conclusions of 8th session of the Intergovernmental group of experts on a global rise in the temperature of climate, the problems of ecology were completely the same as on that held in Kyoto (Japan). The experts that came to Brussels under the aegis of UNO, declared with confidence that the activity of man accelerated a rise in the temperature of climate. Four large pollutants are Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and USA – made an effort to calm down the community. Policy and scientists purpose different aims, – said Osvaldo Kantsiany, the eighty-year Argentinean, the co-chairman of the working group.

The nearest future of our planet

So, generally speaking, global warming and all its preceding events is a signal, that apocalypse has already begun.

The long way of man on the Earth will come to an end not in the coldness of the going out Sun and not in water of large floods which are depicted by the scenario writers of Hollywood. A man will disappear as a species as a result of thirst and hunger on a burning hot planet. Agony will be long, and soon in two

 

generations humanity will face the first scale catastrophes. The increase of global temperature on average on 2 degrees in 2050-2070 can bring disappearance of about 20-30% vegetable and animal species. The increase of temperature more than on 3 degrees will result in the increase of vulnerability of many natural systems and man, and it will result in complications with realization of adaptation measures.

Everything that can happen with our planet is rather mystical and biblical. The climatic changes will affect such ecosystems, as tundra and north forests, the Mediterranean area, mangrove forests, coral barriers, off-shore districts, water resources, dry districts of low and middle heights, agriculture and, finally, health of a man. By the middle of the century the river and water resources of the North hemisphere will be increased on 10-40%; in droughty districts the supplies of water will be decreased on 10-30%. In some areas the increase of precipitations will result in more frequent floods. In Africa from 75 to 250 million persons will face the shortage of drinking-water in 2020. Altogether, the milliards of persons will find themselves in a difficult situation. Water can take away everything that it gave us. The increase of oxidization of oceans, as a result of hothouse effect, will exert the negative influence upon coral reefs and so on.

The increase of level of seas will result in washing out of banks. Adaptation to the new levels of sea will cost 5-10% of gross domestic product. In the north a rise in the temperature of climate will promote simultaneously the increase of harvests, but in the south even the limited increase of temperature (1-2 degrees) will result in ruinous failures of crops.

The global rise in the temperature of climate will become worse for all of us. According to the most credible scenario, malnutrition, which, naturally, will result in the defects of physical development for children, will get wide distribution. More people will die as a result of heat, tornado and fires. Such illnesses as dysentery and cardio-respirator syndromes will be become the most widespread and mortal: the systems of social defense will appear powerless. People will grow thin.

But there are other «guests from a south», less likable and more dangerous for life of people. The greatest number of lives in the world, on statistics of World Health Organization, is taken away by malaria. It was considered that the carriers of illness – mosquitoes of Anopheles sort (or so called malaria mosquitoes) were fully exterminated in the early 60th (especially on the territory of Moscow). The rare cases of disease were related to the journeys of man to other countries and regions. But in 2002 it came back into the Moscow Suburbs.

Nowadays a mortal danger is presented by a hemorrhagic fever, flashes of dreadful disease, causing the internal bleeding. An ailment which was named earlier the fever of Western Nile changed the residence, finding the new victims in the north.

Another type of parasites, triumphal moving to the north land are encephalitis ticks. Czechia and Sweden and many other countries appeared under a blow.

Not very long time ago the American biologists from the Californian University in Berkeley (University of California, Berkeley) and Wisconsin university in La Crosse (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse) decided that it is better to do a real experiment instead of long theoretical argumentations and construction of super difficult models. The American specialists did an experiment in which they showed possible climatic changes (especially global warming effects) and its results that can influence vegetable associations. During 5 years on experimental grounds two scenarios were performed: in first one the rise in a temperature will cause the increase of precipitations the winter, in the second one – in spring and summer. It appeared, that the winter increase of precipitations practically does not change the plenty and variety of meadow plants and animals. And spring overwetting causes the difficult answer of all the systems, and in the end an association strongly becomes poorer and simplifies.

A starting point for an experiment was the unique reliably predicted change which must happen as a result of rise in a temperature in California and other districts with the so-called «Mediterranean» type of climate. The amount of precipitations must be increased in such places. The climatologists from the Intergovernmental group of experts on the changes of climate (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) and specialists from the Canadian center of design and study of climate (Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis) can not help agreeing with this fact. The purpose of the experiment is to find out how the association of plants and animals will change at the increase of humidity.

As an experimental base a typical in all respects meadow was chosen in the north of California (in a preserve), 18 round grounds of 10 m in a diameter were selected on this space. One third was additionally watered in winter, one third was additionally watered in spring and one third was left for control. The additional watering added about 20% to the average level of precipitations. During five years scientists registered a specific variety and plenty of every type of plants and animals on these territories.

In five years scientists got 12 practically identical grounds with the unchanged specific association and a group of 6 grounds, where the amount of animals and plants became substantially less. And this group, despite ordinary presentations, was made up by the grounds with additional summer moistening. It would seem, if in a dry period to water a meadow, plants will become thicker and juicier, but reality did not confirm these expectations. The changing of the seasonal mode of precipitations during five years resulted in sharp impoverishment of meadow association. And the physiological answer of every separate organism for watering is not the main thing all the plants were satisfied with watering, judging to on the splash of plenty of plants and animals in the first year of watering.

Actually the main role was played here by the connections between the different types of plants and animals. They exactly control a variety and living biomass. During the first year of watering biomass of long-term herbages and bushes was increased sharply, especially nitrogen fixers. During the second year the early annual plants increased their biomass. Their dying off biomass stopped the growth of long-term nitrogen fixers. Exactly this group of plants is the habitat and basic food for insects and other invertebrates. Therefore on the third year growth was braked and long-term herbages, the quantity of invertebrates went down. In subsequent two years, when the supply of biogens was exhausted for annual plants, their biomass began to go down. As a result on the fourth and fifth years impoverishment of association became more visible: the variety of plants diminished in two times!

So here is one of the first «living models», which shows what the nature can expect in the nearest future. And these results are seen more reliable, than results of the most front-rank and modern mathematical design.

Conclusion

But what should be done? How can we cut global warming pollution? These questions are answered in The Natural Resources Defense Council like that:

By reducing pollution from vehicles and power plants. Right

away, we should put existing technologies for building

cleaner cars and more modern electricity generators into

widespread use. We can increase our reliance on renewable

energy sources such as wind, sun and geothermal. And we can

manufacture more efficient appliances and conserve energy.

Speaking about the political side of the question, it is necessary to work above adaptation to the climatic changes, to minimize potential risks. Consequences can be avoided. Decisive actions, foresight and of course financial support are needed, – the chancellor of Germany Angel Merkel speaks, – I want to satisfy everybody in the necessity to undertake concrete responsibility for the defense of the environment.

To cut the long story short, I should say that our future, the future of our planet and the next generation is in our hands. There is still a little time to help the Earth in this fight against global warming and other world disasters.

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