Envirmental effects of global warming
The greenhouse effect and global warming are issues that are talked about by geologists all the time. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that keeps the earth at temperatures that are livable. Energy from the sun warms the earth when its heat rays are absorbed by greenhouse gases and become trapped In the atmosphere. Some of the most common greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane. If there were no greenhouse gases, very few rays would be absorbed and the earth would be extremely cold.
When too many rays are absorbed, the earth’s atmosphere starts to warm, which leads to global warming. Global warming can lead to many problems that affect the environment In which we live. In order to talk about global warming, we must first learn what causes the greenhouse effect. A lot of the rays from the sun are absorbed by water vapor that Is naturally in our atmosphere. Water vapor accounts for 80 percent of natural greenhouse warming. The remaining 20 percent is due to other gases that are present in very small amounts. Carbon dioxide is also a big absorber of the sun’s heat rays.
This warming is largely attributed to the increase of greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide and methane) in the Earth’s upper atmosphere caused by unman burning of fossil fuels, industrial, farming, and deforestation activities. (Stanford SOLAR Center) If there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere more rays from the sun are absorbed. This will cause the atmosphere and the earth’s temperature to warm. The warming of the earth will cause the oceans to become warmer. When they heat up, more water is evaporated, causing more carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere. Once this process starts, it is extremely hard to control.
If the temperature keeps rising, more carbon dioxide will be released. Methane (CHI) is a greenhouse gas and contributes to climate changes well. A trace as, methane makes up only 0. 00017% of the total amount of atmospheric gases. This may seem like a very small amount, but when we consider how one kilogram of methane has more than 20 times the greenhouse effects as the same amount of carbon dioxide. (Familial Marine Sciences Centre) Methane gas is released Into the atmosphere from both natural and human sources. Natural sources Include grazing animals, volcanic eruptions, and some land plants.
Methane is also released as a by- product by a number of different sources, mostly those Involving human and animal waste. Landfills are a large source of methane gas as materials breakdown and lease the methane to the atmosphere. Average global temperatures may Increase by 1. 4-5. ICC (that’s 2. 5 – 10. 40 F) by the end of the 21st century. Although the numbers sound small, they can trigger significant changes In climate. (Stanford SOLAR Center) Warmer temperatures will cause a greater amount of evaporation from lakes, rivers, and oceans. Globally, the mercury Is already up more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0. Degree Celsius) (National Geographic Society). Global warming is also shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move. Some areas. The Environmental Media Services Organization has found that the roundhouse effect could drive global temperatures up as much as 6 degrees by the year 2100 – an increase in heat comparable to the 10 degree warming that ended the last ice age. If a ten degree warming was the factor that ended the ice age, imagine what another warming by about that same amount could do. Sea levels will rise and what effects will partake?
Sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) (National Geographic Society). Floods and droughts ill become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years. Less fresh water will be available. If the Clearway ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either.
Global warming will not Just make sea levels rise; it will also affect sea life. Corals are intolerant of temperatures Just a few degrees warmer than usual. Small increases in the temperature can kill corals. Naturally, coral secretes tiny shells of calcium carbonate in order to form its skeleton. Yet, as CO from global warming is released into the atmosphere, acidification increases and the carbonate ions vanish. (Matt Rosenberg) This results in lower extension rates or weaker skeletons in most corals. There have been problems with corals dying in the past few years because of increased water temperatures.
Other marine life may migrate northward or southward because the waters are warmer. The warm water would make them think that they were in their natural habitat, when they were actually migrating toward the poles. Food would be scarce in their new habitat. Patterns of the circulation of sea water are disturbed by global warming. Cold water moves along the sea floor towards the equator and warm water around the equator moves toward the poles across the surface of the ocean. It is known as thermopile circulation. It is a very important process concerning ocean life.
This circulation process brings oxygenated water to the sea floor. If this did not happen, water along the sea floor would become depleted of the oxygen organisms need to survive. Fish, such as salmon, are also sensitive to the temperature of the water. During the summer when the water is warm, salmon have a higher metabolic rate. During the winter months, their metabolism slows down, which is good because less food is available. With global warming and increased water temperatures, salmon would have a higher metabolic rate, even if it were during the winter.
Less food would be available for them and many salmon would die. Another impact of global warming will be that some diseases are likely to be spread more easily. Mosquitoes are a major carrier of tropical diseases. They are commonly known for carrying malaria, cholera, and dengue fever. Malaria outbreaks re usually confined to where the minimum winter temperature reaches no lower than 16 [degrees Celsius], according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, an independent conservation organization. Scientists are beginning to notice that increased temperatures from global warming.
Places such as California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, and New York have had more cases of malaria. People from these states know that the summers have been very hot and humid lately. Malaria mosquitoes thrive in hot and humid weather. Increased temperatures and more rain in some areas will cause hot and humid weather, which will allow for mosquitoes to grate to new places and spread the disease. A study suggests that malaria transmission would increase from 45% of the globe to 60%, if atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases reach concentrations equivalent to a doubling of CO since the industrial revolution.
Cholera and dengue fever are also carried by mosquitoes and thrive in warm and moist climates. As with malaria, more cholera and dengue fever outbreaks would occur because of migrating mosquitoes. As stated earlier, the warming of the oceans will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and will make global warming a problem of increasing severity. There are other ways that this happens too. As the weather becomes warmer, more organic matter in the ground will be decomposed. This causes carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere: average temperatures would rise by . Degrees C per decade, soils will release an amount of CO equal to nearly 20 percent of the projected amount released by combustion of fossil fuels. (Merck, Skinner and Porter) Gas hydrates will also decompose with warmer temperatures. Gas hydrates are ice like solids in which molecules of gas, mainly methane, are locked in the structure of water and are usually found in frozen soil or in ocean sediments. Scientists have found that ? Gas hydrates worldwide hold a total of 10,000 billion metric tons of carbon, twice the amount contained in all the known coal, gas, and oil reserves on the land.
When temperatures increase, frozen soil will melt and release gas hydrates, and hydrates from ocean sediment will also break down. Because of this, more methane and carbon will be released into the atmosphere, making the greenhouse effect even stronger. This will damage our environment even more. Global warming is becoming a major problem as we move to the 21st century and beyond. When more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released, they trap heat rays and keep them in our atmosphere.
This causes an increase in temperature. Increases in temperature can do a lot of damage, even in small increases. Only a few degrees ended the ice age thousands of years ago. Another warming like that can have huge environmental effects. Changes in temperature will upset water cycles. Some areas will get more precipitation, some will get less. A warming of a few degrees would cause glaciers and sea ice to melt. This would lead to ocean levels rising and would damage coastal cities and islands.
It loud also cause a disruption in different species living in the ocean and increase the levels of some disease, especially ones carried by mosquitoes, which thrive in warm climates. In order to stop global warming, much has to be done. Although it is very difficult to reverse once the process is started, global warming has to be stopped if we want to live like we are now. Emission of fossil fuels by humans is a big factor in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Controlling these emissions is one is not controlled, problems such as the aforementioned ones, along with others, will definitely disrupt our living patterns.