Global Warming Prevention
Global warming prevention can be broken down on different levels from nation to nation, city to city, and even person to person. Consuming less power is certainly the number one area to begin. Burning coal to create electricity is an outdated process that is still the predominant form of power generation across the globe. Our overall reluctance to shift from harmful fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly forms of energy has greatly jeopardized this planet's future.
Solutions to Global Warming
Innovative solutions to global warming are essential to combating the situation with a sound mind open to any and all possible resolutions to lessen the impact of humanity on the environment.
"Permits are given to individual plants based on this new emission level. Those that are able to reduce their emissions below their permit level can "trade" or sell their excess permits to plants that are over their permitted emission level. This system allows for flexibility while still limiting carbon emissions".
Carbon Emissions and Global Warming
A system like this put in place across the United States would greatly reduce the carbon emissions from this country which makes up nearly twenty-five percent of the carbon emissions worldwide while only being five percent of the earth's population. Such a sad statistic really magnifies how grave the situation has become and how desperately it needs to change. As this proposal would certainly greatly reduce the industrial consumption of carbon based products across the country, the consumer area still needs to be addressed as well.
In looking at the fact the earth's temperature is rising, the subsequent logical question is why? General consensus points to several reasons. Some of the most common of the aforementioned reasons are listed and discussed below:
- Emissions: Collectively, the age of modern technology provides various comforts. It allows us speedy transportation, durable shelter and the ability to stay warm on those cold winter nights. However, these comforts do not come without a price. That price, as it stands, has been an unremitting release of carbon dioxide into the earth's atmosphere. Over time, the collection of gaseous material forms a proverbial covering over the earth. This covering, which develops much like a layered blanket, traps a large amount of heat from the sun. As such, a climate change occurs thereby altering many agricultural and geo-ecological patterns.
- Fossil Fuels: To operate a large productive plant or an industrial facility, there must exist some form of energy. That form, in most cases, occurs through the burning of fossil fuels located and extracted from deep within the earth's surface. As observed by writers John Rourke and Mark Boyer, "The burning of fossil fuels (6.1 billion tons in 1995) to warm and propel this mass and to supply it with material goods is raising the world carbon dioxide level and, most scientist worry, causing global warming Altogether, the study of fossil fuel is quite complicated in nature. For the purposes of this particular discourse, however, it is important that one comprehends that gas, oil and coal are fossil fuels that serve as a large energy base for most North American production organizations. Throughout history, the burning of these fuels has triggered a distinct increase in carbon emissions. As one study explains, "nearly six billion tons of carbons were emitted into the atmosphere in 1989 due to fossil-fuel burning, and emissions continue to grow by two percent a year, so the buildup of carbon dioxide is accelerating". Presently, the levels have continued to increase.
- Deforestation: Although deforestation emits less carbon into the atmosphere than coal and oil, the cutting down of trees plays a vital role in the global warming process. When trees that have lived for a substantial amount of years are systematically destroyed, the result is a large amount of carbon dioxide thrust into the earth's atmosphere. Areas like the tropical Rainforest of Brazil have faced the impact of deforestation for quite some time. Despite geographical location, the Carbon Dioxide that is released into the atmosphere exacerbates the global warming situation as it adds more gaseous substances to the problem. Amazingly, "For every five tons of carbon emitted to the atmosphere by fossil fuels, at least one more arises from deforestation.
- Methane/Greenhouse Gases: Considered a greenhouse gas, when methane is released into our atmosphere, it assists the earth in becoming warmer. In unison with fossil fuels, methane has clear associations with the age of industrialization. Writers Michael Oppenheimer and Robert Boyle make the point that, "more than half of the methane now in the atmosphere comes from human activities with the result that, over the course of the past 150 years, the atmospheric concentration of methane has jumped more than 100 percent. Other greenhouse gases that assist in the global warming process are Nitrous Oxide and Tropospheric Ozone.
Although the debate over the potential and ending results of the global warming controversy remains in flux, most scientists agree that North America has been affected by the rise in the earths temperature. Listed below are several common implications of climate change with regards to North American agriculture.
- Unpredictable Weather- Many environmental specialists have theorized that, as the earth's surface warms, rainfall and moisture patterns will alter as well. Agriculturally speaking, the increase could be hazardous for the environment. A particular study defines the changes by explaining that, "Many of the world's major agricultural regions, including the U.S. grain belt, the Canadian Prairie Provinces, The Ukraine and northern China may experience much reduced summer soil moisture because of earlier snow melt, reduced participation, and increased water loss through evaporation and transpiration".
- Sea Level and Crop Damage- As the earth warms, melted ice from colder climates will potentially cause sea levels throughout the globe to rise. Potentially, the rise could cause or lead to flooding situations for cities located along North American coast lines. Flooding would not only harm the cities, but could lead to a loss of crops as well. Low lying land areas, in particular, stand to be drastically affected.
- Plant and Tree Life- Extremely warm conditions in the summer months may lead to a loss of plant and tree life. John Houghton explains "Forest especially will be affected by the increase in climate stress causing substantial die-back and loss of production".
- Water Availability- A rise in heat, if it occurs in conjunction with a loss of water, could alter stream flows and fresh water flows in the Midwest. In addition, a lack of water and precipitation could lead to forest fires, loss of fish life, and a potential change in soil chemistry.