Global warming

  • SumoMe

Green house effect is the process where solar radiations (short wave radiation) from the sun reach the earth’s surface where it gets converted to heat energy (long wavelength radiation). Some of the energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface ad rest is reflected by the earth back to the space.

Global warming the consequence of increased green house effect.

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of earths near surface air and oceans    since the mid- 20th century and its projected continuation.   The average temperature of earth has increased more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1990.

The major cause of global warming is the emission of green house gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane etc in to the atmosphere. The major sources of carbon dioxide and other green house gases are the factories and power plants. These utilize a lot of fossil fuels like petroleum, coal etc and emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Another major source is vehicles. About twenty per cent of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere is from vehicles. Building of buildings requires lot of fuel which emits a huge amount of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. Methane can absorb 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide. The major producers of methane are cattle, bacteria in bogs, rice paddles & also from manufacturing of fossil fuels. Also when fields are flooded, anaerobic conditions build up and methane is produced due to degradation of organic matter. Nitrous oxide is produced during nylon and nitric acid production, burning of organic matter and cars with catalytic converters. Also cutting of forests leads to global warming because the trees convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.

The consequences of global warming can be fatal to the humanity and earth like increase in ocean level. This may lead to sinking of islands. As few days back a disputed island between India and Bangladesh- ‘New Moore Island’ sank. It was two meters above the sea level. In a single year Greenland has witnessed 32 glacial earthquakes between 4.6 And 5.1 on the Richter scale. Tundra is in danger of melting. Also due to global warming there are changes in the climate patterns. In India, this march the temperature was much higher than average temperature. This has lead to early blooming of flowers and may lead to decreased productivity of wheat this year.

Many efforts have been made to tackle global warming. Kyoto agreement has been signed up by many nations to reduce the emission of green house gases.

The problem of global warming can be tackled by new technologies. Solar energy is a renewable and non polluting source of energy. Solar energy can be trapped using solar panels, solar cookers etc.

Wind power can be utilized to run turbines which generate electricity. This saves coal as it is used to produce electricity. Also the land between turbines can be used for agriculture, grazing etc.

Replacing burnt-out incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lamps can also lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Enhanced natural sinks requires increasing the biological absorption of carbon. Natural carbon sinks can be enhanced by creating forest plantations, such as pine stand in Angus, Scotland. Carbon capture and storage can be used by capturing carbon dioxide from large point sources such as factories, power plants etc.

The 21st century might see temperatures rise of about 3 to 8 degrees, shifting climate patterns, glaciers contract and seas rise several feet. Global warming can be the biggest threat for the mankind in this century.

Jasvinder Banga

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