Carbon Dioxide Emissions And Renewable Energy Sources Environmental Sciences Essay
Every year, the variety of human activities is adding the billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, in the earth’s atmosphere have been increasing by human burning of fossil fuels, industrial, and deforestation activities. These agonizing activities have been continuing for the last 50 years, and also make to increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. It is the main cause of global warming. Some people accept these facts, but other people disagree that the main cause of global warming is contributed by human activities.
One of the main producers of carbon dioxide is fossil fuels. People use fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gases—to generate electricity, power the factories and run the cars. Carbon dioxide was formed and added into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. According to the World Energy Council, “the global greenhouse gases emissions from burning fossil fuels rose 12 percent from 1990-1995”. The World Energy Council also reported that “the developing countries contributed three times more than the developed countries” (ECC Full Report online 13). Most of the world’s energy was supplied by fossil fuels, mainly coal, oil and natural gas. We could reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn if we could have more of our energy from renewable sources, which control gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Utilize of renewable energy can help both to slow global warming and to reduce air pollution. Instead of using these fossil fuels to generate for energy, the global nations, developing nations, start investing the renewable energy sources such as hydro power, wind power, solar power, and nuclear power.
One of the renewable energy sources is hydro power or water power, and it uses hydraulic turbine that rotate with the force of water to produce energy. It is a continuous natural cycle, water cycle because the movement of water on the planet is continuously replenished by precipitation. Therefore, we will be getting benefit from this energy source as long as the water cycle continues. Furthermore, hydro plants do not emit harmful pollutants into the air since flowing water is the hydropower’s fuel supply. It is clean and renewable.
Another renewable energy source is wind power. The variation of temperature on different parts of land produces the wind. Wind will exist as long as the Sun shines on the surface of the Earth because wind is produced by variation of temperature on the Earth. The energy is created by the use of wind force with the help of wind turbines. As long as the wind exists, people will use it to power their life. Wind is a natural source of renewable energy that emits no air or water pollution, but wind power plants take up large amount of land to build. Noise pollution is produced by the large windmills along with the reliability of wind.
Solar power is an eco-friendly and renewable source of natural energy. It is produced by the photovoltaic cells which gather thermal energy directly from the sun to produce electricity. Passive solar cells could also be used to heat water for use in homes, buildings, or swimming pools. Since the performance of solar cells is rely on sunlight, weather conditions have a significant effect on the amount of solar energy received by photovoltaic cells. Even though photovoltaic cells do not emit any greenhouse gases, solar technology is needed to more development in order for this to be realistic energy source for the future.
Nuclear energy is another major form of energy. “Nuclear generation produces about 17 percent of the world’s electricity needs”, and provides huge amounts of energy “without the emission of greenhouse gases” (1). Although nuclear power is clean and reliable source of energy, the high-level nuclear waste is very dangerous. The radioactive waste from nuclear plants must be buried and waited many thousands of years to die away, and so a lot of money has to be spent on safety. Many scientists say that it is safe as long as things are being done properly.
Unfortunately, deforestation is another thing that people are doing to add the amount of carbon dioxide into the air. Many rainforests over the world are presently being destructed at an alarming rate. Both to supply timber for industrial use and to clear new land for farming or ranching, tremendous numbers of trees are being bring down. This ravaging process is called deforestation. Rainforests are one of the most important particular features of the Earth. And also they are significant for the global climate because they work as carbon dioxide filters, and natural home for millions of species. However, the trees on the Earth are being cut down at a very high rate. As the result of human activity, more than 60 percent of the forests cover has vanished from the planet.
Consequently, when there is no trees on the land, it leads the uncovering soil to the sun, turning soil into very dry and eventually, infertile, due to nitrogen, one of the nutrients, being lost. And also the rest of the nutrients will be wiped out and flowed with the rainwater into waterways when there is rainfall. It is hard to recover the problems caused by deforestation, and many lands on the Earth will be furnished permanently indigent due to soil erosion. Furthermore, trees play in a large role in maintaining the water cycle. Trees’ roots take in the water, and then released oxygen into the atmosphere. Therefore, circulation of the water in the ecosystem of rainforests remains inside the green plants. If these trees are destroyed, it will give the climate getting drier in that area than other areas.
Absorbing and storing great amounts of water is one of the natural activities of forests when there are the falls of rain. But, this circulation of the flowing water is interrupted when forests are being bring down, it will cause to alternating periods of flood and then drought in the affected area. It is true that emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the air is one of the distribution causes to global warming.
Deforestation is directly associated with carbon dioxide emissions into the air. Rainforests are a major natural storage bank for carbon because trees take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is used to produce the food for tree such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It means that carbon is being taken into trees, and oxygen is released into the air. This process is called photosynthesis. But, the carbon that is stored in trees will release back to the air, which will combine the oxygen and become carbon dioxide, if any of trees are burnt or allowed to decay, and it leads to largely contribution of carbon dioxide to atmosphere, which make the Earth warmer and drier.
According to a Popular Mechanics magazine, scientists are doing the research to control global warming with genetically engineered plants that can be recycling carbon dioxide expeditiously. As the result of these plants, the atmosphere would be clean of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the ocean replete with algae is another solution to the problem. Hundred and thousand millions of algae, nature’s carbon dioxide cleaners, are planted at farms and released into the oceans around the world. This would help to reduce carbon dioxide in the air, but also raise the algae population. Both of these solutions to the problem of global warming are worth looking into.
Despite the facts that mentioned above, many scientists around the world believe the human cause is bountiful and powerful. But few scientists argue that the Earth’s climatic change naturally causes the global warming. John Christy, a director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, says, “The carbon dioxide from fossil fuel is distributed [very] evenly around the globe and not concentrated in the Arctic, so we can’t blame greenhouse gases for the Northern Hemisphere warming over the past 27 years… The most likely suspect for [warming] is a natural climate change or cycle that we didn’t expect or just don’t understand.” This statement shows the global warming occurs due to a natural, but abstains from human activities cause to global warming.
As a powerful developed country, we contribute the most greenhouse emissions gases anywhere in the world that causes the global warming. In addition, as the most respectful and powerful country in the world, we can sit back and let it happen, or we can lead the world to solution of reduction the greenhouse gases and we can set the example for the world to see. We, human are contributing to cause the global warming through our activities which are adding on to any natural climatic phase that the Earth is experiencing. By reducing the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, we can terminate the global warming scare.
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