Global Warming

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by BCPScience
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Grade:
7

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Global Warming

What is Global Warming?Global Warming is a phenomenon in which weather patterns and temperatures are changing rapidly and unpredictably on a global scale.See Picture 3. It is also referred to as climate change or climate disruption. Global Warming is primarily caused by heat trapping gases in the atmosphere often referred to as greenhouse gases. The most commonly emitted greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide but others include methane. See picture 1.

Picture 1

What is the Kyoto Protocol AND why is it importantt when considering global warming?The Kyoto Protocol Treaty was negotiated in december 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan and came into force February 2005. The Kyoto Protocol is a legally biding agreement under which industrialised countries will reduce their collectivee mmisions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the 1990 year. The goal is to lower the overall emissions of the six gases.

Melting of glaciers: The sea level will rise which will lead to flooding. This endangers several species of plants and animals and as a result hampers the balance of the ecosystem. The earth is also absorbing more energy and has started to change the conditions for plants and animals. Climate change: This causes irregular weather patterns and causes increased precipitation. More global warming -> More evaporation -> more rain. Plants and animals cannot easily adapt to these changes. Plants may die, animals migrate to other areas which puts entire ecosystems out of balance. Climate change also causes more droughts, wildfires, seasonal patterns and shifting ranges. In some places there will be droughts and in others flooding. The changes may cause habitat loss and extinction. Diseases: This affects the health of humans and the diseases we are exposed to. With the increase in rainfall, water borne diseases are likely to spread e.g. malaria. The earth is becoming warmer which will result in heat waves that will be a major blow to people.

The Kyoto Protocol may be considered to have a good goal but at the moment it is unrealistic. The first reason is its exclusion of developing countries. Excluding these countries mean they do not have the limits of the treaty meaning that the gas emissions wll continue to rise. One third of the world's country is made up of developing countries leaving it close to impossible to reduce gas emissions. There is also a cost for implementing this treaty which is far beyond the resonable amount to implement the treaty. If implemented it could mean loss of jobs and long term economic implications. To reduce greenhouse gases it comes at a cost which our world can't afford right now.

Outline six effects of global warmingHurricane frequency: Storms are likely to become stronger. Water in the oceans warm up and heat the surrounding air which creates hurricanes. As a result of the storms becoming stronger they will be bigger and more destructive.Agriculture: Plants will find it harder to survive and will die. Plants are a major food source for both plants and animals. If there was a decrease in plants it may lead to a food shortage. If there are less plants for us there may be a decrease in both populations. The changing conditions are making it harder for certain plants to grow. The shortage of food may cause some animals to become extinct and for there to be war and conflict in some countries.Rise of sea levels: The melting of the polar ice-caps and less amounts of water evaporating into the atmosphere has increased sea levels. The ocean has also become warmer. Quaint coastal towns and cities near the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico are just a few of the areas that have experienced devastating flood damage. See picture 2.

Picture 2

Picture 3

Explain how deforestation and the excess of burning fossil fuels are both contributing to the greenhouse effect.Deforestation (see picture 4) is caused by exploitation of natural resources--including expanding populations, logging, agriculture, biofuel production, and wildfires. Trees capture carbon dioxide by taking it into their cells through photosynthesis. They then store the carbon in their bodies; a tree is comprised of about 50 percent carbon. Some carbon gets released back into the atmosphere through respiration, but the net effect is tremendous carbon storage.On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities have increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Picture 4

Name two ways you can help reduce the Greenhouse Effect.Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: If there is a recycling program in our community you can use this to recycle your newspapers, beverage containers, paper and other goods. Another way you can help is composting food and yard waste. This reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce how much you buy and buy objects that are wrapped in more eco-friendly wrapping. An example is when you go buy groceries use your own bags instead of buying plastic ones. Reusing items will also help. See Picture 5Electronics: Turn off your computers and other appliances when not in use. You can also reduce the use of energy reliant products (heavy consumers especially e.g. TV and computers). If away from a computer turn it off and avoid surfing the web aimlessly. Cut down on TV time and instead read a book. Connecting electronics to power strips or surge protectors and turn things off when not in use will decrease the energy you are releasing.

Give one government initiative that is aimed at reducing the greenhouse effect.The Australian Greenhouse Office is a government aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Australian Government’s climate change strategy is centred on five key areas – emissions management; international engagement; strategic policy support; impacts and adaptation; and science and measurement. Some initiatives include:•boosting renewable energy actions and pursuing greater energy efficiency•investing significant resources into greenhouse research and monitoring Australia's progress towards its Kyoto target•encouraging the development and commercialisation of low emissions technologies•encouraging industry, business and the community to use less greenhouse intensive transport fostering sustainable land management practices

Global Warming

Picture 5


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