The worldwide community has reached an agreement about the global climate; the world is undoubtedly warming. This warming is the result of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activities, such as industrial processes, changes in land use, and deforestation.If we continue, the temperature is expected to rise by 400% by 21 00, and warming in the U. S.
S expected to be even higher. This warming will have real consequences on the world, for with warming also comes additional sea-level rises (which will gradually flood coastal areas), changes in rain patterns, increased risk of droughts and floods, and a number of potential challenges for public health. Addressing climate change is not an easy task. To protect ourselves, our economy, and our land from the effects of climate change, we must reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.To achieve this goal we must fundamentally transform the way we power our global economy, shifting away from a century’s legacy f unrestrained fossil fuel use and its associated emissions in pursuit of more efficient and renewable sources of energy. Such a transformation will require society to engage in a concerted effort, over the near and long-term, to seek out opportunities and design actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are developed by burning fossil fuels.
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon have increased nearly 30%; methane concentrations have more than doubled; and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15% all since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The atmosphere’s heat trapping capability has been enhanced due to these increases. The result of this is an increase in global temperature called global warming. In the past century, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit. During the past two decades there has been an increasing speed of Earths warming.What’s being done? Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Greenhouse gas emissions have the same impact on the atmosphere whether they originate in Washington, London or Beijing.
Consequently, action by one country to reduce emissions will do little to slow global arming unless other countries act as well. Ultimately, an effective strategy will require commitments and action by all the major countries. The international response to climate change was launched in 1 992, at the Earth Summit in ROI De Jeanine, with the signing of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention established a long-term objective of stabilizing greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference With the climate system. ” It also set a voluntary goal of reducing emissions from developed Mounties to 1 990 levels by 2000 CLC a goal that most did not meet. Recognizing that stronger action was needed, countries negotiated the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding targets to reduce emissions 5.
Percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The Kyoto Protocol will officially enter into force on February 16, 2005. With entry into force, Soot’s emission targets become binding legal commitments for those industrialized countries that have ratified it (the United States and Australia have not). Also, the market-based mechanisms established under Kyoto, including international emissions riding and the Clean Development Mechanism will become fully operational.Attention must now turn to strengthening the international framework for the years following Soot’s initial commitment period (2008-2012). The overriding challenge is to forge an agreement that includes all the major me toting countries D both developed and developing C and begins significant long- term reductions in global emissions. Among the core issues to be addressed are the nature of future climate commitments and whether a more specific long-term target must guide them.Other central issues are equity, cost, the interaction between climate efforts and international trade, and how best to integrate climate concerns with the development needs of developing countries.
The reason that we are still burning fossil fuels is simply because it is convenient and a much cheaper option. However there are much cleaner energy sources that are already available to us. These are solar and wind energy and water power. Energy from the wind is used to turn a turbine to create electricity.
However, these wind turbines have created much controversy, as the issue of them being an eyesore along the coastline has caused many people to object them. Another issue is that the turbines are a danger to birdlike. The federal Environment minister has rejected the proposal for a wind farm for the Bald Hills, because they are thought to be a danger to the orange-bellied parrot. Flowing water is used to spin giant turbines like water wheels which is used to create electricity also.All these energy sources are renewable and once up and running do not create greenhouse gases.
Other things are also being done to help reduce greenhouse gases. This includes the new 5 star energy rating system that the Victorian government introduced in July 2004. All new homes in Victoria must achieve a five star rating. Incorporating energy efficient design features into new houses will not only save money but energy. More than 200,000 tones of greenhouses pollutions will be saved annually by 5 star homes, within 5 years.This is equivalent to planting 750,000 trees, or removing 45,000 cars from our roads. Some of the requirements include: solar hot water systems double glaze windows to keep heat in, in winter and out in summer thicker and more instillation in floors, roofs and walls collecting water running of roofs for drinking, toilets and washing machines turning house to face the Roth to get as much winter sun as possible New cars are being designed and produced that are more energy efficient, using less fuel and creating less pollution.An example is Toast’s Hybrid Synergy Drive System.
A Hybrid synergy drive-powered Pries, Highlander or soon-to-be Campy is roughly 80% cleaner than a conventionally-powered vehicle when it comes to smog- forming emissions. A Toyota Pries uses up to 50% less fuel than a comparably sized family car. To reduce the amount of harmful methane gases emitted, scientists in Australia plan to vaccinate millions of sheep and cattle. The acing would not stop burping and flatulence in sheep and cows but it will reduce the methane content of the emissions by about 20%.
Methane emissions are produced equivalent to 60 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by Australia’s 114 million sheep and 27 million cattle. Although things are being done to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere, and we are using or experimenting with cleaner energy sources, we are still burning fossil fuels and polluting our atmosphere. World wide 10% of coral reefs have already been destroyed, and approximately 70% will e killed in the next 40 years if this rate of destruction continues. Because of this the future of our reefs is not a bright one.Causes of Change Known causes or “drivers” of past climate change include: Changes in the Earth ‘s orbit and Changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit (or eccentricity) as well as the Earth’s tilt and precession O affect the amount of sunlight received on the Earth’s surface. These orbital processes which function in cycles of 100,000 (eccentricity), 41 ,OHO (tilt), and 19,000 to 23,000 (precession) years are thought to be the most significant drivers of ice ages according to he theory of Mullein Implantation, a Serbian mathematician (1879-1958).
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Earth Observatory offers additional information about orbital variations and the Implantation Theory. Changes in the sun’s intensity: Changes occurring within (or inside) the sun can affect the intensity of the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface. The intensity of the sunlight can cause either warming (for stronger solar intensity) or cooling (for weaker solar intensity).
According to NASA research, reduced solar activity from the sass to the 1 sass was likely a key actor in the “Little Ice Age” which resulted in a slight cooling of North America, Europe and probably other areas around the globe. (See additional discussion under The Last 2,000 Years. ) Volcanic eruptions: Volcanoes can affect the climate because they can emit aerosols and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Aerosol emissions: Volcanic aerosols tend to block sunlight and contribute to short term cooling.
Aerosols do not produce long-term change because they leave the atmosphere not long after they are emitted. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the eruption of the Tambala Volcano in Indonesia in 1 815 lowered global temperatures by as much as OFF and historical accounts in New England describe 1815 as “the year without a summer. ” Carbon dioxide emissions: Volcanoes also emit carbon dioxide (CO), a greenhouse gas, which has a warming effect. For about two-thirds Of the last 400 million years, geologic evidence suggests CO levels and temperatures were considerably higher than present.One theory is that volcanic eruptions from rapid sea floor spreading elevated CO concentrations, enhancing the greenhouse effect and raising temperatures.
However, the evidence for this theory is not conclusive and there are alternative explanations for historic CO levels (NRC, 2005). While volcanoes may have raised pre-historic CO levels and temperatures, according to the USGS Volcano Hazards Program, human activities now emit 1 50 times as much CO as volcanoes (whose emissions are relatively modest compared to some earlier times).These climate change “drivers” often trigger additional changes or “feedbacks” within the climate system that can amplify or dampen the climate’s initial response to them (whether the response is warming or cooling). For example: Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations: The eating or cooling of the Earth’s surface can cause changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. For example, when global temperatures become warmer, carbon dioxide is released from the oceans. When changes in the Earth’s orbit trigger a warm (or interglacial) period, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide may amplify the warming by enhancing the greenhouse effect.When temperatures become cooler, CO enters the ocean and contributes to additional cooling. In depth Global warming poses an extraordinary threat.
The world’s leading atmospheric scientists tell us that a gradual warming Of our climate has darted and will continue. This long-term warming trend poses serious risks to our economy and our environment. It poses even greater risks to many other nations, particularly poorer countries that will be far less able to cope with a changing climate and low-lying countries where sea level rise will cause significant damage.To try to fix the challenge of global warming governments will have to minimize the use of carbon dioxide, require a sustained effort over decades. The governments must establish the rules and modify them as we learn more of the science, and as technological solutions egging to be made; on the part of industry, who must innovate, manufacture, and operate under a new paradigm where climate change will drive many decisions; and on the part of the public, who must also switch to a more climate-friendly path in their purchases and lifestyles. Effects As the name suggests, Global Warming is the heating of our planet.
The temperature will rise dramatically, the sea level will rise and the I. JP rays will get stronger and stronger. Eventually, the polar ice caps will melt, drowning most of the world’s low-level cities, plants will die from the heat and there will be more evaporation and less rain.
Global Warming effects are shown around the world, but especially in highly populated areas, like the LISA. Bigger, more populated, countries are more likely to be affected first because they use more carbon dioxide. The Earth radiates energy from the sun, back into space after it has penetrated the atmosphere and heated the Earths surface.However atmospheric greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases, trap in some of the outgoing energy and therefore keep the Earth warm.
The Greenhouse effect’ is natural and without it temperatures would be much lower than they are now. If this natural ?greenhouse effect’ didn’t occur, life as we know it today would not be possible. A rise in global temperature means a change in climate, increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, lessened snow cover, a rise in ocean temperature, melting of polar ice caps and an increase in worldwide precipitation.There has already been a decrease in the snow cover in the northern hemisphere and floating ice in the Artic Ocean. Over the past century, sea levels have risen globally by 4-8 inches. There has been a worldwide increase by about one percent of precipitation overland.
As the concentration of CO and other greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere these changes in global temperature, climate, weather conditions and sea levels will accelerate. The average global surface temperature is expected to rise 0. 6-2. ICC in the next fifty years, and in the next century 1. 4 -5. ICC.
This includes significant regional variation. An increase in CO emissions caused by human activity is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. It is due to the widespread clearing Of forests as forests take in CO for photosynthesis. Another major nutrition is agriculture and the release of methane and CO through livestock digestion. Electricity is generated by the burning of fossil fuels which creates energy to power a turbine. Other methods of creating energy to turn a turbine include using the steam generated or gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels.Energy industries create the most CO emissions. Vehicles release or emit gases into the air as by-products of the burning of fuel within an internal combustion engine.
These emissions include hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, lead, ozone and particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Global warming has or will have an impact on ecosystems. Ecosystems may change and some species may become extinct, while others may flourish.
The effects of global warming have a huge impact on the Great Barrier Reef due the increasing temperature of ocean water and the rise in sea levels.The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world and stretches from north of Bandager, in Queensland, all the way up to the Gulf of Papua. The reef is an amazing ecosystem which supports approximately 400 species of coral, over 1 ,500 species of fish and also many larger water animals.
It is made up of more than 3,000 separate fees which grow in shallow warm waters at temperatures between 180 c and 300 c. The two main forms Of coral reef that are found On the northern-east coast of Australia are fringing reefs and barrier reefs. A fringing reef follows the coast line and forms around offshore islands.There is usually a very shallow lagoon between the coast and the reef. Barrier reefs are usually separated from the land by a deep lagoon often several miles wide.
They form a barrier between the lagoon and the sea. Other coral formations are found on the reef such as the atoll. These coral atolls consist of a central goon surrounded by a circle of coral.
Coral is made up of many individual polyps which are tiny living animals. These polyps join together to form colonies called a coral colony which has a base that attaches itself to the reef.Coral reefs build up because the corals grow on top of the stony skeleton of previous coral colonies. The coral polyp is a carnivore and feeds off microscopically small animals floating by. The corals tentacles sting the microscopically small animals as they float by and then it is passed to the mouth. The mouth is located in the middle of the tentacles, where it is wallowed and digested. Coral polyps have limestone-producing cells which secrete limestone rock for their skeletons. Corals produce vast numbers of exact copies of themselves through asexual reproduction called budding.
Connecting to one another they are constantly prod icing limestone to build the reef. However corals also reproduce sexually and this helps to establish genetic variety and strength through the recombining of genes. The egg and sperm are expelled from the mouth and then once they have fertilized the newly formed plan (larva) they drift along with the ocean currents. If they re not eaten they settle on a hard, smooth surface, where they start a new colony.
Mutuality is a relationship in which both organisms benefit and some corals have this relationship with algae called Contextually.The algae live in the soft tissue of the polyp and carry out the process of photosynthesis. To make oxygen and food the algae uses sunlight and the polyps’ waste products. These substances can provide the polyp with up to 98% of its dietary requirements. These corals need sunlight for this process of photosynthesis and through this process the algae gains some color. That is why corals have such a wonderful variety of colors.
The reef is home to millions of living creatures which depend on the reef for survival as it is their habitat.There are many strange and complex interrelationships on the reef were species depend on another species for food and/or survival. The plants on the reef are called producers, as are all plants on earth, as they are the primary producers of food for all living things including themselves. The herbivores (only eat plants) and omnivores (eat plants and other animals) then eat the plants, gaining energy from the plants for themselves. The carnivores then feed on other animals for their energy. Scavengers feed on dead organisms and decomposer (mainly bacteria) ultimately consume the left over dead plants, animals and wastes.The decomposer cycle organic material back into carbon dioxide and nutrients.
Therefore the Great Barrier Reef is a delicate and complicated web Of life. Global warming is a major threat to the Great Barrier Reef. This is because of the rise of ocean temperature which causes the coral to bleach. Coral polyps lose the symbiotic algae inside them when ocean temperatures get too high.
This causes them to turn white or Dabbled’ (because the algae are what give the coral its color) and eventually dies. When the temperature increases the algae in symbiotic relationship with the coral become dysfunctional and expelled.The ability to perform photosynthesis which normally provides the coral with food is completely shut down. Approximately 30% of the barrier reef was destroyed due to coral bleaching in March and April of 1998. From early January to mid-March, almost all of the Great Barrier Reef water was ICC or more above normal. These are record sea temperatures.
The biotic and biotic processors of the reef are now in great danger as the burning of fossil fuels continues and so does global warming. All the living species on the reef upend on it for shelter and food, so if the reef dies so does everything else living on it.