Climate Change and Energy
Climate change may be explained as the change in the average weather conditions or change in distribution of weather periods for a long period of time, e.g. a million years. However, the climate of Earth is changing and according to the historical records, the earth temperature has risen by approximately 0.8 degrees.
Climate and energy are linked since the earth climate depends on the type of energy used today. People use energy in different ways, e.g. for heating, transport, communication, and growing and harvesting of crops. However, nowadays, the common way to produce energy is through burning of fossils fuels such as coil oil, natural gas, etc. They are referred to as fossils since they are decomposed remains of the ancient life, namely plants. Carbon dioxide gas is one of the waste gases released in the atmosphere after the process of burning fossils. Being a greenhouse gas, it is lighter than the air and can naturally rise to the outer limits of the earth atmosphere and settle there. Furthermore, it creates an impenetrable barrier that traps the heat emitted from the earth surface. It is held within environment causing temperature warming, which results into global warming (Quaschning n.pag.).
The process of global warming can be explained as the increase of earth surface temperature and oceans. It varies from region to region with some regions experiencing more global warming effects. Although high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a result of fossil burning is the main causes of global warming, other factors also contribute to the action. For example, deforestation is one of such factors. Nowadays, people tend to use forest as one of the main source of energy. Thus, they cut trees for both charcoal and wood, which may cause global warming since forests eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As a result, deforestation releases a lot of carbon that is further captured by the environment.
Another cause of global warming is chemical fertilizers that are used on the cropland in great numbers. In the recent years, farmers are replacing animal manure with chemical fertilizers. The rapid use of nitrogen rich fertilizers has an effect of heat storage on the cropland. What is more, dead zones in the oceans are caused by the run off of excess fertilizers. Emission of methane gas in the atmosphere is another cause of global warming. It may be emitted from the animals and paddy rice. It is, however, another potent greenhouse gas, which is produced when bacteria breaks down organic matter under the oxygen starved condition. As concentration of methane gas increases in the atmosphere global warming also increases significantly (Brown n.pag.).
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Global warming has a huge impact on change in rainfall patterns, rising seas that lead to inundation of fresh water and marsh lands, melting of ice caps, spread of diseases, and melting of glaciers.
Climate change may be the biggest environmental issue. However, the changes in climate can even lead to the formation of hurricanes. Hurricanes can be elaborated as an intense rotating oceanic weather that posses maximum sustained winds. They mostly begin in tropics. The most essential ingredients of every hurricane are warm water and moist warm air. According to the scientists, human activities, such as burning of fossils, have significantly contributed to global warming. It is a common knowledge that burning of fossils leads to increasing both water and air temperature worldwide making it easier for hurricanes to form and gain a destructive force. The scientists also argue that failure to take action to lower the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases is likely to lead to more frequent and sever hurricanes in the future.
High record breaking temperature may be another impact of climate change. Human activities such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emission and a range of other industrial and agriculture activities have greatly contributed to changing temperatures at a greater rate. For example, in 2012, the temperature continued to reach a peak in most parts of the USA. Thus, the residents of Washington were forced to endure two weeks of record breaking high temperature. In 2008, the record breaking ice melting in the arctic region was reported, which made the scientists believe that climatic changes are almost nearing the “tipping point”.
Apart from the above mentioned impact of climate change, it may also cause agriculture and food insecurity. Changes in water availability and temperature may have substantial consequences on the large scale agriculture output. What is more, this may force the country to rely on imported food. Deteriorations of public health may be another impact of climate change. Diseases vectors may arise due to climate change, e.g. diseases such as asthma and other lung ailments, which are known to be sensitive to temperature and high humidity. In addition, bacteria and algae tend to increase as the levels of water pollution increase.
According to scientists, the global weather changes are approaching. For example, global temperatures have significantly risen since 1880 as a result of greenhouse gas emission from the energy production industry and vehicles. Some regions are experiencing extremely cold winters, while others – heavy rains. Despite the tremendous climatic changes, a human being can adapt to these changes, for instance, through technology solutions and changes in the consumption habits. Thus, it is quite necessary to take some measures, since the climate changes and their effects will have a lot of negative consequences in the future. Although people are trying to adapt to the changes, they should, at the same time, try to reduce the main causes of climate change since the adaptive challenges grow with the magnitude and the rate of climate change. For instance, humans cannot withstand the temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius.
In conclusion, it should be mentioned that energy used today determines the climate conditions. Therefore, people should come up with ways of conserving the energy. Energy efficiency can be achieved through technology, namely through using a more efficient fuel, combining heat and power systems. Thus, the waste heat of electricity will be used in several other ways.