Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Global warming.

Global warming is a naturally occurring process on our planet. However, we have added so many greenhouse gases through the burning of coal and fossil fuels that we have “sped up” global warming exponentially; from the beginning of the Industrial revolution to current day, our CO2 levels have set records that are higher than the past hundreds of thousands of years.
The global climate change is affecting areas all over the world. For example, the earth’s surface has been steadily increasing by 0.13OC per decade. Although this doesn’t look like much, it has changed areas all over the world. In the past 40 years, this has killed thousands of coral reefs under the ocean, which were extremely sensitive to the 1 degree temperature change. As for precipitation, it has increased in areas which are in more exteme latitudes (e.g. the Northern Hemisphere), and it has decreased in tropical areas such as Africa and South-East Asia. The largest concern for sure is the melting Ice Caps.
Greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide have the ability to trap heat. When light enters our atmosphere, it gets converted to infrared waves once they hit an obstacle. The solar energy is converted to heat. However, as the heat tries to escape back into the atmosphere, it is blocked and reflected back to the earth by the greenhouse gases.
Countries are attempting a method named “Cap and Trade”. Areas such as California and Massachusetts have promoted this strategy. They try to exclusively auction pollution permits, and with the bid money sellers try to put the cash into public programs. Citizens who try to use methods of heat that displace coal will in turn get higher rebates, as well as free permits.