of global warming
The average temperature of the
atmosphere is determined by the concentration of the atmospheric gases
molecules such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. The concentration
of these gases can be changed by various factors including human activities and
lead to changes in climate and global warming. The continuous burning of fossil
fuels by human result in the rising of the concentration of carbon dioxide, which is known as the greenhouse gases as can allow the entry of sunlight into the
atmosphere but not exit the atmosphere, leading to a gradual warming of the
Earth’s atmosphere. About 160000 years ago, the average global temperature was
5 degree Celsius lower that now. Scientists believed that the temperature will
be increasing at the rate of 0.3% per decade due to industrialization. Within
40 years, the average temperature of the Earth would be raised by 1.5 to 5
degree Celsius with the doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration from the
of global warning
High concentrations of greenhouse gases are
the main reason in causing global warming. Usually, they are important in the
balance of heat of atmosphere as they are able to absorb infrared radiations.
First of all, radiant energy from the sun enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Some
solar radiation is reflected back to space. The Earth absorbed most of the
radiation and warming the surface of the seas and lands. By this, infrared
radiation ( heat ) is emitted by the surface and radiates back to space.
However, much of the heat does not escape from the atmosphere but remains
trapped by the greenhouse gases, warming the atmosphere. They done this by
absorb some of the infrared energy and emit it back to the Earth’s surface ( Figure
3.0 shown in Appendices 3 ). Only little life would be survived as the Earth is
too cold without this process. However, small amount of these gases is enough
in preventing thermal radiation from radiating out of the atmosphere. In 1960,
scientists at the Mauna Loa laboratory on Hawaii’s highest volcano start to
measure the greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere. This site is
chosen as it acts as the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric conditions
representative and is considered free from local airborne contamination. The
annual lows and high of the carbon dioxide concentration is shown by the crests
and troughs of the graph. From the midline of the graph, we can conclude that
the concentration is continuously increasing. (
Figure 3.1 shown in Appendices 3 )
However, some scientist believed that
increased in the concentration of will not result in global warming. As we know,
is soluble in water and not all the will remain in the atmosphere. is not only absorbed by
the rivers, seas and oceans but also used by green plants during the
photosynthesis process. Examples of the algal blooms in spring and the intake
of in the atmosphere by the leaves of the plants
during daytime show the ways to eliminate in the air. Thus, it may seem beneficial in
agricultural production but harmful to the environment.
Ozone depletion is another cause of
global warming Gases such as chlorofluorocarbon, CFC that can easily be found
in air conditioners, refrigerator and aerosol cans depletes the ozone that
protect the living organisms from harmful high energy ultraviolet radiation.
Besides, global warming is also
caused by deforestation. Deforestation change the patterns of the land by
converting the forest to buildings , crops and land settlement.
of climate changes due to global warming
Scientists have found
that data from weather stations and balloons, satellite and computer programs
show that the irreversible effects are on their way. The Earth is becoming
warmer and warmer. Paleoclimatological records show that millions years ago the
global temperature is 5 degree Celsius colder than now. ( Figure 3.2 shown in
Appendices 3 ) . There will be a
cooling of the stratosphere. Global warming will cause changing in the rainfall
patterns. The polar ice caps and glaciers start to melt due to global warming. The
Glacier in the White Thunder Ridge has a
completely different view in 1941 and 2004. ( Figure 3.3 shown in Appendices 3
). This can result in the rise in the sea levels. It is possible to rise
18cm by 2030 and 58 cm by 2090. A rise in sea levels causes low-lying
areas to be flooded, alter coastlines and contaminate fresh-water supplies. One
of the examples is wet lands between Timbalier Island and Galliano LA are
disappearing because of the rising in sea levels. ( Figure 3.4 shown in
Appendices 3 ). All of these will have effects in increased tidal range and
estuarine salt- front intrusion and recession of wetlands and shorelines.
Global warming will
increases the frequency of drought. In 2012,almost 81% of the United States is
facing drought due to climate changes. ( Figure 3.5 shown in Appendices 3 ). The
land will become dry and infertile and this leads to a drop in crop yields. As a
result, the people will suffer from hunger. The probability of hurricanes
occurring will also increase. Besides, the high temperature will causes a great
evaporation of water. Knowing that water vapour is a greenhouse gases, further
enhanced will increases the rate of precipitation of snow at poles. This will
leads to the formation of polar ice sheets. Global warming will leads to the change in the
wind direction and wind stress over the sea surface. This affects the
distribution of species which may leads to extinction of species in certain
regions as the changes in ocean currents and nutrient mixing zones.
Effect of global warming on human
Millions of people from the world
who are living in low-lying coastal plains, sea-sides and islands would be
displaced by the inundation as the sea levels are continuously rising from year
to year. Families in Kiribati have no chose but to live near marginal areas,
facing the problems of the continuously rising of sea levels. ( Figure 3.6
shown in Appendices 3 ).
Effect on human health
Changes in the
temperature will bring lots of disease to human such as respiratory diseases,
cerebrovascular and cardiovascular. The situation will be worst especially in the
elderly, the very young and the chronically. Our body thermo-regulatory system
will be overloaded by high temperature causing in frank heat-stroke.
In United States, the doubled amount on carbon dioxide concentration has
result in the death of 1150 to around 7400. From the result, most of the death
occurs in the elderly. In the case of hat fever, the levels of tropospheric
ozone are also the reason beside of the released of pollen. The changes in
climate also caused the long term effects on mental health. In 1972, 125 people
died and around 4000 people to become homeless because of the collapsing dam in
the USA. 80% of the survivors were found that they are having trauma from that
incident. All of this can changes the change in the characteristics and
behaviour of a person and lead to depression and stress throughout their life.
Almost all the children were facing development problems due to the incident.
Effect on animal behaviour and
Rising in sea levels caused by
global warming will result in the loss of settlement for animals. We could see
that see turtles are losing their nesting beaches especially in the Caribbean
beaches. The period of hibernation varies, becoming longer or shorter and the
eggs will be laid earlier compare to previous years. The migratory journey will
be affected due to global warming. Moreover, populations will also be displaced
due to the warming of the Earth surface. In the late 1970s, polar bears are
increasingly food-stressed as the have longer fasting period
during open-water season. The rising in sea levels will also endangered species
that are living in the water like whales and dolphin. Mediterranean monk seals start to appear in Egypt, Lebanon and Israel
that they have not been found before. This could be due to the need of raising their pups on a beach.
Effect on plants
Due to the large changes in the
climate, some plants may get benefit from that as the rate of the activities of
microorganisms living in the soil increases based on the journal New
Phytologist while some may experience bad effect as plants are moving to cooler
regions. Increasing in the temperature and strong wind are beneficial for
plants that used wind to spread their seeds or pollens, for an example,
Taraxacum Mongolicum species. Warmer temperature will stimulate growth rate but
only at the initial. The growth rate decreases as it increases will time. As
mention earlier, the high
temperature will causes a great evaporation of water resulting in the formation
of the large root system to obtain sufficient water. Changes in the tree
structure in the form of leaf structure, shape and size architecture of the
root system are obvious to be seen. Furthermore, due to the rising of the sea
levels coastal species like Arctic and alpine species will now have nowhere to
go and. They will be located between the living places of human and rising sea
will be playing their roles as ‘sinks’ more frequently to reduce the
concentration of carbon dioxide.
How much one has to pay
Researchers have found that in 2.4
million to 3.1 million jobs will be lost and 177 billion dollars to 318 billion
dollars of gross domestic product will be reduced in order to reduce and
stabilize one greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to 93% of 1990’s levels in USA.
Introduction of ozone and ozone depletion
Ozone, (g) is a highly reactive pale-blue gas that found in the
stratosphere of our atmosphere as the ozone layer. Ozone layer is located
between 17 km o 25 km above the surface of the Earth, so it is known as the
high-level ozone. Ozone molecule with a penetrating odour is a combination of
three atoms of oxygen. A stable oxygen molecule, is split by the
ultraviolet radiation or electrical discharge to form an ozone molecule. (
Figure 4.0 shown in Appendices 4). Hence, ozone in maintained by the action of
the ultraviolet rays light on ozone. Ozone layer acts in the role of shielding
organisms from excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun in the upper atmosphere.
( high-level ozone )However, ozone will leads to the stunted growth in plants,
asthma in living organisms and causes particular material to be corroded when
it is at the ground level( low-level ozone). Ozone depletion occurs when the
ozone layer is becoming thinner and thinner and more ultraviolet ray radiation
is reached on the Earth.
Causes of ozone depletion
Ozone depletion can happened through
two ways, that is naturally and caused by human activities. By natural, ozone
molecules will combine with the nitrogen oxide to form nitrogen dioxide. Then,
nitrogen dioxide will bind with oxygen atom to form nitrogen oxide and oxygen.
The used of refrigerator and air-conditioner by human will cause large amount
of chlorofluorocarbon, CFC to be released into the environment. This is because
CFC is used as a coolant in both refrigerator and air-conditioner. The uses of
fire extinguishers containing halogenated hydrocarbon or halon and other ozone
depleter such as carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform will result in the
thinning of the ozone layer. For most of the ozone depleters are made up of
chorine or bromine which is chemically stable compounds. The intense
ultraviolet radiation will break those molecules once they are at the upper
atmosphere. Ultraviolet radiation strikes a CFC molecule and causes a highly
reactive single chlorine radical to break away. The free chlorine radical
collides with an ozone molecule and combine with oxygen atom to form chlorine
monoxide and oxygen. When a free atom of oxygen collides with chlorine
monoxide, two oxygen atoms form a molecule of oxygen. The chlorine atom is thus
released and free to destroy more ozone molecules. ( Figure 4.1 shown in
Appendices 4). Besides, the use of the organic or inorganic fertilisers will
also causes the thinning of the ozone layer as they release nitrous oxide to the
atmosphere which is also known as a type of the ozone-depleting chemicals. The
increased number of vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, vans and buses on the
road also contribute to the release of nitrous oxide gases. Researches have
shown that the 5 out of 100 per cent of the nitrous oxide is released by the
vehicle and yet the number of people using vehicles to go working or schooling
does not show a decline but increase in number.
Examples of ozone depletion in the world
The extreme condition of ozone
depletion is forming a continent-size hole known as ozone hole over Antarctica.
CFC is parts of the reason for the formation of the ozone hole. In 1989, the
depletion increases by 47% as compared to the 3% over the Artic. It is believed
that the ozone will continued to deplete at a rate of 5% for every decades (
Figure 4.2 shown in Appendices 4). A strong stratospheric wind will blows
around the surface of the Earth during the Antarctic winter, resulting the
Stratosphere, over Antarctica to be separated from the rest of the atmosphere,
to be extremely cold. As the result, ice cloud that is known as polar
stratospheric clouds ( PSCs ) will be formed. They remove nitrogen dioxide that
will leads to the removal of to stop and lead to the accumulation of chlorine
molecules. The equation will be : . When it is spring
time, free chlorine atoms are formed due to the breakdown of chorine molecules
formed during winter time. Thus, the ozone depleting reactions are continued.
Every single chlorine radical is able to breakdown thousands of ozone molecules
before deactivate by a nitrogen dioxide, or a hydrocarbon.
Although ozone depletion in Antarctica is getting worse than ozone depletion in
Artic, people should take concerned on both of the regions. There is an
investigation showing that the ozone layer is decreased over 29% in the Artic region.
Effect of ozone depletion on human health
99.9% of the harming ultraviolet
radiation coming from the Sun is filtered by the ozone layer. Thus thinning of
the ozone layer will causes the prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet radiation
by human. This can lead to higher risks for eye cataracts and sunburns, causes
mutation that will result in skin cancer such as melanoma. The “ozone hole”
that is found over Antarctica has increased the medical case of skin cancer in
Effect of ozone depletion on human immune system
The ultraviolet radiation is strong
enough to weaken our immune system and our body abilities to resist the
infectious diseases. As a result, we will get sick easily and more frequently.
For an example, the weakening of the immune system due to the ultraviolet
radiation will result in the activation of herpersimples virus on the skin. The
rate of getting the skin diseases such as leishmaniasis or leprosy will be
highly increase as they are affected by the sell-mediated immune response. The
risk of getting ultraviolet light-related skin cancer will also be high
increased among the people who are immune-suppressed for organ transplant.
Effect of ozone depletion on crop
The depletion of the ozone allowing
ultraviolet radiation from the Sun reduces the nutrient contents and crop
yields of plants such as soya beans and peas. The leaf cells and chlorophyll
are damaged by the high intensity of the ultraviolet radiation result in the
decline in the rate of photosynthesis and therefore reducing the yield of the
crop. This causes the loss in food become uncountable.
Effect of ozone depletion on food chain
The high intensity of the ultraviolet
radiation will disturb the food chain. It will kill microorganisms and
phytoplankton that acts as the producer or that are at the bottom of the marine
food chain as ultraviolet radiation has a high penetration power up to twenty
meters down the sea. As the phytoplankton are at the bottom of the marine food
chain, it will changes the amount of the production of the marine like the
fishes, crabs, shrimp, prawns and much more. This will lead to the shortage of
the food supply as most of the world population depends on it. The penetration
of the ultraviolet radiation does not only affect the marine food chain but
also affect the food chain on land. It causes mutation in living organisms and
reduced in the number of population of the animals that feed on the marine
lives such as fish.
the Antarctic organisms are badly affected as they are only having a low
tolerance for the ultraviolet
Effect of ozone depletion on climate of the Earth
Ozone depletion will also lead to the
increased in the temperature of the Earth. The high intensity of the sunlight
may causes global warming and result in the melting of the polar ice caps and
glaciers. Consequently, low-lying areas will be flooded and caused
people to loss their habitats or homes, damaged of the furniture and lots of
loss. Time and lots of efforts are required to rebuild their homes causes them
to spend extra expenses.
Ways to prevent ozone depletion
It is very important to maintain the
amount of the chlorine at the normal range in the atmosphere. To achieve this, we
can reduce the release of CFC. The hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that is a
compound consisting of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon atoms and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) that is a
compound consisting of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon atoms are used to replace
CFC in order to prevent the thinning of the ozone layer. This is because these gases will breakdown in
the atmosphere and return to the Earth in the form of rainwater unlike CFCs.
We can also release the amount of CFC
by reducing the use of the air-conditioners. Switch on the fan if the weather
is not so hot and always switch off the air-conditioners at home when we are
away from our home or when they are not in use or not necessary. We should
avoid the habit of switching on the air-conditioners whenever we like but not
because of the hot weather.
In 1978, certain countries like the
United States, Switzerland and Canada have made their move to ban the use of
the CFCs as the aerosol products as they are aware of the consequent harmful
effect that can bring to. Therefore to continue this effort, people around the
world should also avoid buying the aerosol propellants can contain CFCs.
we know that the uses of
fire extinguishers containing halogenated hydrocarbon or halon that can leads
to the ozone depletion, so we can find a way to recycle it properly like
through waste centres. We also must have the fully understanding on the ways to
recycle it so that it is still useful without the ozone-depleting chemical.
Besides, we should stop releasing the chemicals
that can cause the ozone depletion. Usually, this type of chemical is from
agriculture. Therefore, the farmers must take note of the fertilisers that they
are using. Fertilisers that release the nitrous oxide that will leads to the
thinning in the ozone layer are reduced to their maximum. A suitable place for
the use of fertilisers should be created so that the loss of the nitrous oxide
to the atmosphere is at its lowest. We can also ensure that the absorption of
the nitrogen by the crops is at its maximum by observing and recording the
suitable timing to use the fertilisers.
Nitrous oxide is also released from
the vehicles. We can find that a family will be having two cars or more than
that which are not necessary. Therefore, we should practice carpooling or use
public transport like LRT, MRT, monorails for transportation. For a destination
that is near, we should just walk there or riding a bicycle to there. I believe
that there is no need to travel a place by car if we can reach there in 5 to 10
minutes by walking.
Moreover, we should buy the things either
food or goods that are manufactured in our own country. This is because
different things that are on sale are produced from various countries. So, the
further they are manufactured, the longer distance they have to travel. As a
result, the amount of the nitrous oxide that will be produced increases and
this lead to further depletion of the ozone layer.
As the saying goes a small step for a
man, one giant leap for mankind. So, we should not only practice the methods
that we can do but also advice our family members and friends to do so. We
should encourage the people around us to do the same things to protect our
ozone layer from depletion.
Proof that ozone hole over Antarctica is healing
The latest news from NASA have given
the first proof of the ozone layer is recovering. They have seen that the
action from the authorities and the action of banning the chemicals have
effectively decreases CFC levels and help in the recovering of the ozone layer.
( Figure 4.3 shown in Appendices 4) Therefore, these efforts that I mentioned
earlier should be continued.