Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greenhouse effect and Global warming

Global warming is one of the worst environmental problems that the modern world is facing due to several unfavorable human behaviors. According to scientists and scientific research, global warming increases the average temperature of the earth’s near surface, air and the ocean. As a result of global warming unwonted environmental effects take place, such as the rise of sea level which causes several problems to small islands like Maldives islands.  Because of the global warming, there can be changes in the amount of precipitation, extreme weather conditions like droughts and heat waves.  And also global warming can affect the biodiversity of the world by eliminating animal and plant species due to the shifting of the temperature.
For this worst environmental effect, the main reason is the human activities. For instance, after the industrial revolution, people started to use more fossil fuels which gave rise to greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases lead to a natural phenomena called greenhouse effect, which helps us live in a warmer place or on the other hand which warms the earth beyond its effective temperature. Without greenhouse effect the earth surface will be much cooler than what we are experiencing today.
This is how it happens; when sunlight or solar radiation reaches the earth’s atmosphere, part of the radiation will be absorbed by the earth’s surface and the rest of the radiation energy will radiate back to the space. When there are greenhouse gases like CO2, H2O, CH4 and O3 which are hetero nuclear molecules having permanent dipole moment, they trap the reflected radiant energy (IR)which is equal to their rotational and vibrational energies, before the radiation leave back to the space. Thus they will increase the temperature of the atmosphere by creating warm conditions. 
But after the Industrial Revolution with the use of fossil fuel, emission of CO2 gas has gradually increased. CO2 is a major component of greenhouse gases, which contributes about 9-26% to the overall greenhouse effect. Therefore, the naturally occurring greenhouse effect thus becomes an adverse effect to the earth because of the nefarious behavior of the human. Not only combustion of fossil fuel will increase the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. As a result of the removal of vegetation, the accumulation of CO2 will increase since there are no green plants to absorb CO2 and produce food for everyone. Production of CH4 also contributes to the greenhouse effect. This can occur via hot springs, garbage dumps and production of biogas.
     With industrial and scientific development, we are unable to stop the use of fossil fuel. the finding of an environmental friendly alternative energy source is time consuming and also it needs a lot of money and knowledge. Therefore what we can possibly do is to reduce the CO2 emission while searching for an Eco friendly alternative energy source. We should also reduce the deforestation as much as possible. By reducing the CO2 concentration of the earth’s atmosphere, we can thus reduce the greenhouse effect. By employing the above mechanisms we can surely find solutions to global warming. The total elimination or at least a considerable reduction of the global warming will undoubtedly make earth a better place for living.