Five things to know about global warming:

1.       Economic consequences- most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be goof. And these effects spell one thing for the countries off the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts exacerbate all of these.

2.       More floods- flooding represent one of the most dangerous hazards to human settlements and is one of the most potentially momentous impacts of global warming. As the climate changes, a warming of the seas creates ‘thermal expansion’.

3.       As the planet continues to warm, dry areas of land that are already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and destructive episodes.

4.       With ocean temperatures being a key factor for hurricanes formation, the consequences of global warming will inevitably include the increased generation of storms and hurricanes with greater power and frequently.

5.       It exacerbates pre-existing health conditions that affects the respiratory system such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, and in general impedes the immune system’s ability to fight against infection and disease. A hotter climate tends to lead directly to an increase in the levels of ozone, with smog-related deaths predicted or rise by “about 4.5 percent from the 1990s to the 2050s”.

Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century, and its projected continuation. Earth’s climate is mostly influenced by the first 6 miles or so of the atmosphere which contains most of the matter making up the atmosphere. This is really a very thin layer if you think about it.

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentration of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.

The most significant greenhouse gas is actually water vapor, not something produced directly by humankind in significant amounts. However, even slight increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can cause a substantial increase in temperature.

Global Warming Impacts:

·         Rising seas

·         Changes in rainfall patterns}increased likelihood of extreme events

·         Melting of the ice caps

·         Melting glaciers

·         Widespread vanishing of animal populations

·         Spread of disease

·         Bleaching of Coral Reefs due to warming seas and acidification due to carbonic acid formation

·         Loss of plankton due to warming seas

However, in reality, we will need to work on all fronts- 10% here, 5% here, etc., and work to phase in new technologies, such as hydrogen technology, as quickly as possible. To satisfy the Kyoto protocol, developed countries would be required to cut back their emissions by a total of 5.2 % between 2008 and 2012 from 1990 levels. Specifically, the US would have to reduce its presently projected 2010 annual emissions by 400 million tons of CO2. One should keep in mind though, that even Kyoto would go little ways toward solving the problem. In reality, much more needs to be done. 

Solar power is starting to become mainstream. The “green” movement has taken hold and we are beginning to see its accomplishments. Solar panels are used commercially, industrially, and residentially. Unfortunately, it is still quite expensive to install and it can take a while to see the savings, though be sure they are there.

If you would like to show your support for the green movement but aren’t fond of the spending required to make your house green all at once, consider do-it-yourself solar projects for use in your home. You can slowly make your house “greener” and get a new hobby at the same time. You can purchase solar kits and cheap panels to install yourself. Maybe you’d like a solar water heater or just enough electricity from solar energy to power your computer and other electronics. Look around online to find fun projects to help the green movement and make a difference starting in your own home.

Tidal power is a very intriguing form of alternative energy. Our oceans could generate a large amount of power for us, if we put the right systems in place. The most commonly known system for harnessing tidal power is the tidal barrage. It is very expensive and large, but supplies equally large amounts of power. However, tidal barrages aren’t the only way to make use of the ocean’s ability to generate power.

Offshore turbines are much cheaper method of generating power by making use of the tides. They look very similar to wind farms except that they are located underwater. They work similarly too, only the turbines are moved by water currents rather than wind. The turbines are connected to a generator and electricity is produced.

Tidal power is certainly an alternative power source to consider. Advances like offshore turbines make it a more realistic option to put in place in the near future.

There is a growing market for commercial solar power. Solar power can generate massive amounts of electricity, depending on the style of solar power system that is used. Commercial solar power systems are very good investments; they are much more cost efficient than home solar power systems and pay themselves off more quickly. One type of successful commercial solar power is a solar thermal plant.

Solar thermal power plants work very similarly to normal power plants, but they use solar energy instead of combustion. In a solar thermal power plant, heat from the sun is used to heat a liquid to high temperatures. That liquid then travels through pipes and transfers its heat to water. The water changes state to become steam and the steam is converted into mechanical energy by a turbine. The turbine is connected to a conventional generator and electricity is produced.

Solar thermal power plants have been in use for years, though you may never have run across one. The largest solar power facility in the world is located in the Mojave Desert and has been in operation since the 1980s. Of course, the Mojave Desert gets a lot of sunlight, so it is the ideal location for a solar power plant. However, smaller versions of the plant could be set up in other areas that receive a reasonable amount of sunlight. The long-term benefits would certainly outweigh the initial cost of creating a solar thermal power plant.