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.
In 2009, wind power sources provided 1.9 percent of the United States’ power production. While this may seem like a new fangled technology it’s actually one of the oldest forms of energy in existence dating back as far as 5,000 B.C. sailing ships.
Wind power is actually a form of solar power. Heat causes the wind by producing varying levels of heat in different areas and high pressure air always moves towards low air pressure areas. While solar panel cells take in the heat and rays directly, the byproduct of the heat on the earth causes the movement of air that is translated into power from the wind turbines.
From 2000 to 20006 wind power production has actually increased four times over. This is a great trend considering that one Megawatt of wind energy actually produces 2,600 tons of Carbon Dioxide fewer than conventional power sources.
Texas has jumped on the ball more than anyone, installing more wind generators than any other state in the U.S. which includes 37 other competing states.