Human Impact on the environment
- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1438
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Both graphs show a positive correlation which means there is a strong relationship between the rises in global temperature to the level of carbon dioxide in the air. It shows from the year 1800 – 2000 the air temperature has increased from -0.1c to 7c. This is an important change for the earth’s average temperature, although it does not seem like much. The graph is varied where by between the years 1940 to 1980, it decreases and then increases, but the main trend it is that the global temperature is increasing.
The second graph, which shows the rise in carbon dioxide, definitely confirms that there is a link between air temperature and carbon dioxide levels in the air. Because the rise in carbon dioxide, creates a greenhouse effect which forms an external layer around the earth, this prevents any of the earths heat to escape, the more this layer thickens the more it will be a disadvantage to the environment. From the year 1880 to 2000, there has been an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
As you can see on the bar chart above, there has been a major decrease of the thickness of ice in different parts of the arctic sea and in some parts; it has almost reduced half its original size. For example in Canada Basin the thickness of the ice was 3.5 between the years 1958 – 1976 and reduced to 2.1 between the years 1993- 1997. if this trend is to continue then the icebergs will melt away.
Global warming is an overall increase in the world temperatures, which may be caused by additional heat being trapped by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are made out of carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, nitrous oxide,
Ozone and chlorofluorocarbons also known as CFC’s which contribute to causing global warming. Greenhouse gases are produced by: burning fossil fuels e.g. coal and petrol, deforestation and animal excretion which produces methane gas.
If global warming is to continue then experts predict that by the time a baby born today is 80-years-old, the world will be six and a half degrees warmer than it is now. Experts also believe that the winters will be very mild, stormy and wet, with dry and hot summers in the future. Sea levels will also rise due to the water expanding when it is heated and oceans absorb more heat than land. They would also rise due to the melting of the glaciers and sea ice. Storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes may increase due to heat changes and water evaporation.
Furthermore, places that usually get a lot of rainfall and snow might get hotter and drier so there would be more droughts making it harder to grow crops. There would also be a shortage of water available for showering, swimming pools and drinking due to the lakes and rivers drying up. Animals and plants may also get extinct due to the heat and cities nearby to the coast could get flooded. Not to forget ‘man’ who is the biggest contributor to global warming. Most people are too lazy to switch the lights off in a room they are not in or not to leave the television on standby. These things may be little, but if we reduce these little things it will have a big impact on the world.
The united nations in America have meetings with major world leaders, where they discuss global warming and what to do about it; this is referred to as the world summit. This summit happens every 5 years. In 1997, in Japan, the UN conference was held, where they stated that they would cut down the amount of gases the industries create, which will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released. The British government in 2003, started on their plan in order to produce electricity by ‘greener’ ways.
Countries are trying to reduce the amount of gas which is entering our atmosphere and people can also do the same by: starting to recycle more, which will then prevent the combusting of landfill and other health risks and the recyclable products are collected by the council weekly. They could also re-use plastic bags as plastic is not recyclable, produce compost heap rather than dumping it; CYCLE to places or use public transport instead of driving a car; have showers instead of baths as more water is taken out from having a bath than shower.
There are other ways in which we could produce energy rather than to burn fossil fuels. These alternatives are known as renewable energy such as wind, wave, water and biofuels. These energy resources all have advantages and disadvantages.
The wind energy is used to make electricity; this will be an advantage to us, as we use electricity everyday. Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the earths land by the sun. Wind turbines produce enough energy to provide for 350 households. There are over a 1000 wind turbines in the UK already. The first wind turbine was built in Cornwall, since then there has been many more built in various parts of the country, Cumbria, Northern Ireland, Yorkshire and Scotland.
Advantages for building wind turbines Wind power consumes no fuel, and emits no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources. A disadvantage of wind turbines is that it costs loads of money to build and the wind turbines could only be used locally as the energy produced would not go far. The wind farms will have to be somewhere it is windy with a high altitude. Wind farms take up a lot of space and this will reduce the land space used to grow fruit and vegetables. Also wind turbines are quite loud so they would annoy the people around the area.
Wave energy is produced when the machines wave floats in the water, vary as the tide comes in. wave energy produces a reasonable amount of energy for Britain as we are near the Atlantic Ocean. The disadvantage of using wave energy is that it costs a fair amount of money to manufacture the machines. In addition, there would be problems in where they should place the machines. The machines also make a vast amount of noise, which could annoy and disturb the community and the people that live around it would be very annoyed. There are questions arising to if there is sufficient return of electricity it generates.
Water is sufficient and is a natural source. Water is a very big advantage, as it does not harm the environment in any way. The energy that is made by this renewable source, provide for a large community, It is also constant and cheap in the long run. A disadvantage of water energy is it would take a lot of effort to build a dam to keep hold of the water and it is major construction work. It could also lead to disasters as in America the dams have reduced the amount of the salmon. Water generates 20% of the world’s power however only 2% of that energy is made by the UK as water is underused in Britain.
Biofuels are any kind of fuel made from living things, or from the waste, they produce. As you know diesel is the liquid put into the car for it to accelerate, bio diesel is the same thing, however, not been made of petroleum and has been made from animal oils and fats (lipids). Biofuels are usually made of ethanol or even cooking oil. Burning the fuels releases carbon dioxide but growing the plants absorbs a comparable amount of the gas from the atmosphere. A recent UK government publication declared that biofuels reduced emissions “by 50-60% compared to fossil fuels.
A disadvantage of biofuels is biodiversity, as biofuels will reduce the habitats of animals and wild plants. In addition, if plants such as soy or corn are used then the price will rise which will affect the food suppliers.
There is also solid biomass, which includes wood, sawdust, grass cuttings, domestic refuse, charcoal, agricultural waste, non-food energy crops and dried manure. Wood is used to power cars as well as the heating in our homes, which provides heat, or raise steam. The advantage of this is that it will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by a massive amount; this is shown on the graph above that shows global concentration of carbon dioxide.
The graphs and charts plotted above have been obtained from the organisation based on the BBC (British Broadcast Corporation) e.g. Hadley Centre, UNEP. These are credible and reputable organisations, which specialises in supplying statistics. It has the best computing resources and top researchers, which means that the information I have received is reliable.