Reflective :1 Environmental degradation Any type of activities which alters the systems of the environment and he disturbances caused to air,water,soil and the eco systems is known as environmental degradation. Its under the top ten threats in the united nations panel. Because of environmental degradation illness and premature deaths occur in large numbers. A report says that human health is deteriorating in the past decades. If improvements are being made to enhance human health millions of people will dwell a longer and a healthier life.
Mountainous farmers produce a reasonable amount of cash crops and food by their old and traditional farming methods. Even though there has been larger yield of crops in the modern farming techniques they seriously harm the environment and the land where cropping is being done loses its fertility. With no other go it has brought a special attention on issues like food security. Generally the Environmental degradation is of five main factors.
First one is the deterioration of water because nowadays the fresh water resources in the earth are getting depleted and when calculated approximately around only two and half percent of water is fresh water in the whole earth. The rest is the oceanic water which is salty in nature. Another study states that almost 70% of the whole water present on earth is in solid state i. e they are in form of ice in the polar regions like antartica and Greenland. The water available for human consumption is very meager like its just thirty percent of 2. % present fresh water. Life on earth is simply possible only with amount of fresh water resources available, because each and every living thing on earth is dependent on it. It also acts as a transporter of chemicals and nutrients to all form of life in the biosphere. Currently 95% of the fresh water is mainly used three purposes like irrigation for farming, golf courses and parks. Remaining is only used for human consumption like bathing ,drinking and household purposes. Some water is also used in the industry for washing and cooling.
Already 1 person out every three persons suffer from water scarcity problems due to several reasons like growing population, climatic changes, urbanization and sophisticated living of humans. Another reason is rapid climate changes which are very prevalent on earth. These climate changes can bring back many adverse effects to earth like droughts and floods, emission of the green house gases into the atmosphere which results in depletion of the ozone layer, landslides and soil erosion by which the soil loses its all its minerals present which has effects on the crops cultivated on it.
A serious impact of climate is the global warming by which the temperature of the whole planet rises and brings rapid changes in the eco systems. There will be some ups and downs in precipitations like the tropical areas and the areas of higher latitudes have higher precipitations than the other areas. In the end there is uneven distribution of precipitation around the planet which alters the water resource availability on earth. The precipitation also has it impacts on ground water resources .
Shifts in precipitation will affect the vegetation pattern as well. The next major factor is the population growth. Water usage becomes more as the population begins to rise. Some times due to the precipitation increase the water resource is more but simultaneously an increase of water supply is expected because of the population growth. Increased population simply means increased water requirements on agricultural,industrial and domestic grounds. Agriculture will be the major demand for water resources because everybody need food to survive.
In a survey in the united states it has been found out that lot of people have moved into urban areas from rural areas in the past twenty years,which brought demands of water to certain areas. In developing countries like India,China,Brazil people shifting to urban areas all of a sudden may cause overcrowding due to the increase in population density and people get prone to diseases. This is the reason behind the deaths in developing coutries due to contaminated water.
When we talk about agriculture the precipitation brings out several different outputs such as surface runoff,evapotranspiration,percolation into ground water. The agricultural demands increases with an increase in wealthier population and in the western countries meat is the the commonly preferred food and meat will increase the food demand by the year 2050 which is going to affect supply of water. Irrigation is of prime necessity for the for agriculture. Irrigation has some good effects like increasing the salt and nutrients in particular areas. Fertilizer usage in soil acidifies the soils.
By effective means of water management the depletion of fresh water can be reduced to a considerable amount. Water management is very flexible but adapting to the present hydrological conditions is very tough and costs more time. New innovations should be made in order to decrease overall demand of water by water sustainability. The overall quantity and quality of water can be controlled despite the impacts of economy and culture. Water management deals with operations,examining the engineering designs,planning and optimization through which water degradation can be prevented.
Water resources are nowadays getting eradicated in a very rapid manner and it’s really an alarming risk which the nations should face together and take necessary steps to increase the water resources. There are three main elements in the cost of environmental degradation. Firstly it’s the indoor and outdoor land pollution. Evidence shows that these indoor and outdoor air pollution have adverse effects in health of people. For example it can lead to premature deaths and pollutants are the major causes for ninety percent of the respiratory diseases,and when these diseases become intense they give rise to the formation of cancer cells.
Pollution indirectly affects the growth development rate of the nation too. In the middle east countries such as cairo in Egypt,pollution was the reason to put down the country’s development rate by 2% estimates reveal that 20000 people die due to air pollution related causes and which was indirectly a loss tourism department of the country ,which again indirectly affects the economy of the country. Indoor air pollution is the pollution caused in closed ares such as our houses especially in the kitchen while cooking .
The biomass fuel which is used for cooking and heating threatens the health of women who always stay indoor than men. The next element is the land degradation. In most of the middle east and north African countries the soil has more salinity in it and water erosion is very common. The annual loss in these countries are calculated to be 80 million dollars. Recently the country of Lebanon has lost its natural vegetation and habitat due to quarrying. Soil erosion,Soil acidification,Soil alkanisation and Soil waterlogging are some common examples of land degradation.
Soil erosion is the land losing its mineral and fertility which gives way to landslides,formation of acidic sulphate in the soil which results in barren lands is acidification,water logging is the stagnant water in the soil which bring out some negative effects. Nect element is the coastal zone degradation. The coastal zone generally has several assets in it such as the marine life inside,corals,tourism spots which is a recreation for people. These days the coastal pollution has become very common because of the ports and harbours,the urban development which cannot be controlled and improper waste management.
Hurghada in Egypt is a very good example for coastal damage in the red sea. The Mediterranean coastline in Lebanon is very long about two hundred and twenty five kilometers. But it has lot of resorts and dumping of waste water in its coastline which has paved way to coastal degradation and the tourists have started to travel long in search of clean and tidy beaches. Eutrophication can be man made or natural. Its majorly caused because of the sewage and fertilizers which are used for cultivation. This is an example of man made eutrophication. It can also occur by natural means due to accumulation of nutrients etc.
Its facilitates excess plant growth and decay like algae and plankton which reduces the quality of water. Usually plants require phosphorus for survival ,but in a fresh water ecosystem when there is presence of phosphorus in excess it gives rise to growth of algae. When these algal growth dies they decompose themselves and change their state into inorganic form by means of bacteria. The process of decomposition requires oxygen,which uses the oxygen in the water and that a danger to fishes living inside. When algal growth is in excess they consume huge amount of oxygen thereby disturbing the entire eco-sysyem.
The water seems to be contaminated and more denser than ordinary water with a different colour with usually green,yellow or red shades. We get health problems if we drink the fresh water if its eutrophic. Asian lakes are highly eutrophic and least eutrophic lakes are in Africa. Other reason for eutropication is agricultural runoff and pollution through sewage pipes which emits phosphorus which contributes a lot for algae growth. The above mentioned is the eutropication that occurs in lakes and rivers. It also occurs in oceanic water. The element which limits the nutrients in marine waters is nitrogen.
Its been found out that there are three hundred and seventy five hypoxic coastal zones in the planet. They are located mainly in western Europe,japan ,southern ans eastern coasts of the United states. Habitat destruction is defined as the disability to support the species present . The species are destroyed or displaced which reduces the biodiversity. Habitat destruction normally occurs mostly of human activities for industrial purposes and urbanization. For agriculture the habitats are being cleared off and the other reasons are mining,logging etc.
Ninety percent of the extinct species’s extinction is mainly due to habitat destruction. There are also several other reason for habitat destruction such as climatic change and certain geological processes. The countries which are affected by habitat destruction are Newzealand,Philippines,Madagascar,China,India,Japan and western Africa. Volcanism is another important process through which habitat destruction occurs. Millions of years ago habitat fragmentation occurred like the tropical rainforests were subjected to a loss of amphibian diversity and when drier climate prevailed there occurred a loss of reptile diversity.
Human activities like creating agricultural lands, lands for development of infrastructure and pollution results in collapse of the habitats . The form of habitat destruction which occurs in deserts is known as desertification,which occurs in forests are known as deforestation,which occurs in coastal areas are known as coral reef degradation. More than 90 percent of the species which are no more are mainly because of habitat destruction. It alters the entire eco system very quicker and brings hazardous effects. Global Warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. The average land surface temperature has risen 0. 5-0. 6°C in the last century. This condition is due to the increased concentration of Greenhouse Gases like chlorofluorocarbons, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane caused by Human activities. The main source of greenhouse gases is the power plants which emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Deforestation is another main reason for global warming since the number of trees required to absorb carbon dioxide is getting reduced day by day. This results in the raise of sea levels and it could also cause vector borne diseases such as plague, malaria and yellow fever.
Greenhouse effect the process where absorption and emission of infrared radiations warm a planet’s lower atmosphere and surface. Most of the predictions focus on the epoch up to 2100, even if no further greenhouse gases were discharged, global warming and sea level would be likely to go on to rise for more than a millennium, since carbon dioxide has a long average atmospheric life span. It is said that within two decades, millions of people could experience water stress due to climatic change. The change in climate also increases the intensity and duration of hurricanes and also makes floods more serious.
Agricultural crop production would be affected as a result of heat stress and dry soils. This reduces yields in tropical and subtropical regions affecting food supply and nutrition for many people. Both global warming and greenhouse effects have their have quicker impacts and envirionment gets degraded very quickly. A report given by the Environmental Protection Agency in the year 1985 says that a “type of cancer is more likely to be caused by the toxic chemicals that are let out from every other home in America than the outdoor or the other chemicals. Air pollution is caused by the chemicals, biological materials, particulate matter etc that is let out through various means. The major causes may be in the form of liquid droplets, solid particles or even gas at times. They can also be natural or manmade. In the modern era major causes for the formation of smog, which is a combination of smoke and fog, is the emission of smoke from vehicles, industries also internal combustion. Air pollution is mainly and most importantly experienced, by human, usually when the fires are built in badly ventilated caves.
So from then on the earth’s surface has been badly polluted. On the very basis the environmental problem was only little or, in other words, it was minor. But due to the addition of chemicals in and around it is one of the major problems. Coming down the pollutants the primary ones are the carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, chlorofluorocarbons, ammonia, radioactive pollutants etc. If global warming seems to be persistent and left to grow at a rapid rate the major cities of the world will be into drained into sea water. Carbon monoxide- it is a colourless, odourless but a very poisonous gas that affects all living organisms. The main source of this gas is the vehicular emission also the burning of fossil fuels. The emission of this gas may lead to death at times. * Carbon dioxide- it is basically a non toxic greenhouse gas also recycled in the carbon cycle. The health hazards are more when this gas is emitted into the atmosphere. Problems like headaches, and less supply of oxygen and the most important factor is that the global warming is raised. Sulphur oxides- the major component or the gas in this is the sulphur dioxide. It is given out from the volcanoes. Also oxidation of this gas will result in acid rain. As a result of the emission of this gas into the atmosphere respiratory problems will be increased. * Nitrogen oxides- nitrogen dioxide is the major and the important pollutant when considered about the nitrous oxides. This is important in green house effect as well. It also causes the increase in the nitrogen component. When the combustion takes place at a high temperature, this gas is emitted this is very hazardous. Chlorofluorocarbons- this is usually found to be emitted from refrigerators that affect the ozone layer at a high rate as a result of which the ultra violet radiations are directly seen to be fallen on earth surface which is very danger to all the living organisms. These are also called as Freons. These are the major green house components that actually contribute to the global warming. * Ozone- it is also a hazardous air pollutant, present in the lower atmosphere, causes respiratory problems to all living organisms and sometimes will burn the plants. Ammonia- it is of pungent odour and is usually emitted from the agricultural processes * Radioactive- these pollutants are usually emitted during the wars or the nuclear explosions. This causes cancer and pregnant ladies are affected to the maximum due to these radiations. Talking about the industries and the factories, the industrial revolution, started in the midnineteenth century, contributes the major part in causing pollution. Later in the twentieth century the burning fuels like the coal, natural gas produced from the power plants caused pollution even more.
Also the greenhouse gases from the industries drastically changed the climatic conditions. Greenhouse gases are actually released from the industries by the heaters, generators, boilers, engines etc. The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), as the name says, is usually referred to the quality of air in a particular room or even the surroundings and the other buildings too. This is used here because, if the air or the ventilation in a particular room is comparatively less, the air pollution is concentrated more. This is actually affected by the entire primary and other air pollutants.
Another added pollutant is the gasoline additive. In order to decrease the air pollution from the combustion of gasoline, US government in the year 1992 has tried adding the oxygenated additives, as the name suggests, the addition of more oxygen to the component so that the combustion is complete and clear. The additive used was methyl tertiary butyl ether. This chemical has somehow reduced air pollution but later in the year 1998 it was found that benzene, which is a known carcinogen, is let out to the atmosphere by the incomplete burning of the organic chemicals.
This chemical was produced by the volcanoes, fires etc. In the beginning benzene was used as a solvent in all the industries but later when its hazardous effects were found it was used in the gasoline additive. Benzene causes cancer especially in children, sometimes headaches and respiratory problems. This chemical is today widely used for the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides etc. The major disasters that have caused air pollution to the maximum are the Bhopal gas tragedy, Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, Italian crises, London smog disaster, and three mile island nuclear disaster.
Poisonous gas cloud, in other words smog has formed suddenly at around 1 am in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India) on December 3, 1984. This left people confused; they had no way to escape from this danger. The union carbide corporation of America has established its company in India called as union carbide India limited (UCIL). A chemical called methyl isocyanate (MIC) was leaked along with the other chemicals to the atmosphere. This resulted in the formation of the toxic gases which was seen as a cloud. The cloud actually contained 15 metric tons of MIC at a stretch of about 30 miles.
This was due to the improper closure of the tanks that contained MIC as result water has entered the tanks. This has resulted in the exothermal reaction letting out MIC indefinitely. The safety valves were released due to the reaction. The incoming water was not controlled due to the absence of certain valves. The entire disaster is due to the carelessness of the workers. This has left the water in the city getting polluted. The aftermaths of this disaster was severe. More than 15000 people were killed; at around 200000 people still suffer with different and severe chronic diseases. Small children suffered from cancer.
Still people in the state are dying and suffering and are clueless in finding the solution to stop this. This is the first major cause for air pollution. Before recovering from this gas tragedy, the world has seen another huge disaster on April 26, 1986. A nuclear reactor in a power plant in Ukraine was not properly shut down due to which the reactor was burnt and exploded. As a result of this improper shut down the temperature immediately rose to about 2000 degree Celsius also the pressure got increased. This resulted in the water pipes to get damaged through which the steam was let out. Four hazardous substances ere released like the plutonium, cesium 137, iodine 131 and strontium 90. These caused major health problems and people still suffer due to this. Recent studies say that almost millions of people live on this contaminated land. These disasters still continued and the later one were the Italian crisis, London smog, three mile island etc. Al these disasters caused major problems and the people on these lands still suffer with respiratory diseases, skin borne diseases. The government of each and every land which saw different disasters have spent millions and millions in saving the land and the people.
The consequences of air pollution are huge and it is found to cause many health problems. Some of which are the respiratory problems, lung and throat cancer, heart problems etc. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) study says that almost 3. 3 million deaths have been occurred because of the indoor and the outdoor pollution, that is, almost 2. 4 million die because of those harmful gases in the atmosphere and the remaining due to the indoor pollutants. Many steps have been taken to reduce this air pollution. Some of which are; * Energy consumption is the first and foremost precautionary step to reduce this air pollution. Usage of recycled plastics, papers, aluminium cans, cardboards etc is also important. * Eco friendly car and low polluting vehicles can be used. The tyres should be inflated properly. * Using rechargeable batteries is the smartest way rather using lithium batteries. * At home, switching off lights and fans or every other electrical appliance can reduce the emission of charges and the ozone is protected by this wayBangkok was once free from all kinds of pollution when compared to the other countries in and around the world. This was the story before 40 to 50 years.
But in the mid 90’s major changes in the climate has resulted in the reduction of the air quality. As the time went on and the progress of the country was too rapid, between 1991 and 2000 number of vehicles in the country has been doubled. Two wheeled vehicles were more when compared to four wheelers. This was the major reason for the air pollution. Two stroke engines gives more power compared to the four stroke ones but they emit lot of particulate matter into the atmosphere. Bangkok did not have any emissions system and was under developed when compared to the other countries in terms of all these measures.
These vehicles produced 80% of nitrous oxides, 100% hydro carbon emissions, 75% carbon monoxide emissions. Particulate matter also contributed towards the emission of the hazardous gases. By 1992 the pollution levels were increased and everything was getting affected very badly. Some studies say that the students, at school level, when checked their bloodstream contained more percentage of lead which was very dangerous. Later the government started taking steps in implementing emission standards. Pollution level was checked periodically. The air quality was maintained.
Later in 1995, the government completely ruled out the gasoline and as a result the lead pollution was dropped. These were later coupled in other words they were used along with small measures, basically they were implemented practically like cleaning the roads regularly and smoke inspection was made at every other vehicle point. All the vehicles were checked for pollution. The transit was also checked and improved. The electric trains were introduced by the year 1999; the highly pollution free buses and vehicles were produced to large extent.
By all these measures, the environmental standards and also the air quality is very high compared to the American standards. Thus Bangkok tried its best in controlling the pollution and maintaining its land free from pollution to some extent. Though the land is not surrounded by the smoke producing places or polluted areas, it experienced pollution t o a large extent. But still they maintain their standards and try to control pollution. Industries also took steps in controlling the emissions. A very famous method is to capture the carbon and store them in certain tanks.
In other words it is checked that the carbon is emitted only during the combustion and is later made to stay in closed storage tanks. This method is made efficient in reducing the carbon dioxide content released from petroleum, cement, iron etc. Another technology was also implemented by the industries called the scrubber technology. This was used in cleaning the exhaust and the emissions from the industrial sources by the removal of the particulate and hazardous matter from the gases that are let out. Thus the measures or the steps taken to control this pollution should be very practical and innovative.
The ideas should be given in such a way so that they can be implemented practically without any troubles. Everything should be carefully seen so that they get adopted to the place and especially to the geographic conditions of the land. By checking out or by giving out these measurements it should also be seen that the health hazards are reduced. For a safe and a secured healthy life pollution should be controlled. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BI0-FUELS – A NECESSARY EVILThe ever-growing pressure on fossil fuels, have left mankind with the need to look for alternative energy resources before it’s too late.
Science in its very sense has boons and banes. In what seemed to be the process of finding a remedy to the pre-existing problem of depleting fuel reserves – now, has given rise to a new set of problems – adding fuel to the fire. Bio fuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Carbon fixation is the biological process in which carbonaceous compounds are broken down to release much needed energy. The main difference between the commercial fuels and bio fuels is that Biotechnology is involved in synthesis of bio fuels.
Just by looking at the term BIO FUELS one should prematurely conclude it is eco-friendly and involves no harmful effects on the environment on climate. In a nut shell, the bio fuels such as ethanol involve breaking down of forest area to accommodate these fuel enriched crops such as corn. The release of carbon as the end product in no way does good to the Global warming crisis. These measures if left unattended to, can deal a severe blow to the environment and climate of a place. Food crops vs. Energy crops Sky rocketing from a population of 1. billion to 6 billion has done the world no good. Precisely, now the energy demands and the food demands are increase four-fold – at least theoretically. Maintaining a delicate balance between the two crops is a subtle challenge. Food crops are the staple crops cultivated to meet day – to – day needs of Man. Energy crops are commercial crops used to fulfil Man’s energy demands. With expansion of civilization, the forest area is brought to ground to ground, to accommodate the crops. Now, the intricacy lies in what do we favour – FOOD or FUEL ?
Bio – Fuels: Where do we lose? From the environment point of view – finding an alternate to petrol and diesel is a very good concept to research, but at what cost ? 1. Substantial Farming exploits the current plot of cultivated land, in order to improve commercial gains. 2. Deforestation to cultivate crops leads to loss of forest area. Forests have a direct bearing on the level of Carbon in the atmosphere. More the trees, less is the carbon content due to photosynthesis. 3. Bio – fuels however have to be mixed with other fossil fuels to obtain the maximum possible efficiency.
So, the oil wells can not be shut down even if the concept of bio-fuels are enthralling and have results to go by with it. 4. Global warming due to the fact of release of end product containing carbonaceous gases. Bio - fuels - Journey to the Future ? Well summarised by Mr. Grunwald in one of the spring editions of TiMES magazine, 2011, and critically appraised by many other scholars and researchers , the bio fuels is definitely not the journey to future – unless it is deprived of its anomalies. Following is an extract from the TIMES magazine in last spring (written by Mr.
Grunwald) :“Biofuels do slightly reduce dependence on imported oil, and the ethanol boom has created rural jobs while enriching some farmers and agribusinesses. But the basic problem with most biofuels is amazingly simple, given that researchers have ignored it until now: using land to grow fuel leads to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands that store enormous amounts of carbon. ” Alarming Case studies Backed by billions in investment capital, this alarming phenomenon is replicating itself around the world.
Indonesia has bulldozed and burned so much wilderness to grow palm oil trees for biodiesel that its ranking among the world’s top carbon emitters has surged from 21st to third according to a report by Wetlands International. Malaysia is converting forests into palm oil farms so rapidly that it’s running out of uncultivated land. U. S. farmers are selling one-fifth of their corn to ethanol production, so U. S. soybean farmers are switching to corn, Also, Brazilian soyabean farmers are expanding into cattle pastures, so Brazilian cattlemen are displaced to the Amazon. | References : Larsen, B. , Sarraf, M. and Pillet, G. 2002), “Cost assessment of environmental degradation Mashreq and Maghreb countries - from theory to practice. Cost Assessment ofEnvironmental degradation in Egypt”, draft, The World Bank - METAP. METAP-The World Bank (2003), High Level Meeting on Economic Tools for Environmental sustainability Meade, J. E. (1973), The Theory of Economic Externalities, IUHEI, Geneva. Pillet, G. and Zein, K. (2002b), “Meso-economic indicators of environmental costs and benefits forthe cement sector in Arab countries”, Proceeding of the 12th AUCBM InternationalCement Conference and Exhibition, Marrakkech, AUCBM,
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Available:http://healthandenergy. com/air_pollution_causes. htmIPCC AR4 SYR (2007). Core Writing Team; Pachauri, R. K; and Reisinger, A.. ed. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to theFourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC. ISBN 92-9169-122-4. "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level"IPCC AR4 SYR (2007), Core Writing Team; Pachauri, R. K; and Reisinger, A. , ed. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to theFourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, ISBN 92-9169-122-4IPCC AR4 WG1 (2007), Solomon, S. ; Qin, D. ; Manning, M. ; Chen, Z. ; Marquis, M. ; Averyt, K. B. ; Tignor, M. ; and Miller, H. L. , ed. , Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press,ISBN 978-0-521-88009-1 (pb: 978-0-521-70596-7)IPCC AR4 WG2 (2007), Parry, M. L. ; Canziani, O. F. ; Palutikof, J. P. van der Linden, P. J. ; and Hanson, C. E. , ed. , Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to theFourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press,ISBN 978-0-521-88010-7 (pb: 978-0-521-70597-4)IPCC AR4 WG3 (2007), Metz, B. ; Davidson, O. R. ; Bosch, P. R. ; Dave, R. ; and Meyer, L. A. , ed. , Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-88011-4 (pb: 978-0-521-70598-1)|
Reflective 2: Climatic changes and its impacts on the environment The effects of climatic changes will be realized very soon than expected by scientists,in the current world. There are a lot of reasons for these climatic changes such as deforestation,pollution,global warming etc. The current world is not much caring to preserve the environment to avoid these climatic changes. They are unaware of the universal truth what will happen if this goes on. The last 10000 years have unusually been a stable climate with good conditions for the development of the human civilization. The world’s eco-systems were also flexible to that stability.
Now that is beginning to change. Nature is very abruptly responding to the climatic changes happening in the earth like the rising of temperature year by year, melting of glaciers. Some of the changes are very physical in nature especially the kind of phase change between ice and water. In the northern hemisphere the lakes freeze later than usual and the frozen ice breaks up very earlier in the spring. Glaciers in the tropical zones on earth are about to disappear in about twelve to fifteen years. They are the chief water resources to some cities like Quito and some for the major rivers in china and the Ganges in india.
This is a clear implication that not only the human population but also the eco systems are dependent on the hydrological shifts. There are also some drastic changes which are happening right now in the arctic ocean that lot of dark water are being exposed to the sun and as a result of that the polar bear is now one of the most endangered species to be extinct. There are some plant and animal species which are also becoming endangered species and the rising temperature of the earth obviously has some unexpected effects. Even though these changes seem to be minor the sad point is most of the people are unaware of its disastrous consequences.
The huge concentrations of the green house gases present in the earth’s atmosphere contribute a lot to building up of heat of the surface of earth. When there is an abrupt change in the climate there will be an abrupt change in the eco-system as well. Martin Parry, said drastic changes in temperature, rainfall and agriculture are now forecasted to occur several decades earlier than thought. The old and poor are the most vulnerable people to fell into the traps of climatic changes and no country has agreed to adapt them to face the consequences.
Professor Parry, co-chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that there was a time when we used to worry about the times of our grandchildren. Now we got to worry about our own time regarding the climatic changes. The politicians have almost wasted a decade by finding out ways to cut emissions. They have also failed to note the crop yields which have reduced in lots and the water scarcity problems. Developed countries like the usa and Britain must focus on helping the developing nation for all the basic needs. When we talk about the agriculture in countries climate change has a huge impact in them.
Indian and the Chinese agriculture has been affected seriously. Thirty percent of plant and animals will be extinct if the weather conditions are going to be severe and intense. The whole world is slowly facing the consequences. If there is a 2 degrees Celsius rise in temperature of the earth it means that 2 billion of people around the world are going to face water shortages and some will face food crisis. The world’s superpowers have not still agreed to a commitment to cut the emission of greenhouse gases. Its really very difficult to fight against climatic changes without any legal agreement.
Basically these climatic changes leads to droughts,floods,extinction of species and famine in the whole world. The current scenario is that the world politicians are waiting for worse conditions to act appropriate. Nowadays all the developed superpowers are much concerned about their financial uncertainities,playing an important part in the global economy. They pay less attention to the environmental issues. The politicians consider the climate change issues will be solved by itself. People say that renewable energy is the simplest solution for climatic change but its really not simple to implement it.
We can say it as yes as renewable energy is the perfect replacement for fossil fuels and it also reduces the harmful gases which damages the atmosphere. But the only problem is the implementation process is very slow. Time is a very important factor because the rate at which the temperature of the earth rises is very fast. Its been found out by scientists that when the temperature reaches the tipping point its very difficult to control the climate change. The world’s biggest polluters are china and the usa. But these two countries never oblige to the emission cuts because their economies would be damaged to a huge extent.
If this continues the they themselves are indirectly damaging their economies as well which accounts to billions of dollars. Stopping the climate change can be said in other words that prevention of economic damage. It would be a huge biodiversity loss and will also lead to frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes,floods,cyclone and hurricanes. In short there is a lot to speak about renewable resources but very difficult to put it under action. There is no so much of time left. The forests in the whole world store nearly about 40 percent of carbon and no body recognizes the fact that they are vital for fighting against climate change.
The increased climatic change has bought droughts and lot of forests have been destroyed. Very few people recognize that we are more prone to global warming because of cutting down trees which locks the carbon di oxide which is a major reason for the global warming to happen. Our eco system will be altered faster and easier if forest are getting demolished at the current rate. If droughts persists they negatively affect the water transportation which ultimately results in death of trees and fire accidents in forests which is highly dangerous. A good example is texas where there was a forest fire which resulted in loss of 1. bilion dollars of timber. The economy of the country goes down a bit because of these kind of accidents. As told earlier the world politicians are more worried about the global finances rather than these environmental issues. They have financial crisis as an excuse to get rid of these climate change problem and they are not really willing to spend lots of money for the environment. Its also a very true fact from the scientists that the amount of green house gases present in the atmosphere has increased very rapidly which give rise to melting of ice caps and increase of sea levels.
The top three countries which are harming the environment is Usa,China,India. They always neglect to make climate deals and never take the blame on themselves. They never understand all nations should stand united against this climatic change issue. If this goes on by the end of this century the temperature of the earth will rise by three to five degrees celcius and will put a huge question mark for life on this planet. All the three climate change talks which happened in Copenhagen,cancun and Durban was an utter disappointment. The climate change talks will not come into action under this political climate.
Next year the Kyoto protocol expires and very few countries are ready to revive it without knowing its seriousness. The major reasons are the two main polluters china and the usa are not ready to revive it. China thinks, as a developing country it does not need to oblige and thinks usa has to contribute a lot to the world regarding these climatic changes. Whatever the situation is the world politicians does seem to have sleepless nights regarding these issues. Another effect of climatic change is the acidification of oceans. The huge amount of carbon di oxide present in the atmosphere get acidified into the ocean.
The carbonic acid content gets increased in the ocean. The recent study of oceans reveal the pH value has increased to a very large amount and its very dangerous for the marine life. For example most of the marine species live in their shells which is calcium carbonate where they are very fast reactive to the acidic levels in the oceans which affects the food cycles of the marine species and will finally lead them to their extinction One of the fastest developing countries Brazil have designed some climate policies in two major cities Rio de janeiro and sao Paulo.
They grouped certain policies on climate by considering certain factors such as resource and capacity,knowledge and information,institutions and governance. Brazil is one of the strongest supporters of Kyoto protocol and its one of the very strongest economies of the world. Its a non annex 1 country and does not have emission targets . The energy resources of brazil mostly relies on its hydroelectric power which leads to a sustainable development. Its also a home of the major rainforests such as the amazon and the atlantic.
But there are also certain issues in the country of brazil that they burn some biomasses which is a major source of emission of green house gases. Its one of the very few countries which deals with projects in the clean developing mechanisms and has facilities such as global environment facility. In Brazil there are many climatic change initiatives at all levels like local,sub-national and national. The city of sao Paulo is among the top ten cities of the world with a population of nearly nine million people.
The city is known for its financial and commercial hub which responds to the green house gas emissions in the city. They have took initiatives for degradation of environment and air pollution by restricting the cities vehicles by 20% during peak hours in the central areas. In the year 2003 sao Paulo came under the cities of climate protection(ccp) which is highly active on its campaign on climate protection. This city also expanded an emission inventory with some partnerships with centres of research for climate action. Its in the energy efficient program obliging to its policies of climatic changes. hrough its aims and objectives it has set a target of thirty percent of green house emissions to be reduced by the year 2012 so that we can can gain an improvised public transport ,energy efficiency and effective solid waste management could be done. The municipal approves such laws in the country and these are some of the reasons why sao Paulo is the most important city in brazil and the entire south American continent. The time taken by a natural system to respond to the the climatic changes is known as climate response time.
Radiative forcing is the net irradiance at the upper region of the tropopause. Radiative forcing can be affected by several ways such as due to variations in the earth’s orbit and accumulation of green house gases in the atmosphere. The natural systems each will have a different climate response times. They are mostly determined by the heat capacities of the systems which is the heat needed to alter the temperature of a substance by one degree celcius. Heat capacity is used to slow down the response time of the eco system. It acts like a shock absorber.
The climate response time of the atmosphere is four times faster than the response time of the ocean. It all totally depends on the heat capacities. The atmosphere takes scale of weeks to respond whereas the deep oceans take thousands of years to respond. With the climate response time its very easy to predict the climate change. Thats how the temperature of the earth after hundred years can be determined. Because of regional variations of temperature are also easily noted in the model. The response times of the ocean basin vary. With the direction of radiative forcing the response time of the ocean also varies.
If the change is noted as cooling the response of the ocean will be twice fast. But if the oceans seem to respond very slowly it simply means the temperature of the earth is gonna go up by a rapid rate and necessary geoengineering solutions are needed for global warming. Geo engineering basically refers to the attempt made by civilians to have a climate control. There are certain projects for reducing the amount of carbon di oxide and the incoming solar radiation like adding iron to ocean through iron fertilization and pumping sulphur di oxide into the clouds of the stratosphere.
But through all these implementations they came to know that reducing the solar radiation decreases the the temperature of the earth. Climate change is not the same all over the world. The green house gas concentration are different throughout the world. So the climatic changes are also different for different regions. Climate in short can be described as an average of weather patterns. The earth as its spherical the latitude determines the climate. But there are some weird exceptioncies that being in the same latitude the climate might be different.
The climates are classified into regional which covers thousands of kilometers and local climate covering tens of kilometers and micro which covers upto a few kilometers. Regional climates are very unique because their climate widely depends on the distance from oceans and the huge topographic features. They are mostly characterized by the massive pacific and atlantic hurricanes and the asian and African monsoons have their hands on smaller weather processes. Its strongly evident that the united states have various regional climates like the cold water of the great pacific ocean maintains the climate mild in the western united states.
The atlantic ocean generates huge hurricanes which leads to hot and humid summers and lot of rain in the southeastern parts. The atlantic ocean has an upper hand as it has a huge influence in the climate of western Europe. Northern African and South European climate is moderate as a result of nearness to the Mediterranean Sea . South Asian climate is highly dependent on the asian monsoon and the Indian ocean. The local climates are the ones which cover limited geographic areas which covers areas upto a few tens of kilometers that include seas, land ,certain orographic effects, lake breezes and heat islands .
Precipitation occurs when the moist air strikes a mountain which leads to formation of orographic clouds which makes the windward side of the mountain more moister ,cooler ,wetter than the leeward side and another important factor of the local climate is the winds in the mountains and valleys. When the sun heats up in the morning the air above the slopes starts to rise as it warms up ,which leads to an anabatic breeze. If the humidity is more it will lead to formation of clouds and rainfall occurs. During the night the cool air drains back into the valley as katabatic breeze. If still moisture persists fog formation occurs.
Another good example is the urban heat lands. This can be experienced in cities such that heat absorption by concrete ,trapping of the outgoing radiation in building and waste heat from cars,industries which makes the cities to be hotter than the surrounding regions. Microclimates are climates which covers very small areas ranging from a very few meters to few kilometers. The climate is more persistent due to its nearness to heat source. They exist near lakes,ponds and woody areas which generate a cooling effect near factories and construction sites where the heat warms up the air.
Micro climates are hugely influenced by topographic aspects. The slopes which face south in the northern hemisphere and the slopes which north in the southern hemisphere get themselves exposed to direct sunlight. So warming up takes place very quicker and stays warm for longer. The city of sanfrancisco is very good example of microclimate which is located between the pacific ocean and the bay of sanfrancisco which has a very complex topography whith about 44 hills around it. The temperature varies within the city by 5 to 10 degree Celsius. Its quite obvious that different regions are going to get affected differently due to global warming.
The impacts depend on the micro, local and regional climates. The effects of global warming are reflected in the impacts of change of climates. To extract data through models and simulation is very difficult. They are very expensive . Statistical information can be used to extract data but all are based on assumptions. We have to create a global awareness about this climate change. We should make people recognize how important and dangerous it is for the environment and the human race. All countries must join hands together and stand united to reduce climate change by eradicating global warming etc.
Here are certain ways for a common citizen to reduce climatic change: * Eat more vegetables than meat because cattle are one of the largest producers of methane which contributes a lot to global warming. * Use energy efficient transport commodities like battery cars and cars which run on bio fuels like the toyota prius. * Use more public transportation than your own transport commodity which reduces heat emissions. * Save energy wherever you can like by lowering the thermostat, using electricity efficiently and using ventilation in summer instead of air conditioning. Recycling paper and plastic and reusing things in life. * Grow a herb or veggie garden at the back yard which is very fresh ever and save your money and the fuels on transport. * Save energy by unplugging chargers and by using cfl bulbs. * Use zero voc paints in your house. Voc paints are very harmful for the ozone layer. * Usage of paper less billing in stores which is huge benefit to the environment. * When you make an attempt to buy anything buy them based on quality because products of higher quality last longer and they are not disposable earlier . A very good example is clothing. Usage of renewable energy resources such as wind energy, tidal energy and solar energy. * Eat less food which is healthier and exercise more so that we can consume less packed items thereby creating less waste, less money spent, no frequent visits to doctors and have a lasting life. * Take a slightly less warm shower by which a lot of energy is saved and its very good for the skin. * Help the government in protecting forests which play a vital role in climatic changes. * Encourage reforestation and more importantly educate people about the impacts of climatic change and create an awareness. Prevent throwing away the wasted electronics and instead try reusing them . * Buy Used wooden products for furniture at home, sustainable wood etc| ReferencesKousky, C. and Schneider, S. (2003), “Global climate policy: will cities lead the way? ”, ClimatePolicy, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 359-72. Lankao, P. R. (2007), “Are we missing the point? Particularities of urbanization, sustainability andcarbon emissions in Latin American cities”, Environment and Urbanization, Vol. 19,pp. 159-75. Ligeti, E. , Penney, J. and Wieditz, I. (2007), “Cities preparing for climate change: a study of sixurban regions”, Clean Air Partnership, Toronto.
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