Global Warming for animal

Global Warming for animal

Methane Global Warming Potential

he earth is heating up, the ozone layer is depleting, we need to reduce industrial and domestic toxins, etc. are the common phrases that we hear very often. So, we hardly take any notice, unless some devastating natural disaster occurs. Climate change, and not for the better, is a harsh reality. Global warming and its impact on human, plant, animal and the overall climate has been studied for years now. The greenhouse effect is influenced by the percentage of the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere among other things. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrous oxide, methane and water vapor, of which carbon dioxide is the main culprit in global warming. However, new research indicates that methane global warming potential is as damaging as other gases.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

For years together, the link between global warming and carbon dioxide has been studied. But now, people are realizing the methane global warming potential. Global warming potential is a measure of the quantity of a given mass of greenhouse gas which is estimated to contribute to global warming, and the subsequent greenhouse effect. It is calculated over a specific time interval, and all values must be stated in regard to GWP. The scale of the specific gas is measured based on the heat-absorbing ability of each gas to that of the same mass of carbon dioxide. The emission of these gases are subjected to the Kyoto protocol.

Why Does Methane Have a Global Warming Potential?

Species Chemical formula Lifetime (years) GWP 20 yrs GWP 100 yrs GWP 500 yrs
Methane CH4 12±3 56 21 6.5

Source: Climate Change 1995, The Science of Climate Change: Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary of the Working Group

Methane is a chemical compound found in the atmosphere and listed as one of the greenhouse gases. According to a study conducted by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, emissions of methane have a profound impact on global warming. Methane has enormous global warming potential because its impact has been calculated about a third higher than previous estimates. Previous estimates did not take into consideration methane's interaction with aerosols (airborne particles). Methane breaks down much faster than carbon dioxide, thereby increasing the probable negative impact on the earth's climate. Aerosol interactions with methane substantially alters various emissions of other gases, thus, lending a lot of credence to methane global warming potential. Global warming potential values are assigned as it facilitates a standard mechanism to compare the impacts of emissions and reductions of different gases. For example; methane's GWP of 21, indicates that it is approximately 21 times more heat absorptive than carbon dioxide, per unit of weight. The value is also important to evaluate and study climate change mitigation strategies of the direct and indirect effects of emissions.

Methane is linked to all other greenhouse gases, and as studies now indicate that its emissions have a larger impact than that used in current carbon-trading schemes, or in the Kyoto Protocol. This threat needs to be taken seriously, as global warming is a very worrying environmental issue, and now no one can question methane global warming potential. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas produced after carbon dioxide by human activity, and accounts for nearly a fifth of global warming effects. Methane global warming potential is about 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the earth. In the atmosphere, methane is short-lived, for about 12 years. As it is emitted in the atmosphere due to industrialization and development, we can probably curtail its emitted quantity by working towards a clean source of energy.
By Loveleena Rajeev

Global Warming & Its Effects

Each year the United States spends over 20 million dollars buying fossil fuels. This country emits one fourth of the world's greenhouse gases; the most prominent of these gases is carbon dioxide, which is released from the burning of fossil fuels. Global warming has been a global issue for many years now. Some countries and people claim to be only vaguely concerned with the cause because they were unaware or uninformed of the issue. Roger Revelle, an oceanographer, helped to call out the problem to the public. After not receiving much feedback towards his cause, he criticized different governments in a jocular manner. He called warming "the great geophysical experiment." He said, "The experiment is to load the atmosphere with as much carbon dioxide as possible, add a few other harmful gases, and see what happens." Recently, several countries have been passing laws to prevent the world's overheated destiny. Even with the setting of new rules and regulations, the earth continues to warm each year. Minimal efforts made to reduce the release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, increase the rate and intensity of global warming.

The most prominent effect of global warming exists in the climate change over the past years. Many people are unaware that global warming causes and changes all types of weather. The heating of the earth causes the magnitude and strength of weather conditions to increase. As the oceans get warmer, the intensity of hurricanes amplifies in power and devastation. In addition, many coastal cities and regions have recently been experiencing flooding, caused by the melting of the polar icecaps. The Arctic's perennial icecaps decline in area by nine percent each year. In the past thirty years, over ten national records were set for the highest temperatures in the summer and winter. Droughts and forest fires have been occurring dramatically more often in the past century. All of these effects have been directly linked to the release of greenhouse gases.

Another area affected by global warming is the animal kingdom and nature. The number of animals per specie has been decreasing annually due to harsh environmental changes. As the polar icecaps melt, all creatures that live there are left without shelter. For example, as seal dens have been melting, the number of seals has dropped. Events that occur in the spring, such as mating, migrating, laying eggs, and returning from hibernation have been taking place approximately 5.1 days earlier than they were fifty years ago. The early occurrence of these events proves that the earth is getting warmer each year. More proof of warming is the evidence of many animals traveling farther from the equator as they migrate. Although this change has been occurring with various creatures, butterflies and mosquitoes are being found the farthest from their natural habitats. Even though butterflies do not cause any known problems with the environment, mosquitoes are carries of malaria. This deadly disease has dangerously spread to new regions across the globe. If the world continues to warm, this issue, along with many others, will continue to grow.

A third type of evidence of global warming can be found in plants. Vegetation in an area differs concurrently with the climate of that same area. Throughout many parts of the world, flowers bloom 7 days earlier and trees reproduce 10 days earlier, both since 1900. As the growing seasons vary from very wet to very dry, agricultural growth cannot adapt. In some recent years, regions' crops have been both flooded and dried out. Due to the depletion of the ozone, many crops cannot survive. Another problem is the movement and increase of allergens. Carbon in the atmosphere allows plants to go through photosynthesis more rapidly, allowing allergens to grow in number. This evidence found throughout all of nature makes it very clear that global warming is a huge issue.

A combination of various actions and, in some cases, not enough action causes global warming in the world today. The leading cause of global warming is the ongoing burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, along with the other greenhouse gases of methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluocarbons, is the cause of the greenhouse effect. This effect is dangerously increasing as the gases are being released in greater quantities. These gases not only build up to keep heat in the atmosphere, but they also thin the ozone layer. Some areas have been so thinned by the gases that there are holes present in the ozone. These dangerous holes allow harmful UV rays from the sun to reach the earth. UV rays are the main cause of skin cancer. As the earth continues to increase its pollution level each year, the number of skin cancer patients increases.

Because it releases carbon dioxide into the air, the burning of fossil fuels is an environmentally harmful practice. Carbon dioxide can be absorbed by seawater. If the water is cold, it can hold more gas. Unfortunately, with global warming, the temperature of the oceans has been increasing. As the temperatures increase, more carbon dioxide is released. This vicious circle will continue to occur unless scientists cannot this from occurring. Particularly, petrol, or gasoline, is a leading source of the release of these carbon dioxide compounds. Petrol contains hydrocarbons that release carbon dioxide when they are burned. This reaction is unfortunately unavoidable. The only solution is a different fuel source. Carbon dioxide, once released, lasts up to 100 years in the atmosphere. It is the most abundant heat-absorbent gas besides water vapor, which is not considered as a greenhouse gas because it rains back to the earth in a continuous cycle. The Mauna Loa Observatory has been measuring the level of carbon dioxide daily since 1958. Since their research began, the level in the atmosphere has drastically increased by 47 parts per million. Carbon dioxide makes up about one-half of the causes of global warming.

Although carbon dioxide largely harms the environment, the other greenhouse gases have a large impact in the atmosphere. Methane, the next most prominent harmful gas, comes from cattle, asphalt, coal, oil, and rice fields. Lasting only ten years, methane absorbs thirty times more heat than carbon dioxide. Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, lasts approximately 180 years and absorbs 200 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide comes from microbes in soil that are found in fertilizers. Slash-and-burn farming and the burning of some fossil fuels also emit nitrous oxide. The final greenhouse gas, chlorofluocarbon, lasts 400 years in the air and retains 16, 000 times more heat. Chlorofluocarbons escape from various cooling systems. The combination of these four gases results in the retention of intense amounts of heat.

Throughout the world, various nations have been joining to help prevent or slow the process of global warming. On February 3, 2007, French president, Jacques Chirac, proposed a new plan to prevent global warming. He stated, "It's our responsibility. The future of humanity demands it." Forty-five nations, not including the United States, joined him in his efforts. Al Gore, however, is very involved with global warming and the greenhouse effect; he supports Chirac and plans to help. As it is the largest contributor to global warming, the United States unfortunately supports only voluntary reduction programs.

The issue of global warming affects nature, people, and the economy. To some people, global warming is not of their concern because they feel it does not affect them. Although they may not realize it, global warming affects everyone, especially the future generations. Scientists mathematically simulate the globe's weather systems. Their complex equations, called general circulation models (GCMs), are so complex and involve countless elements that they can take days to solve. Environmentalists verify that the hazardous combination of flooding and drought will significantly increase within the next century. The standard sea level has been rising annually for a while now. Some say that if the earth continues on the path it is on, then 95% of the Great Barrier Reef will disappear by 2075. They calculate that the glaciers in Glacier National Park could melt by 2030, and 37% of all species could be extinct by 2050.

Scientists directly link disease to global warming. Exposure to various climate or animal related diseases will increase in number and possibly brutality. Experts agree that skin cancer's rapid rate of increase could be caused by the holes in the ozone layer. As these holes grow in size and number, the quantity of patients will also increase. Aside from natural and heath issues, the world's economy is also at risk. Ross Gelbspan, author of Boiling Point, a book about Earth's climate change from global warming, spoke about his book to the public in 2004 stating, "Climate issues will eventually tear holes in the global economy." Research can show that if current weather patterns continue, the cost of insurance will increase drastically over the next few years. Gelbspan is one of many authors and scientists who look into the future to warn people what is to come; unfortunately, most people do not listen.

When people are trying to get others involved in the cause, a common problem that arises is the lack of motivation. Many people do not realize that if they can slow the rapid warming process, then there will be more time to develop alternate energy sources, such as nuclear fusion. Holland and Germany, along with several small countries, have recognized this possibility and have committed to an 80% reduction of all greenhouse gas emissions. If the United States would get involved in a program such as this, then the greenhouse effect would occur much slower than it does today. The world, especially America, needs to take action now. Stephen H. Schneider of the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCRA) once stated, "By the time we find the greenhouse warming had damaged earth's ability to feed its people, it will be too late to do much about it."

In conclusion, the world needs to put forth a stronger effort to prevent global warming; the greenhouse gasses suffocate the earth more each day. If countries make a greater effort to slow global warming, the world's predestination may not be reached until many years later. Individually, people can recycle, use fuel-efficient cars, carpool, and simply raise awareness. As said by Elmer Robinson, the director of Mauna Loa Observatory had once said while speaking of global warming, "The true enemy is us."

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Global Warming Effects on Animals

To get a better understanding of global warming, it is important to understand the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the rise in the temperatures caused by absorption of the Sun's heat and light by the Earth's surface (forest, deserts, glaciers, etc.), which then is reflected back and trapped within the Earth's atmosphere. The greenhouses gases, help to keep the Earth warm, and this is the reason why life on Earth has existed, and still thrives. However, with an increase in the gases like carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrous oxide, methane and water vapor in the atmosphere, as a fallout to growing environmental pollution; industrial, domestic, and loss of vast stretches of grassland and rain forest, Earth has gotten nearly 14% hotter than what it used to be 50 years ago, with 2005 being recorded as the hottest year ever. Besides humans and plants, global warming effects on animals is a cause of concern. Let's take a look at the global warming causes, effects and the future vis-a-vis animals.

Effect of Global Warming on Animals

Animals are essential to maintain the circle of life and the food chain. It is just not the animals alone, insects, reptiles, and the aquatic life are all interdependent on each other, and on the plants and humans as well.

Loss of Habitat and Food
To make room for an ever growing population, many forests, grasslands, and even deserts, have been made habitable, only for humans that is. Rainforests and grasslands support many life forms; it is home to the tiny insects and also the mighty, grizzly bears. When forests are cleared out to develop more land for domestic constructions, industrial reasons and farming, most of these animals have to adapt themselves to live in shrinking areas, where everything for them becomes less; food, water, hunting and breeding ground. Loss of habitat also makes these animals vulnerable to being hunted down, either in their own little space, or when they come close to human habitats searching for food. With deforestation, many trees and other plants, that provide food to herbivorous animals no longer exist, causing death due to starvation and malnutrition. This in turn has taken its toll on all other omnivorous and carnivorous animals too, making the entire animal life susceptible to extinction. Many animals, domestic or wild, who venture into the human habitat for food, eat from the garbage, mostly picking up plastic, rusted metal or contaminated food. This too has a devastating effect on their health.

As global warming causes climate change, many great deserts like the Sahara, are no longer able to sustain their animal population. Loss of habitat is most vividly seen in the Arctic, where global warming is melting the glaciers, pushing the polar bears into extinction. The melting glaciers have caused water levels to rise in many oceans, threatening to drown many tropical islands and forests, that teem with animal life. The Gulf war oil spills, along with oil tanker spills, have devastated a large number of aquatic life. The pictures of dead fishes covered in oil on many beaches, is a sad reflection of the future that lies in store for them. Changes in weather patterns and coastlines affect the food patterns of most aquatic creatures.

Hibernation, Breeding and Migration
Studies now indicate a change in the hibernation, breeding, and migration patterns of animals. It is believed that hibernation and egg laying or animal birth, which are important aspects of animal life, are now happening on an average of 5.1 days earlier per decade. This unhealthy pattern affects the newborn, and quite a few are now born with defects, or are stillborn. Early egg laying is one of the reasons why insects like butterflies, and small birds, are disappearing fast in North America, where higher temperatures lead to earlier spring seasons. Many animals and birds, including penguins or flamingos, travel long distances to warmer climates, for breeding purposes. Devastation of the migratory routes and their habitat, has forced many of them to alter or not migrate at all. This forces them to seek alternative migration habitats, where they have to compete for food and shelter with other migratory or resident animals and birds. The same is also happening in case of aquatic mammals, who prefer warmer waters for breeding and hibernation. Animals that migrate depending on seasonally-linked phenomena, such as the formation of ice, lakes and other water bodies, and the availability of seasonal foods, also suffer, when the environmental conditions around their migratory destination changes.

Global warming affects us all. The only difference being, we, humans can have a profound effect on the way global warming issues are tackled. Global warming effects on animals will have serious repercussions on the entire life cycle. Life on the planet thrives, because we thrive on each other and because of each other. Any link broken or weakened will affect all life on Earth, and some of the consequences will be irreversible.
By Loveleena Rajeev

Global Warming Alarmists Die Hard

It is truly amazing how many global warming alarmists now realize the data isn't quite as accurate as they'd hoped for, and they now realize that it has been manipulated, but still will not dump their theories. Indeed, many people liken global warming to a religion, and it appears that it is now just that. One of the most interesting things I think is when the news media cites the percentage of our population that believes in global warming. That's highly relevant from a scientific standpoint.

For instance, what if I asked you how many kids under the age of four in the United States believe in Santa Claus. Surely that number is around 50% or more, but that doesn't mean that Santa Claus is real. Do you see my point? And I didn't even bring up the issue of human religions, as not to offend anyone, you know you have to be politically correct these days. And speaking of political correctness, if you are a scientist and you come out against global warming, in the last five years you couldn't get any work, you'd be black balled from the scientific community - no research funding.

Still, it's no longer science without the ability to question theories, and challenge the experts. The minute we stop doing that, it's no longer science, it is nothing more than a religion, a political agenda, or something even more insidious. We can't do science that way, and still call it; science.

Not long ago, I was discussing the concept of global warming with a diehard believer that our planet is heating up and everyone on the surface will be cooked alive, no not right away, but soon enough. You see, I am a complete skeptic and let the gentleman know that a one to two degree change in global ambient temperatures over the last 100-years was irrelevant, had nothing to do with CO2 output from mankind, and that the whole debate was disingenuous and not worthy of a think tank dialogue or the massive funding put forth by governments and NGOs around the globe.

Indeed, he agreed that it was not a near term problem, but again projected the scientist's temperature readings far into the future. Then using this extrapolated data suggested (in so many words something to the effect) that;

"Our generation will have nothing to be concerned about, global warming is no threat to us, but future generations will suffer a fate worse than death, if global warming isn't reversed in time. One of the biggest problems will be food shortages, and that will breathe other crimes. No, don't concern yourself, Sir. It will be many centuries before the end comes."

Well, here we go again, it's just more of the same, more Al Gore type fear mongering. It's like saying; "God will come down from the heavens, and strike you down," or "Zeus will come down from the sky, and burn the crops, the cities, and sink all the ships upon the water via a Super Tsunami," or something. Indeed, the whole thing sounds like a giant Greek tragedy but let's get real. If humans are going to participate in science, they need to participate in the real world, not some fantasy-land or some futuristic Harry Potter science fiction movie. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on.

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Effect Global Warming for Kids

Today the world is reeling under the pressure of global warming. Every change in the weather and every natural catastrophe is blamed on the global warming. But what is global warming? Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. How has the temperature risen and why has the temperature risen are the two questions often posed by many of us. Scientists have derived answers to these questions to help us understand this phenomenon called 'global warming' better. Let's see what it really means...

What is Global Warming?
Suppose you are living in a polar region, in an igloo. To keep yourself warm you make a fire. Soon enough the place becomes warmer and cozier. To make it even more warmer, you increase the flame of the fire. Then, the ice around you begins to melt and slowly, over a gradual period of time your house or the igloo is lost. Global warming happens in a similar way. It's just fire that heats up the Earth, but a lot other things too. In over a hundred years, the temperature of the Earth has risen by 1° F. Many climate scientists believe that, inhabitants of the Earth, as we the people are responsible for heating up the earth. Global warming is a global increase in the temperature of the Earth, which consequently affects the atmosphere.

Causes of Global Warming
Imagine if your house was to get trapped in fumes of fire, without any room for ventilation. Obviously, this would lead to suffocation. Now, imagine, that the whole Earth is your house and it is being trapped in 'greenhouse gases'. Naturally, the living conditions on the Earth would become deplorable. Continuous burning of fossil fuels, like oil and coal, gases like carbon dioxide and methane get trapped high in the atmosphere. These gases make a huge dome over the Earth, which reverts some outgoing radiation. Since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, the temperature rise has only worsened. The increase in the number of car engines has only added to the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Wanton deforestation, is another reason for global warming, as there's a huge source of oxygen that gets depleted.

Is Global Warming Getting Worse?
With all the fossils fuels we burn and the trees we cut down, global warming is only getting worse day by day. In an eye-opening fact about global warming for kids, about 80% of the energy is derived from fossil fuels. It's unfortunate that we have become completely dependent on machines and fuels to run our lives. The energy consumption has been on the rise as the population is rising. If the rate at which we consume energy today remains the same then, by 2030 we are likely to consume additional 71% energy. Thus, if we continue to use and abuse the energy deposits of the Earth, then the problem of global warming is only going to worsen.

Global Warming Effects
Is the climate change real? Yes, the climate change is real and it is an evident effect of global warming. The Earth keeps its own record of very slow but real climate change. The age old ice that has formed on the polar regions, get buried under the air bubbles inside it. Extracted ice cores tell about the age of the ice sheets and the amount of carbon dioxide they contain. The fact that the world is getting hotter, shows that the climate change is real. Another real example of climate change is, melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

These facts about global warming for kids are real and they are happening. Global warming and the greenhouse effect, created by humans, is making our planet hotter and hotter. We need to stop global warming, by making a collective effort. As late Michael Jackson sang, 'heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race...', the time is now to act. Contributing little by little each day, like recycling, saving electricity and conserving fossil fuels by using alternative sources of energy, that can go a long way in saving our planet. It's not just a planet, but our home!
By Mukta Gaikwad

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