Natural Resources: Global Climate Change
We all live the way we are comfortable; we use water like it is an unlimited resource and pollute/litter like it won’t affect anything. We are simply being lazy towards our world. The steps we take today will affect the future generations and generally the earth; it is our choice if we want a positive affect or a negative.
Well, I have one question for you before we jump into this topic more deeply. How do you feel when you have a fever? Take some time to think about it… It’s horrible. You barely have any energy to get up from your bed. It happened to me, it happened to you, it happened to everyone and it is currently happening to our earth. The earth is getting sick from our folly of using the blessed natural resources from mother nature without prudence.
What is Climate Change?
Climate Change is a significant civic issue that is of concern to the entire world, and hence, requires some attention. It is generally defined as an increase of Earth’s atmospheric temperature. Climate Change is caused by the great number of pollutants that we, humans, continuously emit. The buildup of carbon dioxide, methane gas, nitrous oxide (collectively named as the “Greenhouse Gases”) adds to the thickness of the ozone layer. The ozone layer then acts as a trap for the heat that the sun radiates. In other words, the Sun’s heat enters Earth’s atmosphere, but most of it is unable to escape — the ozone layer blocks the heat from escaping. Furthermore, factories and cars alone constitute to be a huge factor that contributes to Climate Change. Deforestation is also an important factor as well. Trees absorb the greenhouse gases that we produce everyday. Thus, the fewer trees that we have, the more drastic this problem would become.
Additionally, specifics about the greenhouse gases are as follows: carbon dioxide (CO2) is formed through cellular respiration, volcanic eruptions, burning of fossil fuels, combustion, etc. According to NASA, humans have increased the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere by more than a third since the industrial revolution began. On the other hand, nitrous oxide (N2O) is mostly produced in soil cultivation practices, fertilizers, nitric acid (HNO3 (aq)), etc. Methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon gas that is predominantly produced through rice cultivation and decomposition of waste in landfills. Although it is a more active greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, it is present in a far less concentration in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Hence, the main reason for climate change is Global Warming, which is mainly caused by the greenhouse gas emissions through natural resources activity.
Moreover, Global Warming has some really adverse effects on our planet, and consequently, us, as well. It is reported that Earth’s temperature has increased by 1.62 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 19th century. One drastic impact of Global Warming is the rise of sea levels. This is caused by the melting of glaciers because of a warmer atmosphere. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the temperatures and weather patterns will get more adverse as time proceeds. For instance, heat waves will become more frequent, hurricanes and other natural disasters will be stronger, and temperatures and weather forecasts will become more unpredictable.
Which Natural Resources are the main cause of Climate Change?
The usage of Natural Resources have a big hand in the issue of Climate Change. Climate Change has been a problem since the past 5 centuries; as the generations were changing and the creation gained further advanced materials to utilize, the less wisdom was put when using natural resources. Taking an example, when water generating systems were invented, water was used in a very unmannered way.
What Natural Resources have an affect on Climate Change:
- Trees (Deforestation being done for Urbanization)
Deforestation and Urbanization is a big cause of Global Climate Change. Urban development drives into deforestation due to building resources and area for build. Trees consume the greenhouse gasses that are produced by us causing less thickness in the ozone. Hence, less trees = more global climate change.
- Fossil Fuels (Burning of Fossil Fuels)
One main cause of Climate Change is the (CO2) which is produced into the air and ends up adding up to the ozone. This occurs when fossil fuels are burnt. When fossil fuels are burned by power plants, automobiles and industrial facilities, they generate toxic gases. This causes further problems such as water pollution and other environmental harming issues.
Fun Fact: The climate has increased by 1 degree in the past 100 years which may not seem like a lot though is a big difference.
Trees (Deforestation and Urbanization):
What is Urbanization?
Human populations have increased over time causing way more urban development than there should be in a certain period of time. Urbanization is the process of creating a modern society and having the population to live in urban (developed) areas. The growth of industries and urban areas helped the human though has caught back to us by the use and destruction of useful natural resources such as trees.
What is Deforestation?
Deforestation refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agricultural croplands, urbanizations, or mining activities. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960, deforestation has been negatively affecting natural ecosystems and the climate. Currently forests are mainly being replaced with urban areas. They are cut down for 2 main urbanization reasons: 1. For supplies and 2. For the area to build. This takes away at least 50 000 trees everyday. That’s Crazy😳!
Why and how is Deforestation/Urbanization causing Climate Change issues?
Deforestation cause many issues though one of the largest ones is Global Climate Change.
Forest trees, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. When trees are cut down and burnt or allowed to rot, their stored carbon is released into the air as carbon dioxide which is then added to the ozone of the earth. According to the best current estimate, deforestation is responsible for about 10 percent of all global warming emissions.
Rotting down of trees isn’t the only reason Deforestation affects Global Climate Change. Trees absorb the greenhouse gases that we produce everyday. This process is the most potent of all the natural ways carbon is removed from the atmosphere and stored on land. The trees consume nearly 30% of the 10 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases emissions released each year through fossil fuel combustions. As trees are getting removed, the percentage is decreasing making a big difference in the Global Climate Issue.
Fossil Fuels (Burning of Fossil Fuels):
What are Fossil Fuels?
Fossil fuels are compound mixtures made of fossil materials such as plants, animal remnants which have been processing underground for millions of years. As the fossil material begins to get buried deeper into the ground it is subjected to increase heat and pressure. From all the processing and preserving the fossil molecules begin to break apart. After millions of years underground, the compounds that make up plankton and plants turn into fossil fuels. Plankton decomposes into natural gas and oil, while plants become coal. Today, humans extract these resources through coal mining and the drilling of oil and gas wells on land and offshore.
Coal was mainly used in the past generation which has brought a big change in todays generation. Coal is made from plants that were once alive. The coal that is used today are plants from the past (millions of years old). The plants had taken energy from the sun allowing it to turn into coal when it was underground.
Oil is a liquid fossil fuel made up mostly of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are made of hydrogen and carbon atoms which once exists in liquid form underground which was then formed into oil overtime. Oil can be found in underground reservoirs; in the cracks, crevices and pores of sedimentary rock or in tar sands near earth’s surface.
Natural gasses today are made of plants and animals from millions of years back. Today we use these as heating systems and burners and many more daily use items. Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture containing mainly methane but containing other greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide.
Why and how are Fossil Fuels causing Climate Change issues?
For more than a century, burning fossil fuels has generated most of the energy. Even today, oil, coal and natural gas provide for about 80% of our energy needs though the process of these needs are extremely harmful for our world. According to NRDC, “Using fossil fuels for energy has exacted an enormous toll on humanity and the environment — from air and water pollution to global warming.” Fossil Fuels produce large quantities of (CO2) when burnt. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is mainly formed through burning of fossil fuels. According to NASA, humans have increased the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere by the burning of mainly fossil fuels. On the other hand, methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon natural gas that is predominantly produced through rice cultivation and decomposition of waste.
Always Site Your Sources — Bibliography (MLA 8 Format):
“Global Climate Change: What You Need to Know.” Edited by Melissa Denchak, Global Climate Change: What You Need to Know | NRDC, 23 Feb. 2017, www.nrdc.org/stories/global-climate-change-what-you-need-know#:~:text=The%20burning%20of%20fossil%20fuels,sequestered%20carbon%20into%20the%20air.
Anair, Don. “Tropical Deforestation and Global Warming.” Union of Concerned Scientists, 27 July 2008, www.ucsusa.org/resources/tropical-deforestation-and-global-warming.
E, Abrezol. What Are Fossil Fuels?, 26 Mar. 2020, ocean.si.edu/conservation/gulf-oil-spill/what-are-fossil-fuels.
Shaftel, Holly. “The Causes of Climate Change.” NASA, NASA, 10 Nov. 2020, climate.nasa.gov/causes/.