Category: Global Warming

The Carbon Cycle Explained

To most scientists it is considered one of the most important things to be acquainted with during these chaotic times.

This interesting factor is the biochemical cycle in which carbon is exchanged among the hydrosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere of our planet Earth.

The Carbon Cycle is primarily thought of as four major reservoirs, in which carbon interconnects by varies pathways of numerous exchanges.

The four major reservoirs are:

  • The atmosphere.
  • The global biosphere. Which is defined to include the fresh water systems and non-living organic material, such as soil carbon.
  • Our Oceans, as well as dissolved inorganic carbon and living and inert marine biota.
  • Finally, the sediments, which is also including fossil fuels.
    For example, take the atmosphere. Carbon exists in the Earth’s atmosphere mainly as the gas ‘carbon dioxide’; although it’s only a small percentage of the atmosphere. Yet, it plays an important role in supporting life.

By now we should all know what “Global Warming” is, in today’s society? The overall atmospheric concentration of these greenhouse gases has been increasing in recent decades, which is known as one of the key contributors to global warming.

Unfortunately, the way that we choose to live everyday ultimately contributes to the carbon cycle as well as global warming. We have yet to decide to change our everyday routines, even though everything we do; ends up affecting our beloved mother Earth.

Go Green and Prevent Deforestation!

Deforestation is something that “we” humans are responsible for, it is the logging of trees in forested areas. Each day, trees are sold as a product are used, cleared used for grazing land by humans. Deforestation is largely unknown and there are no consequences amongst the people damaging the planet in this matter.

It has been known that forests disappear naturally by extensive climate change, fires, hurricanes or any other disturbances that are not caused by people. However, even when these horrible events occur, we never prevent them, nor do we help change what has been done. This topic has been the key focus for scientist to debate; it is a rising issue, which needs to be looked at more.

Amongst the many vastly growing forests, some like a jungle in Southern Mexico were burned for agriculture. Because we are doing this, and we are the ones responsible for this issue, we don’t stop. Every day we contribute to Global Warming, we are changing our water cycle among the planet, the removal of trees does not always increase the erosion rates of soil, and deforestation also results in declines in biodiversity. Forests support biodiversity, providing habitats for wildlife. However, these majestic jungles, forest, and land filled with so much biodiversity are being killed.

This unintelligent thing we have been doing for years has become a domino effect. We are the one’s doing this to our own land, therefore it ultimately has been contributing to Global Warming, our water, soil, and animal life. Soon scientist may say it’s too late to prevent something that has already been done.

Eco-Friendly Cars for Reducing Global Warming

The recent crisis in global economies has made several industries revise their production plans. For the advocates of environmentalism, this depression has brought good news as the European Union (EU) has pressed on auto-makers to produce eco-friendly (green) cars. The EU policy of replacing traditional cars with energy-efficient green cars primarily aims at cutting the vehicular emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, by as much a one-fifth of the existing amount of emission, by the year 2012. The production of green cars will also help sustain the auto industry without losing business.

The sharp fall in the purchase of cars has not only affected the European auto industry but also the car-manufacturers in the United States where lawmakers are asking auto-manufacturers to raise the mileage of an average car from 35 miles per gallon of fuel to 50 miles per gallon. Given the fact that vehicular emissions are the second major source of greenhouse gases in America, the US government is keen on replacing gasoline cars with electric cars.

Electric cars stand as the prime candidate for green cars. An electric car runs by means of a rechargeable battery. Instead of a gasoline engine, electric cars carry an electric motor that is powered by the controller, which in turn gets electric power from the batteries. Electric cars, especially the hybrid electric cars (carrying both an electric motor and another type of fuel engine), are more energy-efficient and their vehicular emissions are minimal. Thus, electric cars are also health-friendly in that they would prevent the formation of smog that causes lung diseases and premature deaths in a large number of patients.

At the moment, the main problem with mass-producing eco-friendly electric cars is their high cost. Currently, Tesla is the top auto company for producing eclectic cars and it has only produced some 80 cars, so far, each of which costs over a hundred grand. The US government plans to donate $400 million to Tesla out of the tax money received from people. Since the electric cars produced with these funds will be unaffordable to the average American citizen, the issue involves ethical concerns. Now, Tesla is working on a more affordable green car, costing around 60 grand, though there is still a lot to do before making green cars a reality for the mainstream.

Volcanic Eruptions and Their Effects on the Local Environment

During the last couple of weeks, the Redoubt Volcano in Alaska, Semeru Volcano in Indonesia and the Chaiten Volcano in Chile have seen considerable volcanic activity.В  Mild earthquakes and some seismic activity were seen in the areas the volcanoes were located.В  Every year potential eruptions are being monitored in order to save lives and better understand volcanic eruptions and its effects on the environment.

Scientists already know that huge volcanic eruptions have a considerable effect on the global climate.В  Huge and destructive eruptions actually help cool temperatures around the world.В  However, due to global warming eruptions during the last 2 decades has had little or no effect on the climate.

In 1816 for example, a year after Indonesia Tambora volcano erupted, there were crop failures in Europe and the United States.В  Tambora caused the temperature to drop considerable especially in the higher latitudes.В  Tree rings were also considerable thinner suggesting that trees tend to grow thinner when the temperature rises.

Aside from causing climate change by cooling temperatures around the world, volcano eruptions also cause havoc on the immediate vicinity where they are located.В  In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines.В  Days before the massive explosion, water around Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga was undrinkable due to sulfur contamination.В  Ash obscured sunlight which damaged crops and killed farm animals.

Years after the explosion, lahar or mudflow composed of pyroclastic material and water during the rainy season, caused the displacement of thousands of residents.В  Agriculture and farming was also at a standstill due to damage sustained by the eruption.В  What was once fertile and arable land became ash covered and deemed infertile destroying the livelihood of thousands of farmers around the region.

Mt. Pinatubo eruption coupled with Mt. Hudson in Chile reduced the amount of sunlight to reach the earth by 10%.В  It also accelerated the depletion of the Ozone layer.

Volcanic eruptions also have good effects.В  Decades after volcanic eruptions, soil which was once destroyed by ash actually become fertile once again because ash contain minerals which enrich the soil.В  Underground steams may also form which can be harnessed for energy.В  Copper and nickel can also be mined from volcanic rocks which are ejected during eruptions.В  Natural glass, sulfur and pumice also form during eruptions.