Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category
Most people are sensitive to the fact that their daily living, in some way, contributes to the pollution of the environment.
We take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2) and emissions from factories, cars, and mining operations are but a few of the sources of CO2.
The CO2 gases get trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, causing unhealthy air that simply has no where to go. The effect that each of us has on the environment is called our Carbon Footprint.
Many factors contribute to our individual carbon footprint, including where we live, the size of our home, how old our appliances are, what we drive and how much air travel we do.
While there is no way to eliminate our carbon footprint to slow climate change; there are things we can do to reduce the size of our “shoe”.
In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we must first know what size we are. There are carbon calculators online (www.carboncounter.org) that are simple to use and will quickly show you how much your carbon burden is.
By knowing what our personal impact is, we can then work on reducing it. There are many organizations that continually endeavor to offset and mitigate the damages by CO2 emissions, including wind power, reforestation projects and solar power projects, including Conservation International, Nature.org and Carbon Counter.org
Working together to individually reduce our personal carbon footprint can only be good for our planet, our future and the future of generations to come.
This blue-green planet we live on, called Earth, as far as scientist can tell, is the only planet that can sustain human life. The atmosphere has the perfect mix of air that we need to breathe and that plants and trees need for survival.
The earth is the perfect distance from the sun, allowing temperatures optimal for habitation of millions of specials of animals and plants, and it keeps the planet’s vast oceans at a temperature where the many species of fish survive.
In short, the planet Earth supports every species in the food chain, from the bottom to the top.
If the planet were to cool permanently, even a few degrees, there would be vast problems created. For instance, what if snow came earlier and stayed later in the Midwest; production of the grains grown there would decrease sharply, creating not only a grain shortage, but a meat shortage as well.
More importantly, what would happen if the earth were to heat up several degrees permanently? The ocean water temperature would no longer support plankton, which support fish, which support birds, and so on up the food chain.
The weather would greatly change; as the atmosphere heats, rivers and oceans evaporate. The levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would increase, making the quality of our air, the air that you and I breathe everyday, unsafe.
Every degree that our atmosphere changes is harmful to the life cycle of all humankind in some way. Think Globally!
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a group of chemical compounds that has been shown to have caused the ozone holes in the stratosphere over both the North and South poles. A seasonal hole appears above Antarctica in September.
These holes in the atmosphere allow the sun’s rays to enter the earth without a protective layer to shield us, which may cause an increase in skin cancer.
CFCs are an aggregation of chemical compounds that include alkanes and haloalkanes. These chemicals are used in aerosol spray cans, refrigerants, foam blowing (to make packing foam and foam cups), fire extinguishers and solvents to clean electronic equipment.
The use of CFCs began in the 1920, when carbon tetrachloride was used in fire extinguishers, until the end of World War II. In 1928, Thomas Midgley developed CFCs as a replacement for a mixture of ammonia, chloromethane and sulfur dioxide that was commonly used as a refrigerant.
The CFC was superior to the former compounds because it was non-toxic, had a low boiling point and was generally non-reactive.
CFCs continued to be used, mostly by the military and in firefighting, until 1974 after the journal, ¬Nature by Molina and Rowland, showed their findings regarding the ozone layer depletion. They won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that work.
They found that by adding hydrogen and creating hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), made the compound less stable in t