Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Environment Part 2: Global warming

On the first part of the series, I have talked about the environment issue from the aspect of wildlife conservations. So how was that? Bored I guess! Well, I guess you are the type of person whom only sleeps and don't do anything. Here's some little piece of extra: Experts in the field claim that we are on the verge of Holocene extinction event, an event of widerspread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the Holocene epoch - which began around 10,000 B.C. until today. Since 1500, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources have documented about 784 extinctions to have occured.
Dodo bird, a turkey-like birdie
I bet not many remembered this poor birdy, the Mauritius Dodo which became extinct in the late 17th century. How many should we wait until many are getting towards disappearance from the Earth?
In today's second part, I humbly presents you Global Warming.The word looks "HUGE" but it refers to the global condition with an increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth since mid-20th century. Over the last century, the global air temperature increase about 0.75-0.90 degree Celcius, with a further rise of 1.1-6.4 degree celcius during this century, according to Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).So, you can expect weather become more hotter in the next years. The global climate is affetced by variations in orbit around the Sun, changes in solar luminosity, solar activity, volcanoes and atmospheric greenhouse gas effects. Althought the real causes of global warming is not clear, apparently the latter attributes to more of such event due to widely usage of fossil fuel, highly industrialization and massive deforestation.
Fossil fuel burning, more carbon dioxide released
Deforestation...more carbon dioxide
The collection of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere warms the planet by absorbing and emissing the infrared radiation from the sun. The heat is unable to escape back, thus trap inside the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases do occur naturally giving a mean warming effect of 33 degree Celcius keeping the Earth's average temperature of 15 degree - comfort suitable for life. So that's why we are so comfortable in this range of temperature!! Major greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide,methane and ozone, while nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride form the minor part. With increase industrial activity, more and more such gases from industries by-product continue to be released. The concentration of carbon dioxide and methane have up 31% and 149% since mid-1700s. The current concentration of carbon dioxide is believe to be at 385 parts per million (ppm).
In 1997 and up until now, about 181 nations and the European Union have ractified the Kyoto Protocol, which aimed at reducing emission of greenhouse gases by a certain amount of 5.2% compared to the level at the year 1990 as a whole. Only US and Kazakhstan have not done so. Many scientist also believe that keeping the global temperature at under 2 degree Celcius above the pre-industrial era of 1800s.

KEEPING IT 2 DEGREE ABOVE? NO WAY!!
However, WWF made some point that keeping it that way is not good enough! Why?
Here's why:

(1) A rise of 2 degree does not apply well to the Arctic as it has a sensitive environment that a minimal 2 degree rise would lead to minimum 3.2 degree increase. The reason, ice melting of the polar pack. The ice pack used to reflect the sunlight back into the space but it is now replaced with water which instead absorbs heat. As a consequence, the summer will feature no or little ice left. So gone Arctic, where is my polar bear is going then?
(2) Increase in 2 degree will causes annual rainfall in Mediterranean decrease by 20% in Northern region and 30% in Southern region. Thus, lack in water supply and heatwave will mean a threat for forest fire.
(3) Eastern Canadian will get the impact as 2 degree rise causes black supre and sugar maple to be forced to go northwards thus depleting timber supply. Also, high temperature means lesser arrival of Atlantic salmon - already an endangered species

WHAT HAPPEN NOW?


  • Global warming is melting glaciers everywhere.
  • Smaller Arctic sea ice cover recorded each year.
  • 2003 is the hottest year for Scotland on record.
  • Coral reef is bleaching
  • More heatwaves in cities like Athens, Chicago, Milan, New Delhi and Paris
  • Rising sea levels threatening low-lying islands in Pacific and Indian Oceans
So now, look around us. You are not the only one facing the proble. Everyone does. The effects may not be so obvious for us to pin-point that the global warming is here. It is here, but we just not aware its existence. Ignorance is bliss!! Ignoring the global warming is not good. Something must be done now. Reduce dependence of fossil fuel, use your energy efficiently and try to save, protect the forest and take care of the land itself. What kind of people are you?
For more, go to http://www.panda.org

1 comment:

renaye said...

hello darling.

i only remember the dumb dumb bird as 'tasty' according to the last person who bbq that birdie.

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