THE WAY TO DETECT CARBON DIOXIDE AND THE RISK OF GLOBAL WARMING

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THE WAY TO DETECT CARBON DIOXIDE AND THE RISK OF GLOBAL WARMING 11

THEWAY TO DETECT CARBON DIOXIDE AND THE RISK OF GLOBAL WARMING

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Abstract

Globalwarming is not going to be felt only in decades to come, but it isalready being experienced in different parts of the world. Since theelectric power industry emerges as the single largest source of thegreenhouse gas emissions, personal usage of the electric power can beassociated with the global warming. The research question in thisreport concerns whether personal effects account for the largepercent of carbon dioxide emission in the past few decades. Theimportance of bringing this subject is that by knowing whetherpersonal effects account for the large percent of carbon dioxideemission in the past few decades, it would be possible to device waysof mitigating the carbon emissions and thus reduce the risks ofglobal warming. In this paper, it would be argued that personaleffects account for the large percent of carbon dioxide emission inthe past few decades. Apart from this, the paper would also presentthe risks of global warming and how the problem can be addressed.

Itis interesting how people do not know the amount of carbon dioxidethey individually emit to the atmosphere through their dailyactivities. It is possible for individuals to calculate the annualcarbon dioxide emissions that they individually contribute to theenvironment using the Personal Greenhouse Gas Calculator (Goodall2012, 42). This online calculator was developed by the EPA in anattempt to help individuals know the amount of carbon dioxide thatthey emit to the environment through their lifestyles. The PersonalGreenhouse gas Calculator sums the carbon dioxide by an individualthrough driving, electricity use, as well as waste disposal, andprovides a person with an estimate of individual annual carbondioxide emissions. Also, through using this calculator, it allows aperson to see how changes in his/her lifestyle can help in reducingthe amount of carbon dioxide emissions (Goodall 2012, 43).

Thereare different ways in which personal effects have contributed tolarge percent of carbon dioxide emission in the past few decades. Theparagraphs that follow will discuss the various ways in whichpersonal effects have contributed in emitting large percent of carbondioxide to the environment.

ElectricityUse

Oneof the ways through which individuals emit carbon dioxide to theenvironment is through the use of electricity. Electricity forpersonal use has various applications for instance, individuals useelectricity for cooking, warming the house, with machinery, andcooling purposes among other uses. As an individual uses electricityfor these highlighted purposes, there is a certain amount of carbondioxide emitted to the environment. This usually depends on theconsumption per kilowatt hour (Goodall 2012, 87). Electrical machineshave been considered one of the most consumers of electricity, whenit comes to personal usage for electricity. Most electrical machineshave different electricity consumption rating, which imply that themore the consumption rating for a machine, the higher the amount ofelectricity consumed in using the machine and the higher the amountof carbon dioxide emitted to the environment when using the machine.Since individuals have different lifestyles, they usually match theelectronic machines that they will use with their lifestyles.Therefore, individuals having highly-consuming machines in terms ofelectricity usually emit a lot of carbon dioxide to the environment.Thus, personal lifestyles and the manner in which they useelectricity, depending with the machine’s consumption ratings andthe number of hours that the machine would remain switched on have animpact in emitting carbon dioxide to the environment. Hence, it canbe argued that the type of machines that a person uses determinesthe amount of carbon dioxide he/she contributes to the environmentthrough electricity use.

Driving

Anotherway through which individuals personally contribute to emitting largeamounts of carbon dioxide to the environment is through driving.According to EPA, a typical vehicle for passengers would emitapproximately 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Almosteveryone loves to own a car and use the vehicle when moving fromplace to place. However, what most individuals do not know is thatthrough driving, they contribute in adding to the amount of carbondioxide already at the atmosphere (Shulman 2012, 39). It is importantfor an individual to know his/her vehicle’s gas mileage becausethis is crucial when determining the amount of carbon dioxide thatone contributes to the environment through driving. When making thedecision to purchase a vehicle, it is important to consider the typeof car and model since their gas mileage usually differ. Thus,individuals have contributed largely in emitting carbon dioxidethrough driving in the last decades.

WasteManagement Practices

Furthermore,another way that individuals have contributed in emitting largeamounts of carbon dioxide to the environments is through the wastemanagement practices that they adopt. Most of the wastes that humansdump daily have the capacity of releasing carbon dioxide to theenvironment (Chang 2015, 57). The data below shows the wastegenerated in different regions.

Thisimplies that individuals have to be careful in how they dispose thewastes that they generate daily. There are some wastes that can bere-used in generating other products, but instead of being recycled,they are just dumped. In such a scenario, such waste would releasecarbon dioxide when decomposing or in case the waste is burnt, itwould also release carbon dioxide to the environment (Chang 2015,60). Therefore, it is usually important to ensure that individualsutilize the best waste management practices since poor wastemanagement practices have contributed immensely to the percent ofcarbon dioxide present in the environment.

Risksof Global Warming

KillerHeat Waves

Globalwarming, which is human-created, have already increased the chance ofexperiencing killer heat waves like those that scorched Europe in theyear 2003. Evidence shows that the summer emerged as the hottest inEurope that had been experienced in the past 500 years (Sim 2009,66). During the time of the killer heat waves in Europe, all timerecordings in high temperatures were broken. The killer heat wavescan cause extreme deaths. In different countries, the killer heatwaves has led to unwanted deaths, which could have otherwise beenprotected by taking measures that prevent global warming. This is anindication that the killer heat wave, which results from globalwarming, can result in emotional trauma due to the deaths experiencedas a result of excessive heat. The killer heat waves are alsodestructive because they can also lead to a reduction inproductivity for instance, for fodder among other produce, andlivestock deaths apart from the human deaths. Thus, the killer heatwaves emanating from human-induced global warming can presentdifferent risks to the humans (Casper 2010, 110).

DroughtRisk

Althoughthe flooding events are more likely to become experienced with globalwarming, the risk of experiencing droughts is also projected withglobal warming. As a result of global warming, droughts are expectedto become more severe and frequent (Spooner 2012, 27). This isbecause higher temperatures increase the evaporation rate in caseprecipitation does not compensate the lost moisture, soils tend togrow drier. In the case of drier soils, less solar energy is utilizedin evaporating, implying the temperature of the soil as well as theoverlying air, resulting in even more desiccating conditions thisform of self-amplifying cycle may result in a lengthy and severedrought. Also, dry soils may drive another form of self-amplifyingcycle when there is less evaporation to the air due to the depletionof soil moisture, there can be less moisture in the atmospherelocally to form precipitation that potentially result in drier soils.Furthermore, a warmer climate may reduce water supplies in semi-aridand arid regions through decreasing the proportion of precipitationwhich falls as snow instead of rain in the mountains, and throughaccelerating the snow melting rate in the spring (Potthast&amp Simon 2012, 74).In addition, warmer ocean temperatures because of global warming canalso increase the severity of droughts.

Forestsand Wildfires Risk

Anotherrisk associated with global warming is forests and wildfires.Scientists project that with global warming there is a likelihood ofhaving increased wildfires in different ways. Since droughts areexpected to become more common and severe with global warming, lackof precipitation and desiccating heat create conducive conditions forcommon and major wildfires (Casper 2010, 46). Also, longer warmseasons usually translate into longer fire seasons warmertemperatures promote outbreak of insects, which feed on trees,killing most of the host and creating large amounts of dry fuel forforest fires (Spooner 2012, 84). Therefore, as a result of globalwarming, forests are exposed to the risk of fires.

Addressingthe Problem of Global Warming

Thereare different ways of addressing the problem of global warming. Thefastest as well as the most affordable way of addressing the globalwarming problem is mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions throughincreasing energy efficiency (Dincer et al. 2013, 84). There aredifferent ways that can be used to increase efficiency in energy usefor example, one may replace older home appliances with moreefficient models, improvement of heating and cooling systems, betterinsulation of residential and commercial buildings, and replacing oldlighting systems with new advanced lighting systems. All theseinitiatives help in mitigating the amount of greenhouse gas emittedto the environment, thus reducing the impact of global warming(Dincer et al. 2013, 87-92).

Also,since electric industry emerges as one of the largest source ofgreenhouse gas emissions that result in global warming, it isimportant to ensure that the electricity that individual use in theirhomes as well as for commercial purposes does not produce greenhousegases (Mulvaney 2011, 102). Instead of using electricity fromnon-renewable sources, individuals should be highly encouraged toadopt the green technology such that they only use green sources ofelectricity in their homes as well as for commercial purposes (Dincer2010, 62). For instance, individuals may be encouraged to use solarenergy, which is a renewable source of energy or wind energy. Throughusing such renewable sources of energy, it would be possible forindividuals to reduce their mission of greenhouse gases to theenvironment, thus addressing the problem of global warming.

Anotherway of addressing the issue of global warming is for individuals toadopt or to switch to hybrid vehicles. Since the normal vehiclescontribute immensely to emitting carbon dioxide to the environment,it is important for individuals to adopt or to switch to hybridvehicles. The hybrid vehicles will help in keeping carbon dioxideemissions low, which would aid in fighting global warming.

Furthermore,another way that individuals can use in addressing the problem ofglobal warming entails the use of proper waste management practices.Waste products should be properly disposed in order to prevent theemission of greenhouse gases to the environment (Chang 2015, 96). Forinstance, instead of burning recyclable materials, such materialsneed to be recycled. Such a move would keep the environment fromhaving additional greenhouse gases emissions, which would aid inmitigating the experience of global warming.

Conclusion

Itcan be concluded that personal effects account for the large percentof carbon dioxide emission in the past few decades. This is becauseindividuals are involved in using things that they possess inemitting carbon dioxide to the environment. For instance, through thevehicles that they own, they emit carbon dioxide to the environmentas they make long drives. According to EPA, human activities in theUnited States account for approximately 82% of greenhouse gasemissions, which is an indication that humans contribute largely tothe amount of carbon dioxide emitted. There are different risksassociated with global warming, which can be mitigated throughadopting approaches and techniques that do not emit greenhouse gasesto the environment. Although geoengineering has been proposed as ameans in addressing global warming, it tends to cause more problems.

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