the environmental biology

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The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change

The greenhouse effect is allowed by the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases, which include carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor (H20), and methane (CH4), block heat from escaping back into space. As the sun emits light, the resulting radiation is captured by matter on the earth’s surface. The warm surface then radiates some of the heat it has absorbed. The greenhouse gases avoid the complete depletion of this energy by absorbing ultraviolet radiation with their electrons. As a result, the atmosphere warms, and the heat is transmitted down to the earth, increasing temperatures. As the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, the greenhouse effect is enhanced leading to an increase in temperatures which triggers extreme weather patterns such as heat waves. The high temperatures also cause the melting of glaciers and ice sheets at the poles. The melt water increases the amount of water in the oceans leading to a rise in the sea levels that makes low lying areas vulnerable to flooding. Climate change causes a change in the normal climatic conditions of a region resulting in either very wet or parched seasons. These conditions are perfect for incubating disease causing organisms which can cause outbreaks.

Impact on Food Security and Water Scarcity

Climate change indirectly causes food insecurity by aggravating weather extremes leading to harsh droughts. With little to harvest in the farms, the food situation is threatened and people have nothing to eat. Water scarcity is also attributed to climate change due to increased evaporation caused by high heat thus affecting the water levels in rivers and lakes. Lastly, the effects of climate change can trigger migration of people from the rural areas to the cities, especially in the developing world. As their agricultural source of income is affected, these people will move to cities to sustain their lives leading to pressure on the available facilities.

Actions to Reduce Carbon Emissions

One way to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is by cutting down on fossil fuel use through lessening the reliance on non-renewable sources of energy. For instance, people can opt to drive hybrid cars that use cleaner fuels. Secondly, a reduction in energy waste can reduce carbon emissions. Doing simple activities such as turning off the lights or shutting down a computer can help to keep the carbon levels down. Lastly, embracing renewable sources of energy is the key to reducing emissions. Wind, solar and geothermal energy put little strain on nature thus preserving our existence.

January 05, 2023




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