Global warming is a rise in temp. of earth's atmosphere
The earth is naturally warmed by rays from the sun which pass through the atmosphere and are reflected back out to space again.
The atmosphere’s made up of layers of gases – some of which are called greenhouse gasses.
They’re mostly natural and make up a kind of thermal blanket over the earth .
What are the Green House Gases?
Greenhouse gases are made out of:
They are all natural gases, but extra greenhouse gases can be made by humans.
Environment experts are especially concerned about carbon dioxide.
How are Extra-Greenhouse Gases made ?
Extra greenhouse gases are produced through activities which release carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons)
These activities include;
Burning coal and petrol, known as ‘fossil fuels’.
Cutting down of rainforests and other forests.
Animal waste which lets off methane.
What’s the Ozone Layer got to do with it The Ozone layer is another important part of the atmosphere It’s made up of Ozone (a type of oxygen) that protects the earth from too many harmful rays called UVB. Some green house gases damage it – letting in the harmful rays which could raise the earth’s temperature.
What could happen ?
If the earth gets hotter, these are some of the things that could happen;
Water expands when it’s heated so sea level could rise.
Sea levels could also rise due to the melting of glaciers and sea ice.
Animals like polar bears- which live on the ice – might die out.
There could be more floods, especially near the coast and rivers.
Places that usually get lots of rain and snowfall might get hotter and drier.
Lakes and rivers could dry up.
Less water could be available.
Some plants and animals might become extinct because they could not cope with higher temperatures.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN ACTIVITIES Since the beginning of Industrial revolution around 1750, three human activities have emitted significant amount of greenhouse gases into troposhere: USE OF FOSSIL FUEL : releases large amt of CO 2 and CH 4 into Troposhere. DEFORESTATION, CLEARING & BURNING OF GRASSLANDS TO RAISE CROPS: release CO 2 & N 2 O. RICE CULTIVATION IN PADDIES & USE OF INORGANIC FERTILIZERS: release N 2 O and CH 4
It is believed that increased inputs of CO 2 into the atmosphere from human activities will enhance the earth’s natural greenhouse effect and raise the average global temperature of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface. This enhanced greenhouse effect is called as GLOBAL WARMING
Fact Sheet FACTS ABOUT INDIA AND CLIMATE CHANGE 01. A one-meter rise in sea level could displace millions of people in India, a country with a coast line of several thousand miles. 02. Annual coal consumption in India has more than tripled since 1980. 03. According to research carried out at Oxford University, the total number of flood zone refugees in India alone could reach anywhere between 20 and 60 million. Sea level rises could also prompt an influx of millions of refugees from Bangladesh.
04. According to the World Bank, India’s carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 88 percent since 1990. 05. Per capita carbon dioxide emissions in India are relatively low. The average Indian is responsible for roughly six percent of the CO2 emitted by the average citizen from the United States. 06. The International Energy Agency expects Indian national energy consumption to more than double from 2002 levels by the year 2020, increasing from 116 to 252 Gigawatts. 07. According to Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy the renewable power capacity was around 8 Gigawatts at the end of March 2006, roughly 6.5 percent of the total power generation capacity
Impact on Environment and Society
India is highly sensitive to climate change. The country faces more erratic monsoon patterns, more floods and droughts, and steadily shrinking Himalayan glaciers.
Monsoons and Floods
SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ABOUT FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGES Most of the world’s climate scientists have come to 2 major conclusions:
There will be significant increase in emissions of CO 2, CH 4 and N 2 O during 21 st century.
Such increases are very likely to enhance the earth’s natural greenhouse effect.
Largest temperature changes would take place at poles resulting in melting of glaciers.
Wildfires in forests & grasslands, trees death and increased diseases caused by pests which thrive in warmer areas.
Rise in global sea level, because water expands slightly when heated. The high projected sea level of about 88 cm would threaten half of the world’s coastal estuaries, wetlands, coral reefs and marine fisheries.
Meanwhile permafrost is on the retreat. Since 1900, the seasonally frozen ground in the Northern Hemisphere has shrunken by some 7 percent. This has freed large amounts of methane, another potent greenhouse gas.
On the other hand, dry spells are more frequent in the Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa and parts of southern Asia.
There are 4 schools of thought :
Do more research before acting
Do Nothing: few scientists contend that climate change from human activity isn’t a threat rather just a media hoax.
Act now to reduce the risks from climatic changes: to adopt precautionary strategy.
Act now as part of a no-regrets strategies
Use plants such as switch grass to remove CO 2 from air & deposit in the soil.
Reduce the release of CO 2 & NO 2 from soil.
Increase use of no-till cultivation to reduce soil erosion.
To retire depleted crop fields & leave them untouched for 10 years as conservation reserves.
Kyoto Treaty :
Dec, 1997, more than 2200 delegates from 161 nations met in Kyoto, Japan.
focused on slowing Global Warming.
Treaty would require 38 nations to cut greenhouse emissions to an avg of 5.2%.
Chinese Progress :
China, world’s 3 rd largest CO 2 emitter is improving energy efficiency.
using renewable energy.
In 2001, China reduced its CO 2 emissions by 17% b/w 1997 to 2000.
Australia & US :
both have not signed the treaty.
yet, they are continuously omitting greenhouse emissions.
local governments in more than 500 cities in the world have established programs to reduce greenhouse emission.
in 2002, California became the first state to require reduction in CO 2 emissions from motor vehicles beginning in 2009.
the 8 th session of the conferences of the parties (COP-8) to the UN convention on climate change (Oct 23 to Nov 01, 2001), Delhi ended with a ended with a Delhi Agreement which successfully resolved the technical parameters for implementation of Kyoto Protocol.
the Bali conference on climate change (Dec 2007) showed all the countries the way forward to the next phase of campaign to control earth’s changing climate.
the Bangkok meeting (March 2008) was the beginning of new processes, which is scheduled to end in Dec 2009 at Copenhagen (Denmark).
Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the developing countries committed themselves to halving consumption and production of CFCs by 2005 and to achieve an 85% cut by 2007.
the attempt is being made to adopt technologies which would help to reduce energy and are non polluting like: