Global warming

general texts related to global warming (causes, effects, mitigation)

Stopping global warming is risk management

The issue with stopping or reducing global warming is about risk and managing risk: Science still does not know the exact mechanism by which smoking and its associated chemicals causes cancer. What we do know is that smoking is the biggest risk factor in developing lung cancer. The more you smoke, the more your risk of getting lung cancer. Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not everyone who gets lung cancer has smoked.

Are cows the cause of global warming?

A cow does on overage release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). But the negative effect on the climate of Methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. Therefore the release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2'300 kg CO2 per year.

Europeans attitude towards the environment

Summary of Eurobarometer survey published on March 13, 2008. The report shows that Europeans are increasingly aware of the role played by the environment in their daily lives. More than 95% of European citizens feel that it is important to protect the environment. Some 80% also feel it influences their quality of life and consider that they have a role to play in protecting it. Climate change (global warming) tops the list of Europeans' environmental concerns, followed by pollution and man-made disasters.

A majority are also uneasy about the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture.

Water scarcity and global warming

With continued population growth, increased per capita consumption, and anticipated climate change, the global water situation appears bleak. Since water scarcity is a highly localized issue determined by regional climatic and demographic factors, a single solution will not solve all of the world's water scarcity problems.

However, improved management, more water efficient technologies, and support for the world's most vulnerable countries and ecosystems will likely play leading roles. According to the UN-backed World Commission on Water, coping with water scarcity will require global investment of $100 billion per year. Willingness to invest this sum will be vital to the future of human well-being and economic development in all countries of the world.

Investments in sustainable energies

Invest in renewable energies - not in fossile «Aiding oil, harming the climate» is a new report from the organisation "Oil Change International", which shows dramatically that the major investments still go into the oil, gas and coal sector instead of renewable energies. For more than 25 years, wealthy countries have been using aid and other foreign assistance to subsidize the expansion of the international oil industry, a practice known as “Oil Aid”. It is impossible to actively subsidize the expansion of the oil industry and effectively fight global warming at the same time.

CO2 concentration causing global temperature increase

There is no doubt any more: In order to mitigate global warming, the emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced, the sooner the better. This will then lead to a stabilization of the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere - and in the very long term hopefully to a decrease of its concentration.The level at which the greenhouse gas concentration gets stabilized does determine the warming effect, i.e. the temperature increase.

The following graph shows the relation between the greenhouse gas concentration (expressed as CO2-equivalents) and the resulting average global temperature increase on the surface.

Climate Change: 4th report of IPCC

Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases. Warming of the climate system is undeniable, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.

The following is an excerpt and summary of the 4th report from the Intergovernmental panel of Climate change (IPCC) about the causes and effects of global warming.

The effects of global warming by region

A further IPCC report on predicted effects of climate change by geographical regions (Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, North America, Polar regions, small islands) has been released in November 2007. This report does confirm the cause and effects of climate change, which have already been know for years. They also basically confirm their projections about likely regional effects of global warming in their report of April 2007.

Radiation wavelength and greenhouse effect

This article tries to answer a question about the greenhouse effect: "Greenhouse gases prevent the infrared rays from leaving the Earth's atmosphere, but why do they not prevent additional solar radiation from entering the atmosphere?"

The key is the different wavelength (or different frequency) of solar light and infrared light. Let's have a look at the greenhouse effect (see also the graph about radion transmitted by atmosphere below):

CO2 emissions for shipping of goods

Globalization makes it easy to send goods around the world. The cost for shipping goods has never been as low as now. However, the choice of the means of transportation does severely influence the amount of CO2 emitted for the transportation of goods.
The following table shows the amount of CO2 (in grams) emitted per metric ton of freight and per km of transportation:
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