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Global Climate Change Case Study Analysis

Essay by   •  February 21, 2011  •  Case Study  •  983 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,439 Views

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One atmospheric phenomenon that enables the Earth to sustain life is known as the "greenhouse effect." However, vital this effect is for human life, it may also be what eventually causes the next ice age, bringing all life to an end. About half of all solar radiation reaches the earth's surface. The other half, is either returned back in the form of heat, or is used for such things as photosynthesis, changed to heat energy, then sent back into the atmosphere. Gases such as carbon dioxide hold onto heat, in turn, warming the earth's surface. Without this, the earth's temperature would drop dramatically, and life here on Earth would not be sustained. The greenhouse effect seems like a good thing; however, the problem is that man has increased these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing the balance of energy, incoming and outgoing, to become disturbed.

Background

Global warming can be defined as the increase in average temperature of the Earth's near surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. (Wikipedia, 2007) Global warming is closely correlated with the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This increase in global temperature will eventually have extreme repercussions on the earth.

Greenhouse gases are the gases, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere which hold heat, contributing to the greenhouse effect. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally, while others result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. (Wikipedia, 2007) By man made means, these greenhouse gases have become excessive in our atmosphere. This will cause the earth to over heat, which will lead to problems that will lead to the end of the Northern Hemisphere.

Key Problems

With the increase of global warming, Earth can expect consequences such as flooding in costal areas due to melting glaciers causing the sea level to rise, an increase in storms, droughts and heat waves, changes in precipitation and even an increase in tropical diseases. The human race can prevent all these situations from occurring, but it needs to be done quickly.

Alternatives

With such a major worldwide problem as excessive global warming, only so much can be done to put it to an end. Four of the best solutions would be Making a Market for Climate Protection, Adaptation and Innovation, The Manhattan Project Approach, and International Agreements. (Watersheds - Of Greenhouses and Freezers)

The first approach, Making a market for Climate Protection, works on a building a regulatory system, with a bottom-up perspective. This approach incorporates the liberty of individuals and instead of using the government authority to create laws or rules, it educates the world on the global warming problem and its solutions.

The second solution, Adaptation and Innovation, provides motivation for industries to provide help with solving the problem of global warming. For example, allowing a certain industry to continue using the same amount of emissions, if they will agree to pay Bolivia to save a portion of their rainforest, in order to balance out the carbon in the atmosphere. (Watersheds 4, 2006)

The third approach to the problem, The Manhattan Project, the problem is seem as man made, which can only be mended by human means as well. Humans will have to make sacrifices such as smaller cars such as hybrids, smaller homes, and recycling and conservation will have to become routine. However, initiatives will have to be given for humans to perform these acts willingly. Taxes on products such as carbon should be rated, causing humans to purchase smaller homes, in the hopes of spending less to insulate their homes,

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