Historically, Pollution has been a local problem. Pollution not only affects humans but as well as rivers, lakes, bays, or the air in a city. According to the textbook by the name of Environmental Science: Toward a sustainable future ( Tenth Edition) written by Richard Wright, a Biology professor who teaches at Gordon College, he states in the following statements below that, “ Scientist are analyzing the pollution on a global scale. Global climate change is due to carbon dioxide (C02), an unavoidable by- product of burning fossil fuels which are oil, coal, and natural gas.” This is related to Global Warming. Referring to this trend, the third report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC), released in 2000, stated that “anthropogenic greenhouse gases (those due to human activities) have contributed due to the observed warming over the last fifty years.” These patterns continue today which is why certain action is coming into effect to help reduce the problems that Global Warming causes.
Global Warming is a popular term used to describe the increase in average global temperatures. Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the lower atmosphere, along with nitrogen and oxygen. Carbon dioxide gas helps to bring incoming light from the sun, but observed infrared (heat) energy radiated from the Earth's surface, slowing the loss of this energy to space. The absorption of infrared energy caused by carbon dioxide warms the lower atmosphere by the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the process by which atmospheric gases traps and return a major portion of the heat (infrared radiation) radiated by the Earth. Then we have another term which is known as enhanced greenhouse effect which refers to the process by which atmospheric gases trap and return more than eighty- percent of the heat radiated by the Earth. Greenhouse gases contribute to Global Warming. Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared energy contribute to the air temperature. These gases are like a heat blanket and are important in insulating Earth's surface. These greenhouse gases includes: carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other halocarbons. Light energy comes through the atmosphere to the Earth and is then converted to heat energy at the planet's surface. The infrared heat energy radiates back upward through the atmosphere and into space. The greenhouse gases are located in the troposphere. The troposphere is located right above the region of the atmosphere that lies directly above the surface of the Earth. The greenhouse gases that are located in the troposphere absorb some of the infrared radiation and then it is radiated back toward the surface. This same concept was stated before, the greenhouse gases are like a heat blanket, insulating Earth and delaying the less of infrared energy (heat) to space. Without insulation, average surface temperatures on Earth would be about negative nineteen degree Celsius instead of positive fourteen degree Celsius and life as we know would be impossible. Therefore, our global climate depends on Earth's concentrations of Greenhouse gases.
The clouds cover fifty percent of the Earth's surface and reflect twenty one percent of solar radiation away to space before it ever reaches the ground.
Many activities can lead to planetary cooling that affects the temperature which is part of the Global Warming process. Volcanic activity can also lead to planetary cooling. When Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, some twenty million tons of particles and aerosols entered the atmosphere and contributed to a significant drop in global temperature as radiation was reflected and scattered away. The global cooling effect lasted until the volcanic debris was finally cleansed from the atmosphere by chemical change.
Smoke and haze from all sources may be clouding our view of global warming. Aerosols are a complex group of materials that include dust, sea salt, smoke, carbon, and compounds containing nitrogen and sulfur.
During the twentieth century, worldwide population increased from two billion people to approximately six billion. By January 2006, approximately 6.5 billion people inhabited our world. The increased numbers of people translate into increased energy use and greater greenhouse gas emissions through fossil fuels. A low end projection assumed a world population in the year 2100 of 6.4 billion and an annual economic growth rate of 1.2%.
Climate scientist call both natural and anthropogenic causes by the term forcing, factors that affect the annual global mean surface temperature.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, report states that the scientific evidence for Global Warming was unequivocal and that human activity is the main driver. “Temperatures are warming, and they've been warming over the past century,” said Jay Lawrimore, head of the climate-monitoring branch at National Climatic Data Center.
The following table created by the IPCC is states the conclusion for this century. This table was also shown in the textbook named Chemistry in Context: applying chemistry to society (sixth edition) written by Lucy Pryde Eubanks.
Table 3.4 Judgmental Estimates of Confidence
Term Probability That a Result is True
Virtually certain > 99%
Very likely 90-99%
Medium likelihood 33-66%
Very unlikely 1-10%
Source: Summary for Policymakers, a Report of Working 1 of the IPCC.
Shanghai: IPCC, January 1, 2001