The causes of global warming are often spoken of, and fiercely debated over, in the mainstream media. It’s led to a lot of confusion, though, which has led to a lot of fiery arguments and vitriol over issues which may not even exist. With the results of global warming becoming more apparent in the form of our strange and evermore unpredictable weather patterns, it’s more important than ever to learn about what causes global warming. Read on to discover what are widely accepted as causes of this problem.
When somebody asks what causes global warming, the first answer they receive is emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The world is highly dependent on coal and oil for its energy needs. During the conversion processes, CO2 is released into the atmosphere, which contributes to the greenhouse effect. 40% of CO2 emissions in the U.S. are now from the creation of electricity. If you want a simple description of what the greenhouse effect is, check out this resource: weatherquestions.com
The only things causing more CO2 emissions than creating electricity are vehicles. 33% of emissions in the U.S. now come from transportation. Ironically, a lot of this is spent on transporting fossil fuels to make more electricity, and subsequently more emissions. The results of global warming are coming as a major result of the fuel used in our cars.
Did you know that farting is one of the contributors to global warming? Methane is created through biological processes where organic substances are broken down in anaerobic conditions (without oxygen). This is expelled as air from our bottoms (yes – girls, we all do it). More so though, herbivores such as cattle, are releasing higher quantities of methane into the air. Methane ranks just behind CO2 and is one of the major contributors to the greenhouse effect. Rice paddies, cows, and we ourselves are all the causes of global warming. If you are a vegan and eat a lot of rice and lentils, YOU are a culprit – tee hee!
The more we clear huge areas of forest and chop down trees, the more carbon dioxide we are reducing. Deforestation is one of the reasons for global warming not only because of the use of the fuel needed to knock the trees down, it’s also because trees trap and store carbon dioxide. If we continue mass deforestation, our CO2 levels will continue to rise.
The main fertilizers we use today are nitrogen-based. Sadly, they help trap heat 300 times more effectively than CO2. As we use more fertilizer, the heat remains in the atmosphere and heats up the planet. It also causes global sea levels to rise, helping the polar icecaps to melt. Fertilizer run off isn’t good for our marine life either.
With all of our natural processes and the expansion of the earth’s population, less permafrost exists on the earth, as more areas of tundra are developed upon or mined. Permafrost is trapping millions of tons of greenhouse gases all around the world. As permafrost thaws the gases are released and it becomes one of the causes of global warming, which will become more prominent as the world continues to heat up.
We toss countless tons of garbage into landfills every year. When it’s left to rot, it decomposes. Nitrogen and methane are two harmful gases released into the atmosphere. Poisonous chemicals also seep into our water tables. When the results of global warming begin to manifest themselves worldwide, even more than currently, we are going to have to see more recycling and massive waste cuts if we are to save the planet.
Volcanoes almost never come up in discussions about what causes global warming. We can’t do anything about them, but they release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Before mass industrialization it wasn’t a problem – most volcanic eruptions had negligible effects. However, now it’s essentially adding fuel to a continually burning fire.
Ironically, drilling for oil to meet the world’s energy needs is harming more than helping. It accounts for over 30% of the world’s methane pollution as large amounts of gas held in the earth begins to be released. Sooner or later, the consequences of our mass drilling are going to be felt.
On land, drilling for natural gas is doing the same thing as oil. It’s causing so many problems because new techniques are being developed to unveil more gas, yet they are no cleaner than before. As we begin to lose oil and become more dependent on natural gas, the problems for the environment are going to multiply.
We have answered some of what causes global warming. What we haven’t talked about are the results of global warming and what we are supposed to do about it. The causes of global warming are a real problem and most people on the planet know we are not doing enough. It requires the input of everybody to solve the problem. What have you been doing to combat global warming?
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