Carbon Dioxide: a Ticking Time Bomb

Scientists have found that the surface temperature of the Earth was slowly growing. It is called global warming. Now we know that global warming is growing because of the gases entering the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and other gases are the components of the earth’s surface atmosphere. It is heated by solar energy and it is very important because it keeps our planet habitable. Combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, gas or petroleum increase amount of carbon dioxide and other gases such as nitrous oxide and methane in a geometric progression. It can lead to the global increase in average temperature. The elevated temperature will affect the lives of people, animals and birds in a terrible way.

The effects of global warming can be traced on the whole planet. High temperatures, intense floods, cyclones and reducing yields are signs of global warming. Arctic and Antarctic first felt the negative effects of global warming. Any change in the environmental conditions in the Polar Regions would affect the conditions in other parts of the world. Water and soil are able to absorb more heat than ice or snow which can result in their heating.

Over the past few decades people have cut a lot of wood. Trees use carbon dioxide for their own food.  The fewer forests are the less carbon dioxide is recovered from the atmosphere. Carbon and methane are two major greenhouse gases that cause global warming. During the last fifty years the temperature in Western Canada, Alaska and eastern Russia has increased for 4 degrees by Celsius. Decrease in the polar ice caps will result seal disappearing. “Globally, unsustainable logging and other practices contribute to deforestation, which is responsible for 20 to 25 per cent of the total global carbon-emissions annually” (Inness, 2006). This will negatively affect the lives of people of that area because they use seals as food.

Temperature increases can affect different processes on the earth. A lot of our land cultivation will turn into barren lands and some area will be damages by soil erosion. Drying of our water resources and polluted water will become a common phenomenon. Climate change can affect the plants and animals in a number of ways.

The article published in the journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences informs about the following: “Scientists proved that an increase atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration raises the temperature of the climate because of the greenhouse effect and the reduced ability of plants, also chill the air through evaporation from the surface of its leaves” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011).

The authors of this research are sure that the discovered phenomenon brings substantial amendments to the forecasts of global warming. They suggests that current expectations relative to the magnitude climatologists to global warming in the twenty-first century can be significantly underestimated.

The co-author Ken Caldeira (2010) of the publication of the Carnegie Institute in the United States asserts:  “The mechanism of the influence of plants on the climate is very complicated. Plants take CO2 from the atmosphere, but at the same time, it controls the level of water evaporation from the land surface. Make detailed climate forecasts without a mutual account these factors is impossible” (p.135)

However, long time ago scientists noticed that a  big quantity of CO2 in the air narrow pores of leaves in order to limit the amount of carbon dioxide that plants use for growth. “The Canadian Boreal Initiative/Pembina Institute report, "Counting Canada’s Natural Capital," indicates that Canada’s boreal forests store about 67 million tonnes of carbon -- roughly 10 times the total global carbon emissions from burning oil and coal” (Innes, 2006). (It leads to deceleration of evaporation and decrease in efficiency of “natural air conditioning” in forests. (Geophysical Research, 1981).

In his work, Caldeira tried to consider the direct influence of CO2 on plants and determine the climate impact with an increase atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration twice compared with the current value. Scientists discovered that this effect influences on 16% of the total global warming above land, while the remaining 84% are from the greenhouse effect. At the mean time that figure reaches 25% in some regions of the Earth such as East Asia and North America.

“It shows that plants’ response to changes of carbon dioxide concentration is very important for true climate predictions. Moreover, these predictions depend on the kind of vegetation that encloses land in a particular region of the Earth. We should have very great care to intervene in ecosystems and woods as this could carry serious climatic consequences” - summed Caldeira (2010).

Thus, carbon dioxide has a great impact on global warming. Big rain, flooding and sea level will drown agricultural regions around the world, leading to lower productivity and food shortages. Such countries as France and Spain will suffer more from heat and become uninhabitable. Global warming may increase forest fires and can lead to poor yields of forest products and influence the availability and quality of the food we eat, the quality the air we breathe and the existence of humanity at all. The global warming affects the physical environment, economic and social aspects. Many government leaders have begun to implement legislation to decrease causes of global warming. It is very important and we need to protect the world we live in order to give an opportunity to live for our children.


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