Geology Paper on Climate Change

Climate Change

Natural versus Anthropogenic Climate Changes

Climate change is the shift in the long-term regional or global climate patterns for either the variation in the weather time or the average weather conditions. Natural climate change refers to the climate variations resulted from different natural factors. Some of the examples that escalate the natural climate change include the orbital changes, solar radiation variation, volcanic eruptions, crustal plate movement, or El Nino southern oscillations (NASA, 2016). Among these natural factors, the changes in the volcanic activities and the solar radiation are relevant to the contemporary climate change timescales. Regarding balancing the atmospheric patterns and the earth’s energy, these activities significantly influence the magnitude of incoming energy.  The volcanic eruptions are sporadic, and their effects on the climate last relatively for a short period. The increase in the solar radiation intensity has altered the trends of the climate, the inception of the industrial revolution and the greenhouse gases have affected the atmosphere as well as the output of the sun.

On the other hand, anthropogenic climate change is the production of greenhouse gasses emitted as a result of human activities. Through the polar ice cores examination, the scientists have proven that the human activities have greatly increased the proportion of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere (Rahmstorf, 2008). The human activities lead to the emission of greenhouse gases like methane, carbon dioxide, halocarbons, and nitrous oxide. The most potent human activity that leads to the anthropogenic climate change is the burning of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. These gases affect the climate patterns by perturbing the balancing factors of earth’s energy such as  the absorption of solar radiation and the emission of thermal radiation, this change in the atmospheric properties leads to the cooling or warming of the climate system.

Global Warming

Global warming refers to the progressive increase in the standard temperature of the earth’s climate. This increasing trend  in temperature permanently changes the atmospheric conditions of oceans and natural environments.  Though it is arguable whether the earth is experiencing the global warming severely or not, the scientists relay some scientific data and facts to prove that it is real (LiveScience, 2016).  The most real way to detect the increasing temperatures around the globe is through some thermometric recordings done for about one hundred and fifty years.  Over the last century, the average temperature of the earth has raised by more than one degree Fahrenheit (0.8 °C) and almost twice that in some Arctic parts (Fowler, 2012).  Though it is not possible to reserve the recordings of the previous years on the thermometers, the kept records help in figuring out the nature of the concentrations and temperatures in the past.

Another indication of global warming is the changes in trees. Trees form new rings and grow thicker yearly when the climate is wetter and warmer in a certain year.  By looking at the old trees and the wood produced from them, one can tell the conditions of the earth in the past years. Similarly, the effects of global warming are witnessed in various parts of the globe such as the United States.  For instance, in 2002, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon experienced the detrimental wildfire seasons (Crouch, 2002). In the same year, the U.S. citizens witnessed the dangerous dust storms in Montana, Texas, and North Dakota due to severe drought conditions. Likewise, since the 1950s there has been a decline in the snow accumulation by sixty percent and in some areas of Washington and Oregon, the seasons for winter have become shorter. According to Pierre-Louis (2016), the extreme global warming impacted the terrible heat waves in Europe in 2003 and led to massive deaths.

Current Global Warming Mitigation Strategies

Though there exist various adverse effects of global warming, the scientists have addressed this imperative issue with dire concerns.  Coal is the most pollutant and dirtiest fossil fuel and when it is burned, it emits harmful gasses that lead to the global warming, the formation of acidic rain, and water pollution. However, it generates most of the electric energy in America, and perhaps it will continue as long as its supply is abundant and cheap. The  Department of Energy of the United States conducts the clean coal technology research to reduce the detrimental environmental effects of coal by applying multiple strategies to reduce the carbon emissions. The technology does not release CO2 into the atmosphere but uses the carbon capture and storage system to accumulate the gas. After concentrating the gas, the system direct it to a permanent underground storage in the formation of natural geologic (U.S. Department of Energy).  The first clean coal power plant around the globe was announced in Spremberg, Germany in September 2008 (Edwards, 2008). Nevertheless, the coal-based electricity generation sector is currently making efforts to develop the advanced clean coal technologies. The governments have already invested more than twelve billion dollars in the clean coal project, and other environmental improvement projects are underway.

Notably, the highway vehicles emit around 1.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the air yearly mainly in the form CO2 (Karoly, 2012). Each gasoline gallon burnt by a particular vehicle releases twenty pounds of carbon dioxide and its value is around five to nine tons yearly.  However, the new fuel efficiency plan will roughly increase the effectiveness of the cars by double, and 35.5 mpg by the end of 2016 and averagely 54.5 mpg by 2025. The set standards aim at curbing the emission of the greenhouse gases by vehicles. Hopefully, by 2025 the savings of fuel over the lifetime of a particular vehicle will be eight thousand dollars. Thus, the new approach can save over $1.7 trillion in fuel costs as well as reduce twelve billion in overall oil consumption.

Proposed Policy Changes in The Stabilization of Global Climate

The geologists have commercially explored a fossil fuel like crude oil in various parts of the world, and the dynamic factors like economic, political and ecology regulate its continuous supply.  Whereas the factors conspire to develop an uncertain climate that generates high fuel prices, the environmental politics are demanding limitation in the greenhouse gas emission.  Some of the ways to reduce the use of fossil fuel are to minimize the use of natural resources and maximize the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.  The fossil fuel mainly supplies the global energy matrix, thus reducing the consumption by energy efficiency and the greenhouse gas emission (Blumberga et al. 2011). Moreover, a proper education is required to increase the energy efficiency in the areas like buildings, transport, and production sectors. If the use of fossil fuel is reduced, the automobile industry will be greatly affected. A country like America has had a long search for the ways of getting alternative fossil fuels for the production of electricity.  Many nations use fossil fuel sources like natural gas, coal, and oil to generate the electric power. But with the alternate sources for generation of electrical energy, the countries would import lesser amounts of these fossil fuels, thus not exhausting the limited resources



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