In a February 2007 report by the world’s foremost authority on climate change – the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In their first of six reports, the IPCC has this to say ” fossil fuel pollution would raise temperature this century, worsen floods, droughts, hurricanes, melt polar ice and damage the climate system for a thousand years.”
The report also confirmed that man is ninety percent to blame. ” His burning of oil, coal and natural gas in factories and industrial plants since the industrial revolution (1880s) induces the earth to heat up.
These fossil fuels release carbon into the air, creating an invisible greenhouse gases that pollutes the upper atmosphere, lock the heat inside, and thus radiate this heat back to earth.
Carbon dioxide (CO2), which account for sixty percent of the greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere by industry, cars, agriculture and deforestation. In its natural state, CO2 is produced by volcanic eruptions, forest fire and decaying plants.
Methane (CH4) or marsh gas accounts for twenty percent but a higher warming impact than CO2. It is emitted by decomposing garbage and agricultural wastes, leaks in coal mining and natural gas production. Methane is used in cooking, heating, and in producing methyl alcohol, methylene chloride, ammonia, acetylene and formaldehyde.
Nitrous oxide is emitted from nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, biomass burning, combustion process in cars, and in producing nitric acid.
Directly, manufactured by man are droflourocarbons (CFCs) and penflourcarbons used as refrigerants and coolants as well as the freon in refrigerators, and air conditioners CFCs are 15000 times more efficient than CO2 in warming the air.
Today’s annual global emission of carbon dioxide has reached to 28 billion metric tons, a 30 percent increase since 1800s. Scientists warned a doubling in the next 50 years could raise temperature between 1.0 and 8.0 degrees centigrade ( or 33.8 – 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit ) ”
For island nations at or near the equator, the worst case scenario could occur when seawater rises due to the melting of polar ice caps. Lands below sea level would be gobbled up by water resulting in loss of many lives and creating a nightmarish environmental refugee problem.
The fight against global warming, however, should not be left to government and scientists alone. With earth’s four billion people, everyone can do his or her share in fighting against global warming.