Nowadays, the earth is presenting drastic changes. There are different factors that have influenced to provoke these changes. The man is one if not the main responsible. With the modern world and its speed in which life is developed everyday, the man may not sometimes think of a long-term harm that is provoking. It has been recognized that human activity is slowly increasing the atmospheric concentration of several gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the colloquial term to refer to enhanced global warming. The green house effect is what keeps the earth habitable, without the greenhouse effect the temperatures would be too cold for human live.
Over the past 100 years, global temperatures have increased by about one degree Fahrenheit, with the 1990s to date the warmest decade on record, according to NASAS Goddard Institute for Space Studies (1) Scientists predict that, unless greenhouse gases emissions are reduced substantially,
Earth s average global temperature will rise by two to six degrees by the next century. Since people are causing global warming, they can also prevent it from getting worse or to stop it at all. To prevent global warming we must reduce usage of greenhouse gases emissions.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a vital source to the greenhouse effect. Humans have made buildings and machines that release CO2 into the air. Large amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere causes more heat to be kept in, causing global warming. Several scientists agree that our energy using system is one of the main CO2 producers because it comes from coal fired power stations. We need to improve our inefficient use of energy, our choices about
when and how to use energy. According to scientists we can improve energy efficiency by the following household advices:
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Buying energy-efficient appliances, such as, refrigerators, freezers, stove.
- Replace your 3 most-used light bulbs with compact fluorescents. If every American home took this step, it would reduce this country s CO2 emissions by about 1%.
- Weatherize your home or apartment. Seal drafts around windows and doors to avoid escapes. Make sure that your house has adequate insulation.
- Ask your local electric or gas utility perform an energy audit of your house or apartment.
Then put them the recommendations into practice.(2)
Methane (CH4) is second only to CO2, as a contributor to global warming. Since CH4 has 25 times the heat trapping capability of CO2, and since CH4 production is directly related to population growth, CH4 is a serious contributor to the greenhouse effect. The main CH4 releasers are the garbage landfills. Scientists have suggest that we should reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, so less CH4 is produced from decomposing garbage.
Some methods that we use to lessen the production of garbage could be the 3 Rs which consist of reduce, reuse, and recycle, or by composting.
The 3 Rs method (3): Reduce: Source reduction, often called waste prevention, means consuming and throwing away less. Source reduction includes purchasing durable, long-lasting goods and seeking products and packaging that are free toxic as possible.
Reuse: Reusing items by repairing them, donating them to charity and community groups, or selling them also reduce waste. Some ways to reuse would be, using durable coffee mugs, using cloth napkins or towels, refilling bottles, reusing boxes, turning empty jars into containers for leftover food. Recycle: Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources and generates a host of environmental, financial, and social benefits. After collection, materials (glass, metal, plastic, and paper) are separated and sent to facilities that can process them into new material products.
Composting: Is the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter, such as food and yard wastes, into humus a soil-like material. Some advantages of composting are like, keeping organic wastes out of landfills, provides nutrients to soil, reduces the need of fertilizers and pesticides, assists pollution remediation. The third main gas emitted that affects the greenhouse effect is the Nitrous oxide (N2O). The exhaust from the cars emits this gas. People can limit their use of their cars to reduce production of N2O from car exhaust. Some reliable tips to reduce the use of cars are (4):
- Do not use your car for short journeys.
- Next time you buy a car, buy a fuel efficient one, such as a diesel engine.
- Instead of driving alone in your car, join a carpool, take mass transit, walk, or ride a bike; anything that reduces the amount of gasoline you burn.
We can improve in several areas of our daily journey to reduce the production of the greenhouse gases. Therefore we can stop global warming. Scientists tell us that the consequences of global warming from the emission of greenhouse effect gases are serious, and will have an increasingly harmful effect on the planet and the way we live. But they also tell us that changing our behavior in key areas and learning new ways of doing things will minimize those consequences. We can help by choosing efficient ways of saving energy such as, turning the lights of when one leaves a room or asking for advice to a local utility. Also by us learning how to reuse, reduce, and recycle and the importance of composting. And when we can reduce the use of ours cars, by carpooling or using public transportation. There is something the each of us can do and if we really care we can start from today.