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Environmental Concerns

It has been observed in recent decades that there has been an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere as well as the oceans. This increase in temperature is known as global warming. According to scientists this warming is due to the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which is caused due to the activities of man himself. He burning of fossil fuels, cutting down trees and clearing land for agriculture etc is responsible for it. An increase in global temperature leads to many other environmental changes and concerns.

The sea level rises; there is a change in precipitation too. The changes can cause floods, heat waves, droughts, tornados, extreme weather climate, the spread of diseases etc. The reduction of the ozone layer is also attributed to it. Ecosystems may change, thus certain species may become extinct, while unwanted species may thrive. Global warming has also led to the negative glacier mass balance which has caused the glaciers to retreat. Certain glaciers which are in disequilibrium with the present climate have already disappeared. Of major concern are the glaciers found in the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas.

The melting of ice at the polar region may bring about ecological effects as the polar bears who use the sea to catch their prey may find it difficult to do so. Many polar bears have been found dead in the water due to drowning it is believed. It has been argued that a rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increase the efficiency of the metabolism of plants, thus more biomass is produced, which is the energy source of all living forms. This of course is unclear for plant growth can be limited by a number of factors like the fertility of soil, the temperature, water, the concentration of carbon dioxide etc.

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Action has been taken to reduce the global warming. Basically five are in use to mitigate it. Conservation of energy, the use of alternative energy sources instead of carbon-based fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration and plant engineering to cool the earth. This can be achieved by wind power, solar power, biodiesel, energy conservation etc. Individuals and groups are also working together to stop this global warming which causes so many environmental concerns. Nearer home we have the New Hampshire forest which is known for the beautiful maple trees.

Warmer winters are a threat to them as they cannot thrive on milder climate. The loss of these trees will hamper New Hampshire’s economy. Tourism will come to a stop and thousands will lose their jobs. Stonyfield Farm has recognized this problem and they have installed a 50 kilowatt solar energy system atop their 120,000 square foot manufacturing unit. As concerned citizens of the world we can join the Stop Global Warming Virtual March. Schools have taken up this issue and they are doing a marvelous job on it as well as inspiring others to be initiative too.

It is to be noted that the University of Texas at El Paso has switched over to energy efficient light bulbs and they expect to save about $200,000 every year. Even their air conditioners are put on efficient timers and they will be saving about $173,000 every year. The University of Florida at Gainville has made it mandatory that every new car purchased for the school would be fuel efficient.

These and a number of other ways can be employed to mitigate global warming and the various other environmental concerns associated with it or without. Sources: 1. www,StopGlobalWarming. org 2. www. wikipedia. com.

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