How to Solve the Problem of Global Warming

Topics: Global warming, Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas Pages: 5 (1601 words) Published: October 21, 2008
After the horrible hurricane attacked the U.S.A, more and more people consider the environmental problems as the most serious problem which human beings have to face in the twenty-first century. If humans keep standing by from protecting nature, then global warming will be the natural consequence of their inaction. Accordingly, people must try to find some suitable ways to prevent this situation. Currently, the three most efficient solutions of this problem are a moratorium of deforestation, a universal carbon tax and international cooperation. Global warming is a tendency which there is an increase in earth’s surface temperature which is caused by excess greenhouse gas emissions. The phenomena of this problem are the change of global climate, the melting of ice cap and the increase in sea level. A research organization reported that “in the 20th century the average global surface temperature has increased by 0.6±0.2℃ and the average sea level has risen by 0.1 to 0.2 metres. Snow cover has decreased by 10 percent since the 1960s”(Gupta & Tol, 2003, p.19). After research, scientists discovered some causes of global warming. First, they found that burning of fossil fuels caused the rise in the release of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases include “Carbon dioxide (CO2)”, “Methane (CH4)”, “Nitrous oxide (N2O)”, “Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)”, “Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)” and “Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)”(KYOTO PROTOCOL, 1997, Annex A). The major element of greenhouse gases is the carbon dioxide. The fact is the carbon dioxide which is formed during the process of burning fossil fuels holds the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, so the temperature of earth’s surface keeps increasing. Another important reason for global warming is unlimited deforestation. The trees can separate the carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen during the process of photosynthesis when they are alive, but, more important, the subsoil of the forests contains a huge amount of carbon, and this carbon will form the carbon dioxide after people cut down the trees. The effect of carbon dioxide is that it will absorb the heat both from the earth’s surface and the sun, and then block and reflect heat to the earth’s surface. Consequently, the major reason of global warming is the carbon dioxide emission. Nowadays, global warming is becoming more and more serious. The debate around how to solve this problem eventually gets some solutions. There are three most efficient ways to solve the problem of global warming. The first one is a worldwide moratorium on deforestation. Effectively controlling use of forest and land is pertinent way to reduce releasing carbon dioxide, so it will efficiently limit the greenhouse effect which is caused by carbon dioxide emission. The “Terrestrial Carbon Sink” is a notion which can consider that the forests and soil can be storage of carbon. Carbon is a basic element in the nature which can be formed from CO2, CH4, HFCs and PFCs. These four compounds are included in greenhouse gases. This means if carbon can be stored by forests and soil, the greenhouse gases also will be controlled. Ierland (2003, p.161), a professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said that “Carbon sequestration and biomass offer the opportunity to slow down the increase in atmospheric [carbon dioxide] concentration considerably.” He also stated that “[i]t is possible to store up to about 1 to 2 Gt [carbon per year] in vegetation (especially trees) and soils of the terrestrial biosphere and related products.” Secondly, a universal carbon tax is another currently famous means which some countries use to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions. Limiting the emission of greenhouse gases by law set equally for all users worldwide. This would achieve a given reduction in the use of carbon at the lowest cost. For example, factories would get a fine if they released more carbon dioxide than the limited amount by law....

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