END OF THE WORLD

GLOBAL WARMING & POLLUTION

Effects on Environment

  • Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.
  • Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adélie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years.
  • Sea level rise became faster over the last century.
  • Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have moved farther north or to higher, cooler areas.
  • Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average.
  • Spruce bark beetles have boomed in Alaska thanks to 20 years of warm summers. The insects have chewed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.

EFFECTS ON HUMAN HEALTH


  • Rising temperatures have an effect on the health of humans and the diseases that they are exposed to. Human health will be affected. The world glimpsed this in 2003 when Europe was struck by heat waves and people died. Heat strokes are likely to increase as temperatures get hotter.
  • Diseases such as malaria are likely to spread. Parasites that originate in tropical regions may migrate to temperate regions as they become warmer. Mosquitoes are an example and it is predicted that malaria will spread around the world. It is also predicted that asthma will increase around the world as allergens that cause asthma will become more common.


10 THINGS TO DO TO REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING AND POLLUTION

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
  • Change a Light Bulb
  • Drive Less and Drive Smart
  • Buy Energy-Efficient Products
  • Use Less Hot Water
  • Use the "Off" Switch
  • Plant a Tree
  • Get a Report Card from Your Utility Company
  • Encourage Others to Conserve

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GLOBAL WARMING AND POLLUTION

The relationship is complicated. Global warming is usually attributed to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is not toxic to humans, and would only harm someone if it managed to displace oxygen in the air. Common air pollutants are particulate matter or ash, hydrocarbons, ozone, and NOx among others. CO2 is slightly over 80% of the greenhouse gas warming potential produced by the US, to put it in perspective. The relation between the two is more that both greenhouse gases and air pollutants tend to come from combustion. Reducing the amount of things combusted, or combusting them more efficiently and sometimes more cleanly will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

An interesting note: In the 70s, it was thought the Earth was cooling. The numbers supported this; it is often thought that the increase in air pollutants was managing to block sun from reaching the earth and warming the planet. As air pollutants have gone way down in western countries, more sun is hitting the earth, and we now seeing the earth warm up.