Whatare the causes and consequences of rising carbon dioxide levels,Should we be concerned?
Carbondioxide gas is released when there is combustion of solid wastes. Thegas is an integral part of the carbon cycle and plants use it tosynthesize carbohydrates. The new millennium has witnessed asignificant rise in carbon dioxide levels globally. According to areputable organization such as the EPA, the present levels of carbondioxide is the highest ever recorded in the past 800,000 years (USEPA,2016). Additionally, the concentration of the gas has increased bymore than 40% after the industrial revolution. As these figurescontinue to rise, it is evident that impacts of its accumulation inthe atmosphere are disastrous and effective measures need to beimplemented to save humanity. This essay discusses causes, effects,and highlight reasons for concern for the Increasing carbon dioxidelevel.
Causesof rising carbon dioxide can be attributed to both human and naturalsources. Research shows that combustion of fossil fuel produces about87% of CO2emissions(Hansen, Sato, Russell, & Kharecha, 2013). In the modern society,fossil fuel is used in planes, industrial facilities and power plantamong others. Another example of human-made pollutants includes theelectric sector where carbon-intensive fossils are used as fuel. Someof the biggest emitters include Japan, China, Russia and the UK amongothers (Pradier & Pradier, 2014). Other examples of human causesinclude industries and the industrial sector.
Naturalsources which cause Carbon dioxide levels increase include emissionsfrom the earth`s ocean, plants and animals, volcanoes and soil amongothers. Oxygen released here is part of the carbon cycle. Studiessuggest that ocean-atmospheric changes are the largest natural sourceof CO2emissions(Shakun et al. 2012). This is because the ocean contains dissolvednatural CO2which is released into the atmosphere. This process is believed tohave created and stopped about 330 billion tons of emissions. Thereare other natural sources such as plant and animal inspirations,decomposition, soil and respiration. The increase of CO2has life-threatening consequences.
Oneof the major effects of the rising carbon dioxide gas is thegreenhouse effect. Accumulation of high amounts of carbon dioxide inthe earth surface causes temperature rise because much of the heatproduced as a result of radiations from the sun is retained (Hansen,Sato, Russell, & Kharecha, 2013). The long-term effect of this isthat it is likely to cause significant temperature changes and thismay lead to the rise in ocean water level and disrupt humanactivities. It may also cause evolutional changes in that someorganisms may be forced to change their hibernation and eatingpatterns among others.
Increasedcarbon dioxide level affects human waters because as temperaturerises, glaciers, and ice sheets that are located in the South andNorth Poles melt at a rapid rate and this results in the release ofmore water downstream. The long-term effect of this is environmentalchanges in that it promotes soils erosion and flooding in mountainousareas and the destruction of farms and other agricultural products.Melting of glaciers and ice sheets have caused significantenvironmental damages in developing countries because they havechanged weather patterns and caused frequent and unpredicted floods(Shakun et al. 2012).
Itis evident that everyone should be concerned about the rising carbondioxide levels in the atmosphere. This is because as the gas continueto accumulate on the earth`s surface, human beings and otherorganisms are being exposed to more harms such as global warming,adverse environmental changes, disruptions of human water andevolutionary changes in some animals. Governments, environmentalorganizations and individuals must show concern and implementpolicies that will reduce CO2accumulation because, with the current rates, lives are at stake.
Hansen,J., Sato, M., Russell, G., & Kharecha, P. (2013). Climatesensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Phil.Trans. R. Soc. A, 371(2001).
Pradier,J. P., & Pradier, C. M. (Eds.). (2014). Carbondioxide chemistry: environmental issues.Elsevier.
Shakun,J. D., Clark, P. U., He, F., Marcott, S. A., Mix, A. C., Liu, Z., &Bard, E. (2012). Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxideconcentrations during the last deglaciation. Nature, 484(7392),49-54.
USEPA.(2016). GlobalGreenhouse Gas Emissions Data | Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions |Epa.gov.Retrieved fromhttps://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data