Global warming designate the worldwide phenomenon of rising temperature in the air and oceans. Studied since our 20th century, this change is mainly due to the high trapped quantity of heat at the terrestrial surface.This is provoked by the emissions of greenhouse gaz (CO2, and others).
Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are either natural or anthropic (due to human activity). Natural emissions are ones from natural wildfire, animal breathing, plants, aquatic microorganism, the ground or even volcanic origin. Anthropic emissions comes from heating, vehicles, voluntary fire, power generation station of fossil fuels.
What is the carbon emissions growth?
2018 was a year unprecedented. Even though worldwide agreements to fight climate change are numerous , carbon emissions beaten a record last year. 33,1 gigaton of carbon emissions. (which is a growth of 1,7% from 2013 ; something never seen before). For instance, the main countries causing this huge rise are China, United States and India.
Among the explanation of this growth, you have the constant energy demand that keep rising year by year. To answer this demand, fossil fuels (like gaz or coal) are requested. And, even though green energy are developing a lot, this is still not enough.
To illustrate, find below some numbers to keep in mind :
- India : +4,8%
- United States : +3,1%
- Europe : -1,3%
- Germany : -4,5%
An to give an idea of global evolutions during the years :
What are the consequences of CO2 on our environment ?
As CO2 is naturally present in the air, it’s not harmful for living organism. But CO2 emissions are also accompanied by soot, heavy metals, different contaminant. Which, all together, provoke deleterious effects on living organism. This latest are sensitive to variations of the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This one having risen of 280 ppm at the beginning of the industrialisation. and 400ppm in 2013.
This have consequences on the wildlife and plants.
- For birds and mammals : the carbon can kill by asphyxiation at a certain level and time of exposition. Its chemical property, higher than oxygen, permits it to be able to rapidly cross numerous types of biological membrane (including central nervous system).
- In the oceans : the circulation of oceans is also affected by human carbon emissions. It makes oceans more acid. Thus, numerous fish can wind up to the poles, where the water temperature change less rapidly. Regarding ocean current, they could slow down, or even stop. The CO2 absorbed could be released and worsen climate change.
- For the plants: with a low dose, the CO2 can permit growth of so many vegetal species. After experiences, this has been proven, but until a certain level. When this level is overpassed, the growth of vegetal stabilize or reduce. It’s for the moment difficult to see what is the exact level that stop this growth as it can change in function of the plant species. But we talk about environmental acidification.
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Learn more about climate change here: Climate Change: Its Causes, Effects and Solutions