0:Global warming

8.6.9 Identify climate change as an outcome of the enhanced greenhouse effect.


The enhanced greenhouse effect increases the temperature of Earth. The change in temperature itself is a type of climate change, however the temperature change has an effect on climatic events. The relationship between the enhanced greenhouse effect and climate change does unfortunately not stop at temperature. The increased concentration of the main perpetrators of the enhanced greenhouse effect, CO2 and methane, have led to changes in everything from the atmosphere, oceans, soil and biosphere. (Codrington, 2010)



8.6.11 Identify some possible solutions to reduce the enhanced greenhouse effect.


Greater efficiency of power production

RTEmagicC_HowToCombatGlobalWarming_large_01.JPG
(The bellona scenario. (2009). [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.bellona.org/imagearchive/RTEmagicC_HowToCombatGlobalWarming_large_01.JPG)

The graph above is the Bellona Scenario. The uppermost line represents the Global Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050 if it continues accelerating at the same rate it is today.The colored parts of the graph represents how much we can reduce it by and by what means. The biggest colored chunk of the graph is Efficiency, and unlike the other ways to reduce carbon emissions which only become significant after 2035, greater efficiency will have almost immediate effects.
The reason efficiency is the most immediate and significant way to reduce carbon emissions is because production as it is today is very inefficient, most notably power production. Power production refers to the production of energy, mostly in the form of electrical energy. A type of power production is producing energy through solar energy as outlined in 8.4.12. This method remains highly inefficient, as most solar cells are only 20% efficient. Although higher efficienct solar cells are being developed, the highest today being at 41.7% (Alejandro, 2007), it is far from enough of being a major power production source. This leads to power production through less renewable ways with high carbon footprints, such as coal and fossil fuels. When renewable power production becomes more efficient, green house gas emissions will drop significantly as predicted by the Bellona Scenario.


Replacing the use of coal and oil with natural gas

Coal and Oil are both non-renewable sources of energy, but so is natural gas. However, coal and oil release high amounts of carbon, as they are more complex molecules. Coal alone emits twice as much carbon for the same amount of energy compared to natural gas. Natural gas, although non-renewable, has a relatively low carbon emission and it is part of the natural greenhouse gas cycle. Coal and fossil fuel are not naturally burned in high quantities, thus the use of them contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect. (Codrington, 2010)


Use of combined heating and power systems

conventional_energy.gifcogeneration.gif
(Casten, 2010)

Increased use of renewable energy sources and nuclear power

Renewable energy and nuclear power emits no significant CO2. Renewable energy, is perhaps the best type of energy as it can be re-used, thus energy crisis, such as oil crisis, are far less likely to happen, but the renewable energy available is far from powering the Earth. Nuclear energy is very efficient, but leaves nuclear waste instead of greenhouse gases. (Codrington, 2010) However, the increased use of both energy sources will be able to lower carbon emissions as represented by the light blue part of the Bellona Scenario.


Carbon dioxide capture and storage

The second largest part to the Bellona Scenario is CCS, which stands for Carbon Capture and Storage/Sequestration.
Physics behind CSS
0:50 - 2:24

Co2 capture an storage (ccs) . (2009). [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH3hgqLM94U&feature=player_embedded

Use of hybrid vehicles

Cars emit tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases every year, most notably Nitrogen Oxide which traps 300 times more heat than Carbon Dioxide. The movement from high emission cars or gas-guzzlers to hybrid or no-emission cars is significant as the increase in car ownership in the world will lead to an increase in greenhouse gases. Hybrid cars, are cars which use very little fuel, or use an alternative type of energy to not emit green house gases, such as electric cars or hydro cars. This allows for an increase in car ownership with a decrease in carbon emissions. (Codrington, 2010)

References



Alejandro, C. (2007, July 23). Ud-led team sets solar cell record. UDaily, Retrieved from http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2008/jul/solar072307.html

Codrington, S. (2010). Planet geography. Australia: Solid Star Press.

Casten, T. (2010). Understanding combined heat and power, also known as cogeneration. Retrieved from http://www.recycled-energy.com/main/combined_heat_power.html