Fossil Fuels and Climate Change, What You Should Know
Climate change is the biggest challenge we have ever faced as a species. But our response to this challenge is not what it should be. We could be leading the way in shifting away from an economy that uses fossil fuels as its primary energy source. But instead, we are on track to miss even the modest targets put forth by our leaders by a long shot. And carbon emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate.
Burning Fossil Fuels Is Bad for Planet Earth
Fossil fuels have been buried beneath Planet Earth’s surface for millions of years. When they are burned, they release a lot of carbon dioxide.
Since the industrial revolution, these fossil fuels have been used as the main source of energy and transportation fuel in the world.
Through the burning of fossil fuels, we have managed to arrive at a point where climate change is very much a reality.
Greenhouse gases are one of the probable explanations, but what are they and how do they impact us?
Greenhouse gases are a group of gases in the atmosphere that trap heat, keeping Planet Earth warm enough for life. Without them, Planet Earth would be a frozen wasteland.
However, too many greenhouse gases can cause global warming and climate change by trapping more heat in the atmosphere than normal. This is called the greenhouse effect.
Water vapour and carbon dioxide are the most common greenhouse gases. Other greenhouse gases include methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
These gases have been accumulating in our atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution when humans started burning fossil fuels on a large scale.
The higher concentration of these gases has raised global temperatures and caused climate change.
Rising Global Temperatures and Climate Change
Climate change is a controversial topic. Some people don’t believe Planet Earth is warming due to carbon emissions.
While others have seen evidence in our everyday lives that climate change is real and a threat to our environment.
Global warming describes the rising of the average world surface temperature. The increase in temperatures range from 1° to 5°C worldwide.
Climatologists believe that global warming is caused by the release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour that trap heat in Planet Earth’s atmosphere.
These gases are emitted by particles from volcanoes, wildfires, and because of human activities such as deforestation, and burning fossil fuels.
Scientists are concerned that climate change will destroy food production in poor countries.
It could also lead to the flooding of island nations and destroy glaciers that provide fresh water to people around the world. And cause sea levels to rise by melting polar ice caps.
Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are carbon-based fuels that are the primary source of increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
These higher concentrations are the primary reason why global temperatures are rising.
Which along with a range of other factors has intensified droughts, floods, and hurricanes as well as altered cold weather conditions such as snowfall.
Climate Change Is Affecting Marine Life
Climate change has also affected ecosystems — marine life in particular — leading to many extinctions and population declines.
Rising temperatures have caused coral bleaching and shortened the lifespan of some species. Warmer ocean temperatures have also led to increased acidity levels due to increased dissolved carbon dioxide and methane.
Increased acidity will likely have a serious impact on marine life and ecosystems, as some organisms are not able to reproduce in acidic environments.
Recent research has shown that climate change has led to the extinction of various tropical coral reefs. An estimated 98% of this will be lost by 2050 if ocean temperatures continue to rise as they have been.
The loss of these reefs affects both marine ecosystems and human societies that depend on them. In addition, coral reefs protect shorelines from erosion and storm damage.
And they are a source of income for millions of people worldwide through tourism and fisheries.
The loss of coral reefs also threatens biodiversity. Coral reefs contain more than 3,000 species of fish and thousands more invertebrates, including sponges, shrimps, and crabs.
The world’s oceans are, to some extent, self-healing. They have a huge capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and heat. But they don’t just absorb carbon dioxide — they also take up oxygen.
As the oceans have warmed, they have become less able to hold onto oxygen, which has led to lower levels of dissolved oxygen in some parts of the world’s oceans.
This is worrying because it could cause problems for marine life that rely on oxygen in the water around them.
The Main Sources of Fuel Used Worldwide
The main sources of fuel used worldwide include coal, natural gas and petroleum products like gasoline and diesel.
Natural gas and petroleum make up more than 80% of the world’s energy supplies. Coal is another major energy source, but it is now starting to decline.
Each one is different, with a wide range of implications on the environment, economy, and social issues.
Coal is a solid material that is formed from plant matter that has been subjected to intense heat and pressure over millions of years. Today coal is primarily used as a fuel source for power plants to generate electricity.
Natural gas is a hydrocarbon that is found in Planet Earth’s crust. It is mainly composed of methane, which is a colourless and odourless gas.
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This gas is mostly used as a source of energy for heating and cooking. It can also be used as a fuel for vehicles in its compressed form, known as LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Petroleum is an oil-based liquid found in underground reservoirs or beneath the ocean floor (oil).
Besides carbon dioxide (CO₂) burning fossil fuels also releases other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO₂), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter into the atmosphere.
These pollutants have a range of negative effects on humans and ecosystems including an increased risk of respiratory diseases.
These include asthma and chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Also, damage to crops; acid rain; smog; ozone depletion; and biodiversity loss due to habitat destruction.
Fossil fuels are a finite resource, meaning they will eventually run out.
Things That Consume Most of The World’s Fuel
The large percentage of fuel used for all transportation modes can be attributed to trains, planes, boats, and cars. No matter the size and type of vehicle, the fuel it uses comes from the same source.
Right now, almost one-fifth of the world’s energy is used to power vehicles. The problem is that almost all these vehicles run on fossil fuels.
To cut emissions, we’ll need to switch over to sustainable energy sources and significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
There are two main types of emissions: greenhouse gases and particulate matter.
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide.
Other gases include methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.
Particulate matter, on the other hand, is responsible for smog and acid rain. It’s made up of tiny particles of soot and metal oxides that come from burning fossil fuels.
These particles can affect our health by causing respiratory problems or cardiovascular disease.
Almost everyone accepts that replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources is necessary if we’re going to prevent global warming.
But it’s not just about using clean energy. It’s also about reducing waste and improving efficiency.
Emissions Will Continue Rising Unless We Act
The world has been warned by numerous scientists and the public of the dangers of climate change. The effects of warming temperatures will lead to rising sea levels, scorched landscapes, and mass droughts.
One of the largest causes of human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the use of fossil fuels.
Emissions are currently rising and will continue to do so over the coming decades according to a United Nations report published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have soared over the past 150 years of industrialisation, but after remaining flat from 2002 to 2010, they are projected to rise by 46% between 2010 and 2035.
This is despite growing concerns about anthropogenic global warming and a shift in energy policies towards cleaner sources.
The world has been warned by almost every major government on Planet Earth about climate change and the dangers caused by burning fossil fuels.
You can’t turn on the news, read a newspaper, or go to a political site without being confronted with some debate about fossil fuels and climate change.
This is good in some ways because it means that people are talking about how we need to be more environmentally friendly.
Change starts with conversation after all! But, my friends, the evidence is overwhelming — and terrifying.
And if you want to get specific, we humans are having an undeniable, negative impact on Planet Earth.
Cut Fossil Fuel Use or Face the Consequences
The world is dependent on fossil fuels, and we quite literally cannot do without them.
Oil, coal, and natural gas are used in nearly every aspect of daily life. Right from powering our vehicles to making electricity to providing heat for our homes.
Fossil fuels provide about 85% of the world’s energy. But a hundred years from now, what kind of world will we leave for our children and grandchildren?
The first thing you need to know about fossil fuels is that they’re finite.
Some people believe that there’s plenty of oil left in the ground, but that’s only true if we use it very carefully and efficiently — which we don’t.
Fossil fuels are also dirty. They produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
And they produce other pollutants that threaten our health and safety — like mercury and sulphur dioxide.
In addition to being finite and dirty, fossil fuels are expensive to extract and distribute across long distances. That means they require lots of effort and resources just to keep them flowing through pipelines or trucks or trains or ships or planes.
And when they do reach your local gas station or power plant, they’re often more expensive than renewable alternatives like wind or solar power.
With the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), however, we’re beginning to see a shift away from dependence on fossil fuels toward a more sustainable future.
EVs are powered by electricity instead of gasoline or diesel, which means they produce zero tailpipe emissions.
And since electricity is generated from many different sources including solar farms, hydroelectric dams, and nuclear reactors — EVs can be made entirely carbon-neutral using clean energy.
Clean Energy Is an Effective Way to Fight Climate Change
There is a lot of information in the news about the global crisis due to climate change.
Many people still don’t believe that it’s real. But climate experts agree that global warming has been occurring for years now and will continue to do so unless we act.
Even though wind farms are not detrimental to the environment and are a reliable source of renewable energy that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.
There are still some people who have a negative perception of them. In fact, many don’t even understand the concept of renewable energy.
There is no denying that humanity is facing an energy crisis. It is undeniable that we need to switch to clean energy now if we are to avoid the disastrous consequences of climate change in the coming decades.
The problem with many of the approaches to clean energy today is that they are expensive and inefficient.
We need a new way of thinking about how we produce and consume energy.
But this requires us to rethink everything from how we generate power, to how we transport our goods. And even how we build our homes.
There are many reasons why we’re failing to curb our carbon emissions — but one stands out above all others.
We lack a sense of urgency about the problem because its effects are often invisible and far away from our daily lives.
That means while many people believe climate change is real, they don’t feel it’s an immediate threat. And therefore, aren’t motivated to make personal changes or demand action from their governments.
Fossil fuels and climate change are a challenge, but if we work together, we’ll find solutions.
Fossil fuels and climate change are two issues that many people wonder about. When people hear the discussions around these issues, they might think that there isn’t much they can do to help.
But they’re wrong! There’s plenty you can do to help. Fossil fuels and climate change pose a challenge.
The world has come to a crossroads. Climate change has caused escalating natural disasters, rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions and an increase in temperature in our homes.
We all love the environment, don’t we? I mean, after all, it’s ours. But some of us seem to love it more than others.
But no, that’s not right. It’s not ours; it belongs to everyone and everything on Planet Earth. And if we all want to share it in our own way, then we should be allowed to do so.
So, when you hear people say that climate change is a hoax or that fossil fuels aren’t bad for the environment because they’re natural.
Just remember, those people are wrong and probably just trying to protect their own interests at your expense.
Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy derived from the prehistoric remains of plants and animals. These fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.
Fossil fuels are mostly carbon-based compounds, so when they are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
Burning fossil fuels for energy is a major contributor to climate change because it releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas have powered the world’s economy for decades. But they’re non-renewable and their use contributes to global warming.
Ultimately, we should remember to be optimistic. It is easy to focus on the challenges facing us.
But it is also easy to forget that people are working tirelessly every day to find solutions to our problems, as well as protect and preserve the natural world for future generations.
We have made great strides in issues like climate change and fossil fuel reduction efforts in recent years, and we can continue down this path.
We might not find the exact answer tomorrow, or in a few months, but collectively we will eventually figure it out.