What You Should Know When We Burn Fossil Fuels
When we burn fossil fuels — coal, oil, and natural gas — they release two things: carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. CO2 is released into the atmosphere. There it forms a blanket that traps heat. This leads to global warming and all the bad stuff that comes with it, like increasing instances of extreme weather events and drought. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the warmer Planet Earth is.
Burning Fossil Fuels Releases Carbon Dioxide
Fossil fuels are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. Fossil fuels include the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.
The more fossil fuels we burn, the more carbon dioxide and other gases enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
In fact, about 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel combustion.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, so it traps heat in the atmosphere. When there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it absorbs more heat and warms up Planet Earth.
How do you think the average person can go about helping slow down global warming?
CO2 has been building up in Planet Earth’s atmosphere since humans first started burning fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — to generate energy.
This process also releases other carbon emissions like methane, which is another potent greenhouse gas.
The oceans absorb some of this carbon dioxide, but not all of it, so there is more and more in our atmosphere every year.
This means that we are getting closer and closer to a world that cannot be reversed. There are two types of irreversible damage: so-called “slow carbon feedbacks”, and runaway climate change.
Many scientists believe the time for action is now or it may be too late.
Greenhouse Gases Trap Heat in The Atmosphere
A greenhouse is a structure made mostly of transparent material (like glass) in which plants are grown.
The greenhouse effect is the process by which certain gases keep heat from escaping from Planet Earth’s atmosphere. The gases that make up the greenhouse effect are known as greenhouse gases.
Scientists have designated over 30 gases as greenhouse gases. These include familiar gasses like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour.
But the list contains many other less common gasses like nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride.
And some of those gasses are in your home right now!
The greenhouse effect is a natural process that helps Planet Earth keep its temperature steady. Without it, the world would be an icy wasteland.
However, humans are releasing gases into our atmosphere in such large amounts that we’re distorting the delicate balance of this natural process.
Some of these man-made gases are trapping heat inside our atmosphere and causing global warming.
The greenhouse effect works like this: When sunlight hits Planet Earth’s surface, it gets reflected into space by clouds and ice (in other words, it’s not absorbed).
But some of the incoming sunlight gets absorbed by carbon dioxide and water vapour in our atmosphere instead — these gases act like glass windows and trap some of the incoming heat before it can escape back into space again.
So, when we burn fossil fuels like coal or oil, we’re adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. And that increases atmospheric warming even further because there’s more CO2 available to absorb more heat from the sun.
The net result is that higher temperatures increase evaporation rates, which leads to more water vapour in our atmosphere — which traps even more heat inside our planet’s atmosphere!
Global Warming and Increased Heat Events
Global warming has increased the chance of extreme heat in many areas.
While I believe that all climate change should be addressed, it is important to understand that some regional temperatures are increasing much faster than others.
Global warming has caused many scientists to raise concerns about the future of our planet.
Climate change affects many things, such as the weather. If you live in a part of the world where there are extreme heat events, then you are more susceptible to its dangers.
The most common heat waves occur in the late spring and summer months.
They usually occur when there is an atmospheric condition called high pressure. This high pressure can cause air from higher levels to sink down to the ground, trapping heat near the surface.
What is one thing that you have noticed that has changed due to global warming?
The lack of wind also contributes to this trapping effect.
Heat waves can be deadly and cause serious health issues for many people. It is important to understand how these heat waves will affect your life if they become more frequent in your area.
The most common place where these dangerous heat waves occur is in middle to high latitudes such as Europe, the United States and Asia.
These areas have historically been known for having cold winters but not anymore!
In fact, if you live in an area that has experienced an increase in heat waves over the past few years, then you may have already seen some of these effects yourself.
Every Day, We Contribute to Global Warming
Most of us, as members of society, contribute to global warming daily by using electricity from coal-burning power plants and driving to work in our cars (which burn gasoline).
Even buying products like plastic water bottles that are transported and stored long distances (using trucks that run on diesel).
Almost everyone lives in a home, drives an automobile, or flies around in a jet once in a while.
These things — cars, homes, offices, and all kinds of buildings — need energy to keep them going. The kind of power they use comes from coal deposits, oil wells, natural gas reserves underground and even nuclear reactors.
Those all create carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases that add to global warming.
As we move away from a risky dependency on fossil fuels…
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Have you ever thought about this? The truth is, we all contribute to global warming every time we turn on a light switch or drive a car or even fly across the country. It’s sad, but it’s true.
In fact, our everyday activities are contributing to global warming in more ways than we think. Here are just some of the ways that we each contribute to global warming:
Every time we use electricity from the grid, it’s generated by burning coal or oil. This produces greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
These gases cause the temperature of Planet Earth’s atmosphere to rise over time and make our planet warmer than it would be otherwise.
Each time we drive our cars or trucks, they burn fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel fuel. This also produces greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming.
Whenever we fly across the country (or anywhere), aeroplanes pump out tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere because they need fossil fuels to operate as well.
The Side Effects of Fossil Fuel Extraction
Fossil fuels are still the world’s primary energy source. This is because coal, natural gas and oil enable us to produce energy and drive our vehicles at a relatively low cost.
However, the process of extracting fossil fuels also comes with several undesirable side effects, including water and air pollution, as well as damage to surrounding ecosystems.
The primary methods for obtaining oil, gas, and coal all come with negative consequences that must be dealt with somehow.
One of the single largest sources of air pollution comes from extracting oil from underground oil wells. Refining oil is another process that pollutes air and water alike with chemical waste.
Coal mining also has several negative side effects, including the destruction of land, the release of methane (a greenhouse gas) during the mining process, and the destruction of ecosystems to make room for new mines.
Fossil fuel extraction is a dirty business, and there is no way around it.
It is difficult to find a single example of fossil fuel extraction that does not also have sizeable and frequent negative implications for the environment, as well as for human health.
How do you feel about the fact that fossil fuels are finite, and that we should stop using them?
Doing it safely seems next to impossible, and who is to say we aren’t destroying Planet Earth in the process?
The following are some of the side effects of fossil fuel extraction:
Air pollution – Fossil fuels are burned to produce energy, which releases carbon dioxide into the air. This causes global warming, which will eventually lead to rising sea levels and more extreme weather.
Water pollution – Water used in fracking wells can contain chemicals that make their way back into groundwater supplies.
People have reported tap water being discoloured or smelling like chemicals after fracking operations have taken place nearby.
Forests cleared – Forests are cleared for coal mining operations, roads and railways needed to transport coal, oil, mining operations and power plants that burn fossil fuels.
Groundwater contamination – Fracking wastewater can seep into groundwater supplies if not disposed of properly or treated before being released back into the environment.
We Humans Are Destroying Planet Earth
The world is getting hotter. Polar ice caps are crumbling. Oceans are rising. Weather patterns have become unpredictable, and violent storms have become the norm.
We all know this and yet most of us do nothing about it because it’s overwhelming to consider the problem and we don’t feel like the little things we do will make a difference.
The world’s leading climate scientists have released a report. And their findings are clear: human activity is damaging Planet Earth, and that is the hard truth we must face.
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” says the report, which was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). And the global mean surface temperature has increased by about 1°C.
The IPCC is a body of hundreds of scientists from all over the world who have been working together for more than 30 years to understand how human activity is affecting our environment.
They have released several major reports over that time – each one building on the previous one – and this latest one is the most comprehensive yet.
The panel’s findings are based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies conducted by scientists all over the world.
The IPCC report says that a warming Planet Earth will bring multiple consequences including floods and droughts, higher sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, species extinction and extreme weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons.
The report also found that these impacts are already being felt across every continent – but especially in developing countries where poverty makes them particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods or droughts.
This is not news to environmentalists. But it’s also not news to anyone who has been paying attention to our planet in recent years.
We are already experiencing the effects of climate change — think droughts, floods, heat waves, severe weather events and rising sea levels. And it will only get worse if we don’t do something about it soon.
The report states that the world needs to take urgent action if we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming within decades.
Burning Fossil Fuels Changed the World
Burning fossil fuels has driven all kinds of positive changes in the world around us, and some not-so-positive changes.
But it can also change for the better. Just by making more informed decisions about how we use energy. And with so many options on the table, it doesn’t have to be hard.
Throughout our lives, we’ve benefited from the advantages of burning fossil fuels.
These fuels have allowed us to heat our homes, travel long distances in vehicles and aeroplanes, and grow food in different climates around the world.
The use of coal, oil and natural gas has had a lasting impact on how we live, and on how Planet Earth works now.
What is your perspective on how climate change will affect the future?
There are many reasons why we use fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are used for electricity generation, transportation, heating, and cooling.
However, using fossil fuels has its disadvantages. Fossil fuels emit a large number of greenhouse gasses which is causing climate change to occur on a global level.
A changing climate affects us all in some way or another. One example is that rising temperatures can cause water shortages which may lead to drought conditions across many regions of the world.
This could affect crops grown for food production such as wheat or corn which could lead to food shortages.
As consumers and politicians continue to debate whether climate change is real, scientists agree that burning fossil fuels has changed the world around us. It’s time for change.
Burning fossil fuels is harmful to Planet Earth, and there are ways we can cut back.
We’ve all heard of the problems caused by global warming.
There are consequences we’re already seeing now, and there are more damaging effects that may happen if the situation gets worse.
We don’t have to agree about the causes of climate change and the long-term effects of weather patterns, but we can all agree on one thing—everyone wants Planet Earth to be around for generations to come.
We have been burning fossil fuels for a long time, and it has come at a cost.
The Industrial Revolution brought many changes to our world, but the most significant was the use of coal. Coal is a natural resource that is used to create energy and heat in homes and businesses.
The Good and The Bad of Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases are naturally present in the atmosphere and play an important role in keeping Planet Earth warm enough to sustain life, but there is a downside…read more
The problem with coal is that when burned, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This carbon dioxide causes pollution and contributes to climate change and global warming, which are both very serious issues facing our planet today.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means it traps heat in our atmosphere and contributes to global warming.
It also causes acidification of our oceans and can increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods.
The good news is that we have solutions to this problem — renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, as well as energy efficiency measures like LED light bulbs and smart thermostats.
By making the switch to these technologies and other green solutions, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and vehicles, helping stop climate change before it’s too late (and save money at the same time!).
The more fossil fuels we burn the more carbon dioxide that gets into the atmosphere. And more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases greenhouse gases and global warming.
The sooner we get a big enough handle on climate change, the better.
And that means we’d better start figuring out how to control our fossil-fuel use.
This is one problem that needs to be solved for our climate to remain stable.
One thing is for sure we can’t afford to waste any more time.