Global Warming

What is Climate Change?  How does it influence the environment?  Can it be stopped?

Climate Change is the change of weather patterns for an extended period of time.  This is caused by factors such as biotic processes, volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics, variations in solar radiation and certain human activities.  This ongoing climate change is often called Global Warming.  Climate change occurs because of internal effects, which are natural processes within the climate system and through external factors, such as volcanic eruption and human activities emitting greenhouses gasses.

Credits to https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/125/

Climate Change alters the environment.  The Climate system is an interactive one that includes the atmosphere, land surface, snow, ice, oceans and other water bodies as well as all living things.  Solar radiation powers and balances the climate system. Changes in the incoming solar radiation will influence the balance and this will alter weather patterns.  Temperatures will either become warmer or colder.  Severe droughts will occur more frequently.

Sea levels will rise because of icebergs melting faster.  Rising sea levels will cause displacement of people and housing.  The oceans will become warmer due to the absorption of carbon dioxide, which will lead to acidification that will threaten the Coral Reefs.  Coral Reefs won’t be able to live in warmer water.  Coral Reefs flourish in a well-balanced ecosystem and is very sensitive to any change.

We cannot stop Global Warming.  Climate Change is already happening.  Scientists predict that we have about ten years to save the earth.  Even if the whole world stops all carbon emissions, the process can only be slowed down, which will give time for adapting to a changing environment.

We can slow down Climate Change through solutions like Renewable Energies Technologies, and by reducing Deforestation.  Forests keep temperatures lower to the extent that is safe for life.  Scientists are doing research, planning strategies and implementing models for balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon sinks.  They are planning to cross-breed reef specimens in the laboratory to create Coral Reefs that will be better equipped to survive in warmer water.

But still, altering the natural environment will always have consequences.  And we need to adapt to these circumstances.  We need time to adapt.  Therefore the need exists to take action in any small possible manner.

What are Renewable Energies?  A definition’ and the possibilities that this energy enclose

Renewable Energies come from sources that cannot run out or be depleted, for instance, the sun, or wind and seawater.  It also includes plants, that when used, can be easily replaced by planting new seeds to grow and replenish.

Renewable energies are inclusive of these 5 technologies, which through their activities leaves no carbon footprint

  1. Solar Photovoltaic energies: Solar cells convert sunlight into energy.  When sunlight falls on the semiconductor material of a solar cell, electrons are released that generates an electrical current.  No greenhouse gasses are omitted, thus, this energy conversion does not pollute.
  2. Solar Thermal energies: Solar power is generated, through mirrors or lenses, a large area of sunlight is concentrated, which then drives a heat engine connected to an electrical power generator.  This heat can also be stored in molten salts, which allows such plants to operate after dark.
  3. Wind Power energies: Wind power uses air flow through wind turbines that mechanically powers generators to produce electrical power.  The Wind gives variable power and therefore is used in conjunction with other renewable technologies.
  4. Hydraulic Power energies: Hydraulic power is derived from falling water or fast running water.  This is the oldest form of generating power, for example, the water wheels and mills from very early generations.  This kind of power can use many different forms of water masses, for example, dams, rivers, slow flowing streams and even sea swells.
  5. Biomass energies: Biomass is biological material derived from living or recently living organisms.  The conversion of biomass is achieved through different methods, thermal, chemical and biochemical, are the main forms mentioned.  Wood remains the largest biomass energy resource used today.  Biomass can also be made up of, wood chips, yard clippings, dead trees and branches as well as, municipal solid waste.

Renewable energy technologies do not leave a carbon footprint or produce greenhouse gasses as a result of its use.  It does not cause, air, land or water pollution.  And, lastly, but not least, because of its monumental growth, the Renewable Energy Sector creates a lot of jobs.

Waste not, want not; can your waste become energised?

Waste is the term used for used materials or products that need to be disposed of.  Waste includes all unwanted, already used, substances, occurring throughout our environment, derived from human activities, either, personal or work related.

Waste types, defined through waste management systems, and what is included under each type

  1. Municipal Waste is inclusive of:

Household waste:  which is including, all household trash, refuse, waste water and sewage.

Commercial waste includes waste from business premises, sport and recreation facilities, educational and entertainment organisations.

Demolition waste materials include debris from insulation, electrical wiring, wood, concrete, bricks, etc.

  1. Industrial waste is produced through industrial activities and manufacturing processes in factories, industries, mills, mining operations, and includes, chemical solvents, paints, paper products, etc.
  2. Organic Waste is biodegradable, meaning that the organic matter can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water, methane, organic molecules and microorganisms. Examples are green waste, food waste, slaughterhouse waste, etc.
  3. The biomedical waste contains potentially infectious materials, which includes infusion kits, used bandages and syringes. It also includes laboratory waste that might contain bio molecules and organisms that need special care in disposing of.
  4. Hazardous waste is inclusive of:
  • The radioactive waste contains radioactive materials which are a by-product of nuclear power generation, or research and medicine.  Nuclear Waste is hazardous to most life forms and the environment.
  • The explosive waste contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion.  Triggers can be anything from, light, heat, pressure and sound.
  • Electronic waste is inclusive of all discarded electrical and electronic devices and can have an adverse effect on human health and the environment.

Biochemical waste, radioactive waste and Demolition waste have very strict management rules for disposing of materials.  These materials are mostly highly hazardous to human life and the environment.

Many waste materials in the other waste types are recyclable.  Energy recovery from waste is using the non-recyclable materials to extract heat, electricity or energy through a variety of processes.  These processes may include combustion, gasification, and anaerobic digestion.  These processes turn your waste into energy.