The actions we humans make today, greatly affect us tomorrow. A very good example of this is gases being emitted into the atmosphere like carbon.
There are several things that will take carbon out of the atmosphere: photosynthesis by land plants, oceanic phytoplankton, and some bacteria. Man came along and increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by burning large amounts of fossil fuels and cutting down large amounts of forests. This caused a large excess of CO2 in the atmosphere. The ocean still takes large amounts of it but most of it stays in the air. Basically the cycle is disrupted in favour of too much carbon in the air and not enough things taking it out.
People have affected the Carbon cycle by using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels is Carbon buried in the ground and by burning them, people have put excessive amounts of Carbon in the air. Carbon is cycled back into the ground when it is absorbed and sinks to the bottom of the ocean or in detritus in the soil; however, this happens over long periods and fossil fuels is burned at a high rate. Since the onset of the industrial revolution about 150 years ago, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have accelerated, and both have contributed to a long-term rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Burning oil and coal releases long hidden carbon into the atmosphere far more rapidly than it is being removed, and this imbalance causes atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to increase. Also by clearing forests, we reduce the ability of photosynthesis to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, also resulting in a net increase.
With all of these human activities, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are higher today than they have been over the last half-million years or longer.
This also increases carbon monoxide levels. Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen in the blood from being carried throughout the body, causing asphyxiation. CO remains in the body for a long time.
Greenhouse gases are a natural part of the atmosphere. These gases absorb and re-radiate the Sun’s warmth, and maintain the Earth’s surface temperature, to support life. Due to burning of fossil fuels, agriculture and land clearing, we are increasing the concentration of the gases that trap heat. Now this enhanced greenhouse effect is contributing to the warming of the earth. Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. Once released into the atmosphere thee gases remain there for a long time.
There are many things we can do such as:…