Lab Research Report 2: Global Warming: Cause and Mitigation
September 14, 2014
Dr. Rana Miller
Compare and contrast natural versus anthropogenic climate changes. Include specific examples of each.
In an article written by the United States Environmental Association (EPA) it lists natural changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, volcanic eruptions and solar energy as some of the natural causes of climate changes on earth. The article goes on to say “Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes are very unlikely to explain most observed warming, especially warming since the ...view middle of the document...
org states “Human greenhouse gas emissions are heating the planet, and climate models consistently show that this warming causes an increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones. The fact that 1975-1989 had 171 category 4 and 5 hurricanes while 1990-2004 had 269 of them (a 57% increase) validates these climate models and the reality of human-induced climate change.” The same article references the human produced greenhouse gases and soot caused by deforestation and burning fossil fuels are reducing the size of the Arctic ice cap. The arctic ice cap is responsible for reflecting the suns energy away from the earth. Without the reflection the ice caps offer there will record high temperatures, severe rainstorms and droughts.
Assess two (2) current mitigation strategies for global warming, such as carbon sequestration, carbon taxing, clean coal technology, higher fuel efficiency standards, and so on. Include a discussion on the effectiveness of this mitigation strategy, as well as its potential costs and policy implications.
Two current mitigation strategies for global warming are carbon tax and coal gasification. A carbon tax is a tax on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. The tax would encourage decision makers to reduce carbon emissions through conservation (carbontax.org). Taxing fuels based on their carbon content will incent individuals to reduce consumption and take action by choosing fuel efficient vehicles, appliances and housing. Business can choose to develop products with lower carbon dioxide emissions to aid in reductions. According to the Office of Fossil Energy article on the Energy.gov website, “Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen and other valuable energy products. The article describes this process as “rather than burning coal directly, gasification (a thermo-chemical process) breaks down coal – or virtually any carbon based feedstock – into its basic chemical constituents.” What this does is eliminate production of a mixture of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other gaseous compounds that occur when the molecules in coal break apart. The article goes on to say that coal gasification will address concerns over the atmospheric buildup...