Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuels

Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels cause pollution, smog, and the greenhouse effect. Fossil fuels really do negatively impact our environment, especially when it comes to global warming, Although there is controversy over whether or not fossil fuels are causing the planet to warm, or whether it is warming naturally, there is significant research that supports the former hypothesis. When fossil fuels are burned, they emit different levels of carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuels has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a staggering twenty- five percent. It has also been implied that fossil fuels are associated with increased levels of nitrous oxide and methane, although they are not the main sources of these gasses. Carbon dioxide is a gas that traps heat in our atmosphere, and helps keep the planet at livable temperature. However, climatologists are now predicting that if the levels of carbon dioxide continue to increase, the temperature will rise and a number of different impacts can or will occur (Union). Among the many possible impacts of global warming, are more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the melting of glaciers. However, while researching, I stumbled upon a site that showed possible impacts, and where they would be most likely to occur. The key to the map had two different categories, ?Harbingers?, and ?Fingerprints?. Harbingers are ?events that foreshadow the types of impacts likely to become more frequent and widespread with continued warming? (Global Warming). Fingerprints are ?direct manifestations of a widespread and long-term trend toward warmer global temperatures? (Global Warming)
The Harbingers category included effects such as spreading disease, differing populations of plants and animals, coral bleaching and droughts and fires among others. The Fingerprints category included things such as heat waves, glacial melting, and rising sea levels (Global Warming). This map enabled me to see the effects that global warming would have on me personally, and the country as a whole, as well as continents all over the world. Although an obvious solution to the problem of global warming would be to stop using fossil fuels, that would cause significant damage to the economy of the United States as well as many other countries that rely on fossil fuels heavily for industry and transportation. According to the National Resources Defense Council, people can take many steps to reduce the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. Some of these steps include buying a car that gets good gas mileage, only driving when necessary, carpooling and buying energy-efficient appliances. Replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, and weather-proofing homes and apartments can also help (nrdc). A single person can greatly affect the effects fossil fuels have on our climate. By obtaining knowledge about the effects of fossil fuels on our environment, and more specifically global warming, I now know that I can make a difference with my voice along with taking certain actions to prevent the increase of the world?s temperature.

Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuels 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 4053 Review.