Global Warming Prevention Ideas

Global Warming Prevention Ideas
Global warming refers to the Earth’s air and oceans gradually heating up to a point that disrupts balance, a problem that is continually getting worse. It sounds like a problem too massive for any one individual to take on, but it really isn’t. Combining any few of these suggestions can make more of a dramatic effect than most people understand. The goal is to emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Delicious Reddit Stumble Upon Facebook Google Flag Article Instructions Difficulty:  Easy Step
  1. Drive less. Take bikes, walk or carpool whenever possible.
  2. Consider investing in a hybrid or electric vehicle to help prevent against further global warming.
  3. Replace all the lightbulbs in and around your home with energy-efficient fluorescents that use fewer watts for the same amount of light.
  4. Clean or replace your filters monthly.
  5. Choose energy-efficient appliances when it's time to buy new ones.
  6. Decrease your air travel.
  7. Wash clothes in cold water and line-dry whenever possible.
  8. Use a low-flow showerhead, which will lessen the hot water used but not drop your water pressure in the shower.
  9. Cut down on your garbage—buy fewer packaged materials to prevent further global warming.
  10. Unplug electronics when they are not in use, because they still take up energy. At the very least, turn items off when they’re not being used.
  11. Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have a full load, and if available, use the energy-saving setting.
  12. Insulate your home better, and don’t forget to repair or replace worn caulking or weather-stripping. Insulate your water heater.
  13. Buy recycled paper products and recycle as much of your waste as possible.
  14. Bring your own reusable canvas grocery bags when grocery shopping.
  15. Plant a tree.
  16. Have an energy audit done on your home so you can find the trouble areas and fix them.
  17. Use nontoxic cleaning products.
  18. Shop locally for food. A farmer’s market is an excellent place to visit. And choose fresh food over frozen foods. Fresh takes less energy to produce.
  19. Keep your car tuned up, and check tire pressure often to save gas.
  20. Eat less meat and more organic foods in your diet to do your part in preventing global warming.

Energy generation using wind turbines

Energy generation using wind turbines

The key to understanding Wind farming technology is to break values of the power produced down using simple arithmetic. Indeed, all energy production is a numbers game with each source of power having its appropriate initial and ongoing cost. Factored with these costs must be the price we all pay in terms of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Just as we universally share in the cost of health care due to cigarette smoking we similarly all pay for any damage done to the health of our planet.

At the present time, wind farms in the United States produce electricity at a rate of over 20 billion Kilowatts of power. This is enough to provide electricity for 4.9 million households. Not too bad is it? But this same total of power can be produced by just two nuclear plants or if you prefer 40 coal fired power plants.

In terms of hydroelectric power, the Hoover Dam produces just under 3 billion watts of power. 7 Hoover dams equals all the combined US wind power. So why not just build more giant hydroelectric dams or spread nuclear plants all around the earth?
Debate over safety from nuclear power plants is ongoing and intense. And the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from each of those 40 coal fired plants equals around 3 million tons a year. There are many conclusions we can draw from all of our wind farming arithmetic.

The first is that even though we have barely tapped into the viability of using wind power to heat, cool and light our homes, the progress thus far shows that the feasibility is proven. We have the land and we have the wind. If we had ten times as much wind power generation we could provide power to 50 million homes or if you prefer 150 million people. No, this doesn’t mean that our overall energy needs could be so easily met. Industry uses far more energy than housing. Cars, buses, trains, planes and those coal fired power plants themselves massively chew up power and spit out pollutants.

Nuclear power releases one fiftieth as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than does a coal fired plant. A hydroelectric dam just 10% of that and a wind farm half of the CO2 emissions of the dam. By comparison, greenhouse gas emissions from wind farming is minuscule.

But as long as we are doing some math, the accountants will have us calculating the cost of building our wind farm. This is pretty simple. It costs around 5 million dollars to make a one million watt producing wind turbine. This is a cost of five dollars per watt. Coal fired plants have initial costs of around $1.50 per watt. Solar power bounces between 3 and 7 dollars per watt and nuclear power comes in at a cost of a whopping 11 dollars per watt.

Now what makes wind turbine technology the most feasible of all of these is two things. The first is the already mentioned clean emissions standards from wind power. The second reason that wind farming is the future for power production worldwide is that once you produce a large enough wind farm the price per watt will plummet drastically. A 100 megawatt wind farm can be built for 100 million dollars, or… a dollar a watt.

Want to see proof of how strong an energy source wind power can be? Let’s take a look at the largest wind farm in the world. You won’t find it offshore in the ocean. Although there is a pretty nice wind farm off the coast of Copenhagen. And this working wind farm is not lost in the Australian Outback, even though there are several 200 megawatt wind farms in southern Australia.

Using those Wide Open Spaces

The world’s biggest wind farm is in the United States and in Texas. It is the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor County, Texas. It is owned by NextEra Energy. NextEra is a subsidiary of energy production and management giant FPL (Florida Power and Light). NextEra produces over 18,000 megawatts of power with over 90 percent of that coming from clean or renewable fuels. 42% of Next Era’s power production comes from wind power! 735 megawatts of that power are produced at Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center.

The energy created from wind power at Horse Hollow comes from 421 tall powerful wind turbines. Each of these is mounted 260 feet above the ground so as to guarantee a steady flow of higher than average velocity winds. The 116 foot blades are connected to a tour bus sized container for the power generation components that weighs 56 tons. This operations area is call the Nacelle. Each of these massive wind driven turbines produces between 1.5 and 2.3 megawatts of power. As with all wind power designs, there are virtually zero emissions and as one might expect there is no fuel to buy and burn. The moment a wind turbine is turned on it starts paying for itself directly. Access to the turbine’s components is made by climbing up the inside of the tower and entering the Nacelle or if you would prefer to think of it as so, the engine room. Here the four basic turbine components the rotor, yaw system, the transmission and the generator are housed and give protected access.

Huge three bladed propellers that automatically turn to face the wind turn at a relatively slow rate of 16 revolutions per minute. One might wonder how this slow rate of speed translates to power? The huge blades of a wind farm turbine are set at a specific pitch so as to maintain a relatively steady rate of revolutions. Those 16 RPMs are channeled into a gear box or transmission if you will. This allows for a progressively faster build up of shaft speeds until a final drive speed of 1800 RPM into a permanent magnet generator. This generator produces a processed steady current at 34,500 volts! That power is sent by underground cable to substations where it is transformed in to smaller voltages several times until it reaches your home in a 120 or 240 volt form.

Horse Hollow Energy Center sits on 47,000 acres of owned and leased land in Texas. Those stories about Texas being the land of wide open spaces are certainly true, as the turbines are spread apart giving each a clear blast of wind.

Unlike nuclear and fossil fuel power production facilities, a wind farm does not require near proximity to water. This explains why Australia has vested so heavily in the technology. Huge expanses of land are indeed needed for wind farming and obviously geographically smaller nations are a poor wind farming fit. But wind farms can be built offshore where there is virtually endless room for turbines.

In the case of Horse Hollow, the 47,000 acres used for the energy center share space with livestock and agricultural production. Each wind turbine requires from 10 to 100 acres of surrounding land.

For the most part, wind turbines are fairly quiet. Most of the noise from the turbines at Horse Hollow comes from the whirring of the gears and bearings within the turbine itself. A certain degree of this noise filters down to people and animals on the ground. The turbines by necessity are spread far apart and this limits the overall noise heard to just that produced by one or two turbines. How loud is the sound from a Horse Hollow wind farm turbine? It is quieter than the sound of a vacuum cleaner coming from the next room. And at Horse Hollow the cows grazing have yet to issue a single complaint.

Zenith Wind Charger
In the 1930s most farms across the United States either used 32 volt DC systems or were without electric power. Those without juice managed to get along by curing meats in a smokehouse and canning fruits and vegetables. But what about entertainment? The thirties were the golden age of radio. Surely the farm community didn’t have to miss out on Fibber McGee and Molly or the Lone Ranger? America’s rural areas stayed in touch with the world by means of DC powered radios. Those on farms with direct current wired in did just fine and those without any power at all used large tube type battery powered radios. Check out an episode of “The Walton’s” and you will see exactly this type. These radios brought in signals from all across America and via short wave all across the world. But like all battery operated devices are apt to have happen, the batteries ran down. And when that happened what was our depression era farmer to do? He hooked up the battery to a Zenith Wind Charger. A small generator connected directly to the shaft of a spinning pinwheel of a turbine rotated and turned cranking out both RPM’s and current. In a few hours the battery was charged for that night’s radio shows and the meaning of the term “Wind Farm” was truly understood.

Advancement in Solar Energy Technology

Advancement in Solar Energy Technology

The atmosphere, oceans and land mass of the Earth absorbs enough energy from the sun in one hour to power the entire planet for one year. Surely we are clever enough to capture some of this magnificent force and use it to fuel our environment.

Solar energy and its use can be divided into two areas. Those are static or passive solar energy collection and dynamic, or perhaps better termed, kinetic solar energy collection and use.

An example of passive solar energy collection would be building a house so that the windows face the morning sun in colder climates. An even more rudimentary example would be that of an alligator sunning himself on the edge of the water. In both cases the sun’s energy is simply absorbed for warmth. And the simplest use of solar energy is as the very daylight we walk about in. Our Earth automatically uses the power of the sun in millions of ways. Not the least of which is photosynthesis by plants for production of oxygen for our atmosphere. Ours is an inherently rechargeable renewable world, provided we use our resources such as solar energy wisely.

To that end, we must examine dynamic solar energy collection for the production of warmth and light.
When you walk though almost any shopping mall built in the last twenty years you will probably notice a flood of bright natural light all around you. Most large malls and department stores are built with double paned insulated windows that allow light to enter yet keep heating or cooling locked inside. But what happens when the sun follows its arc away from those windows? Active solar lighting can use mirrors that track with the sun’s movement and then reflect light into fiber optic cable that can carry that light into any part of our same department store.

We can create transfer warmth through various forms of solar thermal energy. Since the 1950s it has not been uncommon to see simple glass paned boxes filled with copper pipes used to help heat water for swimming pools and boilers. These low temperature collectors are fine for space heating but there are far more effective ways to heat water with the sun’s rays and put that water to work.

High temperature parabolic shaped mirrors can heat water to far greater temperatures than made possible by our simple rooftop hot boxes. In fact bowl and trough type mirrors can boil water to steam which in turn uses a turbine to generate electricity for heating, air conditioning and general power supply. When properly applied, this concentrated solar power can supply 50% of the power needs for a modern factory. Concentrated Solar Power is one half of our method for creating electricity from the sun’s radiant energy.

The most commonly thought of use and form of solar energy conversion is that of relying upon solar voltaic cells. These solar cells are also called photovoltaic. First developed in the 1880s, photovoltaic cells rely upon the electronic reaction of certain key elements to the Sun’s rays so as to produce a tapable flow of electrons that are in turned used to create current flow. In short photovoltaic cells turn sunlight into energy. And lest we think we are so clever for figuring out how to do this, consider that plants have been turning sunlight into energy for millions of years.

Advances in the development of photovoltaic cells have increased drastically since the oil shortages of the 1970s. This is primarily due to development of silicon technologies. Crystalline silicon cells when working in conjunction with CSP (concentrated solar power) as supplied by parabolic mirrors have improved output from Photovoltaic cells by a factor of 50 since their more basic development in 1954. Increases in demand and subsequent increases in production have lowered the price of solar cells to the point that they are now almost competitive with wind power technology and like their low emissions wind counterparts are far less costly than nuclear power.

Development, deployment and economics

Solar Electric power as supplied by huge banks of photovoltaic cells is providing billions of watts of power throughout the world.

Where? How Much? Horse Hollow equivalent?

While not producing power on near the scale of wind driven turbines, solar panels are definitely a viable source of clean power. The state of Hawaii currently produces 6.5% of its power through sustainable energy practices with tremendous emphasis on solar panel power. That is only half the clean energy production of California. The objective of Hawaii to produce 70% of all their energy needs by 2030 is in some ways more attainable than the 33% goal of California.
Basically, the captive and controlled environment of Hawaii is a perfect testing ground for renewable energy. When one lives on an island, or in this case a chain of islands, a certain self sufficiency is always part of the lifestyle.

Enter into the equation the state of Hawaii’s willingness to support private industry in development of green energy projects and you have solar plants such as the one built at Kona, Hawaii by Sopogy. Sopogy stands for Solar Power Technology. It is an extremely passive method of converting the sun’s rays to usable energy. Considering that only one third of our energy needs are directly related to electrical power and you will understand how in some ways simply energy production such as using Sopogy’s parabolic solar mirrors to heat water that can either directly heat and cool or indirectly be used to spin electricity creating turbines is almost five times as effective as a photovoltaic cell.

But let’s not discount solar cell technology quite yet. On 247 acres in Jumilla, Spain the world’s largest solar power from photovoltaic cell production facility is now in operation. While the facility produces nothing near the power as does a huge wind farm such as those in place in Southern Australia, the amount of power generated per acre is not to be dismissed. The solar plant in Jumilla creates enough power to light, heat and cool 20,000 homes. On a comparable basis the 47,000 acres used for the Horse Hollow wind farm could yield 3800 megawatts of power. That is five times as much as the wind farm. Granted the farm land can be used for other purposes simultaneously and the cost of solar does not yet permit such a huge creation. But there are hundreds of thousands of places around the globe where a spare 250 acres can be found. Each of those little plots of sunny land can contribute to the overall sustainability of the Earth.

Yes it is true that conditions in Southern Spain are perfect for such an operation with sunlight available at least 300 days a year, but almost every spot on the globe has its own special opportunities for green energy production. Think of it this way, in places that are gray and cloudy there is usually wind, in places where there is no wind the sun is usually bright.

Solar Power Arithmetic – The cost of solar cells
Part of the allure of solar power produced by photovoltaic cells is the potential profitability. Consider the cost to revenue structure of the Jumilla, Spain solar farm. At the present time, high yield (15% efficiency) photovoltaic solar installations cost around 6 dollars per watt. The world’s largest solar farm sits on just 247 acres and cost about 200 million dollars to build. Gross revenues from the electricity generated at the plant will exceed 20 million dollars annually. This means a return of investment in under 15 years, allowing for maintenance and labor. The solar farm also generates over a million dollars a year in carbon credits. Obviously a solar plant does not need a constant infusion of coal, or other fossil fuels to create energy. Some might think a 15 year wait for return on investment is far too long. Indeed solar and wind power speculate on the overall rise in hydrocarbon fuel costs. A coal fired power plant costs one fifth as much to build as does a solar wind farm on a per watt basis. And even factoring the cost of fuel to burn, fossil fuel power is cheaper, but for how long and at what ultimate cost. Mass production and massive investment in photovoltaic cell research will quickly move the cost per watt for solar power into the 3 dollar range. One little blip in the world’s political stability can drive the cost of fossil fuels to double. If and when that happens solar power will be a bargain.

Utilizing Geothermal Energy for Power, Heating and Cooling

Utilizing Geothermal Energy for Power, Heating and Cooling

For years geothermal energy and power has been limited in context to utilization of naturally occurring steam that has been used to turn turbines and consequently create electric power. These natural occurrences are tapped into with what are known as geothermal wells. Due to these occurrences being limited in location to areas along tectonic plate faults (cracks in the Earth’s shell) there generally has not been too much effective use of geothermal resources. In fact geothermal power amounts to just .3% of our worldwide energy production.

In much the same way as we drilled the Earth for oil over the last hundred years, we can drill for acceptable geothermal outlets. As with the search for fossil fuels, we simply attempt to find places that are hot enough and close enough to the Earth’s core so as to allow for injection of water which will then be turned to steam so as to drive an electricity producing turbine. Just as when drilling for oil, drilling for geothermal access costs millions of dollars.

Of course, the majority of geothermal power stations rely upon the natural occurrence of steam as a result of water intrusion into the inner reaches of the Earth where nearby magma has heated the surrounding rock. In many ways this natural creation of blazing hot steam is rare but the sheer size of the earth makes so many opportunities for the occurrence and the ease of discovery has resulted in quite a few large geothermal fields being placed into use.

The largest geothermal power station in the world is known as “The Geysers”. It is located around 72 miles north of San Francisco. Technically not geysers, the entire area is a geothermal hotbed with 22 power plants combining to create over 1300 megawatts of power. Power from The Geysers provides 60% of all the electricity used in the area of California from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border.

Unlike our general concept of steam from a tea kettle or used in an antique locomotive, the geothermal fields of The Geysers produce super heated dry steam. The ultra hot non vaporous steam can more efficiently drive turbines.

Unfortunately, the natural flow of water into The Geysers area has steadily diminished over the years and the overall power output has fallen. Basically the area supplying water to the hot rock beneath the Earth’s surface has begun to dry up. Less water equals less steam which equals less power. Plans are underway to possibly convert the power stations to inject “Brown Water” from the area so as to create a truly regenerative and sustainable power source.

Unlike wind or solar power, geothermal energy is not always endless in supply.

But there are far more effective ways to tap into the variances and differentials in the Earth’s temperatures. One doesn’t need to dig a well to a fissure point of water and molten lava to take advantage of geothermal resources. Indeed, a more passive approach to energy production is proving to be more efficient.
Geothermal energy can be tapped into on many different levels. The individual homeowner can use geothermal energy to both heat and cool his or her home at a tremendous savings. Anyone can take advantage of geothermal energy in their home.

Basically home geothermal is used for home heating and air conditioning. A home geothermal heating and air conditioning system centers around piping filled with fluid buried deep in the ground of your property. These pipes can be coils of plastic tubing laid horizontally just 10 – 20 feet below the surface of the earth or they may be vertically placed hundreds of feet deep.

The purpose of these pipes is to take advantage of the relatively stable temperatures of the Earth once one digs down a bit. Even in the coldest climates, the Earth’s temperature is at least 55 degrees at a depth of 20 feet.
As one digs deeper into the Earth, the stored energy of the sun is replaced by the heat of the Earth’s core. The core of the Earth is molten rock with a temperature of around 8000 degrees.
Home geothermal systems take advantage of this differential directly. Obviously during the summer one can easily run water cooled under the earth through radiators and send that endless supply of 55 degree cooling into a home’s 90 degree air. This is so effective that many eco-conscious homes are cooled by air pipes hundreds of feet long. In this most passive example of geothermal energy use, air is blown through huge hollow pipes which run underground. The heat is drawn by conduction from this air as it passes through the length of cool underground. It is then returned directly through the duct-work of the home. Basically this is air conditioning with no need for compressors, coolant or mechanical heat exchange. Consequently the cost to run an air pipe cooling system is incredibly low.

By comparison, heating systems relying upon geothermal exchange must use heat pumps that mechanically trade on the temperature differential so as to build a greater amount of heat. While this is more efficient than other forms of creating heat such as electrical friction it does still have a cost. A heat pump based from a geothermal piping system is still two to four times as initially expensive as conventional heating.

Passive Geothermal heating and air conditioning is just one aspect of what falls under the heading of Green Building which shows we can design and build our homes and commercial buildings from the outset to use less energy.

Green Building Solutions

Green Building Solutions

Which is cheaper to build a house with, a spruce timber 2 by 4 or a steel stud? It might cost less to build a house using lumber, but is it cheaper in the long run? Especially when one considers the cost of greenhouse emissions and how they are affected by loss of trees. But steel must be refined and molded using plenty of energy.

Which of these uses more power and consequently causes a larger carbon footprint? It is difficult to say, but choice of build materials is a definite part of how we can change the way we build homes and other buildings so as to save money and energy. Choice of building materials is just one part of what is known as green building.

Green building can best be described as the birth to grave process of building. From choosing a site through architectural design, choice of materials, construction, occupancy and eventual demolish, every aspect of a building’s effect on the environment is considered. Paramount among these is energy efficiency as part of the dwelling use.

Green building can be taken to as simple or as extreme a degree as one desires. For example simply choosing darker shingles in a colder climate is passive energy conservation. Placing solar photovoltaic cells on that same roof will actually produce more power than is used within the building at times.

Let’s break down the various components of green building for examination beginning with siting and design. These two are closely tied together. Siting considers factors such as exposure to sun and wind. Placing a home so that it faces west during the afternoon sun has been a form or energy conservation practiced for years. Likewise we reverse the placement of our building in warmer areas. Consider now that we incorporate design elements to further our efficiency. We might use large double paned windows in the northern climate to allow a useful warming greenhouse effect in one location or smaller tinted glass in the hotter locales. Choosing where we place our building and then incorporating design elements that save on heating and cooling are fundamentals of green building.

Energy efficiency can be taken much further of course. Taking a quick look at energy use in the home leads us to the conclusion that the majority of our power costs are placed in heating and air conditioning, hot water, lighting and cooking. Green building techniques for inside climate control include air pipe ventilation, rooftop solar panels and geothermal heat exchangers. These can cool your home, make hot water and power your lights. Most importantly they drastically reduce your dependency on electricity as furnished by your power company and in this way they save you a great deal of money over the lifespan of your home.

Water conservation is a major aspect of green building. Simply by diverting gray water from your sewer to your lawn you achieve two goals. You protect diminishment of fresh water supplies while watering your lawn. Point of use water treatment saves money right from its inclusion in construction.

Of course, what you choose to build your house out of is as large a factor today as it was 1000 years ago when native peoples were digging caves into cliff walls. Obviously this was a wonderful example of materials efficiency. But one doesn’t need to live in a cave to be materials energy efficient. Building materials made from compacted earth and natural stone accomplish much the same effect. Using recycled materials such as our steel 2 by 4 reduce our home cost in terms of carbon, as do polyurethane blocks, planks and siding made from recycled plastic and demolition debris. There is no reason that any home has to be built at the cost of a hundred acres of trees.

Simple systems such as passive lighting (skylights) and air pipe ventilation can drastically improve the quality of life for occupants. Use of natural building materials almost guarantees fewer volatile particles and a higher indoor air quality. Most man-made materials release minute amounts of health damaging toxic gases. There is a reason why we call it “Fresh Air”.

Green building costs on average just 5% more than current standardized construction practices. That number would drop to the point of a direct savings if green building were to become the standard. As with almost every energy-saving vehicle, we can drastically reduce costs if we increase volume. Green building returns a savings of 50 to 70 percent on energy costs over the life time of a building. Yes, addition of items like solar panels and geothermal underground pipes is a supplemental cost. But the initial cost of these electricity bill lowering features has been proven to quickly pay for itself.

One doesn’t have to build a two hundred foot tall wind turbine in their front yard to save on energy costs. Simple procedures like proper site planning and choice of construction materials can cut a new home’s energy bill by 25% instantly. And while monetary savings are important, the true savings from green building is not measured in dollars. Rather it should be counted in overall improved quality of life in the home and office and overall improved health of the planet Earth.

Global Warming Solutions

Global Warming Solutions

Obviously there is no one magic solution to the problem of global warming. There are instead hundreds of questions that need to be asked and addressed so as to create an overall Earth plan that will develop our planet wisely. The changes we can make, both large and small when combined will curtail global warming for the better. In this section we discuss the latest green designs, products and ideas as yet undeveloped that will reduce environmental damage overall.

We plan to offer honest value comparisons of products such as hybrid cars. If the carbon footprint made from producing a hybrid is ten times larger than that it erases it is news that should be shared. Compact florescent lights are great energy savers but are all of these exactly what they claim to be? And furthermore will light emitting diodes render CFLs obsolete before they are universally adapted.

As always the future holds a newer and possibly better design. We will be bringing you articles examining what will come and those products that are already available but await widespread acceptance. Developments in mass renewable energy production in such areas as solar and wind power are of interest to all. We will also be looking back at past successful use of these energy choices. Zenith sold tiny windmills in the late 1930s that would charge a car battery that in turn would run a radio for days. Has the technological upgrade been utilized?

We will find solutions to the problem of global warming by asking countless questions about the processes we rely upon to live. We answer these questions on a personal level by changing the habits, which build each of our carbon footprints and on a global level by insisting that social and governmental structure acknowledge the need for environmental protection.

Secondary effects of global warming

Secondary effects of global warming

All of the above initial effects of global warming set into motion the following more directly adverse effects. Every human being, animal and plant on planet Earth feels these second tier effects.

reduced-crop-yields-11Decreased crop yields
For a short time it was hoped that a byproduct of global warming would be increased yields of agriculture. The obvious conclusion was that plant life through photosynthesis would make good use of the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce a lush abundance of flora. Certainly areas such as Iceland, which due to an overall warmer climate can now support the growth of crops such as barley, have benefited from global warming. Regions such as Siberia are now able to produce food. But overall the effect of global Warming on agriculture is decidedly negative. Floods and droughts do not make suitable growing fields. In Africa, areas that historically received two rain falls yearly now receive more resulting in increased yields, but areas receiving one rainfall per annum now receive less. This of course results in a non existent growing season and a 33% decrease in harvestable crops. While an increase in rainfall may increase yields for those already able to produce a harvest a decrease in rainfall results in a complete lack of food for others.
Flooding of coastal areas results in coastal growing plains being destroyed. For many poorer countries these are the only fertile areas accessible to transportation via waterways. Poor countries like Bangladesh are completely at risk to massive starvation caused by coastal flooding.

Many Pacific Island nations will be completely eliminated as sea levels rise. It is already planned to evacuate the peoples of Tuvalu to nearby New Zealand as flood defense in not economically or agriculturally possible.

species-extinction-12Species Migration and Extinction
People will not be the only living things on the move due to global warming. As regional ecosystems change many species will be unable to find historical food sources. This will result in mass migrations to climates hoped to support those species as well as mass extinction of those animals unable to migrate an /or adapt. Polar bears, emperor penguins, gyrfalcons and snowy owls are just a few of the species current in peril in the new warmer Arctic and Antarctic regions. Longer warm seasons result in such basic changes as a Polar bears loss of natural camouflage. A white bear on brown earth is easy for a seal to avoid.
Birds and butterflies have shifted the range of their migrations almost 200 kilometers in North America and Europe. Plant life is unable to shift regions as quickly and as such will die out unless manually replanted in more conducive settings. When herbivores migrate to find a genetically compatible climate they face the risk of starvation when their traditional foodstuffs have not migrated with them. Many species are simply unable to migrate to better climes and as such will suffer the fate of Australia’s white possum. Unable to survive in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius the entire species was destroyed during a surprisingly excessive heat wave during 2005. Their loss is directly attributed to global warming.

Severe winters in British Columbia have always managed to keep in balance the voracious effect of the Pine Beetle. Warmer temperatures have now allowed the beetles to profligate and destroy 33 million acres of Canadian pines.

Mountain run off of melting snows is expected to result in seasonal flooding followed by seasonal drought in every mountain range in the world. Mountains cover one fourth of the Earth’s land mass. As upper mountain areas warm it is expected that over heated lower level animals and plants will simply move up to a higher elevation. But what of life already situated at the upper threshold? Once they reach the top of the mountain where will they move up to?

The Human Condition
Of course we tend to realize the plight of animals as we can easily see their need to migrate to better stomping grounds. But, what are the direct effects of increased temperature on homosapiens?

Disease spreads in an overheated environment. Ever notice that there isn’t a lot of malaria in Buffalo, New York or Moscow, Russia. Cold kills germs. Global warming will extend the favorable zones for many infectious diseases. Encephalitis, Lyme disease and the aforementioned malaria will join with other bacteria based carriers of illness to spread throughout areas previously thought of as safe zones.

Our bodies must work harder to cool off when placed in a higher ambient temperature. Cardiovascular function is directly reduced by even a 1-degree temperature increase.

Higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the air we breathe are also directly damaging to lung tissue and lung capacity.