Global warming – a warning to the world
19
February
2007

A hypersensitive issue capable of bringing all nations around one table- that is the ‘global warming’- a term allotted to the extraordinary increase in the atmospheric temperature due to the accumulation of green house gases.

Green house gases (GHG) mainly comprise carbon dioxide, which is emitted to the atmosphere as the byproduct of burning of fossil fuels, respiration, industrial activities, etc. Carbon dioxide emission caused by the vehicles on the road is the main cause for the increase of the carbon dioxide level.

The global warming, caused by the green house effect, happens in the following way. Carbon dioxide has the ability to trap the infrared rays of the sun and thus maintain the temperature of the planet. But the abnormal level of carbon dioxide emerges as a threat to earth; it has been reported that the average global atmospheric temperature has risen 0.6 ± 0.2 degree celsius since the late 19th century.

The aftermaths of global warming are many. It can cause rise in the sea level, in turn, make many lands disappear from the earth in the due course. This mainly happens because of the increase in temperature in the Polar Regions which causes the polar glaciers melt and thus result a rise in the sea level. Flood, hurricane, and extreme climate conditions are some of the challenges we are expecting in the near future. The end of the sad story is that many plant and animal species are going to be extinct due to this adversity.

Environmental agencies across the globe are working out strategies to reshape the earth’s meteorological map which is occupying more and more red in the place of blue. The only practical solution to this impending disaster is the use of alternate fuels. The automobile industry has been seriously involved in projects such as hybrid technology by which fuel efficiency of the vehicles can be improved.

Hybrid cars, which work on the combined effort of an oil fuel and electricity, is found to be more efficient than its single-fuel counterparts in terms of mileage and emission. More and more eco-friendly fuels such as alcohol and bio-diesel (fuel produced from vegetable oil or animal fats) are also being considered as the future fuel of the greener hybrid cars. There are more hopes with the much-awaited hydro-fuel technology taking shape, where water can be used as a fuel. Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen and the hydrogen is utilized as a fuel for running the motor, whereas oxygen is released as the exhaust!

The U.S. Department of Energy launched a ‘Climate VISION’ program initiated by President Bush in February 2003. The program’s focus is to reduce the intensity of green house gas by about 18% between 2002 and 2012, and they are involved with various federal agencies for its success. But EIA has a different version saying that ‘Climate VISION’ may not be able to reduce the absolute level of carbon dioxide as EIA’s statistics shows that it has increased 15% annually during the period 2001-05.

However, the situation is not beyond control. The contribution of each individual matters in saving the entire planet from peril. It is high time for governments to bring an international law that strictly adheres to the policies intended to reduce the emission from vehicles and other hazardous sources.

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