Running Head: Greenhouse Effect
Date of Submission:
Green house effect encompasses the process through which the radioactive energy emitted from a terrestrial surface is absorbed by the greenhouse gasses. Atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone change the planetary energy balance through the absorption of long wave radiations emanated by the earth’s surface. In this case, energy is received on the earth’s surface from the sun inform of infrared rays, which are later re-radiated in form of thermal radiations (Ahrens, 2007). A portion of the thermal radiations is atmospherically absorbed and re-radiated in all directions. The other portion is absorbed by the earth’s surface culminating into the earth warming of around 255 K temperature. The earth then radiates infra red heat at long wavelengths, which stimulates the greenhouse gases that were transparent to the radiations, to absorb the infrared heat.
The green house gases in turn re-radiate and absorb more infrared radiations resulting into increased warming of the atmosphere, leading to the green house effect. Void of the green house effect the earth’s average temperature would be -18° Celsius as compared to the current temperature of 15° Celsius (Common & Stagl, 2005). The amount of greenhouse effect is under the control of greenhouse gases’ concentration. Carbon dioxide accounts for 55% of the green house effect with chlorofluorocarbons accounting for 25%, methane 15%, nitrous oxide 5% and ozone accounts for 3%.Anthropogenic greenhouse effect describes the type of green house effect enhanced through increased human activity that increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Currently the levels of carbon dioxide in the air amount to 389 ppm.
In addition, the levels of carbon dioxide are increased through fossil burning, tropical deforestation, farming practices, industrial gases and population growth. Essentially, increased levels of carbon dioxide culminate into the emission and absorption of atmospheric thermal infrared that produces high levels of net earth surface’s warming (Cook, 2007). The green house effect and real green houses are similar, owing to their limitation of thermal energy that flows from the system, but the heat retainance mechanism utilized in both cases is different. In greenhouses, the absorbed heat is prevented from re-emission through convention by isolating the air inside the green house, while in green house effect; the absorbed heat from earth’s surface-troposphere system by the greenhouse gases, is re-emitted back to the earth resulting into increased warming of the surface. The other planets in the solar systems that experience the greenhouse effect include the moon Titan, Venus, Pluto and Mars. Titan exhibits an anti-greenhouse effect.
Anthropogenic greenhouse effect is augmented by enhanced green house effect, which is because of increased human activities that culminate to increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This clearly indicates that the primary stakeholders in the greenhouse effect have to involve human beings at some perspective. The green house effect culminates into global warming, which is a global problem that calls for national integration and cooperation in formulating the solutions to the problem. In this case, many stakeholders are involved in the greenhouse effect problem (Dauncey, 2001). The primary stakeholders are inclusive of all the countries and states of the world and their governments, individual people and local community associations. They also include international environmental groups, international entities such as UN intergovernmental bodies like UNEP, the media, international oil companies in the oil industry, other companies in the manufacturing industry, environmentalists, cities, scientific organizations, private environmentalists, research centers as well as universities and other learning institutions.
UN and its intergovernmental bodies came up with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty signed in 1992.as per the treaty. The main interest of UN and its inter-governmental bodies is the adherence of all countries, be they developing or developed to the reduction and stabilization of the greenhouse gases’ concentration in the atmosphere to such levels that can reduce the anthropogenic influence on global climatic changes (Houghton, 2006). Although the treaty does not provide binding limits to individual countries, it provides protocols to be utilized in the setting of emission limits. In most cases, global warming statistics are provided with the ranking of different countries in accordance to their contribution to the greenhouse effect. In this case, every country or state in the world contributes to global warming; hence, they can be identified as primary stakeholders to the greenhouse effect.
Their interest lies on the reduction of the green house effect at the national or state level through the establishment of policies to be adhered to by the citizens, the government and the corporations in the country or state (Hyndman & Hyndman, 2009). The interest of the media is to create public awareness on the effects of global warming and the procedures that can be followed to mitigate the greenhouse effect. International oil companies are interested with continued oil extraction and provision activities regardless of their high contribution to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Industrial gases contribute largely to the green house effect thus the interest of all manufacturing companies is the reduction of the green house effect through social corporate responsibility. Private environmentalists are interested with activities that can create more public awareness on the effect of global warming as well as those that can work towards the mitigation of the same.
International environmental groups are interested with activities that can reduce global warming and the greenhouse effect as well as soliciting for help from governments and other international groups. Scientific organizations are interested with providing statistics on the level of global warming and the effects it has on the earth. Universities and other institutions of learning arte interested with providing studies to their students on the impacts of greenhouse effect and ways to be followed in mitigating the impacts as well as running projects on different aspects of greenhouse effect (United Nations, 2002). Cities can be identified as stakeholders as they are interested in putting in place policies that can reduce the greenhouse effects at a constituent level. All types of governments be they local, state and federal are in charge with putting in place policies to be followed by all people under their jurisdiction in reducing the effect of global warming. Individual people and local community associations are affected by global warming and they are interested in reducing the greenhouse effect due to its effect on climatic changes. States and countries are interested with adhering to the protocols of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where greenhouse effect reduction is concerned.
UN through United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change proposes protocol such as the Kyoto Protocol in the setting of emission limits for different countries. The countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have set limits concerning the reduction of the greenhouse gases. This is done through joint implementation, clean development mechanism and emissions trading (Schneider, 1989). The media prepares documentaries on greenhouse effect and the mitigation methods, which are availed to the public for increased awareness of the problem. Oil companies and other manufacturing companies have embarked on social corporate responsibility, which aids in the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases to the environment. Universities and other learning institutions, international environmental groups, private environmentalist, local community associations and individual people have embarked on tree planting activities as a form of reducing the effect of deforestation. The government has put in place administrative, national planning, information and economic policies at the local, federal and state level for the mitigation and stabilization of the greenhouse effect.
These are inclusive of environmental related taxes, tradable permits, corporate tax, and administrative guidance for the implementation of different projects, land use planning measures and energy reduction measures (Stille, 2006). Different cities have embarked on the utilization of information policies, which create public awareness on the problems, associated with greenhouse effect and methods of mitigation while at the same time providing the funds required for different projects that work towards the reduction of the green house effect. Scientific organizations provide the relevant data regarding the level of greenhouse effect and the level at which it has been mitigated to enforce the other stakeholders to increase their efforts on reducing the green house effect. They provide suggestions on alternative energy sources that could be utilized to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the environment. Different countries have embarked on measures that could culminate into the reduction of population growth, as it is one of the major contributors to the in crease in the greenhouse gases.
Environmental Policy at the Federal, State and Local Level
United States is a country that possesses Environmental policies for the regulation of all the activities that translate to different environmental impacts in America. The role played by the policies is that of maintaining the environmental for the sake of the future generations while reducing the governmental interference with the liberty of the people or efficiency of commerce while at the same time limiting the burden if environmental costs (Ahrens, 2007). They developed from the 20th century, environmental movement in the United States that saw the regulation of water and air pollution as well as the formation of Environmental Protection Agency. The main policy tools encompassed in the policies include inducements and rules. Under rules, regulations are formulated in form of performance standards and design standards. Performance levels are in charge of specifying the emission levels to be met by different groups, while Design standards are in charge of specifying the ways in which the performance standards are to be met.
Market reforms or inducements are punishments or rewards adopted by the government in influencing people towards environmental conservations. The environment policies are divided into administrative, economic, information and National planning. The criteria utilized in the selection of these policies are policy-effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and dynamic efficiency. The economic policies are developed and modified at the federal level, where market reforms of tradable permit systems such as auction of pollution rights as well as emissions taxes are employed (Common & Stagl, 2005). Joint implementation and trade permits encompass the buying of credits between polluters and non-polluters through mutual agreements. Subsidies and financial incentives encompassed in this policy enhance insurance against environmental related damages. Administrative policies arte adopted at the state and local levels as they include interventions and initiatives linked with fundamental mitigation strategies adopted by the government.
These come in the form of standards and regulations as well as administrative guidance and incentives on programs and projects. These are hindered by compliance but the dialogue stimulated between different stakeholders increases the levels of compliance for all the people involved and affected. Information policies are appropriate at the sate and local level as they encompass setting up information organs for increasing public awareness, organizing superior training and education programs concerning greenhouse effect, provision of advisory services and instigation of the instruments to be utilized for the reduction of the impacts of the greenhouse effect (Cook, 2007). National planning policies are instigated at the federal level, state and local level because they include the application of measures for enhancing effective and efficient land use. These work towards the reduction of the need for transportation and energy, which majorly contribute, to the emission of carbon dioxide. The location and design of physical structures as well as urban planning can reduce the need for transportation services significantly. The government at all levels is in charge for the formulation of the best policies for national planning.
The current status of the green house effect can be translated into the increased levels of global warming that is experienced in the modern world today. Although other gases, which are not because of human activities, culminate to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect, currently the prevalent greenhouse gas that enhances the greenhouse effect is carbon dioxide. The levels of carbon dioxide have been increased substantially by human activities culminating into the current global warming, which is identified as anthropogenic global warming (Dauncey, 2001). Void of the greenhouse effect the earth’s temperature should be at 5.3 °C, but due to the difference between the earth’s actual temperature and the blackbody temperature, which is known as the green house effect, the earth’s temperature stands at around 14 °C or 15 °C. Currently the level of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere stands at 389 ppm as compared to that of 1960 which amounted to 313 ppm. An increase in the levels of carbon dioxide has been followed by an increase in the level of the other greenhouse gases of chlorofluorocarbons, methane and nitrous oxide.
Initially the level of ozone contribution to the greenhouse effect exceeded that of carbon dioxide, but due to the increase in human activities, the level of carbon dioxide contribution has considerably exceeded that of the ozone layer. Currently, the impacts of global warming as induced by the green house effect can be reduced currently through Global dimming, which is identified as the process of concentrating atmospheric aerosols, whose main aim is to block sunlight from reaching the earth’s surface (Hyndman & Hyndman, 2009). The amount of precipitation has increases considerably while the sea levels have been on the rise due to the current high levels of the green house effect. Currently the green house effect is at its highest in the Arctic, hence the levels of global warming in that area is very high. Currently the number of countries that have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol which is utilized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in setting emission limits for different countries, adds up to 187. Currently, the types of policies utilized in stabilizing the levels of greenhouse effect include International Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation.
The proposed resolution of the problem of global warming due to the impacts of greenhouse effect is global dimming which encompasses a process whereby global direct irradiance exhibited on the earth’s surface is reduced gradually through such particulates as sulfate aerosols, accumulated in the atmosphere through increased human activities. The aerosol particles react through the absorption of solar energy while at the same time reflecting the solar energy back to space (Hyndman & Hyndman, 2009). Consequently, the aerosols surround the cloud droplets and form nuclei, which culminate into the coalescence of the cloud droplets on the particles in questions. These particles increase with increase in pollution leading to the creation of clouds with many but smaller droplets. These smaller droplets increase the reflectivity of the clouds, which in turn leads to the reflection of more solar energy back to space. Global dimming works by interfering with the hydrological cycle through the reduction of evaporation. It creates a cooling effect, which partially masks the impacts of the greenhouse gases that culminate to global warming. It is identified as geoengineering technique, which can be humanly manipulated for the reduction of the greenhouse effect and global warming consecutively.
Stakeholder Acceptance of the Resolution
The adoption of global dimming as a form of mitigating the impacts of the greenhouse effect might be followed by probable causes. These causes include the accumulation of soot in the atmosphere and cooling of the regions with less air pollution. This however, does not interfere with the fact that a reduction of global dimming might culminates into the increase in global warming. For this reason, UN can be convinced to uptake global dimming because the amount of air pollution caused by the soot, which is produced by global dimming, is relatively small as compared to the level of global warming it reduces (Hyndman & Hyndman, 2009). The states and country governments can be persuaded through the fact that they will reduce the number of policies put in place to reduce the impacts of global warming if they adopt the use of global dimming which translates to an easier solution. The scientific organizations can be utilized to convince the other stakeholders on the benefits of employing global dimming to reduce the impacts of greenhouse effect through the production of the statistics that provide the needed evidence based on the advantages of global dimming.
The enhanced greenhouse effect has been the reason behind the increased global warming levels that the modern world is experiencing currently. It is caused by such greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, which have been on the increase in the 21st century. Different people are affected by global warming and they amount to the number of stakeholders linked to the greenhouse effect. Different environmental policies have been developed and modified at the federal, state and local level for the mitigation of the green house effect. The current situation of the greenhouse effect can be summarized through anthropogenic global warming which is the type of global warming that result from increased human activities (Cook, 2007). The most appropriate resolution for the greenhouse effect is global damming. Different stakeholders can be persuaded to take up the resolution through the fact that the amount of air pollution caused by global damming is relative as compared to the levels of global warming that it reduces. In conclusion, the levels of greenhouse effects have been on the increase in the modern world but different stakeholders have adopted different policies for the mitigation of the problem.
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