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SSC-202 Environ. Studies Some basic Understanding By Dr.

Abdulrauf Farooqi Professor, EEM, IoBM

Global Warming: Atmospheric carbon dioxide, and host of other gases (such as methane, water vapor, tropospheric ozone, CFCs, nitrous oxide) absorb infrared radiation(long wavelength) and radiates or transmits short wavelength radiation from the sun. As a result of increasing concentration or build up of greenhouse gas due to human activity the earth temperature increases or warming up of earth takes place due to absorption of infrared radiation by greenhouse gases or in other words non escaping of infrared radiation into space.

CFCs: chlorofluorocarbons Because the greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation which is radiated heat from the sun-higher greenhouse gas concentrations lead to global warming and global climate change. This occurs because the absorption of heat slows its eventual re-radiation into space, thereby warming the atmosphere.

Sources of Global Warming: 1. Burning of fossil fuel-the most significant source of carbon dioxide is the burning of fossil fuel 2. The role of trace gases: important gases in trace contributing to greenhouse effect are methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and CFCs. Addition of one molecule of CFC can have same greenhouse effect as 104 molecule of carbon dioxide.
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3. Methane [CH4]: The principal source of methane are action of anaerobic bacteria, leakage from coal mines and natural gas pipeline, decomposition of organic matter, incomplete combustion of forest fire. 4. Nitrous oxide [N2O]: The major source are microbial action on nitrogen fertilizer, burning of biomass, fossil fuel and forests.
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5. Volcanoes: Volcanoes emit huge amount of carbon dioxide (approximately 25 million metric tons) 6. Deforestation: Deforestation adds carbon dioxide in two ways (a) trees either are burned or decomposed emitting carbon dioxide and
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(b) deforested land are unable to sequester carbon dioxide through photosynthesis (deforestation indirectly adds 10%-30% carbon dioxide. Consequences of Global warming: 1. Pattern of rainfall changeslargely shifts to more agriculturally productive areas.
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2. Carbon dioxide fertilization: An elevated carbon dioxide might appear an agricultural blessing i.e., increased photosynthesis. The increase in the rate of photosynthesis due to elevated carbon dioxide is called carbon dioxide fertilization. 3. Low nitrogen content: The dead plant such as fallen leaves and twigs are rich in nitrogen thereby act as organic fertilizer enriching soil.
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However, plants growing in higher concentration of carbon dioxide have less nitrogen than carbon. Less nitrogen in plants means less protein content. Insect/pests would eat more leaf to obtain sufficient nitrogen i.e., protein.
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6. Effect on human health: An increase in global temperature will likely increase the incidence of diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness (tsetse fly),dengue and yellow fever. 7. Effect wildlife: Increased temperature will result in ecological disasters, rise in sea level will swamp coastal areasdisappearance of plants will result in disappearance of wildlife.
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4. Increase in decomposition rate: Due to global warming i.e., greenhouse effect, the dead plants and soil organic matter decompose at a faster rate than normal. The decomposition will release more carbon dioxide meaning more greenhouse gas i.e., more global warming.
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5. Increase water evaporation from soil: Due to increase in temperature (warming) evaporation of moisture from soil i.e., decrease in soil moisture content will decrease soil fertility.

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8. Climate change: Studies on different simulation climatic models reveal (a) warming of earth surface and cooling of stratosphere (b) varied warming effects on earth-reduced warming impact on tropics. In other latitudes the average warming may account for o 5-10 C increase
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precipitation pattern will change some areas may become wetter and some drier (d) seasonal pattern will change 9. Rise in sea level: Sea level is expected to rise between 10 and 30 cm by the year 2020 and 30 to 100 cm by he end of the next century.
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