Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming, to limit climate change in the long term, the most important greenhouse gas to control is carbon dioxide, which in the United States is emitted primarily as a result of burning fossil fuels shows the relative amount of emissions from residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sources. It’s not really a matter of doing without, but being smarter about how we produce and use energy. The United States is responsible for about half of the human-produced CO2 emissions already in the atmosphere and currently accounts for roughly 20% of global CO2 emissions, despite having only 5% of the world’s population.
The U.S. percentage of total global emissions is projected to decline over the coming decades as emissions from rapidly developing nations such as China and India will continue to grow. Thus, reductions in U.S. emissions alone will not be adequate to avert climate change risks. However, strong U.S. leadership— demonstrated through strong domestic actions, may help influence other countries to pursue serious emission reduction efforts as well. Several key opportunities to reduce how much carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere are available including:
Reduce underlying demand for goods and services that require energy, for example, expandeducation and incentive programs to influence consumer behavior and preferences; curtail sprawlingdevelopment patterns that further our dependence on petroleum.
Improve the efficiency with which energy is used, for example, use more efficient methods forinsulating, heating, cooling, and lighting buildings;upgrade industrial equipment and processes to bemore energy efficient; and encourage the purchase of efficient home appliances and vehicles
Expand the use of low- and zero-carbon energy sources, for example, switch from coal and oil tonatural gas, expand the use of nuclear power and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass; capture and sequester CO2 from power plants and factories.
Capture and sequester CO2 directly from the atmosphere, for example, manage forests and soilsto enhance carbon uptake; develop mechanical methods to “scrub” CO2 directly from ambient air.