In discussing global warming, it is important to address the concept of the greenhouse effect. The surface of the Earth naturally warms by what is known as the greenhouse effect.. Seems harmless, right? However, there are such things as greenhouse gases also known as GHG’s. Two common greenhouse gases among the many are carbon dioxide and methane.
These greenhouse gases are both helpful and critical. They are helpful in that their presence helps supports all types of life on the planet. Greenhouse gases are critical to our Earth, because there would be no life without them. The bigger problem is when too much of these GHG’s are exposed in the atmosphere. The more amounts of GHG’s released, the warmer things will get and the more our weather patterns will change. The storms this year and last year are evidence that global warming can produce destructive irreversible consequences. One of the leading causes of human impact on global warming is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. Carbon dioxide is a gas that plays a large role in the greenhouse effect.
It is the most common emitted greenhouse gas from human activities. The Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) reported that in 2016, carbon dioxide equated for about 81.6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Although carbon dioxide is a natural gas used in the carbon cycle; humans have altered the amount of carbon dioxide released. The burning or combustion of fossil fuels emits the most carbon dioxide.
Industries account for a percentage of the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted, but electricity and transportation are important factors as well. A study from 2016 explains that combustion from coal and other natural gases from different industries make up about 15 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 12 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Electricity and transportation, both considerably total 34 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Industries use electricity, which helps add to this total amount. Transportation covers all types of transportation, whether by air, road, rail, or underwater. Another issue in discussing global warming is how to control the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted. It is important that there must be some type of management that limits the total amounts of greenhouse gases that are dangerous for our ecosystems. There are many initiatives, rules, and regulations that have been in place to do just that and help the future of our environment. Among these laws is the Clean Air Act which regulates air emissions and air pollutants that are hazardous.
The Clean Air Act’s objective is to protect the health and welfare of the public. The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. “Clean Water Act” became the Act’s common name with amendments in 1972.