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Global warming term paper

"Rowland and Molina's article had been in print only eight months when another one on CFCs appeared in the October 1975 issue of the journal Science. Its author was a young atmospheric chemist named Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who had recently completed his doctorate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ramanathan's interest in CFCs stemmed from his dissertation research. He was able to demonstrate that CFCs trap the Sun's energy in the same manner as do the other greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane. In fact, molecule for molecule, CFCs are much more efficient at trapping infrared radiation than the other greenhouse gases. "This enhancement," Ramanathan warned, "may lead to an appreciable increase in the global surface temperature if the atmospheric concentrations of these compounds reach the values of the order of 2 parts per billion." Ozone depletion and a potential increase in the greenhouse effect. It was this dual portent of creeping disaster that was about to touch off what environmental historians Lydia Dotto and Harold Schiff christened "the Ozone War .As if atmospheric scientists did not have enough on their plates already, they were suddenly faced by another conundrum in the mid - 1970s. After some thirty years of cooling, the climatic pendulum seemed momentarily suspended, as though in equipoise; then it abruptly reversed itself, causing global temperatures to rise once again."

"In the absence of aggressive and expensive abatement, greenhouse gases will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere, and we will experience warming. One must learn to adapt to warming, and government policy must encourage efficient adaptation. Much of the adaptation will be private, as people and firms change their behaviour to accommodate to the new environment. But some of it must be public, because actions such as building sea walls, controlling vectorborne diseases, or building new dams benefit many people. Because the consequences of warming will vary across countries, the countries' interest in imposing controls will vary as well. Many countries will benefit from warming the very countries, ironically, that have contributed the most to historic emissions. The industrialized nations of the earth happen to lie in boreal and temperate climates, where warming is likely to prove beneficial. Countries in subtropical and, especially, tropical climates " which to date have made no commitment to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions " are likely to be damaged by warming. As each country becomes aware of national impacts, the impacts will become more important to the countries and affect future negotiations about abatement measures and costs. Each country will perceive different rewards for itself in taking action, and that will make it increasingly difficult to construct international agreements. Successful agreements will almost certainly have to include a compensation package to encourage at least some nations to cooperate."

"Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to periodically review its clean air standards - those for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter - and change them if scientific studies warrant. In revising and setting standards, known formally as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the EPA administrator must establish them with an "adequate margin of safety" to protect public health. The ozone standard was originally set in 1971 for a group of pollutants called "photochemical oxidants" (later changed to just ozone), not to exceed an hourly average level of 80 parts per billion, or PPB more than one hour per year. The ozone standard at the time was based, in part, on studies that showed increased asthma attacks in areas where ozone levels were high. By 1979, the standard was formally changed to adopt ozone as the indicator rather than photochemical oxidants, and the level was relaxed to 120 PPB ozone. EPA arrived at the revised standard after finding adverse health effects for sensitive individuals in the 150-to-250 PPB range, setting the standard at 120 PPB, providing what it then believed to be an adequate margin of safety. EPA also changed the violation threshold from a one-hour exceedance to a one-day exceedance. Compliance with the national standard for ozone - meaning whether a particular city or county had attained the standard-was determined over a three-year period."

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