Greenhouse gases increase, climate is getting warmer
The sun heats the ground too much.
Incoming radiation energy from the sun heats the Earth’s surface considerably. For example, on one square kilometer in the Sahara desert, the energy from the sun at noon is equal to the power of approximately one nuclear power plant. Fortunately the Earth’s surface cools down as excess thermal energy radiates back into space in the form of thermal radiation, as the picture below shows.
- It seems, however, that the Earth is not cooling down enough, i.e. the climate is warming up too much.
- Greenhouse gas prevents heat radiation into space.
- The increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the air increase the refractive index of the air, modifying the trajectory of radiation.
- The increased refractive index of greenhouse gas in turn allows for a faster decrease of the refractive index in upper air layers, which affects the total internal reflection by increasing the reflection of thermal radiation back to the ground.
- At the same time, the solid angle that lets heat back into space is reduced, as shown in the above picture.
Carbon dioxide is suspected to be the most significant greenhouse gas. The amount of carbon dioxide is increasing at an alarming rate in the air as well as in water, in which it dissolves easily.The main reason for this increase is the combustion of carbonaceous materials in order to obtain energy. Such materials include. coal, firewood, peat and fossil fuel oils.
Attempts at reducing the formation of greenhouse gas – the carbon dioxide – in the atmosphere are continuously made, but these efforts seem hopeless. Large meetings are held to prevent global warming and to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The debate is basically about it who is allowed to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while using energy, and how much, so as not to disturb the human living conditions excessively. The following measures are among those that have been either decided or planned in order to reduse carbon dioxide emissions:
- Determining a fee for the carbon dioxide produced, by setting a unit price for it. This steers industries towards developing methods that produce less carbon dioxide.
- Trying to increase the use of wind power. For now, as wind power is more expensive than the carbon-intensive energy sources, the wind power companies are able to remain in operation only with state subsidies. An additional problem stems from alterations in power availability caused by wind fluctuations.
- Trying to increase the use of bioenergy. Here the idea is to burn carbonaceous (not fossil) material produced by nature. The resulting carbon dioxide ends up in the atmosphere.
- The carbon dioxide in the air is used to generate new growth in plants, which can so reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the air. The resulting carbonaceous substance can sometimes be used to reproduce energy through burning – and so increasing the greenhouse gas.
- The idea seems good, as long as the new growth is greater than the biomass used to produce energy.
- From a moral point of view, however, problematic is that we are now usinging biofuels that are produced through questionable methods in fields suitable for food production, or through destroying rain forests that function as the lungs of the Earth.
- One form of using bioenergy is the burning of wood of otherwise low economic value. It is slow to collect and requires large storage areas.
- Collecting, processing and transporting the wood generates such high fuel and other costs that, without state-subsidies, forest owners would not get an adequate price for the wood and the companies that collect the wood not obtain sufficient profit.
- The surest way to reduce the use of carbonaceous fuels and reducing the formation of greenhouse gas is to use nuclear power plants. The fear of the associated dangers of radioactivity devides opinions.
- Another cause of concerns is the fear of accidents or a serious malfunctions in nuclear power plants.
- One viable method for reducing the use of carbonaceous sources of energy is to use energy obtained directly from the sun, either in the form of electrical energy obtained through solar panels or in the form of thermal energy obtained through paraboloid reflectors.
- Recently, the use of natural gas has been highly praised as the number one option for reducing carbon dioxide. Natural gas is often talked about as if its use would not produce any carbon dioxide – greenhouse gas – at all. As there is an abundance of natural gas available, its use is justified. However, burning natural gas generates about 75% of the amount of carbon dioxide generated by burning gasoline or other hydrocarbons – in other words, a surprisingly high amount.
This website presents a new way for collecting solar energy and storing it in the future into materials – without greenhouse gas. With a device like the one shown in the EMU animation on the homepage, we will someday be able to prepare, for example synthetic gasoline from water and carbon dioxide by recycling carbon dioxide or charge batteries or break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. None of these methods produce more carbon dioxide or another greenhouse gas into the atmosphere or water. Moreover, collecting energy from the storm, diminishes the storm´s destructive force.