The Global Environment

The Global Environment

Studying the changing global environment is central to the study of world regional geography. The more we understand the processes of the global environment, the more we can reestablish balance with greater clarity. Knowledge of world regional geography can prevent disasters and save lives.

“In the 20th century, an estimated 75,000 people were killed by volcanic eruptions while approximately 1.5 million died in earthquakes.” Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornado’s kill regularly. The natural processes of the earth are dangerous. If we plan ahead and prepare as needed, we can avoid danger. Choosing to live in areas of the world that are less likely to be struck by a hurricane or earthquake is advantageous. Being cognizant of the weather can increase our safety.
Human activities connected with economic development and industrialization change the world’s climate in ways that have significant consequences for all living organisms, whether they are plants, animals, or human. Anthropogenic, human-caused, pollution of the atmosphere leads to global atmospheric temperature increase. This results in altered rainfall patterns, rising sea levels that threaten coastal settlement, hotter temperatures that can increase the intensity of tropical storms. Many countries have agreed to cut down their production of greenhouse gases.

Water supports life. Less than 2% of the world’s fresh water is safe to drink. Many studies show that polluted water sources are the greatest source of illness and death worldwide. Water is crucial for survival. Everyone should take steps to ensure the purity of our water supplies.

Humans have changed the natural pattern of plants and animals dramatically by plowing grasslands, burning woodlands, cutting forests, and hunting animals. Because globalization has accelerated in recent years, ecosystems are destroyed and entire species exterminated. Tropical deforestation continues at an alarming rate. Tropical forest area about the size of Wisconsin is destroyed every year and the rate of deforestation continues to increase. This results in the destruction of a valuable resource. Tropical forests contain many medicinal plants and families of animals and other life forms. It contributes to the greater good of the earth’s natural process and it should be preserved.

Food production has to continuously increase in order to meet our needs. Scientists argue that the interaction between global warming, water problems, and food scarcity will be the defining issues of the next decade. Meat consumption, especially in North America, Europe, and Japan is three to four times greater than the rest of the world. Increased meat consumption consumes natural resources rapidly. The opposite extreme in Africa and parts of Asia produces starvation and food shortages. Millions suffer from undernourishment while millions suffer from obesity. The obese need to regulate their consumption in a manner that is more harmonious with their needs and not with their desire for beef and other luxury food items.

If everyone would align themselves to the common intention of doing what is best and working to attain this intention, then the people of the world could have balanced proportions and everyone would have what they need. Political tension, religious tension, hate, anger, and all other forms of imbalance continues to plague us. Poachers kill endangered animals to harvest their organs and sell them to those who will buy them. People rape, kill, pillage, and burN. The human race has the potential to be perfect, but selfishness, greed, and desire lead us in a downward spiral. If enough people manifest their intention to do what is best, then there is hope!

This is an interesting article…

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/

Global Warming

By Holli RiebeekDesign by Robert SimmonJune 3, 2010

Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past century, another force has started to influence Earth’s climate: humanity

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.

How Does Today’s Warming Compare to Past Climate Change?

Earth has experienced climate change in the past without help from humanity. But the current climatic warming is occurring much more rapidly than past warming events.

Why Do Scientists Think Current Warming Isn’t Natural?

In Earth’s history before the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate changed due to natural causes unrelated to human activity. These natural causes are still in play today, but their influence is too small or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming seen in recent decades.

How Much More Will Earth Warm?

Models predict that as the world consumes ever more fossil fuel, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise, and Earth’s average surface temperature will rise with them. Based on plausible emission scenarios, average surface temperatures could rise between 2°C and 6°C by the end of the 21st century. Some of this warming will occur even if future greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, because the Earth system has not yet fully adjusted to environmental changes we have already made.

How Will Earth Respond to Warming Temperatures?

The impact of global warming is far greater than just increasing temperatures. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring.

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