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  • Air Monitoring Increased Near Houston-Area Petrochemical Terminal Fire
    The fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park terminal spread to an eighth tank March 18, and local officials said they aren't sure how long the fire will last.
  • SEC Charges Volkswagen, Former CEO with Defrauding Investors
    The complaint alleges that Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and VW's financial standing and that, by concealing the emissions scheme, Volkswagen obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit by issuing the securities at more attractive rates for the company.
  • IMO Trains Caribbean Oil Spill Managers to Boost Response Capacity
    The March 11-14 course has showcased success stories of several countries in ratifying relevant international preparedness and response conventions, adopting national oil spill legislation, and developing oil spill response capacity.
  • Ohio Landfill Misses First Deadline for Odor Control
    The first key deadline required Sunny Farms Landfill LLC to ensure parts of the landfill, not currently accepting waste, were covered with 3 feet of soil by Feb. 28, but an inspection on March 1 by Ohio EPA inspectors found many areas where the facility failed to provide adequate soil cover.
  • Texas Agency OKs $30 Million for Water, Wastewater Projects
    The Texas Water Development Board on March 5 approved financial assistance totaling $30,024,161 for water and wastewater system projects located in three counties. Part of the funding, $4,739,161, was approved for rural projects.
  • Resident Inspectors Chosen for New Vogtle Units
    Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials in Atlanta recently announced the selection of Kenya Carrington and Patrick Heher as resident inspectors for the construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4, new units being built near Waynesboro, Ga.

Recent Posts

Illustration of how CO2 is causing Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Gases: Human-Made, Natural or Both?

Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide are all ‘greenhouse gases,’ which allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely but which also absorb and trap infrared radiation, or ‘heat,’ providing a blanket of gases that protect the planet from the sun’s rays. Without these gases, life on earth would be unsustainable, and the earth’s atmosphere would be like that of Mars.

Natural and Human-Made Processes

Greenhouse gases are also produced by human-made processes, through the hydrocarbons used as fuel, which includes petroleum, coal, and natural gas, all of which consist mostly of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Generating and releasing energy to heat homes, power automobiles, operate factories, and fuel airplanes, trains, and other transportation conveyances, also involve hydrocarbons and the release of greenhouse gases.

When hydrocarbons are burned, they are oxidized, and the release of energy provides the fuel which society depends on for its day-to-day operation, whether it is fueling manufacturing processes or public transportation, heating homes and offices, or powering Internet servers.

Illustration of how CO2 is causing Greenhouse EffectGlobal Warming Issues

The key issues revolving around ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ have a lot to do historically with what happened when and where and what the causes were. Are they mostly natural, or is there a significant impact from man-made sources? And what can society and governments of the world do to change the situation? Scientists cannot agree on answers to these issues, and there are many of them on both sides of the controversy.

Temperature cycles, natural disasters, and changes in the earth composition have all contributed to the state of the earth today. The science is far from proven that human-made forces have been more influential than nature in causing the temperature changes which have been the subject of so much analysis and controversy. However, there is general agreement that the industrial revolution was the beginning of man’s influence on the global climate, and that changes in the environment have been affected by man’s increasing use of fossil fuels, which generates greenhouse gases.

Warming the Earth’s Surface

Does warming the surface of the earth cause harm to the planet? Not according to Christopher C. Horner, who states that “We cannot even be sure the Earth’s warming is a bad thing. Plants appreciate warmer temperatures (as well as higher CO2 concentrations).” (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, p.66).

In many countries of the world Increasing CO2 emissions have been increasing crop yields and, according to Lawrence Solomon, writing in the Financial Post, “Since humans began adding CO2 to the planet’s atmosphere, taking plants off their starvation rations by creating a planet-wide greenhouse, plants have thrived.”

Data from NASA satellites, which began tracking the earth’s biota in the early 1980s, show that as CO2 emissions grew, so did plants, and the earth is much greener than it was when the data began to be collected although the growth in greenery varies from country to country.

As it stands, there are pros and cons to the increase in greenhouse gases which has occurred over the last century or more, and scientists and politicians will continue to wrestle with solutions.

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