Here is still ongoing debate as to whether the sun has been active in global warning thing. Studies have shown that there has been significant solar variability and this has translated to past climate changes. A good example is the northern hemispheres little ice age in 19th century. The temperatures dipped low, allowing rivers to freeze. This was due to a decrease of solar activity in that period of 1650 to 1850.
The environmental scientists have been able to use substitutes (proxies) including sun’s spots, to estimate the amount of sun’s energy reaching the earth. Also the carbon in tree rings has been used as such. These estimates give an overview of the variance of the sun’s activity over time. The current estimates tell us that the sun has been more active than it has ever been in the past 8000years. (See fig. 1.1)
The data shows that more spots mean that more intense solar activity and more energy received by the earth. This however cannot be the exclusive cause of the global warming that we have witnessed in recent years.
No. of spots
As far as greenhouse gases are concerned, computer based models show that, rising levels of greenhouse gases result in a general increase in the average atmospheric temperatures of the earth. Se gases include water vapor, CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. These rising temperatures in turn directly results in climate patterns that we see in climate change. These include increased evaporation, precipitation, melting of glaciers and increased sea levels.
The ocean has the ability to absorb, store and transport solar heat. An example is, Ocean currents from warmer tropical areas are carried to the temperate beaches creating a warmer conditions that expected. The same effect is experienced in warmer tropical. The absorption of heat during the day also ensures less variation in temperature at night. The warm ocean currents are able to carry moisture and cause precipitation in the region they travel while cold ocean currents result in dry conditions as they carry the moisture away.
Clouds have active role in climate and its change. Recent research has shown. First is the aspect of radiation. The clouds will enhance greenhouse effect as such. Tiny cloud droplets are good absorbers of infrared radiation. The radiation is thus not lost to the outer space. That’s why deserts have very clod cloudless nights. Clouds also reflect much of the sun’s radiation during the day, causing a cooling effect. This effect results in atmospheric temperature changes.
Melting sea ice
This causes a dramatic effect on the albedo of the earth’s surface. The resulting lower albedo of the ocean surface will mean that less of the solar radiation will be reflected back to the atmosphere. This whole radiation will be absorbed baby the ocean. He resulting warmer water will melt more ice and the warmer atmosphere above he land will melt land ice. His results in huge increase in ocean levels. The overall effect is drastic cooling of the world on average together with shutting down of thermohaline circulation.
Melting land ice
There is evidence that increased fresh water entering the oceans affects ocean currents that control climate. Global warming is an imminent effect as the glaciers are able to reflect some 80% of sun’s heat and absorbing some significant amount. There is also rising sea levels.
Melting permafrost causes green house as emission like carbon exchange and methane. Nitrogen is also stored in the permafrost. These gases being released to the atmosphere will eventually lead to rising temperatures causing global warming. (Page 389-397
The electronic waste
The problems associated with the electronic waste are numerous. The first problem is that these are the fact that these products are quickly obsolete and are discarded. The rapid advancement in technology leads to quick obsolescence coupled with explosive sales of consumer electronics, so products are thus being disposed.
The electronics are also difficult to recycle. Their re-cycling always cost lots of money a special handling is necessary. Most of them are not designed for recycling. And contain many toxic materials like mercury.
Also the discarded electronics are managed badly; most of them going to land fill. Burning them I also hazardous.
Exporting electronic wastes to less developed countries has caused some problems especially where there is an improper management of such wastes. Most of these countries have no computer re- cycling facility need accumulation of the waste results in water pollution, soil pollution and air pollution through burning. Lead poisoning is also likely as such materials have excess of heavy metals.
The elements included in GDP are the consumption expenditure which includes durable, non-durable goods and services. We also have gross private domestic investment i.e., fixed, inventory, investments, consumer expenditures on residential structures that are new. Government expenditures are also included together with foreign expenditures i.e. net exports.
Among the things excluded n GDP includes the intermediate goods which are components of the final goods. These are still undergoing value addition. Also the second hand sales re not included as they are no current production being involved. Another is the state of purely financial transactions which include stocks, bonds, and CDs. This also lack current production.
Transfer payments will also fall in this category and these include welfare, social security and due to unemployment. We also have unreported legal businesses that are carried out in dark. This is always a big portion of the underground economy.
Illegal businesses activities, has also been key and is left out on the GDP.
The GPI has emerged to supplement the GDP by factoring elements like pollution, resource depletion and long-term environmental damage. It actually counts the gain of pollution as a loss unlike the GDP.
In the area of agriculture, the subsidies have affected the land use patterns and the way production is done. This has resulted in curbing trade opportunities and limited competitiveness. These have also discouraged investments in agriculture.
In the fisheries, it has resulted to enhanced capacities, doubling the issue of over exploitation of fish stocks.
In the fossil fuel and biofuel sector, they have enabled the prodigious use of the fossil fuel while endangering the energy production and consumption patterns.
On energy use, there is depletion of non-renewable energy resources as well as environmental pollution.
Among the possible measure that could be employed include the formulation of special forms of subsidies including the beneficial subsidies that will ensureenhancement f ifsh stokes through conservation of the same and also fish management. Capacity enhancement subsidies will include price support and other useful programmes.
Farm upport could be ideal , in case of agricultural subsidies, where programmes are initiated ncluding negotiations and regional trade agrements.
The leaders could also commit to rationalize energy investment and management and while aiming to phase out the non-productive subsidies.