How does CO2 Emissions Affect the Ecosystem? Kenyetta Sloan Bryant & Stratton College Ecology Dr. M. McLellan-Zabielski October 24, 2012 What would happen if we didn’t cut trees, use transportation, even turn on our lights or any electrical item we own? Then global warming wouldn’t exist. The things that we do on the daily basis is what produces carbon emissions, when we burn oil, coal, and gas, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The result of this is climate change, temperature, and moisture, which affects our ecosystem, consisting of plant life and human life.
One type of ecosystem is plant life, temperature and moisture influence birth, growth and death rates of plants (Effects on Ecosystems chapter 10). These factors also influence photosynthesis and respiration, which responds differently to temperature, in low temperatures, photosynthesis, is slow, at higher temperatures it accelerates. It is argued that global warming may result in a reduction in net carbon uptake by plants (Woodwell, 1987). Though plants have the ability to adjust to climate change, plants stay in the limited range where they are able to breathe and reproduce.
If plants don’t receive enough moisture, it reduces plant growth, if too much moisture then it can cause cellular damage and a rapid increase in respiration (Hanson and Hitz, 1982). Plants absorb carbon, but when it’s burned or when they decay; carbon is released back into our atmosphere, the result being greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is a process that carbon goes through or better yet a cycle it goes through, it is cycled from land, to ocean, to air.
The ocean contains 50 times more carbon then our atmosphere because it serves as a repository system. Earths current levels of carbon in the atmosphere is something that we should be worried about, the Earth was warmer and sea levels were higher in the past, we’re below the normal averages of where Earth’s levels are supposed to be. The blame to this change is us as humans; we are forcing the atmosphere to change, we responsible for the increase of carbon dioxide emissions.
Fossil fuels when combusted, contain carbon which bond with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide that enter our atmosphere. The leading fossil fuel is coal, which is used most to form electricity, releases more carbon into the atmosphere than any other fossil fuel we use, even gas doesn’t release as much carbon as coal does. About 40% of fossil fuel combustion is used up by electricity, to power up our homes, businesses and industries, using coal as the primary source of energy (Inventory of U.
S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2010). Transportation is the second largest source of CO2 emissions, about 31% of fossil fuel combustion is used to transport ourselves and goods. Vehicles, air travel, marine transportation and trains are the sources that we use to transport from place to place, using gasoline or diesel. Carbon Dioxide emissions are projected to grow 1. 5% from now to 2020, there are ways to reduce the emissions, and it’s by cutting our use of fossil fuels.
The vehicles we drive can be more fuel-efficient, meaning going green and cutting the gas use, changing our appliances and our electrical usage. References NRC (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Change. National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA. U. S. Department of State (2007). Fourth Climate Action Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: Projected Greenhouse Gas Emissions. U. S. Department of State, Washington, DC, USA (2010). What Is Carbon Dioxide (CO2)?
Understanding the Carbon Cycle & How Current CO2 Emissions are Disrupting It. www. coolerclimate. com Global Biofuels Industry. (2010). M2PressWIRE. www. Thecarbonaccount. com (August 2009). Nature’s role in climate change. European Commission. Effects on Ecosystem. Kaplanovic, S. , & Mijailovtc, R. (2012). THE INTERNALISATION OF EXTERNAL COSTS OF CO2 AND POLLUTANT EMISSIONS FROM PASSENGER CARS. Technological & Economic Development Of Economy, 18(3), 470-486. doi:10. 3846/20294913. 2012. 702694 .