IntroductionGlobal warming refers to a situation where there is an increase in average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This happens when the green house gases retain light and heat from the atmosphere resulting to increase in the average temperature (Schneider 1990). They are like a mirror that reflects atmosphere heat energy back to the earth instead of losing it to space. These reflecting back of heat energy by the atmosphere is called the "greenhouse effect". The green house effect can be compared to heat is trapped in a car on a very hot day.
The car gets hotter when it is out in the parking lot because the heat and light from the sun can get into the car, by going through the windows, but it can’t get back out which is what the greenhouse effect does to the earth (Cardinale 2002). When the earth heats up, it results to global warming. Currently globally the carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuels are approaching 7 billion per year and rising rapidly. The increase is largely as a result of burning fossil fuels.
In the 21st century the levels may escalate to two or three times their present levels unless strong measures are taken. Today, both the local and global environment is at risk. Industrial processes as well as refrigerators that leak emit to the atmosphere chlorofluorocarbons which in turn result to ozone layer degradation (Houghton J 2011 p1). Causes of Global WarmingOne of the major causes of global warming has been considered to be human activities which increase the emission of certain greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Human activities such as burning of fuels e. g.
coal, natural gas, oils and wood, leads to emitting of Carbon Dioxide. Other green house gases are likely to be emitted during transportation and production of oil, natural gases and coal. The raising of livestock as well as decomposition of organic wastes in solid waste landfills has also resulted in the emission of Methane. Agricultural and industrial activities as well as burning of fossil fuels and solid wastes leads to emission of Nitrous Oxide, a green house gas. Cutting down of trees by human beings have made the situation of global warming worse.
Plants collect the Carbon dioxide that we breathe out, and they give back oxygen that we breathe in and with less trees and other plants, such as algae, there is less air for us, and more greenhouse gases are sent into the air (Cardinale 2002)Businesses challengesInsurance: The cost to insure a home within 50 meters of the ocean will rise due to elevation of shorelines. Rates have already been hiked by insurance professionals for properties close to the shoreline and this trend may persist globally. The value of homes along shorelines will decrease any production conducted on shorelines will cost more (Chappell 2011, p 1)Fuels: In many jurisdictions taxes to offset the cost of carbon emissions to the environment have already been introduced.
The Governments throughout North America have coined the term "carbon tax" as a cost for protecting the environment(Chappell 2011, p 1) The profitability of petroleum companies will be affected as a result of the increased costs of fuel because people will seek other forms of transportation (Chappell 2011, p 1). Transportation: The number of hybrid and electric cars may be observed as the cost to fill up the tank of gas increases.
The depreciation of hybrid cars is slower than vehicles with internal combustion engines. The ever-sophisticated fleet of vehicles will ensure that Car mechanics retrain themselves (Chappell 2011, p 1) Other RisksThe price of fresh water is expected to rise resulting to higher value on water efficiency. Due to flash flooding facilities may be in danger and tropical storms are expected to result from warming. There is a likelihood of Government initiating more taxes and pollution penalties (Chappell 2011, p 1)