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Responding to climate change predictions: what if anything can be done about it

Short answer

We have seen that the world’s climate is changing, in part at least, because of the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide from fossil fuel. Humans have a choice that must be made soon; we will either mitigate the problems of climate change by a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or adapt by changing our life style. Mitigation is the stabilization of the climate by the removal of some or of all the fossil fuel derived atmospheric carbon dioxide from the energy equation. Adaptation is action taken to cope with increased rainfall, higher temperatures, scarce water, and more frequent storms. Adaptation may need to tackle present problems or to anticipate changes in the future, aiming to reduce risk and damage cost-effectively, and perhaps even exploiting potential benefits. Somewhere in the middle of these two alternatives we will find an optimal path. It will depend on many factors and different approaches. Success will require an increase in available technology as well as shifts in the culture of people.

Detailed answer

Some of the ways that we can reduce our emissions of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and mitigate climate change are presented below

Immediately implementable with several tangible benefits

  • Increase the efficiency of vehicles and reduce the use of these vehicles.
  • Build more energy efficient buildings and equip them with energy efficient appliances.

Available technologies with some added costs

  • Increase the efficiency of coal and gas power plants, for example, by combining the production and use of both heat and power.
  • Use governmental incentives to improve the efficiency of existing technologies and to develop new clean energy technologies.
  • Establish policies such as a carbon tax or carbon cap and trade legislation to reduce and eventually stop the emission of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Available technologies with some lead time required

  • Develop wind, photovoltaic and geothermal power as well as fuel from biomass and other newer technologies.

Potential technologies with decadal or multi-decadal time lines

  • Develop and construct new and safe nuclear power plants.
  • Continue to develop the technology to capture and sequester carbon in order to continue to use fossil fuel until the above-mentioned sources of renewable energy are developed.
  • Encourage the development of new and as yet un-thought of technologies to provide efficient and environmentally neutral energy sources.

The cost estimates of implementing mitigation measures or adapting to climate change vary a great deal. First, scientific knowledge about the physical and ecological damages due to climate change is a work in progress. Scientists have no accurate way to determine how rapidly future GHGs will accumulate in the atmosphere or how sensitive biological systems will be to increases in the concentration of those gases. We do not know at what GHG concentrations “tipping points” or catastrophic climate events may occur. It is difficult to estimate how willing or able people will be to adapt to new climate conditions. Finally it is virtually impossible to put a value on damage that will be incurred in the future.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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Source:  OpenStax, Global climate change. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10704/1.4
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