Estimates state that the sea levels by the end of the century can rise from 4" to 40" if global warming goes on without a stop. General awareness among the masses can only stop or at least decrease the phenomenon of global warming (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, p 2). "Is CO2 a pollutant inducing global warming'" is the question that several people have in their minds now.
Carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere by burning of fossil fuels mixes with the water vapour, which generally remains in the lower hemispheres. This emitted carbon dioxide does not allow the heat to be released into the higher layer of the atmosphere resulting in the entire earth been warmed up. This contributes to changes in the weather leading to catastrophic events, the outcome of which is loss of lives and property.
External respiration, also known as breathing, is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide involving an animal and its environment. Exchange of gases amongst the environment and an animal takes place because of diffusion. Diffusion is the random movement of particles and induces the movement of molecules from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Hence, oxygen is taken in, as its intensity is lesser inside than in the environment, while carbon dioxide because of its higher concentration inside gets out into the environment. Thus, respiration results in releasing of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which induces pollution.
The Carbon Cycle
Figure 1.Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (1855 - 1996). Source: Whitehouse Initiative on Global Climate Change.
The movement of carbon, in its several forms, involving the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, and geosphere is known as the carbon cycle. Biology plays a key role in the apparent movement of carbon between land, ocean, and atmosphere through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. The metabolic break up of sugars, known as respiration, is to develop into energy which is required for movement, growth, and procreation. Plants absorb CO2 from the environment during photosynthesis, and lets out CO2 back into the environment during respiration via the following chemical reaction:
C6H12O6 (organic matter) + 6O2 6CO2 + 6 H2O + energy
energy (sunlight) + 6CO2 + H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2
Respiration is the reverse of photosynthesis releasing the energy held in sugars for metabolism and alters carbohydrate "fuel" back into carbon dioxide. This CO2 is in turn freed back to the atmosphere (Harrison, 2003).
Forests are natural barriers preventing disasters such as running rivers and so they are important elements of ecosystems. Thus, in order to preserve species living in forests, a healthy ecosystem, which includes the forests, has to be preserved.
The effect of deforestation is felt on biodiversity, environment and social settings. Forests keep the atmosphere cool because they retain moisture in the air.
Cutting of trees allows the harmful rays from the sun to reach the earth through the atmosphere. In reality, the ozone