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Hydrogen Energy and the Greenhouse Effect - Essay Example
The "greenhouse effect" is the term used to refer to the process by which gases in the atmosphere can trap the heat that the Earth receives from the sun (Weart). This affects the planet's temperature. In the earlier studies about the greenhouse effect, scientists were mostly concerned with the idea that it could help explain the ice ages from thousands of years ago until the idea that it could cause global warming was finally accepted as plausible (Weart)…
The measurements showed that in the past half century, CO2 levels have been steadily rising at an exponential rate (Weart). This is due to growing population and the quickly-developing technologies that inevitably demand more energy, and, in the present, humanity's main source of energy is fossil fuels.
As such, finding alternative energy sources has become a very important quest in the present. Among these alternative sources of energy is Hydrogen. Hydrogen is often presented as one of the most promising alternatives for carbon-based fuels because it is the clean energy source that burns into water vapor. It is also often pointed out that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is very abundant on earth itself in the form of water. However, switching to a Hydrogen powered economy isn't really as simple as it sounds. Although water is very abundant on Earth, it takes up a lot of energy to break it down into its hydrogen and oxygen components and package it (Zyga). There is also the risk of hydrogen leaking out from the fuel cells which contain it (Warwick et. al.). ...