What are Global Emissions?

Felicia Dye

Emissions are impurities that collect in the Earth's atmosphere and create numerous problems. Growing concerns about the damage being done to the environment, coupled with an increased effort to find environmentally friendly solutions, have caused many to focus on the situation from an international perspective. Doing so involves assessing worldwide air pollution, often called global emissions, and attempting to raise awareness in all countries.

A map of the polar ice caps, which are affected by global emissions.
A map of the polar ice caps, which are affected by global emissions.

The focus on global emissions generally includes pollutants such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and hydrofluorocarbons. These gases are believed to have several adverse effects on the environment. They can create smog and acid rain, for example. One of the greatest problems, however, is their contribution to global warming.

Emissions from factories pose a serious environmental problem.
Emissions from factories pose a serious environmental problem.

Global warming is an environmental problem that involves changing climate patterns. Emissions around the world are believed to be one of the greatest causes of this problem. This happens because Earth is surrounded by a layer of gases known as the atmosphere. Global emissions often include heat-creating gases. When these are released, they rise and become trapped by the atmosphere.

Trapped gases are believed to be partly responsible for increasing temperatures on Earth. Theories also suggest that climate change results, in part, from damage to the ozone layer – which is the Earth’s protective barrier from the sun. Global emissions are also believed to play a critical role in this problem.

This happens because certain gases that rise into the atmosphere are believed to destroy the ozone layer. This allows ultraviolet rays from the sun to penetrate the ozone and reach the Earth's surface. As a result, temperature change and other negative effects can occur.

Global warming does more than just make the world hotter. When temperatures increase, sea levels also increase due to melting of natural features such as the polar ice caps and permafrost. It also changes the habitats of various living creatures, which in some cases threatens their survival. This could ultimately threaten the food chain. Such effects usually can be indirectly tied to global emissions.

The effects of global warming are largely responsible for the push to reduce emissions. One way that this may be possible is by reducing the use of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal. These fuels are believed to be heavy contributors to the problem. Change in this regard involves finding alternative energy sources.

Land use is also a topic of concern with regards to global emissions. This is because plants can help to absorb some of the gases that are emitted globally. Instead of massive efforts to plant and protect more vegetation, however, deforestation is occurring. In many cases this is being done so that the land can be used for purposes that will increase global emissions.

Many experts predict that if emissions are not reduced, the world will be drastically and adversely changed in the future. Other experts do not believe that the situation is as dire as certain claims make it out to be. This lack of consensus is part of the reason that it is difficult to get a unified global response.

Global emissions are known to impact the amount of ozone in the atmosphere.
Global emissions are known to impact the amount of ozone in the atmosphere.

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