Sea ice is expected to melt and accelerating sea level which can cause destructive flooding, contamination of aquafers, and intense storms.
Some places will suffer from desertification, caused by extreme draughts e.g. Mali. This can lead to water stress and crop failure.
Ecosystems will change, causing malarial mosquito’s and other invasive species to travel North in Europe.
GCSE Geography for WJEC By Dirk Sykes
There are many more effects, that will most likely alter our day to day lives, in less than a decade, but those three highlighted above will most likely be global issues.
People’s outtake on global warming #1
From a random sample of 25 people, data has been collated on people’s personal initiative and perspective on the extent of the problem faced by global warming. Though the effects and science behind global warming are well justified, some people remain sceptical and dispute whether global warming is actually just a natural cyclical which takes place every few centuries, just as the Earth enters interglacial and glacial periods. Some think it is due to the natural orbit around the sun, and others enforce their perspective by arguing that sunspots cause global warming, rather than human activity – the primary research is disclosed bellow:
◼ 84% believe that global warming is currently happening now.
◼ 45% feel well educated about what global warming is, and what the effects may/may not be.
◼ The majority (75%) feel the main cause of global warming is due to industrialisation – i.e. burning fossil fuels. Few speak of rearing cattle, or landfill sites.
◼ 60% claim to be somewhat worried about global warming, majorly because of future generations will suffer. The remaining 40% say they are not worried, because it will not directly affect us in our lifetime.
◼ 95% feel global warming will affect future generations.
sourced from my survey
Analysis of results
Though the sample is small, it is plausible, because from external knowledge of the general population’s attitude towards global warming, the data well corroborates this.
Most people understand global warming is occurring, which no surprise is considering that it is consistently heralded on the news, meaning it is difficult for people to contest the evidence. However, as previously stated, people may dispute the facts, underplaying the situation for argument’s sake.
Very few people claim to have good knowledge of global warming. In fact, younger students feel they understand global warming than the older generation. This could suggest that modern generations are becoming more educated about the effects, in accordance to modern initiatives to herald the inscrutable evidence of global warming. It could also of course be the older generation underplaying their surplus knowledge!
Only 60% of people show to be worried about the effects of global warming, supposedly because it will not directly affect them. This dismissive attitude could explain why people disdainfully litter, or fail to recycle, because there are no direct or immediate consequences as a result. As we will see later, governments are beginning to settle with penalties to avenge this problem.
How do humans increase the effect of global warming?
Humans enhance the global warming issue by polluting the environment in a variety of ways. This includes recklessly using up the Worlds resources such as burning fossil fuels which directly puts CO2 into the atmosphere. Other major causes are deforestation which puts CO2 back into the atmosphere after they have been stored in long term sinks. Trees are necessary for creating oxygen and taking up CO2 and so it is vital we restore the cut down trees and reduce deforestation. Landfill sites, and mass rearing cattle both contribute high levels of methane into the atmosphere, which is unnatural and can enhance the greenhouse effect.
How can people reduce the greenhouse effect on a personal level?
A very common method, or well-known local initiative is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. This is a very easy and efficient method of conserving both the world’s resources, and cutting down on fossil fuels being burnt. show the amount of local authority municipal waste recycled, composted or reused by all 22 councils in Wales rose by more than 2% this year, after the country hit its 52% statutory recycling target in 2012/13.
Percentages of recycling in Iceland is very low compared to Wales at about 26% in 2006, which was at its highest. Since then it has fluctuated, and been around 16% in some years.
So what have both countries done to reduce landfill waste?
Wales has begun to impose higher landfill taxes in order to discourage throwing away household waste and more environmentally friendly waste management techniques such as recycling. Local authorities have been encouraged by the government to increase the provision of free recycling bins, etc… to ease the process and reduce the hassle of recycling.
Iceland on the other hand have difficulties with recycling their waste because of their climate conditions making recycling particularly costly. Instead initiatives have been set up to cut down the amount of waste through reducing packaging of items e.g. in shops by at least 50% by 2025.
- Renewable Energy
Renewable energy reduces the amount of polluting gases in the atmosphere producing cleaner energy through harnessing solar energy, wind energy etc… Renewable energy is a fundamental way to reduce our carbon footprint and has been invested heavily in both Wales and Iceland. In fact, Iceland is 100% renewable through harnessing geothermal, and hydroelectric power.
allows it to produce renewable energy relatively cheaply, from a variety of sources. Iceland is located on the , which makes it one of the most active places in the world. There are over located in Iceland and over 600 . There are over 20 high-temperature steam fields that are at least 150 °C; many of them reach temperatures of 250 °C. This is what allows Iceland to harness and these steam fields are used for everything from heating to heating .
As you can tell, the majority of energy is provided by non-renewable sources of energy such as gas and coal. This is because these sources of energy have a high yield compared to non-renewable sources such as wind, and solar energy. This makes it more convenient, especially as wind, and solar energy are not constant and so not reliable.
- Government initiatives
Governmental initiatives ultimately have control over how green a country is; if the set laws, and other initiatives, then the country can drive to become a more environmentally friendly place. One well known international organisation is involved the European Union which has set targets for climate and energy known as the ‘20-20-20’ targets. These are to achieve, by 2020:
◼ A 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels;
◼ An increase in the contribution of renewable sources to energy consumed in the EU to 20%; and
◼ A 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.
Wales has been working towards these targets, but is behind the UK average. The percentage of electricity generated in Wales from renewable sources has continued to increase since 2004, reaching 10 per cent in 2013; The UK average of 15 per cent and the lowest of the UK countries. The main cause for the increase in renewable energy is greatly attributed to new installations of wind farms, across the country. The government funds these small scale sites through Feed In tariffs. Solar panels accounted for 97% of these projects, occurring all across the country on millions of house roofs. These were a booming business between 2010 and 2011, providing free solar panels, and then feeding excess electricity back into the grid.
With renewable power as the draw, the Act on Incentives for Initial Investments in Iceland are now offering foreign companies:
◼ A cap on the current 18% corporate tax rate for 10 years. The rate can go down, but not up. Iceland has considered stronger corporate tax incentives in 2013;
◼ Reduction on property tax up to 30%.
Effective January 2011:
◼ Upfront cash to help set up. At first limited to €7.5m per company, will vary yearly; and
◼ Employee training
A comparison between Iceland & Wales
Both countries are heading towards a more sustainable future of worldwide benefit. Iceland is just coming out of a financial crisis and has now set up many renewable energy systems in order to spend less money importing fossil fuels to power the country. Instead, they are now taking advantage of their location and geology on the Mid Atlantic ridge and with over 200 volcanoes causing it to be very hot and so they use geothermal energy to heat homes and other places.
Wales on the other hand, has the funding for the projects and has initiatives set up. Wales has understanding of Iceland’s renewable schemes and is planning to use Iceland’s unused energy because Iceland only has harnesses more than is used, it in order to reduce the amount of energy produced through non-renewable energy, and wasted renewable energy produced in Iceland. Wales does not have the same geological conditions to use geothermal or hydroelectric power from melt water. The UK have considered investing in a solar furnace which would cost approximately £50 billion, and would use solar panels and harnessing the sub-Saharan heat. It could supply 75% of the UK’s electricity, making Wales nearly totally energy efficient. It has also considered using tidal, in places such as the bay adjacent to Ramsey Island.
Evaluation & conclusion of this investigation
I personally found that information on Iceland lacked, as there was more information on Wales, and the quality of information for Iceland was relatively useless. It is difficult to review Icelandic rules and regulations, and legislations passed in order to reduce global warming, as google does not enlist these sites. Furthermore, these few sites are not properly translated from Icelandic into English making it still difficult to decrypt exactly what these laws for littering, recycling, and energy consumption are.
However, my initial thesis has been answered; I have answered the effect of global warming, and compared the efficiency of tackling global warming on Wales and Iceland. I have also deduced that Iceland is in a better situation for reducing the impact of global warming, due to their geographical conditions, making it simplistic to harness the geothermal heat from volcanoes, and to use the power of free running water from ice caps, for hydropower. On the reverse, Wales are in a no-win situation, as the options are limited to wind turbines, solar power, or hydropower. All these solutions have their disadvantages, concluded by the table below:
The UK government has however taken initiative towards the G8 targets, namely the Climate Change Act established for the UK to reduce its emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This target represents an consistent with limiting global temperature rise to as little as possible above 2°C. To ensure that regular progress is made towards this long-term target, the Act also established a system of five-yearly carbon budgets, to serve as stepping stones on the way.
The graph shows we have exceeded our target to reduce our emissions to reach the demands of the bound Kyoto Protocol agreement. The UK has been involved in innumerable strategies to overstep the targets set including:
◼ Reducing demand for energy with and other energy-efficient measures for industry, businesses and the public sector.
◼ Reducing emissions by improving the energy efficiency of properties through the Green Deal.
◼ Providing incentives for public and private sector organisations to take up more energy-efficient technologies and practices through the .
Iceland, because of its well-regulated carbon emissions and initiatives, is authorised to produce 10% more carbon emissions of its 1990 baseline, but set target to reduce 50-75% of its emissions by the deadline 2050. As of 2012 Iceland was on target.
Global warming survey – Master copy
How much have you learned about climate change? What do you believe about it?
How much does the topic concern you in general? Why?
What do you know about both the short-term and long-term consequences of climate change?
What steps can individuals take to help reduce the effects of climate change worldwide?
Table of Contents
An introduction to global warming 1
How does global warming occur? 1
What are the effects of global warming on an international scale? 1
People’s outtake on global warming2
Analysis of results 2
How do humans increase the effect of global warming? 2
How can people reduce the greenhouse effect on a personal level? 2
So what have both countries done to reduce landfill waste? 3
A comparison between Iceland & Wales4
Evaluation & conclusion of this investigation 4
Global warming survey – Mater copy 5