Global Warming And The Kyoto Protocol

1223 words - 5 pages

Global Warming and the Kyoto Protocol

Environmental issues are becoming a growing concern for the world as well as for the world's leaders. Pollution, littering and the burning of fossil fuels are all problems that have drastically affected humans over the past few years. Impure drinking water, radiation, less ecological diversity and cancer are a few of such harms that the world has experienced. However, one of the most prominent concerns is the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect, a natural occurrence, is turning deadly with the introduction of humans and carbon emissions and is slowly heating up the world. In future years this could cause catastrophic consequences. Rising global temperatures threatens the very existence of the world's population, making global warming an issue that has no territorial boundaries, every country is contributing to the problem and will inevitably suffer the consequences. As this is a global problem the interest of many world leaders was brought fourth. Eventually they came together to address this dilemma and come up with a solution to it. What officials are currently at odds with is how to implement the protocol that was reached in Kyoto Japan in 1997. This protocol made by world leaders is one of the first world wide efforts to try and resolve current environmental problems. The ratification of which, would have a huge beneficial impact on generations to come.

The Third Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3) was held in Kyoto, Japan from the first to the tenth of December 1997. The conference had more than 2,500 participants, 3,000 Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and 4,000 press representatives in attendance. Discussions lead to a collective agreement called the Kyoto Protocol. This agreement is an attempt to get the developed world to make to reduce carbon emissions by 5.2 percent, below 1990 levels, by between 2008 and 2012. The protocol specifies five gases other than carbon dioxide which need to be reduced. These greenhouse gases (methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) are generally referred to as carbon dioxide equivalents. These six gases, including carbon dioxide, are widely blamed for the increased intensity of the greenhouse effect. What happens is that, as the sun's rays hit the earth they are either absorbed or reflected. The ones that are absorbed heat the earth which cause it to emit infrared radiation. The infrared radiation travels into the atmosphere where these greenhouse gases trap it, making it unable to escape our atmosphere. Thus, the air becomes hotter and temperatures all over the world can rise. It may not appear to be of great concern, but an increase in temperature as small as five degrees can be devastating for humans. Some of the main concerns regarding a temperature rise are, the rising of the sea levels which will lead to island and coastline areas to be...

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