|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Politics Ecology Population Pollution Global warming Social issue|
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in environmental temperature due to increased emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through human activities. Through this emission, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane concentration in the atmosphere have increased significantly leading to global warming, which leads to the rise of sea level and climate change. These changes harm the environment i.e., the plants, animal, and human beings (Rodhe, 1990). This paper explains how the emission of greenhouse gasses has caused problems to the developing country, Kenya, by exploring how agriculture, industrialization, transport, electricity production, waste disposal, and deforestation produce greenhouse gases. Based on the discussion below, the best solutions to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases is setting up of policies that help boost afforestation, use of clean and renewable energy, reusing and recycling of wastes, lowering energy consumption and most importantly to help curb population growth.
The Earth's atmosphere is primarily made of gases, i.e., Oxygen, Nitrogen, and the argon gases making up to 99% of its total mass. These gases allow the passing of sunlight (shortwave radiation) through the Earth's atmosphere and warming up the water bodies and land. The heated Earth releases this heat inform of infrared light (long wave radiation). Part of the discharged infrared light by the Earth passes through the atmosphere back to space. This is because the atmospheric GHGs won't allow all the released infrared light out the atmosphere. The gases absorb some light and radiate it down to the Earth' surface. This is called the greenhouse effect and helps to warm the surface of the Earth (Rodhe, 1990). The greenhouse effect is fundamental to the Earth's ability to sustain life; hence, it vital to animals and plants survival. Furthermore, the temperature of the surface of the Earth would be around -18C unlike the present average temperature of 15C, in the absence of the greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse Gases Contribution to Global Warming
There are a few gases in the atmosphere that can retain heat, acting like a blanket, trapping the Earth's heat. These greenhouse gases are produced both naturally and by human activities. The primary ones being: Nitrogen oxide (N2O), Methane (CH4), Carbon dioxide (CO2), and Industrial gases. The atmospheric concentration of several significant greenhouses gases have increased substantially since the large-scale industrial revolution. Combustion of fossil fuels converts carbon stored down in the Earth to carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere. Deforestation for agribusiness changes carbon in plants and soils to carbon dioxide. These anthropological Greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase the thickness of this "atmospheric blanket," making the temperature of the Earth to rise. This phenomenon is referred to as global warming. (Lashof & Ahuja, 1990). Until today, emissions that are human-generated from the start of the Industrial evolution have led to the rise of global warming by 1.0C.
China has the highest greenhouse gases emissions in the world because of its high population of around 1.37 billion citizens. This growth brings about an increase in demand for agricultural products, vehicles, bigger homes, and different home appliances that emit these gases as a side-effect. This high population is additionally coupled with an expansion in the industrialization of the nation, which incorporates setting up new industries and factories that produce emission.
Challenges of Greenhouse Gases
Climate change induced by Greenhouse gases produce both gains and losses with no strong assumption of substantial net economic harm. Kenya is more vulnerable to greenhouse warming, unlike developed countries, because it is a developing country on the edge of subsistence with fewer resources to redirect to dealing with climate change (Arrow, 2007). This difficulty comes about because most of the infrastructure and equipment that brings about GHG emissions in the country such as; the recently completed Thika super high way in central Kenya have lifespans of decades. Therefore there are powerful economic pressures to continue using such infrastructure, rather than substituting with a lower-emitting option.
Being a third world African country, Kenya already experiences severe drought in the northern parts of the country. This lead to resource scarcity, which in turn increases existing political and social tensions, which often lead to tribal conflicts (Arrow, 2007). The biggest challenge to security is the ability for such a country to set aside resources (despite their already limited resources) so as foresee and set standards to improve its food, water, and border security in response to global warming.
Excessive demand from institutional governance structures in most developing nations is a central effect of climate change. This reduces the capacity of societies to direct policy processes and hinders the performance of fundamental state tasks. There is an additional risk of the loss of state institutions legitimacy, mainly if tragic events occur (Arrow, 2007). Kenya faces the challenge of policy formulation and implementation due to divisive politics and deep-rooted corruption within the government. This kind of governance makes it hard to formulate and execute environmental policies that will help reduce greenhouse gases emission or control its effect.
Causes of Greenhouse Gases
Natural systems human activities are the two causes of GHGs. Human activities are considered in numerous nations and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Natural systems on the other hand then have larger amounts of uncertainty and have to be examined scientifically; some of these natural systems are oceans, forest fires, permafrost, earthquakes, volcanoes, and wetlands (Wang, Yung, Lacis, Mo & Hansen, 1976)
Solutions of Causes of Greenhouse Gases
The primary way to avoid climate change is to stop the use of fossil fuels and adopt renewable forms of energy like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. Production of clean energy is critical. Additionally, reducing water and energy usage by using more efficient devices, like an LED light. Promotion of hydrogen and electric mobility, and public transportation can undoubtedly help reduce emissions of GMG (Wang, Yung, Lacis, Mo & Hansen, 1976). Afforestation, reforestation, and reducing deforestation would help reduce GHGs emission. Embracing responsible consumption behavior is critical concerning food (particularly meat), cosmetics, clothing, or cleaning products. Recycling is also an essential requirement for dealing with waste.
Relationship between Population Control and Greenhouse Gases
Population growth is a factor, together with alterations in consumption and production patterns, which has increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Simple assessments of population size and growth cannot determine how population dynamics relate to greenhouse gases emission since changes in climate are propelled by consumption and production patterns of more industrialized countries (Dietz & Rosa, 1997). Countries with high population growth rates and large populations have low per capita greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, progressing population growth in those countries contributes relatively less to the emission of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, as development goes on, per capita energy consumption will rise, hence increased greenhouse gas emission.
Therefore the relationship between population control and greenhouse gases emission is that; as the population increases the GHG emission also increases, provided that production and consumption patterns shift to high GHG emitting methods (Dietz & Rosa, 1997).
In conclusion, greenhouse gases play a significant role in supporting life. However, through human activities such as deforestation, fossil fuel combustion, poor agricultural practices, etc. the level of these gases in the atmosphere has significantly increased, leading to global warming. Based on the discussion above, it is right to state that population growth is directly proportional to increased GHG emissions provided the production process has high amounts of GHG. This emphasizes the importance of immediate action for the transfer and development of clean energy technologies so that developing nations, such as Kenya, can avoid GHGs emission
Arrow, K. J. (2007). Global climate change: A challenge to policy. The Economists' Voice, 4(3). Retrieved from: https://www.degruyter.com/abstract/j/ev.2007.4.3/ev.2007.4.3.1270/ev.2007.4.3.1270.xml
Dietz, T., & Rosa, E. A. (1997). Effects of population and affluence on CO2 emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 94(1), 175-179. Retrieved from: https://www.pnas.org/content/94/1/175.short
Lashof, D. A., & Ahuja, D. R. (1990). Relative contributions of greenhouse gas emissions to global warming. Nature, 344(6266), 529. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/344529a0
Rodhe, H. (1990). A comparison of the contribution of various gases to the greenhouse effect. Science, 248(4960), 1217-1219. Retrieved from: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/248/4960/1217
Wang, W. C., Yung, Y. L., Lacis, A. A., Mo, T. A., & Hansen, J. E. (1976). Greenhouse effects due to man-made perturbations of trace gases. Science, 194(4266), 685-690. Retrieved from: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/194/4266/685
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