Carbon dioxide, which contributes up to 60% to global warming, comes from the power stations, where is generated from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or oil. Also burning forests and car exhaust fumes produce CO2. Other grenhouse gases include methane, generated by decaying refuse and livestock, and chloro – fluorocarbons ( CFC’S). A single molecule of CFC has 10.000 times the greenhouse effect of a CO2 molecule.
Scientists predict that in this century the world will warm up by 3 degree Celsius. However, this apparrently modest shift in the mean temperatures will be cataclysmic in its consequences. The polar ice caps will begin to melt, unlocking up to 90% of the earth’s surface water. Sea levels will rise by about 10 feet over the next 50 years, completly inundating several island nations, which will cease to exist. According to this alarming prediction, because of the increased weather turbulence and the redistribution of rainfall, the global food production patern will change as most cultivated areas become barren deserts.
To solve this problem, emissions of carbon dioxide must be cut by at least 60%. Widespread reforestation is an absolute necessity. Non – polluting energy sources must be developed and energy efficient appliances introduced to limit the domestic consumption of the electricity. Less developed countries, however, anxious to speed up their industrialization, are increasing pollution. In order to drag people out of poverty, the energy demand will double, making global warming inevitable. If the pessimistic predictions come true , mankind may have no choice but to adapt to new climatic and geographical conditions.