Global warming: Is it a scientific fact that needs to be addressed or a myth about which nothing needs to be done? Essay

            The warming of the earth’s climate is an environmental catastrophe on a new scale, with the potential to violently disrupt virtually every natural ecosystem and many of the structures and institutions that humanity has grown to depend on. Those who brand it as a myth are ill-informed. Most of these people may have been deluded into thinking that there is nothing that can be done at present in order to prevent global warming. Yet, this is a real and scientific fact as stated by  Lester R. Brown who remarked during the State of the World in 1989 that indeed, it is a scientific fact because we are releasing heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere in sufficient concentrations to change the composition of the atmosphere. Moreover, we are cutting down the world’s trees and not replanting. In both of these ways we are causing global warming, popularly also called the green house effect.

Energy made it to the headlines once again in the year 2000; a shocking power crisis hit the state of California (Royan, 2001). Companies had realized once more that the horrors brought about by serious energy problems over the past three decades had not gone away. The California electricity crisis could potentially fan out towards other states; not only impact would it impact the profitability of a company, but could certainly put many out of business. As the new century fast approaches, the world has slowly realized the synergy between energy conservation and global economic competitiveness. Energy conservation entails the elimination of wastes through the improvement of industrial facilities and processes. Energy conservation also implies environment preservation through pollution prevention, and mitigating the trends toward global warming.

Energy conservation essentially means eliminating waste through the improvement of industrial processes and facilities. With the oil crises between 1965 and 1975, the problem of the energy crisis was suddenly highlighted (Cornforth, 1992). Every energy-consuming sector has placed emphasis on the development of a combustion system with low fuel consumption. Particularly, countermeasures for reducing energy consumption in all industrial furnaces have been considered. As a countermeasure, a new combustion technology applied to industrial furnaces, known as “high-temperature air combustion” or HiTAC, has been developed. Through this innovation, the volume of the fuel consumed has been experimentally tested to be less by an amount equal to the recovered heat equivalent of the amount of energy required for the heating process. The heating of combustion air proportionately increases heating efficiency of the system (Weinberg, 1996, p. 5). As a result, heating within a specified range becomes possible even if the fuel supply volume is reduced. Thus, the elimination of wasted heat through a marked improvement in an industrial furnace is significant enough to cut down on fuel consumption and conserve energy.

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Science helped me form this view because the situation seems to become worst and experts have been harping educators and teachers to make their students aware of this fact. I learned about the importance of energy conservation as a means for the improvement of the environment by preventing pollution, and mitigating the trend towards global warming. The increased energy consumption in recent years also led to increased emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, two of the most common greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Because environmental issues have become of prime concern, HiTAC not only contributes in energy reduction, but also in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions below current regulatory standards. For instance, very low nitrogen-oxide emission can be achieved by controlling the peak temperature of the flame. HiTAC is capable of such control by lowering oxygen concentration in the combustion area, and stabilizing the combustion process with the use of extremely hot combustion air (Hotel & Sarofim, 1967). Thus, the improvement in the efficiency of industrial processes, such as HiTAC, correspondingly reduces greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

References

Cornforth, J.R. (1992). Combustion Engineering and Gas Utilization (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Hotel, H.C. & Sarofim, A.F. (1967). Radiative Transfer. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Royan, L. (2001). Case Study: The California Power Crisis 2000-2001. ERisk Case Study. Retrieved 21 May 2007 at: http://www.erisk.com/Learning/CaseStudies/CaliforniaPowerCrisis2000.asp

Weinberg, F.J. (1996). Heat-circulating burners: Principles and some recent developments. Combustion Science and Technology, 121, 3-22.