In this module, we will discuss how life here on Earth revolves around water, carbon, and the climate, and how they are interconnected with each other.
Here are the topics that we will tackle in this module:
- The uses of water in our daily lives, its varied states, and how it is a contributing factor when it comes to our climate.
- The meaning of greenhouse gases, what they are composed of, and their main purpose in our environment.
- The meaning and effects of global warming in our society and how it correlates with greenhouse gases.
- The human uses for carbon and its connection to our climate.
The vast reserve of water on our planet is one significant factor that makes Earth the only planet in the solar system that is suitable to be inhabited by humans and other living creatures. Water is also present in a range of states: liquid, solid and gas. Water in the liquid state is the one needed by living creatures, including humans, animals, and plants, in order for them to survive.
Water is also a big contributing factor to the climate that we experience here on Earth. This is because it makes up the vapor in the atmosphere, which is a greenhouse gas.
The Definition of Greenhouse Gases and their Composition
Greenhouse gases are like a barrier in the sky because they absorb radiation. Those gases are responsible for the greenhouse effect, which is one of the main culprits in global warming. Such gases include:
- Water Vapor
- Carbon dioxide
- Nitrous oxide
Although global warming has been around for a long period of time because it is a process that occurs naturally, in recent years its effects have significantly increased, resulting in several changes in and harmful effects to our world.
Effects of Global Warming
As we should all know, the effects of global warming affect our climate.
Authorities are now on heightened alert and are attempting to reverse the effects of it. Here are some of the effects of global warming on our surroundings:
- There is a great deal of melting ice in several parts of the world, which has led to a significant increase in sea levels as well as temperature. These changes have been especially noticeable over the past few decades.
- A lot of animals are getting ill and dying, specifically those species which are accustomed to living in low temperatures.
- Natural calamities are getting worse because our rainfall and snowfall rate has greatly increased worldwide.
Those are some of the alarming effects that global warming is causing and even worse effects will come in the near future if we do not take initiative. We must do better by our environment and avoid doing things that can compromise the wellness of our planet.
Carbon’s Basic Uses
As we have discussed in the previous modules, carbon has its own cycle that makes our existence on this planet possible. In this part, we will discuss a more detailed approach to the uses of carbon for people and our environment. Here are some uses for carbon and their interactions in our daily lives:
- Used as fuel for our machines (cars, motorcycles, generators, and other kinds of machines that require petrol to operate).
- Acts as a fuel for cooking.
- Derived into Freon that’s primary use is to make our cooling systems, such as air-conditioners and refrigerators, colder.
- Creates a macronutrient that is used for our body in the form of carbohydrates. Our body requires a great amount of this element and it is a substantial element that we cannot live without.
- It is called “the building blocks of life” for good reason, because carbon is an essential part of the life process and there are many carbon atoms that can be found in our body. Carbon is a major reason they function according to their respective purpose.
- Carbon supports growth in our body. It also aids the respiration of cells by which our body sends out the energy that is found in our glucose and its compounds.
- The metabolism of our bodies requires carbon as a fundamental component. Examples of components inside our body that require carbon are hormones and enzymes.
Those are only a few of the many purposes and uses of carbon in our daily lives. We cannot live without this element in our systems and it is a great help for our daily tasks. It makes our lives much easier and more comfortable.
The Carbon and Climate Link
Just like water, carbon plays a major role in the condition of our climate. We all know that our planet gains its warmth from the sun at the center of our solar system. The sun heats our planet with a type of radiation that arrives in ultraviolet rays and gets trapped in our atmosphere.
There are a collection of gases that can be found in our atmosphere and one of those is carbon dioxide, which plays an important role in influencing the temperature of our environment. The more carbon dioxide content that enters our atmosphere, the higher the temperatures get.
In summary, water, carbon, and climate are interconnected elements that depend on each other. Individually, each element has its own distinct purposes that are necessary in order for living creatures to survive on our planet. Now, with this knowledge, you must learn to utilize these elements for the betterment of yourself and our society.
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