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The environmental impact of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is one of the most polluting gases in the environment that exist. Currently, a large part of human activities emit high amounts of carbon dioxide and with increasing economic and social development, this figure will increase. Therefore, it is necessary to take global measures to combat these emissions.

In this AgroCorrn article, we talk about the environmental impact of carbon dioxide .

You may also be interested in: How to calculate your carbon footprint
  1. Carbon dioxide emission sources and more data
  2. Environmental impacts of carbon dioxide
  3. Impacts of CO2 on biodiversity
  4. The environmental impact of carbon dioxide in Madrid

Carbon dioxide emission sources and more data

Carbon dioxide comes from two types of sources, natural and anthropogenic. Among the natural sources of CO2 emissions are animal respiration, fossilization processes, forest fires or volcanic eruptions. Among the anthropogenic sources of CO2 emissions are industrial processes, burning of residues or waste, burning of fossil fuels to obtain energy, means of transport and other human activities. In this other article we will tell you more about the main sources of CO2 emissions .

It is the anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide that have not stopped growing in recent decades. Currently, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is around 390-400 ppm (with night-day, location and seasonal variations). Since the end of the 19th century, the rate of increase in CO2 emissions has grown and especially from the end of the 20th century, it went from an emission of about 0.5 ppm per year in 1960 to an average of 2 ppm in 2000, a trend that continues.

Despite multiple initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions , such as the Kyoto protocol signed in the 1990s, the truth is that carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase globally, although less developed countries, despite having 80% of the global population, they only contributed 20% of the emissions from 1751 to 2007.

Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by up to 130% from the current period to 2050, according to figures provided by the International Energy Agency, and that it would take 45 billion dollars to undertake the necessary measures to reduce these emissions. to the half.

Environmental impacts of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is one of the gases responsible for the greenhouse effect . This effect is the phenomenon by which the heat emitted by the sun is retained within the atmosphere. Some gases, such as carbon dioxide, increase the retention of heat in the atmosphere too much and consequently lead to global overheating.

This global overheating has consequences on the global climate and on life across the planet. Although the climate on our planet is known to be dynamic, in the last century the pace of these climatic variations has accelerated, leading to global climate change. One of the causes of this change is an excessive concentration of greenhouse gases . For example, the global mean temperature has increased by 0.6 ° C during the 20th century and the increase is expected to be between 1 and 5 ° C in the 21st century or increases the frequency and intensity of the most extreme weather events. Climate change is a problem that influences all the other environmental impacts of CO2 .

At the level of the marine environment, this global overheating influences the melting of permafrost and the great ice caps. It is estimated that during the 21st century, the sea level will rise between 9 and 88 cm, depending on the location. In addition, erosion and salinization phenomena will increase in coastal areas. Many coral reefs lose their color and die, affecting species that use them in their diet.

Impacts of CO2 on biodiversity

Many species will move to colder latitudes, seeking those climates for which they are best adapted. Despite this, animal or plant species, which have less capacity to move, which are unable to adapt, will die or become extinct . In addition, thaw phenomena also influence the death and extinction of many species or the acidification of the waters. Another consequence is that many animal species change their migratory routes, in search of food or in their food chains.

Recently, it has been seen that plants increase their growth as the concentration of CO2 increases. However, at very high levels of CO2, the saturation of the photosynthetic apparatus is higher, so growth does not increase or even decrease. Although it is not a fully proven phenomenon.

The environmental impact of carbon dioxide in Madrid

We want to end this article by commenting on the current situation in the city of Madrid, since in recent years CO2 pollution in this place has increased a lot and a “beret” has even appeared that covers the city.

Why carbon dioxide is one of the most polluting gases

Carbon dioxide plays a very important role in global warming, since it is capable of absorbing infrared light that comes from the sun. Carbon dioxide is the second most important atmospheric gas in the greenhouse effect. In addition, when absorbed in water it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), damaging various ecosystems, such as coral reefs.

Main causes of the increase in CO2 emissions and sources

The main causes of the increase in CO2 emissions are human activities. As the world population has increased, energy requirements are increasing, which are produced mainly by the use of fossil fuels, which produce significant emissions. The second activity that produces the most emissions is transport and then there are others such as livestock or agriculture that also contribute.

Although there are various activities that produce carbon dioxide, the vast majority of carbon dioxide emissions are generated by the way we produce and use energy. For this reason, in the coming years it is essential to turn to clean energy sources that replace fossil fuels.

Consequences of forests and parks disappearing

The Retiro Park and the Casa de Campo represent two of the great and important green areas of Madrid. Green areas regulate temperature and humidity, generate oxygen, absorb pollutants such as CO2, dampen noise and filter radiation. The loss of the forests in these two important green areas of the city would have important environmental consequences for the city of Madrid, being less noticeable at a global level but which, in the end, would also add a good negative impact to the problem that exists worldwide.

Why it is difficult to reduce CO2 enough

Although carbon dioxide emissions may decrease, as it is a very common gas, there are many natural phenomena such as fires or volcanic eruptions that can release large amounts of CO2 into the environment. In addition, the CO2 absorption capacity on our planet is also important, mainly exerted by vegetation, so activities such as deforestation are very harmful in this regard.

Measures to reduce CO2 emissions in Madrid

The measures adopted by the Madrid city council, such as Madrid Central, are necessary measures, but they will not solve the problem of pollution. Poor air quality is a very complex issue to solve only with a partial measure that affects only a small part of the city. Even though traffic in the center is reduced, traffic on the ring roads and accesses to Madrid will continue to affect the entire city.

There are six large blocks of measures that can be taken in a city like Madrid to reduce pollution. These include:

  • Execute improvement plans in metropolitan areas: more than half of Madrid’s traffic comes from outside the municipality.
  • Improvements in public transport
  • Reduce the number of cars: central Madrid is one of the measures, but there are others such as urban tolls.
  • Promote a shift towards less polluting vehicles: especially among those that circulate the most and produce the most pollution, which are taxis and delivery vans.

Madrid’s pollution beret

The so-called beret that covers Madrid is made up of polluting gases and suspended particles. These are issued by various sectors such as industry, transport, agriculture, construction or heating, among others. Although in winter, the emission of pollutants tends to increase, the presence of rain and wind ‘cleans’ them, while it is in anticyclonic weather when this beret can be seen more clearly. In large cities it is more common to see these berets due to the height of their buildings, the narrow streets and the overcrowding.

If you want to read more articles similar to The environmental impact of carbon dioxide , we recommend that you enter our Pollution category .

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