05 July 2007

The Earth is Growing Older

I haven't gone for any vacation for almost two months now. The last trip I went was to Pangkor Island which is located in the west coast of Malaysia. I wasn't very impressed with the place. The sea was not as blueish and fresh like what you can find in the east coast. However, I only went to one side of the island,the other parts of the island may be good and I heard that the Pangkor Laut Island which is located next to Pangkor Island has very nice beaches.

The holiday was further spoilt when one of my children got very sick and I had to shorten the trip. Since then, I haven't gone for any vacation yet but I did went to visit my parent at my hometown. For my children, visiting their grandmother is what they enjoy ery much. They love the village life, the trees, the chickens and the clean environment.

Lately, I've been spending most of my weekends at home. For me, I enjoy my weekends no matter where they are spent as long as my family is there. Home can be a very nice place to be when we are able to establish a happy and joyful environment for our family. I spent my last weekend at home again. The weather was so warm and not at all conducive for outside activities. In the other hand, the annual dry-season forest fire in Sumatra island has started causing haze which carries pollutant agents in the air like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. According to the news I read, there are currently hundreds of hot spots detected in Sumatra. My children have been sick on and off for a few weeks now because of this unhealthy weather condition.

I remember when I was a small kid and stayed with my parents, there wasn't any fan or air conditioner in the house, but it was so comfortable to sleep at night under the blanket.

Is the world getting warmer ?

I read a few reports recently and learned that it is a fact that the world average temperature is increasing. One of the contributing factor is identified as the variations in the brightness of the sun. The amount of energy output from the sun is not constant, it fluctuates with time and when the output increases,the world temperature tends to increase as well. Another cause for the temperature rise is identified to be the gas and dust released from volcanoes.

However, the greatest cause is said to be humans activities. Carbon dioxide and other green house gases which are released from industries worldwide have caused heat to be entrapped in the lower atmosphere. The rate of carbon dioxide discharged in the air is increasing and some believe that if this is maintained,the global effects would be severe with rising sea level, more extreme weather events, heat waves and droughts getting more common. In one of the research, it was found that human activities including fuel burning, cement production and gas flaring, release more than 150 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes.

80% of the heat caused by the greenhouse gasses are said to end up in oceans thus increasing their temperatures. In addition to that,the carbon dioxide also tends to dissolve in the surface of the oceans and makes the oceans more acidic. More acidic oceans will have a bad effect on corals and animals which build shells. In simple terms, the carbon dioxide that dissolves in the ocean causes a decrease in calcite ions which are required to build the shells. If these animals could not survive, there will be an impact in the marine food cycle.

Global warming is also causing the sea levels to rise. Earlier this year, it was said that the high temperatures are causing glaciers to melt away slowly, adding huge volumes of meltwater to the oceans thus increasing the global sea levels. However, in a report I read recently, it was found that the high temperatures are causing the glaciers to break up and slowly slip into the sea resulting quicker rise in sea levels. A study shows that 300 glaciers in Antartica have begun to move more quickly into the sea.

I also came across some arguments where some scientists do not agree that the greenhouse effect is the major cause of the global warming. They have their own reasoning to support this and let me leave it for the experts to discuss and argue about it.

I was walking out of a bank a couple of days ago and was approached by a girl who was a volunteer of World Wildlife (WWF). She explained to me the insecure future of nature in the country. She was looking for people who are willing to sign up for a monthly contribution to WWF Malaysia to help them in their very best effort to conserve the nature so that we and the future generation will be able to enjoy the beauty of the nature. I was thinking to myself,the government has been collecting taxes from almost all of us but is there any good effort made to preserve the nature in this country?

Our planet is getting very old, it seems to me that we human beings, knowingly or unknowingly, have done much to accelerate the aging process.

I would like to end my post with lyrics taken from the song 'When the sun burns red' performed by the thrash metal band Kreator, one of my favourite bands those days.


Savage heat is searing
Global warning has begun
Mother earth is reeling
No protection from the sun
Forest fires are raging
While the rivers turn to ice
Foolish man creating
Mother Nature's cruel demise

Hailstorms, tornados
Cold spells, untimely frosts
Heat waves and blizzards
Global death's the cost

Faces the end of time
As we plunge headlong towards the day
Can't deny the signs
When the sun burns red
The earth will turn
From blue to grey


3 comments:

Lizzie said...

Certainly something to think about!

Zhu said...

It's hard to tell whether the weather is truly changing or if people exaggerate.

I think the weather is changing personnally. I remember when I was a kid in France summers weren't that hot in Europe.

Franx Budi said...

We must realize that global warming happened in everywhere. Must becareful to unpredictable weather

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