Combating Global Warming with Solar

What is global warming?

Global warming refers to the gradual heating of Earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere. According to a report published by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2010-2019 happened to be the hottest decade since they started keeping record 140 years ago. You may ask, what causes the increase in temperature? The answer, according to the scientists behind this report, is the increasing level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Why is it that carbon dioxide leads to a rise in temperature but not other gases?

The answer lies within carbon dioxide’s ability to absorb and re-emit infrared energy. Though invisible to human eyes, infrared radiation is simply what we can feel as heat. On the contrary, nitrogen and oxygen, which make up more than 90% of Earth's atmosphere, do not possess the ability of absorbing infrared photons. Hence, carbon dioxide is the one who effectively traps heat in our atmosphere.

How is it that carbon dioxide is increasing so rapidly in our atmosphere?

Well, this is because humans have not only been burning fossil fuels, but have also cut down carbon-absorbing forests. Humans have been burning fossil fuels to meet our energy demands. Unfortunately, generating electricity from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas is the number one source of greenhouse gases, more than all of our driving and flying combined. In short, humans have been producing more carbon dioxide and destroying the thing that helps keep carbon dioxide levels low at the same time.

What are the effects of global warming?

Global warming is not a mere rise in temperature, but will eventually cause other disasters. According to NASA, global warming is the reason for the increasing incidents of extreme weather such as wildfires, droughts and tropical storms.

How will going solar help combat global warming?

When we go solar, we start to depend on solar energy to power our electricity instead of traditional non-renewable energy sources like natural gas and coal. According to research, an average solar-powered household can reduce approximately 8 pounds of sulphur dioxide, 5 pounds of nitrogen oxide and more than 1400 pounds of carbon dioxide each month. In approximately 30 years, one solar-powered home would have reduced more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Just think of the huge difference we could make if we all decide to go solar together!