Carbon Dioxide Emissions
By Jenny Daily

In today’s culture people heavily rely on coal, gasoline, oil and other natural gases from things like heating homes to making our cars work. The fact that we rely on these resources is very troubling considering that they take hundreds of thousands of years to form, and we are using up these valuable resources at an alarming rate. To add to that many experts are concerned about the byproduct of burning fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide emissions, could be doing to the earth as a whole.
Have you ever wondered what happens when you burn coal or some other kind of fossil fuel? Well it releases carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere and even to the ocean. You may think that the release of carbon dioxide isn’t a big deal that it’s harmless because every living animal breathes out carbon dioxide, but at the rate we are burning carbon rich resources like coal or gasoline, we could be causing colossal damage to earth that may be irreversible. Carbon dioxide emissions have been linked to problems like global warming, the acidification of the world’s oceans and even to the increase in volcanic activity. All these problems could cause the extinction of particular species, the deaths of innocent people, and the destruction of habitats and ecosystems.
One issue caused by the burning of carbon rich resources is the acidification of the world’s oceans, not many people know about this issue but it could possibly affect nearly every person on earth. The acidification of the world’s oceans means that oceans are having a jump in the amount of acid that’s in them. This issue is such a big deal because it will affect the organisms that live by or near the sea. Scientist have discovered that oceans have about 26% more acid in them than before the industrial revolution, when people began to increase their use of fossil fuel. The acidification of oceans will also affect the food that comes from the ocean, like crab or tuna may not be safe to eat anymore and many society’s, like the Japanese’s, diets consist of a lot of sea food and if the acid prevent them from eating a food staple then they could be facing possible starvation. Scientist has also discovered that oceans absorb about 25% of the carbon dioxide emissions we produce which is a relatively large amount that can be fatal.  If we don’t limit some of our carbon dioxide burning we could also destroy marine habitats, ecosystems and the animals and plants that live there.

One of the most well-known issues of fossil fuel burning is global warming. The huge increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere creates a ‘greenhouse effect’ causing the worlds temperatures to rise. This may not sound like a big deal but when you think of places like Antarctica, that are covered in tons of ice you begin to see why the prospect of global warming is so terrifying. The warmer temperatures will cause some, if not all, of the ice to melt causing a rise in the sea levels around the world leaving the animals that live in artic climates with absolutely no home which could lead to the extinction of several species. The increase of the sea levels could also cause an increase in volcanic activity as well. The increase in volcanic activity has many scientist concerned, especially in places like The Ring of Fire. Not even experts can predict all the consequences we could possibly be facing if we don’t find a way to limit the carbon dioxide emissions we release or find a substitute that isn’t as harmful to the environment as carbon rich resources are.

Some people claim there are good points to the carbon rich atmosphere, for example, the ’Global Greening’ effect. The rise in temperature along with the increase in the carbon in the atmosphere makes a perfect environment for plant. Scientist have reported that there was a significant increase in the vegetation in places that usually wouldn’t have as many plant as it has now, about an 11% increase. Thou this is a positive effect of the carbon dioxide emissions, there are twice as many negative than positive points, like the increase in volcanic activity, the rise in sea level, and the acidification of the oceans.

We need to find a way to use fossil fuels more effectively so that they create a smaller amount of carbon emissions and hopefully find a substitute for burning carbon rich resources in order to cause less harm to our home and the organisms that live on earth with us.