Lesson 11 - Key Terms and Concepts A note The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson You are responsible for understanding

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Key Terms and Concepts A note : The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson. You are responsible for understanding these terms and concepts as they will provide you with a foundation for future discussions. While you may not specifically see some of these terms or concepts on the upcoming exam, you will see them again in future lessons and exams. It is up to you to know them. This list is provided as a tool for studying and by no means does it address everything that you may be asked on the upcoming exam. - fossil fuel - what class of countries uses the most energy - main sources of energy in US - historical trend of US & Worldwide energy consumption - energy efficiency - future of fossil fuel use (next 20 years) - possible impacts of global development & energy use - sustainable energy sources - non-fossil fuel energy - nuclear power - renewable energy sources - hydropower - geothermal energy - solar energy - wind power - hydrogen and ocean power - cogeneration In the last lesson, we discussed global climate change. First, we established that global warming occurs naturally due to the greenhouse effect -- a mechanism by which the Earth regulates its temperature. Second, we established that the global climate has been warming since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This warming is probably anthropogenic in nature because increasing amounts of greenhouse gases ( GHGs ) in the atmosphere have enhanced the greenhouse effect. Anthropogenic production of GHGs in detectable quantities has been documented back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. In general, of the GHGs Americans emit, approximately 83% is carbon dioxide, 9% is methane, 5% is nitrous oxide, and the remaining 3% are other gases. Therefore, carbon dioxide accounts for a majority of the anthropogenic GHGs emitted from the U.S. Now here's the interesting part…
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Of the carbon dioxide we (Americans) emitted the in 2007, 94% of it was produced through the combustion of fossil fuels . Burning fossil fuels also produces methane and nitrous oxide. Both of these GHGs are considered more potent agents for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. "Power plants, cattle, and cars are some of the major contributors of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. Put another way. .. If we accept that: (1) global warming is occurring, and (2) it is in part anthropogenic through our production of GHG, and we know that: (1) a majority of the GHG we emit is carbon dioxide, and (2) most of this carbon dioxide is produced by fossil-fuel combustion… then doesn't it follow that we could ameliorate anthropogenic global warming by not burning fossil fuels? Seems logical, so why don't we just stop burning fossil fuels? Is it really that simple? To gain an
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2009 for the course ISS 731 taught by Professor A.arbogast during the Summer '09 term at Michigan State University.

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Lesson 11 - Key Terms and Concepts A note The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson You are responsible for understanding

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