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What is the link between

Energy Production and Global


Warming?
Energy Production
• Energy is produced, so we can all have a
certain lifestyle. We all expect a constant
electricity supply
• In the UK, the main source of electricity
comes from burning Fossil Fuels
• Electricity can also be made by renewable
sources
• The target in Northern Ireland is to have
12% of all energy generated by renewable
sources by 2012
Energy Production
• A watt is a measurement of energy
• Power stations and other energy
generating devices are measured in
megawatts (MW)
• The largest coal-fired power station
in the UK, Drax Power Station,
Yorkshire – produces 4,000MW = 7%
of UK’s electricity demands (SOURCE:DTI)
Energy in Northern Ireland
There are 3 power stations, producing about
93-97% of our electricity needs:
1. Coolkeeragh Power Station, near
Londonderry. Uses gas to generate
electricity
2. Ballylumford Power Station, Island Magee.
Uses gas to generate electricity
3. Kilroot Power Station, Carrickfergus. Uses
coal to generate electricity
- For thousands of years, wood has
been a major source of energy. Wood
is still a major source of energy in
some countries of the world today,
e.g. Nepal.
- Since the Industrial Revolution, over
the last 200 years, there has been a
dramatic growth in energy production.
Over the last 200 years,
• There has been a greater demand for
energy from factories, machinery and
domestic use throughout the world
• There has been a dramatic population
growth
Over the last 200 years there has
therefore been more burning of fossil
fuels to produce energy.

Main sources used: Coal, oil and gas


Our society, our lifestyles, our
technologies encourage greater use
of fossil fuels
Fossil fuels are efficient at producing
energy BUT there are problems:
• Greenhouse gases, e.g. CO2 are released
when they are burnt
• Limited supply of these resources
• They are only found in certain parts of
the world
What is ‘Global Warming’?
• Global Warming is an increase in
temperatures
• This happens because of the
‘Greenhouse Effect’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/evidence/greenhouse_effect_img.shtml
Greenhouse Effect
Greenhouse gases (CO2, methane,
nitrous oxide & CFCs),
released by us go up into the Earth’s
atmosphere, which stop some of the
sun-rays from leaving the Earth’s
atmosphere = making the Earth
warmer
What releases Greenhouse gases?

What causes Global Warming?


1. Natural processes, e.g. the release of CO2
from melting permafrost
2. The burning of fossil fuels
3. Emissions from vehicles
Is there a link between Energy
Production and Global Warming?

YES

And while the majority of our energy is


produced by fossil fuels that emit CO2 and
other greenhouse gases – this will
continue…
• There is research and evidence to prove
global temperatures increased by 0.5oC
during the 20th century

• The IPCC’s Report, 2nd Feb. 2007, suggest a


possible temperature rise by the end of
this century from between 1.10C and 40C
• Global Warming means that we are
experiencing Climate Change (a change
in what the climate we would usually
expect)

• We are and will experience Climate


Change because of Global Warming
There has been a long debate about the
impact of humans on global warming.

The IPCC’s Report, 2nd Feb 2007, states,


The higher degree of certainty that changes are
down to human activities – up from at least 66% in
2001 to at least 90% now – is significant…
Achim Steiner, from the UN stated,
“ Friday, 2 February 2007 may go down
in history as the day when the
question mark was removed from the
question of whether climate change
has anything to do with human
activities”
Warming Signs
IPCC Report, 2 Feb 2007 states the evidence
for global warming includes,

• 11 of the last 12 years are among the warmest on


record
• Oceans have warmed down to 3,000 metres
• Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined
Warming Signs
IPCC Report, 2 Feb 2007 states the evidence
for global warming includes,

• Satellites have seen an acceleration in sea level rise


• More intense and longer droughts have been
observed
• Arctic cover is shrinking in depth and in extent
What will Global Warming mean
for us?
What will it mean for the UK?
• Hotter/drier summers and
wetter/stormier winters
• As temperatures and rainfall patterns
change, this will have an impact on our
lifestyle and biodiversity
• During the summer, air-conditioning will be
needed more widely
• More flooding in the winter
What will it mean for the UK?
• Lack of water may become more common at
certain times of the year
• Less need to travel to Spain to get a sun-
tan!
• Mosquitoes may become common in the UK
• Birch trees may find it difficult to survive
in the changing climate
What will it mean globally?
• Sea level rise, due to melting of ice
• May see more extreme weather
• More drought during the summers
• More intense hurricanes, due to warmer
oceans
• More intense Asian monsoon
What will it mean globally?
• Low-lying land areas will be flooded as sea
levels rise
• Large coastal cities may also be flooded,
e.g. Calcutta, India and Shanghai, China –
leading to large population movements
What will it mean globally?
• More extreme weather, e.g. hurricanes and
droughts – will have large social, economic and
environmental impacts
• Economic impacts – governments will need to spend
money on buildings, flood defenses and
infrastructure
What are other possible economic impacts?
What will it mean globally?
• Economic impacts – as agriculture adapts to
change in growing seasons, strains of
diseases and transport costs
• Economic impacts – as certain businesses
may need to change location
• Change in lifestyle: as people work to
reduce CO2 emissions
A Global Issue, demands
Global Action
What is being done?
What are governments doing
about it?
• There have been global meetings to discuss
issues of climate change
• At these meetings each country is
represented and they talk about policies
and some agreements have been signed
• As Global Warming involves all countries, it
is important that all countries work
together to help reduce its impact
Kyoto Protocol, 1997
• The Kyoto Protocol is a significant
agreement, which was signed by the
majority of countries in 1997
• Signing, meant that a country was
agreeing to reach targets
• Targets to reduce the production of
greenhouse gases in their country
Kyoto Protocol, 1997

141 countries signed, agreeing to cut


greenhouse emissions by 5.2% by
2012
The World’s biggest polluter
– the USA did not sign
• Why do you think the USA did not
sign?
• What impact does this have on
reducing the effects of global
warming?
What does this all mean for us?

• It does mean that we will experience some of the


effects of Climate Change
• It also means we need to think about how we live and
what we can do to reduce our impact
• Each of us can choose to live more wisely by, e.g. -
not wasting energy, becoming more energy efficient
- encourage the use of more renewable energy
A small action makes a
difference
Our World is changing
- We all have the ability to make a
difference
- What are you going to do?