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    061958

    Population and the greenhouse effect.

    Zero Population Growth [ZPG]

    Washington, D.C., ZPG, 1988 Aug. [2] p. (ZPG Fact Sheet)

    Industrialized nations have emitted gases, which are transforming the Earth into a greenhouse, into the atmosphere for many years. Carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by burning fossil fuels and wood; chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) released by refrigerants and other sources; nitrous oxides, generated by fossil fuels; and methane, produced from decomposition of organic matter, trap infrared rays thereby causing an unprecedented rate of global warming. In the period from 1900-1988, the concentration of CO2 has climbed 20% and the average global temperature has risen >1 degree Fahrenheit. Further, since 1963, the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 essentially equals population growth. Population growth also directly contributes to the increase in atmospheric methane. Forests naturally remove CO2 from the air, yet humans are destroying about 27 million acres of tropical forests/year. If the present fossil fuel rates persist, CO2 concentration will increase 2 fold by 2050 causing a mean global temperature increase of 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Other computer simulations predict changes in global precipitation, droughts, a rise in sea level by 1-4 feet, and the extinction of many species of plants and animals. Scientists major concern is the suddenness of this climatic change because it leaves little time for humans and plant and animal species to adapt. The World Meterological Organization of the United Nations advises that all nations ratify the recommendations of the 1987 Montreal meeting on ozone. 1 recommendation states that the industrialized nations must reduce the production and consumption of CFCs by 50% by the end of the century. Since the US consumes 28% of the world's annual energy consumption, the US should led the world in energy conservation. Any approach that does not advocate resource consumption and population stabilization will fail, however.
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