7 pages/≈1925 words
Bio: Burning Fossil Fuels (Essay Sample)
Instructions answer any 7 of the 10 questions source..
Burning Fossil Fuels
Quiz 1: The Effect of Burning Fossil Fuels on the Carbon Cycle and its Consequences
The carbon cycle represents the natural process through which carbon dioxide is transferred among the atmosphere, living organisms, land, and water bodies. Under natural conditions, the carbon cycle is balanced and stable since it self-regulates the amount of carbon dioxide that enters into any of the elements within the cycle (Falkowski, 2000). Fossil fuels are made up of carbon compounds like coal and oil. The burning of fossil fuels by human beings disrupts this balance because it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, more than the natural processes like respiration in plants (producers) and the decomposition of dead matter can remove. This results in the saturation of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas because it traps heat in the atmosphere by absorbing the sun’s infrared heat waves instead of reflecting them back to space. This in turn causes global warming by increasing temperature levels in the atmosphere.
In the long term, burning of fossil fuels can cause climate changes and related natural disasters. For instance, glacial melting and thawing of mountain ice caps will occur due to the rising temperatures. This will increase sea levels (as a result of the water released by glaciers and ice on mountain tops and flows into rivers) and cause floods and tsunamis (Falkowski, 2000). At the same time, coastal regions will experience higher rainfalls due to high rates of evaporation and compound the problems of floods and tsunamis. At the same time, inland regions will experience droughts due to a reduction of moisture in the atmosphere, which will have a negative impact on agricultural production.
Quiz 2: Speciation of Anole Lizards in the Caribbean Islands
The speciation of lizards could have risen from occupying of different niches, which had different environments and required adaptation for survival. According to a research carried out in the region, a species of lizards known as the anoles began colonizing the Caribbean islands over 40 million years ago (Main, 2013). Over time, the lizards multiplied and continued to colonize new territories with environmental conditions different from their original setting. This led to diversification of the species because they had to adopt differently in their respective environments. For instance, living in different ecosystems meant that the lizards survived on different foods, and consequently, adopted different eating habits.
After several years, the anoles evolved into separate species to become better adapted to the niches they colonized. For example, some lizards live on tree trunks, others in the grasses, while some live among twigs on the trees. So as to survive, each group must undergo evolutionary changes to become suited for their respective environments. Those living on ...
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