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FairFleet supports renewable energy – Part I
FairFleet supports renewable energy – Part IGlobal warming and climate change - What do we have to expect?
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Renewable energies and the energy revolution stand for a secure, environmentally compatible and economically successful future. The current method of producing electricity from fossil energy sources such as coal, natural gas, crude oil and uranium is chemically or atomically stored energy that is converted into heat or radiation energy by combustion. The global reserves are limited, oil, gas and uranium will presumably already be used up in the 21st century, which in turn will lead to higher development costs. Because the scarcer the reserves and the greater the global demand, the higher the prices will be. For example, the oil price rose from around 17 US dollars in 2001 to as much as 147 dollars per barrel in 2008. As a result, the German government agreed in 2010 to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Currently the oil price fluctuates between 50 and 60 dollars per barrel.
In addition, the combustion of carbon-containing energy sources releases harmful emissions and climate-damaging greenhouse gases that lead to global warming. Nuclear power plants generate radioactive waste that continues to radiate for thousands of years. Furthermore, uncontrolled life-threatening radiation can escape in the event of accidents. Particularly after the nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima power plant in Japan in 2011, the phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany was set for 2022.

Consequences of global warming

Due to the increased proportion of carbon dioxide in the air owing to emissions of fossil fuels, the earth's atmosphere is heating up. From 1965 to 2015 (50 years), the earth warmed by only 0.1°C. An additional increase of 0.3 - 0.7°C is expected in the next 15 years. It could even rise up to 1.5°C by 2050. With such an increase, 10 million people in coastal areas would be affected by increased flooding and the population in southern Africa would have 20-30% less water available.
However, the consequences can already be seen today: Ice masses are melting, sea levels are rising, and weather extremes such as floods, storms and droughts are becoming more frequent. While there were only a few floods from around 2000 to 2008, the number increased from 2010 onwards, an example being the flood catastrophe in Thailand in 2011.

Earth with melting ice masses

The main impact of rising sea levels is the flooding of low-lying coastal areas and cities. 22 of the world's 50 largest cities are coastal cities, including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and New York. In addition, increasing global warming is causing the earth's water cycle to intensify. Droughts last longer, and floods occur more frequently.(Source: GEO.de)

Drought

In dry areas, there may be shifts in the rainfall belt, threatening human water supplies. The higher the temperature rise, the more people suffer from drought. In Southern Europe, too, severe droughts are to be expected, causing 150 to 500 million more people to starve than today. In addition, vegetation periods are shortened, and crop failures occur. In Europe, the risk of transmitting infectious diseases due to heat is also significantly higher. The illustrated world maps show the serious consequences.(Source: Reuters/NCAR)

world map

The consequences for Germany

The risk of extreme weather conditions such as heat or thunderstorms is increasing more and more. Arctic ice surfaces, which normally reflect the sun, are melting due to the warming of the atmosphere. The underlying land areas store heat longer, warming water and air. The airflows change because warm air stores more moisture and can therefore release more moisture. The consequences are heavy rain and thunderstorms. For Germany, this means that summer precipitation will decrease, and winter precipitation will increase as more rain falls than snow. Summer drought endangers agricultural yields, while the risk of flooding increases in winter and spring. This not only endangers winter sports resorts but is also noticeable in riverbank cities in Germany. At the beginning of January in 2018, such heavy rainfall was already visible in Cologne and other cities on the Rhine. (Source: dpa)

Click here to get to part 2!

FairFleet supports renewable energy – Part I