Impacts of Global Warming
Signs of global warming, increasing are everywhere and are more complex than rising temperatures. The Earth's temperature from the North to the South Pole has increased by 0. 7 degrees Celsius since 1906 (3). The effects of this rapid warming are not on stand-by, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and forcing animals to change habitats are all signs of global warming. Global warming is a man-made phenomenon that occurs when greenhouse gases, created through fossil fuel combustion, collect in the Earth's atmosphere and absorb radiation that otherwise would have reflected from the Earth's surface (4). This radiation would escape into space; however, greenhouse gases are designed to retain heat. With the rise in temperatures melting glaciers release massive amounts of carbon into the world's oceans (5). Although this organic carbon could be food for tiny organisms at the bottom of the ocean, the oceanic ecosystem could very well collapse.
Solar panels are a promising renewable energy source, yet how exactly do they function (1). Solar panels allow photons or particles of light to knock the electrons out of atoms which in turn creates a flow of electricity. Solar panels comprise of many smaller cells called photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into energy. Each photovoltaic cell is made up of two sectors; both are semi-conductors of electricity such as silicon. To function properly, photovoltaic cells need to generate an electric field that occurs when opposite charges are separated. To create this field, the panel manufacturers insert a positively charged material into one slice of silicon (phosphorus) and a negatively charged material into the other (boron). This will create an electric field in the gap between the silicon slices, when a photon of sunlight knocks an electron free, the electric field pushes the electron out of the field. Metal conducting plates placed at the sides of the photovoltaic cells collect and direct the electrons into wires from which point forth can be used like any source of electricity. When a Solar Panel is placed in an area with constant exposure to sunlight during the day, a steady flow of electricity is created. Solar panels derive clean and pure energy from sunlight and convert it into the same
the electricity we obtain from burning fossil fuels.
Solar energy is renewable, on the other hand fossil fuels are expected to run out in the
next 100-150 years (9). Solar panels are a feasible idea to overcome global warming in the long run and they have certain advantages over other solutions. For homeowners solar panels will reduce their electricity bills to nil, as solar panels provide electricity for every appliance in the house. Solar panels are actually an investment, for the average American household they will pay off their solar panels in 7-8 years and actually see a return on investment of 20% or more. Solar panels protect one against ris...