Environmental Science

Ar Rass in Saudi Arabia (latitude 25.8697) is on the same latitude with Miami, Florida (latitude 25.7738889) yet, the two have varied climates. Climate of a certain region is dependent primarily on the quantity of solar radiation and its distribution, which varies extensively with latitude.

All the same, the atmosphere as well as oceans plays a key role in the storage and distribution of heat. Continents as well as mountains acts as obstacles for heat distribution between the ocean and the atmosphere since their blocking redirects the currents to form varied regional climates.

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Climate is also affected by vegetation cover since plants acts as heat absorbers and water retainers that could go a long way in dictating precipitation of a certain region. Besides, high quantity of atmospheric greenhouse gases leads to heat blanketing, which elevate the temperature of a place.

Sunlight striking a region varies with latitudes where lower latitudes receive more solar radiations while similar latitudes receives similar amount of solar radiation and therefore, should similar climates (Merali & Skinner, 2009).

However, cities with similar latitudes could have extensively varied climates. Ar Rass is surrounded by small mountain ranges, sand dunes and plateaus and has a typical desert climate whose winters are cold while summers are extremely hot with minimal humidity.

On the other hand, Miami is a coastal city and therefore, cooler ocean currents results to cool temperatures on the land while warm ones results to warm temperatures. Water bodies also have a higher heat capacity to retain heat in summer to cause warmer winters. Miami experiences tropical monsoon whose summers are hotter and moist while winters are warmer and dry.

Climate is changing due to natural causes such as volcanic eruptions to release sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, ash and dust. Solar variations, continental drift, ocean currents and tilting of earth also cause climate change.

Primarily, Human activities due to industrial revolution that has raised the combustion of fossil fuels leading to high emissions of greenhouse gases e.g. carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to cause global warming (Hardy, 2003).

As a result, catastrophic events have been experienced that will not only affect the ecosystems but might result to extinction of species. Global warming will result to an upsurge in sea levels that will have effects on rainfall seasons and the ultimate extension of subtropical deserts.

Besides, the polar glacier will retreat while severe weather, marked by recurrent of droughts and hurricanes will be manifest. These might have health impacts on human due to rise of infective parasites, disruption of ecological systems and rise in temperatures. These aspects have called for global efforts to mitigate climate change (Merali & Skinner, 2009).

From the CNN report, greenhouse gases are essential to trap heat and warm the earth and without them, the planet would be frozen. Therefore, they are essential but when excess, they become detrimental. Existence of life in other planets seems unlikely and remains a speculation that has not yet been proven.

Several planets have been proven inhospitable but not impossible to life. Extraterrestrial life has been tested within the context of astronomy to formulate theories of its existence since the universe comprises of planets that orbit the stars similar to earth. These planets however, seem inhospitable for life.

In planet earth where life exists, human seems to be losing the battle to mitigate climate change. Consequently, the planet might as well become inhospitable to harbor life in future, due to the rising global warming that is accompanied by catastrophic events that might cause extinction of life (Hardy, 2003).

Besides, human have caused biotic crisis that has continued to cause species extinction, which reduces biodiversity. However, it would be hard to predict the future of this planet since other factors that have seen the planet experience glaciation cycles should also be considered.

References

Hardy, J. T. (2003). Climate Change: Causes, Effects, And Solutions. Chichester, England: John Wiley and Sons.

Merali, Z., & Skinner, B. J. (2009). Visualizing Earth Science. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.