Seoul (South Korea)
Major water bodies and physical features
With a long socio-cultural and political history, Seoul, unlike most other cities ion South Korea is relatively endorsed with rich and extensive major water bodies and other physical features. Seoul is approximately 240 square miles and is traversed by the great Han River (originally a trade route to China) (Woo-Seok, & Watts, 2012, p 123). Correspondingly, the City of Seoul is also surrounded by a number of mountains such as the Hambaek-san Mountain that contributes to the cool weather experiences around the City throughout of the year.
However, most of the city Seoul are relatively flat given that the city is located on the plains of River Han (Woo-Seok, & Watts, 2012, p 125). The climate of this city, according to the Metrological Department of South Korea is generally viewed as subtropical and humid continental with most summers being hot. Other rivers in Seoul includes the Naktong, the Piukhan and the Kum and are in most cases originating from the Halla-san and Kyebang-san mountains (Woo-Seok, & Watts, 2012, p 128).
Description of the City’s organization
The city of Seoul is divided into twenty five administrative segments that are referred to as GU that ae semi-autonomous with own small Government (Salmenkari, 2009, p. 87). The GU are further divided into Dong that are considered as neighborhoods in Seoul. The sizes of GU and Dong do vary in size and population composition and depends on the physical infrastructures defining that particular region. Most of the populace in South Korea lives in the towns and cities with Seoul having a population of close to 25 million people (Salmenkari, 2009, p. 89).
City’s transportation network
The city’s current transportation network is based on modern technological advancements with most parts of the city showcasing sophistication in infrastructural development (Lee, 2007, p. 34). Since the Joseon Dynasty, from the ancient Seoul, the ports along the banks of the rivers are currently bridges. This boom in transportation sector in Seoul can traced back to the Korean Empire becoming one of the most crucial hub for transportation in Asia (Lee, 2007, p. 36). Ranging from the extensive Bus Terminals to the modern airports in the city, Seoul is poised to become a global hub for transportation.
The Gimpo international airport, during the era of Korean War arguably the only notable air transport system in the whole of Seoul and South Korea. But since then, a number of airports have sprung up in the city and serves as the gateway to the global community (Lee, 2007, p. 39). Approximately 15 subways interlinks the districts found within the city of Seoul and other surrounding regions and are relatively cost effective. The Taxis and trains in Seoul also connects the most parts of the City with other regions within the country (Lee, 2007, p. 43). For instance, the KTX bullet trains connecting major Korean cities has to a large extent boosted transportation and communication in Seoul. The frequency and ease of the transportation system in Seoul saw the city being voted as the best in the world (Lee, 2007, p. 44).
Evidence of connectivity to surrounding regions
The extensive subways in most parts of the city are an explicit indication of the level of connectivity in the City of Seoul. For instance, the various color lines in the subways indicates the various connections in the city easing the contemporary traffic issues in the city.
Lee, K. S. (2007). A social geography of Greater Seoul. Pochinchai Printing Co., Seoul.
Lee, K., Jung, W. S., Park, J. S., & Choi, M. Y. (2008). Statistical analysis of the Metropolitan Seoul Subway System: Network structure and passenger flows. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 387(24), 6231-6234.
Salmenkari, T. (2009). Geography of protest: places of demonstration in Buenos Aires and Seoul. Urban Geography, 30(3), 239-260.
Woo-Seok, K., & Watts, P. (2012). The Plant Geography of Korea: with an emphasis on the Alpine Zones (Vol. 19). Springer Science & Business Media.
Monsoon systems and Lake Breeze
Many similarities exist between tropical monsoons and Lake Breeze systems. The tropical monsoon system is characterized by precipitation that occurs entirely within the inter-tropical convergence zone. The precipitation in tropical monsoon weather occurs seasonally, and may be displaced due to the presence of cross- equatorial gradients in pressure (Mohtadi et al., 2016). Each seasonal change in the precipitation patterns is accompanied by wind shear. The beginning of monsoons is characterized by the migration of subtropical high altitude systems. The seasonal occurrence of monsoons makes them more pronounced in terms of duration as well as in the length. As opposed to the lake breeze systems, the monsoon systems are more intense and can cover entire inter-tropical convergence zones. This is due to the fact that the monsoon winds cover the entire area that is affected by the wind shear pressure gradient.
On the other hand, sea breezes are characterized by smaller lengths as well as durations. While monsoons are affected by seasonal changes, the lake breezes result from tidal changes which are shorter lived as well as non-seasonal. The duration of lake breezes is affected by the duration of tides, which varies between a few hours to not more than 24 hours for in each occurrence. Moreover, while the monsoon is spread across the entire inter-tropical convergence zone, lake breezes often cover only the immediate land covering, varying between a few hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers in length. As such, the scale of the lake breeze can be said to be micro in comparison to the monsoon winds.
The diagrams below depict the monsoon and the sea breezes as they occur.
Figure 1: Lake Breeze Circulation (Source: Heidorn, 2005)
Figure 2: Monsoon Winds in summer and winter
Heidorn, K.C. (2005). Lake Breeze weather. Retrieved from www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/lakebreezewx.htm
Mohtadi, M., Prange, M. and Steinke, S. (2016). Key characteristics of monsoon systems and related climate phenomena. Nature, 533, pp. 191 – 199. Retrieved from www.nature.com/nature/journal/v533/n7602/box/nature17450_BX1.html?foxtrotcallback=true
Plate Tectonics Activities
The plate tectonic topic is an excellent topic of study as it involves a deep uncovering of facts. This concept was developed in the early 1960s. According to this theory, the earth is made up of a hard layer called lithosphere, which is about 60 miles thick and extends to the asthenosphere (Gerya at el 221). When the lithosphere moves, affects the earth. For instance, it is thought that the interaction movements of the plate cause most of the Earth’s seismic, mountain rising and volcanic activities. It is factual to say that plate tectonics processes are among the major influencers of long lasting climatic change. The processes contribute to both physical and chemical components, which are responsible for the evolution process in the Earth
Figure 1: plate tectonic’s movement
Additionally, plate tectonics incorporates a wider range of activities occurring in the earth as a planet. Some of its events are scientific in nature and can be explained in details, while others are theoretical. Some of the major effects of plate tectonics include, earthquakes, continental drifting, mountain formation process, and volcanism. For a geologist or a geographer to come up with facts about plate tectonics, he or she has to synthesizes both the geologic and geophysical data. Therefore, to understand the composition of the earth one has be aware of the major plate tectonic activities. As stated earlier, activities involved in plate tectonics arise from its movement and extend to the crust and its outer shell (Gerya at el 221). The plate tectonic movement is a theory that has allowed humans to gain insight and knowledge to explain some of the world phenomenon. The latest discoveries by the 21st scientists show that plate tectonics highly influence the atmosphere and oceans.
The Mountain Formation Process
When we view the mountains it is quite hard to tell the difference by just a glance. One cannot tell the difference between mountains from a glance because of the fact that they are covered by ice or snow. Nonetheless, it is important to know the formation process of each type of mountain. All the mountain formation processes are among few of the geological processes arising from the large scale movement of the Earth’s crust. As a result of earth’s c. As a result of earth’s crust movement, different types of mountains will be formed. Weather formed through faulting or folding all are as a result plate tectonic activities. However, it should be noted that the formation of the mountains is not related to the geological structures that they have. There are many types of mountains resulting from different types of plate tectonic activities of the earth. In addition, the plate tectonic activities explain the difference in the landscapes of some areas in the world. For example, there are parts of the earth that are plain, while others are hilly and steeply curved compared to others. There are numerous types of mountains formed as a result of plate tectonic activities and they include the ones discussed below.
These are mountains formed as a result of the movements of plate tectonic along the plate boundaries. When the plate tectonics erupt they form volcanic mountains. Examples of such mountains in the world include, Zimina and Udina of Russia, Fuji, Kilimanjaro, and Vesuvius. Alternatively, when there is a series of volcanos it leads to formation of arc volcanic mountain. This because during a series of eruptions some parts of the crust melts leaving sharp arcs, which form the volcano mountains. Volcanic mountains can further be divided into stratovolcano, composite, and shield volcano. They are easily classified though the slope or the heights of their cones. For example, both the composite and stratovolcanoes have steeply rising cones of between 33 to 40 degrees. Another fact that cannot be left untouched is the relationship between volcanic mountains and earthquakes. During volcanic activities, an increase of earthquakes in experienced. Earthquakes occur as a result of the melting of the earth crust leaving gaps and shapes that allow the drifting of the solidified rocks underneath.
Figure 2: Volcanic arc
Fold mountains occur when the plates collide and slide over one another. When the plates undergo orogenisis they form fold mountains. For example, Jura and Zagro mountains are fold mountains. Most of the world’s ranges are formed through this process.
Block Mountains form when the blocks are lifted or tilted by the movement of the crust. When there are strong tensional forces. The forces split the plate and lift the Centre block, a movement leading to dropping of the sideway blocks. This eventually leads to flaking from the weak points and the blocks rise to form Block Mountains. If the tensional force is not strong it only lifts the block to less heights compared to strong forces. An example of block mountain is the Sierra Nevada Range.
This is another result of the plate tectonic activity. Earth quakes occur when the Earth’s plates move against one another. This movement causes tension and stress, which results in the earth’s outer shell to shift or break. Earth quakes are of different types and caused by different forces that act on the plate. The major concern here is the Tectonic earth quake. A tectonic earth quake is the most common and occurs when there is shifting of the earth’s plate caused by geological force. To understand the concept of earthquake in detail it is important for one to understand the causes and impacts of these earthquakes on human life.
Causes of the Tectonic Earth Quake
Earth quakes occurs when the plates move towards each other or drift from each other. These movements form either divergent or convergent boundaries. When divergent boundaries are formed, the divergent movement results in minor earthquakes that cannot be felt. Divergent earthquakes cannot be felt because the plates move away from each other at a slow pace, which cannot be detected. On the other hand, the convergent plate movement leads to more vigorous and destructive earthquakes. This is explained by the fact that convergent boundaries involve the destruction of the crust of the earth. Moreover, convergent earthquakes occur under the ocean. For instance, the earthquakes of San Andrea’s are caused by convergent boundaries. Both the convergent and divergent boundaries are associated with the creation of fault lines when the lines move horizontally. In conclusion, the major cause the earthquakes is the tectonic plates. Besides the volcanic and tectonic earthquakes there is the collapse earthquake, which is a minor earthquake, which is caused by mines and caves under the crust.
Earthquakes and Human effects
There would be no valid reason for understanding the plate tectonic earthquakes if th knowledge were not applicable to human life. Therefore, it is important to discuss the effects of earthquake on human life (Bassett 1992). There are a number of earthquakes, in the world, caused by plate tectonic activities. However, some are never acknowledged due to their minor effects on human daily activities, as compared to other earthquakes. Earthquakes result in deaths, property destruction, and disabilities among others. For instance, the San Andrea earthquake caused the deaths of 700 and destruction of more than 250,000 dwellings by the fire caused by the earth quakes. In another incident that occurred in 1960, the deaths of 20,000 people were recorded. Later, in the year 2004, earthquake near Indonesia and Sumatra left over 200,000 people dead. lastly, in the year 2011, in Japan, the tsunami caused by a massive earthquake caused mdeaths and destruction of facilities (Bassett 92).
Plate tectonic theory is a major source of information on the composition of the earth. Plate tectonics significantly influence different processes within the earth, ranging from harmless ones to dangerous ones. Different types of mountains and earthquakes occur as a result of different activities within the earth’s crust. While some earthquakes are quite harmless, others are quite deatructive as they leave death and destruction in their wake.
“Revision World – Free GCSE & A-Level Revision Resources.” Revisionworld.com. N.p., 2017.
Bassett, Dan, et al. “Upper-plate controls on co-seismic slip in the 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake.” Nature 531.7592 (2016): 92.
Gerya, Taras V., et al. “Plate tectonics on the Earth triggered by plume-induced subduction initiation.” Nature 527.7577 (2015): 221.
Lomnitz, Cinna. Global tectonics and earthquake risk. Vol. 5. Elsevier, 2013.
The first section uses articles from the Lagos Vanguard in articulating how geographical themes are exemplified in the region.
Etomi calls for compliance with environmental laws- February 12, 2015
Environmental geography deals with the interrelationship between humans and their environment, and the articulated solutions to problems arising from the interaction. The article deals with the enactment of environmental laws to ensure protection and sustainable development in Nigeria. One of the environmental regulations is geared to controlling the nation’s air quality. The author opines that automobile emissions lead to diseases such as skin cancer and respiratory diseases as well as having adverse effects on global warming and the ozone layer (Staff). Nigeria, a nation with over 10 million vehicles, contributes to the air pollution menace. The implementation of the mandatory yearly test of all motor vehicles for toxic emissions as well as the installation of technology to mitigate such toxic substances is a timely reaction to the rising menace of air pollution. The program will thus aid Nigeria shrink its carbon emissions to be at par with international standards. The article thus depicts Nigeria’s timeliness in addressing environmental issues.
Our own brewing xenophobia- April 23, 2015
The article by Ochereome Nnanna expounds on the theme of cultural diversity, and, in particular, the resultant problems. Nnanna alludes to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa against foreigners and applies the same to Nigeria’s situation. Sectional and ethnic hatred in Nigeria has been on the rise, becoming one of the defining features of national cohabitation. Cultural diversity has its problems, one being civil wars and violent uprisings. Nigeria has endured civil war, but still experiences election violence. The violence is usually targeted at non-Muslims and Southerners by the Northern communities. The article, which came in the wake of the national elections, depicts the cultural and ethnic issues that the nation grapples with. Nnanna states that despite the peaceful elections, there is trouble in some parts of Lagos as hardliners lament the winning of representative seats by non-indigenes of Lagos (Nnanna). Despite the calls for “one Nigeria’, the author states, most people are ignorant of the term’s meaning.
Nigeria set to solve malnutrition challenge – Adesina – April 02, 2015
The article espouses the plan to solve the concern of nutrition in Nigeria. The nation has 35% of its children under five years experiencing stunted growth, and thus drastic efforts are required to ease the high levels. Dr. Adesina states that agricultural transformation is essential to eradicating poverty in Africa and creating a model of shared prosperity. He was talking at a dialog summit on nutrition that attracted numerous global leaders in the fields of nutrition, finance, and development (Staff, Nigeria set to solve malnutrition challenge – Adesina). The government aims to partner with the agribusiness sector in Africa to position itself as the largest producer of high-energy foods in the continent and negate the trend of importing 90% of the high-energy foods consumed in Africa. While at it, the government will have ensured that 80 million citizens would access bio-fortified foods, in effect helping ease the malnutrition problem.
Nigeria and the regime change agenda- March 21, 2015
Ned Nwoko’s article depicts the theme of geopolitics in shaping the international affairs of Nigeria. Nwoko states that the US has embarked on a regime change campaign against the Goodluck administration due to Nigeria’s inclusion of China in its oil affairs. Recently, Nigeria’s federal government signed a treaty with China that will see China build three refineries and participate in the exploration of 29 offshore fields. As a result, the US has embarked on a campaign to see Goodluck ousted from his presidential seat. The US blames the Goodluck administration for failing to contain Boko Haram and endemic corruption (Nwoko). The US has been a good ally of the Goodluck administration (GEJ) but since the signing of the treaty with China, the US has been campaigning for the opposition. It has even refused to sell military hardware essential in fighting Boko Haram to Nigeria. The GEJ administration has rated better in fighting corruption than the prior Obasanjo and Buhari administrations but the US roots for the two opposition leaders. The Oil treaty has thus played a significant role in changing the US policy towards Nigeria.
Array of performances as National Troupe preaches unity in diversity – April 16, 2015
In the wake of the peaceful presidential elections in Nigeria, millions of theater-goers were treated to an array of performances by the National Troupe. The show featured music, dance, narratives, and songs from various parts of Nigeria designed to represent the diverse cultural heritage. Mr. Adejuwon, whose troupe has a bias towards traditional displays, states that the performance was a reminder that, even though, there are differences among Nigerians, those differences should not stop them from inhabiting the same space (Alakam). Most of the performances were geared to preaching unity among the people. The performance shows the move by people and institutions including the entertainment industry to preach peace to the divergent ethnic groups in a bid to bring peace to the region.
Environmental pollution: Fear, crisis threaten peace of Ogun community – March 04, 2015
Environmental pollution, a widely discussed aspect of environmental geography, threatens the peace in Ogunrun-Ori. The residents of the state allege that a company called Austin has been engaging in unethical practices. The company emits hazardous black oil wastes that have destroyed aquatic life. Vibrations from its plant have also caused major cracks in adjacent buildings. The villagers tried petitioning the company to stop its operations, but that fell on deaf years. The company has also been engaging in corporate social responsibilities such as building churches in a bid to win over residents (Adelaja). The residents also state that the company has bribed environmental agencies to give them a favorable rating. The issue echoes a problem that is widespread in the region, that of bribing officers engaged in environmental preservation so as to continue with harmful waste management practices.
Recent issues in Nigeria reflect the growing trend of diversity and globalization. With regards to diversity, Nigeria exemplifies this theme with its numerous tribes and ethnic groups. The nation, which is divided primarily into four regions, boasts of diversity in both race, ethnic minorities, and religion. Lagos, the capital city, is a regional and international business hub that attracts many investors and tourists. There are also numerous foreigners and immigrants from neighboring countries and other nations that seek employment in the country, which boasts of being the third largest in Africa. The diversity in culture, however, is not without its issues.
Cultural diversity has been the cause of many conflicts and wars in many countries, and Nigeria is not an exception. 45 years ago the nation was embroiled in a civil war whose consequences are still felt today. The post-war tensions are usually felt during election periods when ethnic groups support leaders from their ethnic communities (Nwabughiogu). Violence erupts when non-indigenes win in particular parts of the country. The diversity issues are also exemplified in the hiring and promotion exercises of major companies. In offering services, political leaders also favor some regions and groups over others.
Another area where conflict due to diversity is prevalent is with regards to religion. The two predominant faiths in the country are Islam and Christianity. The two factions are often warring against each other, as exhibited by the Boko Haram insurgency. The Muslim group, which is responsible for the abduction of young girls, rape, murder, and other crimes against humanity, was formed to curtail the growing prevalence of Christianity throughout the region. Their methods are similar to those used by other Islamite militia groups in the region and around the globe.
Lastly, diversity can be seen in the handling of foreigners. Foreigners are usually treated with suspicion and contempt, especially those from neighboring countries. Some industries have even implemented measures to bar foreigners from working under them. This indigenization moves evince the problem that diversity and globalization have occasioned. Indigenous people feel that residents have had a larger share of jobs to their detriment. This feeling, which spreads across many regions, is better exhibited in the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, where ironically the targeted group were mainly Nigerian immigrant workers. Diversity in the region thus has its pertinent problems.
Globalization can also be evinced by investments, trade and culture in the region. Many international corporations have set up shop in the region, with some basing their African operations in Nigeria. The globalization of trade has also been a significant boost to Nigeria’s economy. The country has major exports such as Palm oil, crude oil and entertainment that help drive the economy. There has also been an improvement of Nigerian fashion in the world as well as its music. Nigerian workers are also ubiquitous in other nations.
like diversity, globalization has had adverse effects in Nigeria. Many
international corporations take advantage of the endemic corruption in the
country to operate unethically. Unrestricted corporations dump waste and
exploit the laborers. They also overexploit the natural resources in the
region. Hegemony has also taken root in the nation, leading to an erosion of
the traditional values and cultures of the Nigerian people. Due to
globalization, the economy is also heavily influenced by world affairs.
Adelaja, Bose. “Environmental pollution: Fear, crisis threaten peace of Ogun community.” 04 March 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 04 March 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/environmental-pollution-fear-crisis-threaten-peace-of-ogun-community/>.
Alakam, Japhet. “Array of performances as National Troupe preaches unity in diversity.” 16 April 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/array-of-performances-as-national-troupe-preaches-unity-in-diversity/>.
Nnanna, Ochereome. “Our own brewing xenophobia.” 23 April 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/our-own-brewing-xenophobia/>.
Nwabughiogu, Levinus. “Rescue Nigeria, save us from another civil war, Igbo leaders tells Buhari.” 21 March 2015. Vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/rescue-nigeria-save-us-from-another-civil-war-igbo-leaders-tells-buhari/>.
Nwoko, Ned. “Nigeria and the regime change agenda.” 21 March 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/nigeria-and-the-regime-change-agenda/>.
Staff, Vanguard. “Etomi calls for compliance with environmental laws.” 12 February 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/etomi-calls-compliance-environmental-laws/>.
—. “Nigeria set to solve malnutrition challenge – Adesina.” 02 April 2015. vanguardngr. Document. 27 April 2015. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/nigeria-set-to-solve-malnutrition-challenge-adesina/>.
Abandoning fossil fuels
Owing to an increasing world population and demands for higher standards of living and better air quality, the future energy demand is expected to increase significantly. To meet this demand poses great challenges. Currently, most of the world energy requirement for transportation and heating is derived from petroleum or natural gas. These two fuels are generally favored due to the ease of transportation of liquid or gaseous forms. Unfortunately, the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels for transportation and heating contributes over half of all greenhouse gas emissions and a large fraction of air pollutant emissions. Hence, the world is currently facing urgency in developing other fuels that will cause less greenhouse gases emissions. Hydrogen fuel is the best energy alternative as it has the best potential and causes negligible emission of greenhouse gases.
For the past 40 years, environmentalists and several industrial organizations have promoted hydrogen fuel as the solution to the problems of air pollution and global warming (Sorensen, 8). The main gauges for the best fuel are inexhaustibility, convenience, independence from external control, and cleanliness. Hydrogen possesses all these properties, and is being evaluated and promoted worldwide as an environmentally benign replacement for gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels in both transportation and non-transportation applications.
Similar to electricity, hydrogen is a high-quality energy carrier, which can be used with a high efficiency and zero or near-zero emissions at the point of use (Sorensen, 249). It has been technically demonstrated that hydrogen can be used for transportation, heating, and power generation, and could replace current fuels in all their present uses. Hydrogen can be produced using a variety of starting materials, derived from both renewable and non-renewable sources, through many different process routes. At present, two basic process technologies-reformation of natural gas and electrolysis of water are widely used. Considering hydrogen produced from renewable energy such as wind power and taking efficiency of electrolysis plants as being 85%, this also leads to an overall primary energy for a fuel cell vehicle, but this time without the emission of pollutants.
In the beginning of hydrogen economy, the principal focus of hydrogen technology has shifted to the safe and affordable utilization of hydrogen as an alternative fuel based on seamless integration of generation, distribution and storage technologies. Hydrogen is highly flammable over a wide range of temperature and concentration. Although its combustion efficiency is truly outstanding and welcomed as a fuel of the future, it inevitably renders several non-trivial technological challenges, such as safety in production, storage and transportation. Unlike ready for fuel use coal or hydrocarbons, hydrogen is not available on the earth. It is however, available as chemical compounds of oxygen and carbon. For example, hydrogen is present in water; fossil hydrocarbons such as coal, petroleum, natural gas; and biomass such as carbohydrates, protein and cellulose. Hydrogen has both similarities and differences when compared to fossil fuels.
Hydrogen has the highest energy content per unit mass of any fuel. On a weight basis, hydrogen has nearly three times the energy content of gasoline. One attractive feature of hydrogen is its electrochemical property, which can be utilized in a fuel cell. At present, hydrogen fuel cells are available operating at an efficiency of 50-60% with a lifetime of up to 3000h (Williams, 11). Owing to the high diffusivity, low viscosity, and unique chemical nature, combustibility of hydrogen is somewhat different than the other fuels. The final combustion temperature is generally lower with hydrogen fuel than with gasoline reducing the amount of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, emitted in the exhaust.
Hydrogen fuel is hydrogen gas with small amounts of oxygen and other materials added. Benefits of using hydrogen fuel include clean air, cleaner water and better health (Sheffield and cigdem, 40). Hydrogen is also a renewable source of energy unlike fossil fuels. Hydrogen has many properties that make it ideal as a fuel for internal combustion engines in automobiles. The main product when hydrogen is burned is water. Global warming caused by greenhouse gases is a significant problem. Therefore, the advantage of hydrogen is that CO2 is not produced when hydrogen is burned. Carbon (iv) oxide is the man product when fossil fuels are burned (Williams, 11). Hydrogen combustion does not produce toxic product such as hydrocarbons, carbon (ii) oxide, oxides of sulfur, organic acids and carbon (iv) oxide. By using hydrogen fuels, acid rain and the carbon (iv) oxide greenhouse effect could effectively be eliminated.
Hydrogen has a high flame speed, wide flammability limits and a high detonation temperature with lean burning, which give improved engine efficiency. Hydrogen is a gas; therefore there is no problem in starting the engine at the coldest winter temperatures. As with any gasoline engine, efficiency depends on driving conditions. At freeway speed, the hydrogen engine has demonstrated at least 20% increase in efficiency (Dermibas, 75). Hydrogen engines demonstrate the efficient operations of a gasoline motor. Apart from reducing the depletion of the ozone layer, hydrogen fuels are also efficient in terms of ignition speed. Hydrogen can advantageously be used in internal combustion engines (ICE) as an additive to hydrocarbon fuels.
The combustion of fossil fuels account for a majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, fossil fuel combustion produces 7 Gtn/year carbon emissions and in a no-change scenario, C02 emissions in 2050 can be expected to reach 14 Gtn/year of carbon (Dermibas, 147). There is a growing recognition that steps to reduce greenhouse gases are needed, and many countries are adopting policies to limit CO2 emissions. Hydrogen, when produced from reforming natural gas, petroleum or coal, generates CO2 as a by-product. In the current processes, CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. Many countries and multi-national corporations are looking into use of energy that releases the least amount of hydrogen in the atmosphere. Hydrogen is the solution to this problem as it provides fast and efficient energy while releasing little or no CO2 into the atmosphere.
Hydrogen energy is a promising alternative solution because it is clean and environmentally safe. It also produces negligible levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants when compared with fossil fuel energy sources they replace. Hydrogen can be obtained by direct electrolysis, direct thermal conversion, thermochemically, photochemically, photoelectrochemically and biochemically from water. Hydrogen has the potential to be an attractive alternative energy carrier for future fuel needs. The use of hydrogen as a fuel requires development in several industry segments including production, delivery, storage and end use. Burning of fossil fuels continues to deplete the ozone layer. As a result, alternative sources of energy should be used. Hydrogen is one such source of energy that causes negligible environmental degradation. Hydrogen is also a renewable source of energy unlike fossil fuels. To prevent global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, hydrogen should be used to power things around the world from cars to domestic and industrial lighting.
Demirbas, Ayhan. Biohydrogen: For Future Engine Fuel Demands. London: Springer, 2009. Print.
Sheffield, John W, and Çiğdem Sheffield. Assessment of Hydrogen Energy for Sustainable Development. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2007. Print.
Sørensen, Bent. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Emerging Technologies and Applications. Oxford: Academic Press, 2012. Print.
Williams, L O. An End to Global Warming. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 2002. Print.