Global Warming

Global warming is a very real scientific study and a part of our lives. It is an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. If we ignore the facts now the results could be catastrophic.

Global warming has been caused by the people of the world. Many things have happened as a result. Since the beginning of the 20th century the average surface temperature has increased by 1.1 degrees. Just in the past 40 years it has risen by a half of a degree. This doesn't sound like much right away but any change in temperature causes melting to the polar ice caps. If they continue to melt the sea level could start to rise dramatically. As of now the global sea level is raising 3 times faster in the last hundred years when compared to the last 3000 years.

Within the last ten to fifteen years the results of global warming have been hard to ignore. Seven out of ten of the warmest years in recorded history have been in the 1990's. With the combination of global warming and El Nino in 1998 the temperatures shot to a new high.

Mountain glaciers have been receding. The arctic ice pack has lost about 40% of it's thickness in the last 40 years. Even plants and animals are showing a wide range of effects in recent studies.

Even though all the scientific evidence is out there some people **** think global warming is a junk science. They won't believe it. These are the "seeing is believing type of people" (Farah,"Global").

Joseph Farah from the WorldNet daily news thinks that it is horrible that there is a chapter in every science textbook about global warming. These books talk about the "hysterical claims made about this theory". He says that "It wouldn't make a bit of difference if we burned up all the oil reserves in the world in a day and a night. There would be no noticeable or measurable impact on the world's temperatures." Many scientists around the world would beg to differ with this statement (Farah,"Global").

The explanation to many as far as why global warming is taught in school is that it is the government's control over you. They want to scare you into wanting more control over yourself. This translates into more laws and less freedom. The only problem with the theory is that there is scientific evidence that proves that global warming is a real problem.

Global warming is affecting everyone. You can find changes in your own backyard. The extremely noticeable changes are found when studying habitats of plants and animals. Scientist are now seeing a slow move northward. Other habitats are having a change in the timing of their life cycles.

In the Polar Regions a big problem is arising. Once frozen solid land is now turning into swamp. This will eventua1ly lead to a time when the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the summer months. Most animals' native to this area like "polar bears, ice-dwelling seals and some sea birds" will be pushed "to the brink of extinction."( NESMITH, 2004)

People that don't believe in global warming say that there's no scientific proof that the earths temperature is rising. Evidently they never read up on the greenhouse effect. The earth's atmosphere has mix of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. This mixture is a delicate balance that makes the temperature on earth proper for plant and animal life. "Without these gasses, scientists estimate the earth's surface temperature to be well below freezing." (Pringle, 2001)

The problem that no one seems to realize is that by burning fossil fuels we are putting carbon into the air. Carbon absorbs heat. So when it goes into the atmosphere we get more heat. Carbon is also released very rapidly during deforestation from the burning of trees. Instead of the plants filtering our air of carbon dioxide they release carbon into the air forming carbon dioxide. It's a double negative which is greatly affecting our temperature.

The releasing of aerosols has almost the same effect as carbon dioxide on the atmosphere. They both end up causing the same problem. Incoming light from the sun goes through the atmosphere and the greenhouse gasses and gets absorbed by these greenhouse gasses. But now that we are adding to the amount off gas we are getting more heat absorption.

These gasses are adding up every day. In 1987 the "carbon dioxide reached 340 parts per million" and "in 1999 360ppm". It is estimated that "in 2050 the carbon dioxide count will be 600ppm". This is at the point in which the global temperature would be "higher than it has ever been and will cause serious problems" unlike the warning sign we are experiencing currently (Pringle, Global Warming4-20).

It is a fact that the average rise in temperature globally is 1.1 degrees. The startling fact is that parts of Alaska, Canada, and Northern Russia they have experienced a rise in temperature by 5 degree Fahrenheit. This is because they are in the Northern Hemisphere where there is less water. Less water means less of the new found heat is being taken away by the vast ocean.

If your still a skeptic than listen to this. In the last 16 years "the front of the Columbia Glacier has retreated more than eight miles" (Pringle, Global Warming10-20). And Montana's Glacier National Park will have no glaciers within a couple of decades. The Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland lost more than 300ft. of its thickness.

In 1995 more than 500 people died in Chicago alone. This was because the heat waves at nighttime left "no relief from daytime heat stress" " (Pringle, Global Warming6-25. With the heat in 1997-1998 from El Nino we can see how easily there could be widespread infection.

Some people think that the warming up of the planet would be a good thing. And yes, some things would flourish. They include pests, livestock, diseasesed mosquitoes, and parasites. Clearly you can see that global warming will definitely not help improve the world in the years to come.

To slow down global warming drastically we need to look at the main sources of carbon dioxide which are coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The problem is that this would basically shut down, "the coal and oil industries, oil-exporting nations, the automobile industry, and many manufacturers" " (Pringle, Global Warming15-30). So because these powerful companies don't want to lose money they hire "shanky" scientists to deny that there is a global warming problem. It will be a slow change but there are already some things being done.

Hybrid cars have been out on the market for a couple of years now. They use a small gasoline engine and high powered electric motor to drive the car. These vehicles get exceptional gas mileage and pollute considerably less than the conventional automobile. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are almost ready for production. The next step to have hydrogen refilling stations around the world.

Until we find a solution for global warming we need to make widespread knowledge that this is not a joke. It will not go away if people believe that it doesn't exist. We are the cause of global warming so we must take action against it. If it is ignored than the effects could be horrifying.

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