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The effect of global warming

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THE EFFECT OF GLOBAL WARMING
“Global warming will be the greatest environmental challenge in the 21
st
century.”
- Vice President, Albert Gore.
One of the most current and widely discussed factors which could lead to the ultimate end of
existence of earth and man is global warming and its devastating effects. It has been a global
concern. Scientists have asked how fast the earth is heating up, and how the warming effects on
earth may affect crops and climatic conditions and ultimately to the very existence of mankind.
Several current trends clearly demonstrate that global warming is directly impacting on; rising
sea levels, the melting of icecaps, and significant worldwide climatic changes.
It is important to understand and discuss the significance of global warming. Global warming is
also known as the “Greenhouse effect”. The greenhouse earth is surrounded by a shield of
atmospheric gases, rather than a glass or a plastic cover. The air that makes up our atmosphere
consists primarily of nitrogen and oxygen molecules (N2 at 78% and O2 at 21%). A large
number of trace gases make up remaining of airs composition. Many of these, including carbon
dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the so called greenhouse gases. If one has ever felt the
piercing cold of the clear winter night sky and wondered why you feel warmer on a cloudy
winter night, one have experienced the atmospheric greenhouse effect in the first hand.
The earth is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degree Celsius) warmer than it would be if it did
not have the atmospheric blanket of greenhouse gases and clouds around it. Clouds and
greenhouse gases keep the earth warm. Once warmed, their molecules then radiate a portion of
this heat energy back to earth, creating more warming on the surface of our planet. It is this
radiation which causes atmospheric gases to move back to earth that scientists call the
“Greenhouse effect”.
On Friday, February 2, 2007, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental panel on climate change
(IPCC) the leading international group of climate scientists published a 20 page summary of
a much longer scientific report, The physical basis of climate change, which conforms global
warming is now unequivocal and states with more than 90 percent certainty that “human
activity” very likely has been the primary cause of rising temperature worldwide since 1950.
The intellectual powers that we enjoy has enabled us to make effective use of technology and
thereby changed the environment. Technology is partly responsible for explosive population
growth and for the resulting damage to earth’s resources. The industrial revolution caused a rapid
increase in the population growth, as oil and gas fuel were exploited for our use. There is a clear
link between the problems of global warming and overpopulation, as increases in CO2 levels
follows growth in population. The report summary also says that global warming is likely to
continue for centuries, and that it is already too late to stop some of the serious consequences it
will bring even if mankind could somehow hold the line on greenhouse gas emissions worldwide
today.
Carbon dioxide gas generated by man’s burning of fossil fuels and the forests is responsible for
about half the greenhouse gas warming. Other gases (CFCs, methane, nitrous oxide) are

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responsible for the rest. Increases in all these gases are due to mankind’s explosive population
growth over the last century, and increased industrial expansion. These petroleum based energy
sources first came into use with the burning of coal since 1945, since then petroleum
consumption has increased dramatically, due in large part to increased usage of automobiles
worldwide and the substitution of mechanized farm machinery for animal power.
Much debate in the last five years about the greenhouse effect has centered on interpreting
temperature numbers generated at weather stations all over the world. The data from these
thermometers are averaged and plotted in attempts to determine just how fast the earth has
heated up since the measurement began. There is now no doubt the world is getting warmer. The
thermometers show that the world is warmer now than at any time since the measurement
started. The year 1990 was the hottest year in the last century. Together with 1991, the years of
1983, 1987, 1988 and 1989 have been measured to be the warmest 6 years in the last hundred
years.
Global warming has great effect on crops and weather conditions around the world. When many
people think of global warming, their first concern is the possible rise of sea levels. With a large
number of the world’s cities in coastal areas, this is a significant problem. There are two major
causes of rising sea levels. First, extra water is produced when ice melts. Secondly, the natural
expansion of sea water as it becomes warmer. The range of sea ice around both poles continues
to shrink, as it melts. Even with the level of greenhouse gases present today, the earth may warm
enough in the next 50 years or so to completely melt the sea ice located on the poles.
Damage from rising seas is very diverse. Building and roads close to the water could be flooded
and they could suffer damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. There are good physical
reasons to suggest that more intense storms could result from global warming. Warmer oceans
cause more intense storms.
In 1992, a report was published by the United Nations, which proposes that if CO2 and other
greenhouse gas emissions continue with present trends (which are the case), the coastal plains of
Bangladesh and the Netherlands will flood by the year 2100. Furthermore, the islands of the
Maldives would completely disappear. This would happen if only a two foot increase in sea level
occurred.
Certain scientists believe that global warming is not a threat and the planet is essentially cooling
off. They argue that the factors causing the phenomenon and the measurements are not fully
understood, and that it is impossible to draw any conclusions whether the warming of the earth is
a purely natural occurrence. These people believe that the trend is a false alarm and that it is not
a sign of a fore coming global disaster.
Some researchers believe that smoke from the burning of tropical forests and grasslands causes a
strong cooling force on the climate. This cooling effect could nearly equal the warming power
built by greenhouse gases created by the fires.
First, decrease the use of your car. If you can’t afford to buy a new fuel-efficient car in the next
few years, consider selling or junking your gas demanding car and buying a smaller, efficient
used car. Besides saving money on gas, oil, tires, parts, and repairs, you can help reduce

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greenhouse gases. Furthermore, no matter what type of car you drive, be sure to operate it
efficiently.

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Anonymous
Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.

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