Global Warming, aside from pollution is one of scientists biggest
concerns. Global Warming is caused by the Greenhouse effect.
There are 4 steps in the Greenhouse effect. 1-Sunlight radiates
from the sun, through space, to Earths atmosphere. 2- The
sunlight enters the atmosphere and hits Earth. Some of it turns
into heat energy in the form of infrared light.
The heat gets
absorbed by surrounding air and land, which in turn makes it
warm. 3- Infrared rays, that are remitted into the atmosphere are
trapped by greenhouse gases. 4- The gas then absorbs the light
and is remitted back to the Earths surface and warms it even
more. Some of the naturally occurring greenhouse gases are
Methane and carbon dioxide.
This is the way the Earth keeps
itself warm enough for humans to live on it.
The only problem with this is that humans enhance the process
even more. Over the past 200 years the emissions of greenhouse
gases have been increasing due to the increase in technology that
humans have developed (example, factories). These human-induced
gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone
depleting substances such as CFCs, also known as
Chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons.
These gases are generated a number of human activities
such as fossil fuel combustion, waste disposal in landfills, the
use of a refrigerator, numerous agricultural and industrial
activities, and the cutting down of numerous forests.
These human practices have already changed the chemical make up
of the atmosphere. Between the pre-industrial times and today, we
have seen the concentration of carbon dioxide rise 30% in some
regions, in particular the northern hemisphere, human practices
have increased concentrations of aerosols in atmosphere, which is
a traditional form of air pollution), which tends to cool the
With all these gases in the air, it is starting to change the
Earths climate. The temperature of the Earths surface is as
warm, if not warmer than it has been in any other century since
at least 1400 AD.
The temperature over the past century has risen
one degree Fahrenheit over the last century. These last few
decades have been the warmest this century. The sea level has
risen 4 to 10 inches, and mountain glaciers world-wide have begun
It is important to recognize that with the recent warming and the
other climatic changes that have been going on have not been
related to one another. For example, warming has been greatest
over the mid-latitude continents in the winter and spring, with
some area of cooling, such as over the North Atlantic Ocean.
Local and regional climate variation are not inconsistent with
One recent study by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change) said that unless governments do something to restrict the
emissions of greenhouse gases to a lower level, global
temperatures could rise 1.6 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year
2100. This would represent the fastest rate of global warming
since the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago.
With the increased warming of the Earth it could lead to
catastrophic events that could endanger living things on our
One event is major drought all around the world. With the warming
of the planet, the water on the ground would quickly evaporate
causing the rivers and lakes to quickly dry up. This would lead
to crops dying from lack of rain, which would lead to food prices
to skyrocket, which would lead to people dying from hunger if
they do not have enough money to pay the price for food. Another
event that would occur from global warming is the drastic rise in
As the Earth warms up, the polar ice caps will start
to melt. This would put immense amounts of water into Earths
oceans. All cities along the coast would be flooded from the rise
in sea level. This would cause people to move inland, and with
more people inland, it would cause a shortage of space in some
With the coastal cities under water, this would cause a
great economic strain on the rest of the cities throughout the
world. Global Warming would also cause extreme weather.
Thunderstorms would be more powerful than they have ever been.
Tornadoes would be stronger than they normally would.
warming of the surface it would also warm the ocean over time.
This would cause hurricanes to be numerous and stronger than they
There is only one way to stop global warming before it becomes a
real threat. That way is to stop emitting the greenhouse gases
that cause global warming. Only then will the problem of global