Causes and Consequences of Global Warming

Topics: Greenhouse gas, Carbon dioxide, Global warming Pages: 6 (2009 words) Published: March 19, 2013
In the mid-twentieth century the earth’s average temperature is increasing due to the fact that global warming is taking place. Global surface temperature has increased about a degree in the past century. The progressive gradual rise of the earth's surface temperature thought to be caused by the greenhouse effect is responsible for changes in global climate patterns. An increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures is widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting from pollution. Atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) is known as a Greenhouse gases, which means the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can lead to global warming which could affect the world’s environment. Scientists have determined that humans are responsible for the increases by use of cars, industries, and forest fires. An increase in the amount of carbon in the air results in more acidic rain which may cause harm to the environment, the water we drink, and the vegetables we plant. The way that these temperatures are increasing it is projected to rise 3-8 F by 2050. The three focuses of the global warming theory are Greenhouse Gases, the possible effects of greenhouse gases, and ways to limit greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the sun's energy and thereby contribute to rising surface temperatures. The main greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2), a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. The oceans are more acidic due to the worldwide emission of carbon dioxide just from burning fossil fuels. The oceans tend to have natural alkaline and when interacted with carbon dioxide the natural alkaline decreases making the ocean become more acidic. The increase of acidity lowers the concentration of carbon ion which is a calcium provider that helps marine wildlife to build their skeletons and create coral reef structures. “The amounts of carbon dioxide are produced from the burning of coal in thermal power plants, gasoline and diesel fuel” (Winters 2). Compared to other countries around the world “the United states [releases more] amounts of carbon on the roads of the United States is greater than the entire carbon emissions” of others (Winters 2). Carbon Dioxide is one of the few atmospheric gases that traps heat radiation from the earth. “The earth's surface, visible radiation from the sun is absorbed, which causes heating. At the same time, the surface emits infrared radiation back to space, which produces cooling”(“How Can Global” 1). Although our eyes “cannot see infrared radiation… we feel our skin absorbing it when stand[ing] next to a hot stove” (“How Can Global 1). The earth’s surface has to be able to balance the amount of sunlight absorbed with the same amount dispersed into space. Natural circulation starts to fade when carbon dioxide traps heat into the atmosphere.

Not only does Carbon Dioxide trap heat but others such as Chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and Sulfur dioxide are also gases that trap and effect the atmosphere. “Release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by aerosol cans, cooling systems, and refrigerator equipment removes [parts] of the ozone [which causes] ‘holes’ to open up… allowing the radiation to reach the earth” (Demirbas 2). Nitrous Oxide causes haze and acid rain that effects the crops we plant and the water we drink, it ultimately effects every living species. Acid rain is “produced [by] burning fuels [such as] petrol, diesel, and coal” (Demirbas 2). Nitrogen oxide can increase the chances of children having respiratory diseases in the winter. “The average AQS limit value in the respiratory air of Nox in 60-80 u g/m3” (Demirbas 2). Suspended Particulate Matter, also known as SPM, describes the tiny bits of particles, that measure about 2.5 microns, flying around in the atmosphere such as smoke, dust, and fine ash. “Diesel smoke is a good example of this particles matter… [and is sometimes] referred to as ‘black...
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