Global warming has become a major concern for future life. Its impact reaches not only to a specific region or continent, but the entire world. Natural causes that impact this phenomenon are inevitable, but human-related activities are accelerating global warming at terrifying rates. This paper will analyze the causes of global warming and how each cause is affecting the future of the world. Whether or not you believe the extent of global warming’s impact onto the world’s future existence, global warming is happening and there are numerous facts to support its occurrence. Global warming is “the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases” (Conway). According the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases.” Greenhouse gases are broken down into four categories: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Each category will be later looked at in further depth along with the three main factors each gas has on climate change. Changes in sea level, animal species extinction, and weather patterns are just several results that have been noticed in recent years. Change is occurring and the population as whole should pay closer attention to the issue at hand. “Climate change is the most important issue of the 21st century. The global economy—and civilization itself—may collapse unless greenhouse-gas emissions are controlled. Global warming already touches every part of the planet, and people everywhere are affected in their daily lives” (Brown, p.15). The effects of global warming have the potential to eliminate the entire earth’s existence, not just a country or region. While other major issues such as the economy, war in the Middle East, and education, create a need for change, there will be no problems to change if there is no population existing. Paul Brown stated that scientists have painted a weary image of the future. It is believed that there may be as little as 10 years left to stop irreversible climate change. Despite understanding a potential end for the world’s existence, politicians and entrepreneurs continue their activities with little or no change, which is leading to carbon dioxide emissions rising to higher rates. Establishing the problem is only the first step. As stated previously, increasing levels of greenhouse gases are increasing the Earth’s average surface temperature. There are four greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. As shown in Exhibit 1, The Environmental Protection Agency provided a pie chart displaying the percentage of each greenhouse gas emission. In the United States as of 2010, the largest emission is from carbon dioxide which accounts for 84 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is second with 10 percent, followed by nitrous oxide with four percent and fluorinated gases with two percent. As can be seen from the chart, carbon dioxide is the primary culprit of global warming. Carbon dioxide is a product of burning fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, trees, and chemical reactions. Carbon dioxide leaves the atmosphere through absorption by plants and trees. Methane gas enters the atmosphere as a result of livestock and agricultural practices, decay of organic waste, and the production and transportation of fossil fuels. Nitrous oxide is emitted through the process of industrial activities and combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. Lastly, Fluorinated gases are composed of hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride gases. These gases are emitted through varieties of industrial activities but tend to be very potent and therefore dangerous. Although carbon dioxide is the greatest greenhouse gas emission in the United States, it can be removed through plants and trees during their biological carbon cycle. Deforestation is the process of cutting...
Cited: New York. July 20, 2012. < http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/07/crops-failing-as-u-s-
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