Global Climate Change Effects on the Chaparral

Topics: Chaparral, Climate, Earth Pages: 3 (1263 words) Published: October 25, 2009
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ON THE CHAPPARAL
Global climate change has been a subject of much discussion for some time now. The earth has naturally gone through heating and cooling phases in its lifetime. Most scientists agree that these changes aren’t solely the product of humans, but that the time required for natural climate change has been decreased due to humans. This has led to new problems for the earth and all of its inhabitants. According to research the earth is warming at an average of 1.2-1.4° F every 100 years (epa.gov). Global warming was the first key phrase of this area of research. This phrase applied only to the average temperature of the earth increasing over time due to humans. Now, there is a new phrase known as “global climate change.” This expression applies other factors such as: precipitation, temperature, ocean currents, sea level, lengthening seasons, and others to signify that there is more to climate change than solely global warming. These changes in nature last for a very long time (epa.gov). So, how are humans capable of changing the earth in such a short time when nature takes thousands of years to do it? The answer comes partly from the greenhouse effect. Certain gasses necessary for life build up in the atmosphere and keep the earth’s surface warmer than it normally would be. Human nature, in the quest for industrialization and forms of energy, has led to CO2 concentrations that are already above what past species have had to deal with. Since 1750, concentrations have gone from 278 parts per million to 375 ppm. This means that today there are 3.75×10-8 liters of carbon dioxide for every one liter of air. That is enormous considering the concentration has never been higher in the past 650,000 years. Other gasses that increase the greenhouse effect are methane, CFC’s, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and ozone. Many of these gasses are increased by the burning of fossil fuels, forestry, and industry...

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