Global Warming

Topics: Global warming, Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas Pages: 8 (3151 words) Published: November 4, 2013
Global Warming
In 1995 a popular science fiction movie called Water World, starring Kevin Costner came out. The plot of this movie is based on a distant future where the polar ice caps have melted, and the sea level has risen hundreds of meters covering all the continents and humanity is forced to live on abandoned ships and floating fortresses scavenging for supplies. Of course, this was only a science fiction movie, and in 1995 the idea of the polar ice caps melting was too far for society to believe that it would anytime soon happen. Nowadays with all this technological advances and equipment we are able to determine that that distant future may not be so distant at all. The Earth is warming and it affects us all. Take this spring for example. In early March of this year we have experienced record-breaking temperatures. Temperatures that have reached low eighties, temperatures that are normally seen in Chicago during the summer months. Global warming is the theory that causes an increase in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans motivated by the greenhouse effect caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases. Global warming not only affects the temperature, but also affects the global rainfall, cloud covers and all other elements of the atmospheric system. Burning oil, coal and natural gas has caused increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produces the resulting increase in temperature. This phenomenon can cause drastic changes to our planet and one of them will be the melting of the polar ice caps. Temperatures will continue to ascend if greenhouse gases emissions continue. Therefore new energy sources must be explored and developed in order to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Earth’s temperatures are rising drastically, which would make it difficult for the world's ecosystems to adapt at such rapid rate. Global warming is associated with climate change that can have anthropogenic causes. The main effect that causes global warming is the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect is a phenomenon referred to the absorption of sunlight or solar radiation and emission of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). This process warms the planet's lower atmosphere and surface. This theory was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. The natural greenhouse effect stabilizes the Earth's climate and is not a matter to be included in the global warming debate. However, without this natural greenhouse effect, temperatures would drop to an average by approximately fifty-four degrees Fahrenheit, with such changes, the oceans would freeze and life as we know it would be impossible. For this effect to occur, it takes these greenhouse gases, but in suitable proportions. What worries climate scientists is the high disproportion of in this ratio, resulting in an increase in temperature due to heat trapped in the lower atmosphere. The natural greenhouse effect is necessary for life on Earth to continue to be sustained, what we need to reduce is the extra gasses emitted. The natural greenhouse effect gases have an average temperature of fifty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. The greenhouse gases are mainly composed by water vapor, which cause between thirty and seventy percent of the greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide (CO2) causes nine to twenty-six percent, methane (CH4) causes four to nine percent, and ozone (O3) is responsible for three to seven percent. Clouds also affect the radiation balance, but are composed of liquid water or ice and have different effects on the radiation from water vapor. Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leading to an increased of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide. The concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have increased by thirty-six percent and 148...
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