UPDATED: Oct 19, 2019
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Heating The Earth: A Guide to Global Warming
There is great debate regarding the issue of global warming; however, scientific evidence continues to validate concerns. Global warming is the idea that the temperature of earth’s atmosphere is increasing. There are several causes attributed to global warming, including natural ones, but many worldwide are concerned with the impact manmade systems and the greenhouse effect are having on the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming is of significant concern as the threat of a hotter earth poses numerous health and safety issues for humans, animal life, and eco systems.
What is Global Warming?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, earth’s average temperature has increased 1.4’ Fahrenheit in the past 100 years and is projected to continue to increase over the next century. Some estimates put the projected temperature of earth at an increase of 11.5’ Fahrenheit from current temperatures. The full impact of global warming has yet to be realized but one thing is certain; global warming will bring many challenges to climate, animal and human life, and weather.
The number one, man-made cause attributed to global warming is greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gasses are the result of fossil fuels that release gas in the environment. Carbon dioxide and methane gasses mix with ultraviolet sunrays and combine, forming heat that cannot escape. Other gasses involved in earth’s atmosphere that may become trapped due to greenhouse gasses include methane, water vapor, ozone, and nitrous oxide. Because automobiles are the greatest contributors to greenhouse gases, there has been a push for motorists to choose alternative forms of transportation or fuel sources. Electric and hybrid vehicles, walking and biking, are excellent alternatives to fossil fuel vehicles that contribute to greenhouse gasses. Other causes include deforestation as this removes the natural plant and tree barrier that converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, and electric plants that operate on fossil fuels.
Greenhouse gasses are the greatest contributor to global warming and their impact is known as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect keeps heat trapped inside planet Earth that causes the internal temperature of the planet to rise. As global warming continues to increase, changes in weather, sea and ocean levels, farming, and animal life will be affected. As glaciers melt, water levels continue to rise. Rising water levels will affect weather on a global scale and can result in more rain affecting certain regions while other areas may suddenly face droughts.
Global warming is a controversial topic and some discredit scientific evidence that shows the earth’s climate is growing warmer. Scientific evidence backs up global warming and many people are noticing their own observations of change. People around the world have remarked that there are many weather changes, such as winter has become shorter and summer longer and there is evidence that glaciers are melting. Scientists also measure the amount of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere and there is conclusive proof that earth is getting hotter.
Since automobiles are the greatest contributors to greenhouse gasses that the everyday citizen can control, using alternative modes of transportation can have a positive impact on global warming. Many scientists agree that global warming cannot be reversed, but rather slowed down. Electrical power plants are a widespread contributor and are often one of the most difficult areas to address. Everyone can control how much driving he or she performs. By alternating driving with bicycling or walking, you can reduce the amount of fossil fuels that are contributed to greenhouse gasses.
- Global Warming: What is It? The Stanford Solar Center explores global warming including factors, trends, and statistics.
- Climate Change: Global warming takes center stage at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Global Warming: NASA addresses the potential impacts and effects of global warming.
- Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides graphs and statistics regarding global warming based upon data from the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).
- What is Global Warming? Texas A&M University explores global warming and discusses natural and artificial causes.
- What Should We Do about Global Warming? Beloit College explores possible solutions for global warming and includes data, links, and Quicktime movies.
- Global Warming Man or Myth: Natural Causes of Climate Change: Suffolk County Community College explores the myths behind global warming and discusses various causes for the environmental condition.
- What are the Causes of Global Warming? Townson University examines global warming causes and focuses on carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs and Deforestation.
- The Carbon Cycle and Global Warming: Virginia Tech examines the relationship between global warming and soil microbiology.
- Global Warming Problem Definition: MIT examines the causes and effects of global warming.
- Global Warming: The Effects on Coral Reefs: The University at Albany takes a close look at Global Warming and how it impacts coral reefs.
- Impacts of Global Warming on the Environment: UCAR looks at global warming using statistics, facts, and data as released in the 2007 IPCC report.
- The Effects of Global Warming: The University of St. Francis explores global warming and its effects.
- Global Warming has many Effects: The University of Georgia discusses global warming throughout the ages and its different effects.
- Reversing Global Warming: Chemical Recycling and Utilization of CO2: The University of Southern California looks at possible ways of reversing global warming in this PDF document.
- Global Warming: The Point of No Return? Louisiana State University looks at the threat of global warming and its impact worldwide.
- Global Warming: An Introduction to the Ozone Layer: Adrian College explores global warming and the ozone layer.
- Global Warming: What are the Facts? The University of Kentucky explores the myths, facts, and controversy surrounding global warming in this PDF document.
- Global Warming: The Scientific Evidence: The Evergreen State College looks at evidence for global warming based upon information from 2007 in this PDF document.
- Global Warming is Real and Has Consequences: Yale looks at the effects of global warming and refutes claims made by skeptics.
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