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of global warming are of concern both for the environment and human
life. Scenarios studied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) predict that global warming will continue and get worse much
faster than was expected even in their last report.
Research by NOAA indicate that the effects of global warming are already irreversible. The IPCC reports attribute many specific natural phenomena to human causes. The expected long range effects of recent climate change may already be observed.
Rising sea levels, glacier retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and altered patterns of agriculture are cited as direct consequences of human activities. Predictions for secondary and regional effects include extreme weather events, an expansion of tropical diseases, changes in the timing of seasonal patterns in ecosystems, and drastic economic impact.
The Basics of Global Warming
Scientists, celebrities, and everyday people have been trying to understand the nature of global warming. Controversy is rampant and there is intense debate around the world on the subject. Since conclusions drawn could affect you profoundly, you may want to know some basic facts about the topic of global warming.
The most obvious thing that can be said about global warming is that the earth is getting warmer. Specifically, the temperatures near the surface of the earth and the temperatures in the ocean are rising. Since 1990, there have been 10 years that have been hotter than any others in recorded history.
The greenhouse effect is said to be responsible for global warming. The greenhouse effect causes certain vapors and gases to form a sort of blanket that covers and warms the earth. Water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, and several other trace gases make up this blanket.
The greenhouse effect itself is not disputed. No controversy exists on this point because the greenhouse effect is recognized as an inherently beneficial process.
If all the energy that struck the earth was reflected right back into space, no one could live on earth. This is what would happen without this blanket that is caused by acceptable levels of global warming.
However, global warming is not all good. It can cause the earth's covering to increase in density. With a denser blanket over the earth, less of the heat is reflected back into space. This upsets the delicate balance between heat and cold that is usually maintained on earth. It traps more heat inside the earth's atmosphere.
Although there are people who argue against it, there seems to be a change in the climate in recent years. Climate change to a warmer climate is the result of excessive global warming.
There has been an overall rise in temperature of a little over one degree Fahrenheit during the last century. The figure for this century is expected to be more like seven degrees. It is this type of global warming that can lead to dire consequences if left unchecked.
People, their activities, and their industries have caused global warming to reach the levels it has today. Burning fossil fuels, powering electrical plants with coal, and irresponsible land use can all contribute to global warming. Carbon dioxide is produced by these activities, and global warming is perpetuated.
Global warming could result in rising sea levels and flooding. There could be more powerful storms. Heat waves could become intense. Droughts could severely damage the world's crops and cause shortages of drinkable water. Extinction of species could become a problem because of changing habitats and the suitability of the climate for the animal.
The good news about global warming is that there are ways to slow the process down. Each person can take responsibility for doing their part in protecting the earth's environment. With everyone helping, emissions of greenhouse gases can be cut drastically.
This will give the earth a chance to begin to regain its balance of temperature. Knowing about global warming can make you a better citizen of the world.
More ArticlesClimate Changes Due To Global Warming
... morphing into raging tempests. Hurricanes have been rated higher in recent years as global warming affects their intensity. Global warming is responsible for many climate changes. Often, people cause the increase in global warming that precipitates these changes. If people could make it a common goal ...
... climate becomes warmer in the habitats the plants and animals are used to. They naturally gravitate towards a cooler climate that will match the earlier climate of the region they left. They were moving at a rate of 3.8 miles per decade. Another ice habitat being ruined by global warming is the penguins' ...
... are hot, higher daytime highs, and many lasting heat waves. This will affect people, animals, and the environment. There will be more people who will die as a result of intense heat. Elderly people and poor people who cannot afford air conditioning will be most at risk. The people who do have air conditioning ...
... water level could reach, anywhere from 10 to 23 inches by 2100. Global warming has the potential to make the earth a very inhospitable place to live. Rising temperatures in the oceans' waters are a clear indication that the process has begun. With the melting of ice in the glaciers, icecaps, and on the ...
... effects of warming waters on hurricanes over the last fifty years. He studied statistics from past storms and generated computer models to test his theory. His specialty is meteorology, so his take on global warming is of interest. He found that the hurricanes have indeed been getting stronger since 1970. ...
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