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Essay about Global Warming: Climate Change is Happening Now

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I believe the world is being faced with a serious issue of global climate change due to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring process in the Earth's atmosphere that warms the planet. Without the greenhouse effect, on average, the Earth's surface would be about 60oF colder. The greenhouse effect occurs when visible light from the sun passes through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth's surface. Some of that energy is then sent back to the atmosphere as heat. However, greenhouse gases trap that heat, which would otherwise be released into space, raising the temperature of the atmosphere and the Earth's surface. Increases in the amount of greenhouse gases, due to human activities, intensify the heat trapped by the atmosphere and as a result, cause global warming and climate change. Consequently, human behaviors including industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation, cause emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which can be blamed for the increasingly warmer temperatures.

People enhance the greenhouse effect primarily by burning fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas. These fuels are stored carbon, formed millions of years ago from organic matter. When they are burned, that carbon returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, which is the biggest contributor to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Each year, fossil fuel use adds an estimated 5.5 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere through naturally and anthropogenicly; while CFC-12, HCFC-22, perfluoromethane, sulfur hexafluoride occur only as a result of industrial processes (human a...


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...t 25% of the 1990 carbon dioxide emissions, it was predicted that without the U.S.'s participation, the Kyoto Protocol would never be put into action. Although President Bush does not agree with the protocol; fortunately, his opponent in the 2004 Presidential election, John Kerry, believes that global warming is a severe problem, and that the actions Bush are taking are simply not sufficient. He believes that people will not voluntarily change their habits and that laws must be created to stop further emissions of greenhouse gases.

Hopefully the United States will come to the realization of the severity of global warming before it is too late. What we do in the near future to combat Global Warming will greatly affect future generations. It is important we recognize the severity of the threat that is upon us and do everything necessary to make a change.



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