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Economics and Global Warming

Powerful Essays
Arguably one of the most oft debated topics in recent years, the effects of global warming pose a threat to the world economy. Growth in the economy can spur changes in climate that have the ability to prove both beneficial and impeding to economic prosperity. An understanding of economic principals can provide insight onto the costs that are incurred with growth of industry and the methods that can be implemented to cede further negative effects. Global warming, by definition, is an increase in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. With the rise in modern technology, the average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased about 1.4 °F; two-thirds of which has arisen since the early 1980’s. Industrialized countries are major contributors to climate change, due in part to their involvement in deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. These activities lead to an increase in levels of greenhouse gases, which scientists propose is the number one cause of global warming. The greenhouse effect is an example of external forcing: any process that has influence over climate, outside of the climate system. When infrared radiation is emitted and absorbed into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect occurs. The absorption by the outer layer, in turn, increases the temperature of the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface. While some greenhouse gases occur naturally, the increase in industrial production has led to higher levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The burning of fossil fuels has led to a higher concentration of carbon dioxide. With the rapid change in the economy over the last 30 years, the levels of greenhouse gases have risen significantly. Concentrations of greenhouse gases have ... ... middle of paper ... ...ew technologies that are more efficient. Works Cited America's Climate Choices. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. 2011. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-309-14585-5. Bade, Robin, and Michael Parkin. Essential Foundations of Economics. Boston, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 2011. Print. Fischer, B.S. "3.2 Baseline Scenarios." Mitigation of Climate Change. IPCC. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. Kiehl, J.T., and Kevin E. Trenberth. "Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Feb. 1997. Web. Russell, Randy. "The Greenhouse Effect & Greenhouse Gases." Windows to the Universe. National Earth Science Teachers Association, 1 June 2007. Web. Waggoner, P.E., and J.H. Ausubel. "A Framework for Sustainability Science: A Renovated IPAT Identity." PNAS. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 19 Apr. 2002. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
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