The Causes and Consequences of Climate Change

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The planet Earth goes through cycles in every aspect of its environment from temperature, to water levels, to levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There has always been a limit to the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The Earth is like a human body. If a human does not take care of their body through healthy eating and workouts, they become unhealthy and may have health problems. As with Earth, if Earth takes in more heat than it can let out, or vice versa, there will be global climate changes. Earth’s carbon levels have followed a natural cycle throughout the past 800,000 years where the carbon dioxide concentration varied from 180 ppm (parts per million) and 280 ppm which resulted in several changes in the environment.. In the grand scheme of Earth, these changes are miniscule and have stayed within the natural cycle. But when looking through the eyes of humans, these changes are drastic causing ice ages, draughts, and rain for years (Goldstein 6). During the last century carbon dioxides levels in the atmosphere have become significantly larger than they ever have in the past 800,000 years. Today these levels are at 390 ppm and show no signs of stopping which will cause temperatures to rise because carbon is a greenhouse gas. When a greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide or water vapor are present in the atmosphere, they absorb the heat that the Earth is giving off, creating a thermal blanket over Earth trapping in heat (Houghton 20). Now that the problem has been identified, determining the source of the problem becomes much easier. The human population is growing exponentially, in 1990 there were about 5.2 billion people on Earth, and in 2010 there were 6.8 billion people on Earth (Total Populatio... ... middle of paper ... ...bally, and find alternate containment areas for carbon instead of the atmosphere. Works Cited "Brazilian Transportation Fleet." — SugarCane.org. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. "Global Emissions." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. Goldstein, Natalie, Dale Williams, and Melissa Ericksen. Global Warming. New York: Checkmark, 2010. Print. Houghton, John. Global Warming 4ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP Text, 2009. Print. "Thawing Permafrost." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. "Thermohaline Circulation and the Effects of Global Warming : The Slowing of Ocean Currents." Thermohaline Circulation and the Effects of Global Warming : The Slowing of Ocean Currents. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. DalSanto, Joseph. Personal Interview. 14 March 2014. Hansen, James. Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change. Online video. TED. Feb 2012.. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
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