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The Effects of Global Warming

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The effects of global warming have caused humans to open their eyes to the ecosystems’ vulnerability as well the inhabitants housed there. The cause of global warming can be attributed to greenhouse gases (Robinson et al 2009). Greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere allow the Earth to remain warm by providing a blanket like cover. However since the nineteenth century humans have caused an increase in the production of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to the growing oil and coal economy (Robinson et al 2009). The increase in greenhouse gases as a result of burning fossil fuels is like throwing a second blanket on top of the Earth. Consequently, the increase in greenhouse gases causes an increase in temperature (Maxwell 1992). From the 1840 to the mid twentieth century the artic warmed to the highest temperatures it has seen in four centuries (Overpeck et al 1997). The average air temperature in the artic has increased 5 degrees Celsius over last 100 years (wwf). Another cause affecting global warming is deforestation. Trees act like a sponge absorbing carbon dioxide in the air however trees are continually cut in order to build towns. Cutting down the trees in essence increases the carbon dioxide levels in the air. As a result there has been a 20 % increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the last twenty years (Arctic ecosystems in a ). In nature the climate system will fluctuate periodically but the critical point is that the baseline will continually be raised as the years go by. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) live in the circumpolar Artic on top of packed ice, along or near coasts, and on islands. As of today scientists believe that there are around 22,000 polar bears around the world (Derocher 2004). A majority of... ... middle of paper ... ...ore fractured and labile, it is likely to move more in response to winds and currents so that polar bears will need to walk or swim more and thus use greater amounts of energy to maintain contact with the remaining preferred habitats.” Increasing temperatures in the Artic, toxic pollution, introduction of oil, and over hunting has lead to polar bears landing a spot on the endangered species list. If these factors are not reduced dramatically the species will become extinct. The effects of climate change are not constant they can shift dramatically in any instant. Therefore we humans can not measure and adequately predict the effects of climate change 100 percent. Behavior plasticity has been used to describe polar bears adaptively to climate change however with the increasing effects of greenhouse gases the bears will be unable to adapt leading to extinction.
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