What is Global Warming?
Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth's
temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. A warmer Earth
may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a
wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.
What is Global Warming caused by?
Global warming is caused by the "Greenhouse effect." Just like any
other planet, the Earth absorbs the sun's heat and radiates it back
towards space. But greenhouse gases trap heat and reflect it back
towards the Earth. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the
more heat that is trapped. The less the amount of greenhouse gases,
the less heat that is trapped.
schematic of CO2's actions in atmosphereEach greenhouse gas has its
own important role in trapping the sun's heat, the most significant of
which is water vapour. On a clear day, water vapour can comprise 60 to
70 percent of the greenhouse effect. Next in line, carbon dioxide
contributes an additional 25 percent.
The changes in the balance and concentration of all these gases can
affect the Earth's temperature, and these temperature changes are
often referred to as "global warming" or "global cooling." Greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere have been naturally rising and
falling for billions of years, creating cold and warm periods in the
Earth's history. For example, as the Ice Age went on, scientists
believe the amount of natural carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dropped
over thousands of years, reducing the greenhouse effect, and making
the Earth cooler. But many disagree on how that change in carbon
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...oo late. If we do not stop it or slow global warming down then our
descendants will have to pay the price for our laziness over the
greenhouse effect. I think that we should be concerned about global
warming because if we are not concerned then we won't do anything
about it and the effects will be irreversible. There are a number of
knock-on effects from global warming, such as; some people are arguing
that lack of water through global warming could mean war between
different countries. This is only a suggestion as yet, but in the
future this suggestion could become very real.
The future looks bleak whilst major polluters, such as the USA are in
denial over the effects, which their massive energy consumption is
having on the planet. The Kyoto agreement must be adhered to by all
countries for mankind to have a future.
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