The greenhouse effect occurs when gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and CFCs trap heat in the atmosphere by acting as a pane of glass in a car. The glass lets the sunlight in to make heat, but when the heat tries to get out the gases absorb the heat. Holding this heat in causes heat waves, droughts, and climate changes which could alter our way of living.
The main gases that cause the greenhouse effect are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane, which comes mainly from animal manure. Other gases like nitrogen oxide and chloroflurocarbons, man made gases, get caught in the atmosphere as well. The decay of animals and respiration are two main natural sources of carbon dioxide. In my opinion, we the people of the world should try to slow down the emission of greenhouse gases and/or find ways to balance the gases so the climate doesnt change so rapidly. If it did, we would be forced to adapt to the new climate that we brought upon ourselves. If we had an international cooperation to put a damper on the production of chloroflurocarbons and slowed down the use of fossil fuels it would dramatically slow done the process of global warming. Carbon dioxide pollution from the increase of industry and transportation is a major cause of global warming. These two causes are connected with the growth in the world population. As the population grows the necessity for food and other products increase, therefore industry must grow to keep up with the demand. The increase in transportation is directly due to the growing population and the need for jobs and the growing congestion on our highways. Another cause in global warming is deforestation. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air as they grow. The carbon dioxide is released back into the air as they are cut and burned. The forest ability to reduce the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is decreasing due to massive deforestation around the world. These causes seem simple and fixable, but if they are not cut down, the Earth and its inhabitants will feel the effects.
Over the last hundred years, the global temperatures have been increasing slowly, but steadily. Since 1980, the temperature has risen 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) each decade. Scientist predict that if we continue putting the same amount of gas into the atmosphere, that by the year 2030 the temperature will be rising as much as 0.5 degrees C (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) or more per decade. Overall, the global temperature could rise anywhere from 5 to 9 degrees over the next fifty years.
If the temperatures do rise, as predicted, several things could happen. The increase of temperature could alter the growth of crops in areas near the equator due to insufficient rain and heat. This could really hurt countries that rely in imported food. With the high temperatures the polar ice caps could melt and cause the sea water level to go up 1 to 3 feet. This could take out small islands, coastal cities and some shallow rivers. The Everglades in Florida would be almost, if not totally, wiped right off the map. The Everglades is the home for many animals and plant life. If it did get flooded, they would all have to move northward across very dry land, which they will not be able to endure for very long. When the hot temperatures do spread southward and northward, tropical disease will spread with it. Diseases that were down in Mexico will, maybe, occur in North and South Carolina or eventually Vermont. These new diseases will be hard to deal with causing many more deaths and illnesses that before. The financial problem with this is that the flooding will cause dams to be built and cities to be reconstructed. The shortage in food will cause the price of the food to go up and with all the diseases, we will need more medical supplies and workers. All of this combined could and will cost a lot of money if we dont do something about it now.
The computer models cant predict exactly that the climate is going to be in the future, but they can come close to what it will be like down the road. Scientists proved this by predicting, with computers, what the climate was in the past. Then, by looking back in records, they found that the predictions were close to being right. The Topex (Topographic Experiment) collected information on the changes of the sea level, the temperatures across the globe, and the amount of gases emitted into the atmosphere. Each day, the satellite made 500,000 measurements, each at a different place on the Earth. Measurements were all made between 66 degrees north and south latitudes.
The Cretaceous period occurred over a hundred million years ago. It was the warmest period we have knowledge of yet. There was so much carbon dioxide in the air that the oceans rose many meters. North America was flooded and split into two pieces. The temperature then was more than 15 degrees greater than the average temperature today.
Scientists believe that the tilt of the Earths axis changes to title the opposite way every 10,000 years like a cycle. While going through this cycle, it will change the climate of and area. Right now it is moving so that North America is going to be closer to the sun in the winter. Seasons become more extreme when the opposite happens. This controls the cycle of ice ages.
Volcanoes, when they erupt, send clouds of dust into the air blocking out sunlight. This would cool the Earth off more. Oceans are known to absorb carbon dioxide because of the ocean currents and the action of plankton. There is some evidence that there is a naturally rapid climate change between each ice age, which confuses the whole global warming and idea.
I think every human being should take part in the fight to stop global warming. The government is the key to this and they better do something soon or it will be too late. First, the American government should sponsor a meeting between the nations of this world. They should establish a committee for handling the money, politics, and scientific research in order to help cut back the emission of gases into the atmosphere. Every country will contribute by donating money. If they refuse, they will be boycotted and the participating countries will sell nothing to them.
Global warming is a big threat to our nation and the world. If we do not act now, it may be too late. Of course, there is no sure way of telling if there is actually a greenhouse effect, but let us not take any chances. Look at what is happening to this world, and you will see that there is a pollution problem. There are steps being taken at this moment to reduce the gases put into the air, but it still is not enough. We need to cut back more by taking a few easy steps. Plant a tree, or take a bus or carpool to work instead of driving your own car. Those things may not seem like a lot, but if more and more people do it, it will make a difference.
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