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Global Warming - Essay Example

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Global Warming Instructor name Date Introduction The greenhouse effect is an expression that describes an increase of the average earth temperature and is usually associated with global warming which has rightfully become the subject of much debate and great concern worldwide…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will first describe the greenhouse effect then will explain the way man-made and naturally occurring gases affect it in addition to the potential consequences of these forces. It will then present a rebuttal. What is Global Warming? Basically, the greenhouse effect behaves in the following way. When sunlight pierces the atmosphere and strikes the surface of the earth, not all of the sun’s solar power is absorbed. Roughly 30 percent of this energy is reflected back into space. Certain atmospheric gases act in much the same method as does the outer wall and roof of a greenhouse, consequently the terminology. These gases allow sunlight to pierce then trap a portion of this solar energy. The remaining energy heats the earth (Gutierrez, 2008). It is a precarious balance and due to these greenhouse gases being artificially amplified by man-made sources, more continuously builds up in the atmosphere thus trapping more of the solar energy and reflects less back in to space. This avoidable circumstance is causing the earth to warm. Reasons of global warming Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the most common of the greenhouse gases. Trees ‘breathe in’ CO2 and when they die, CO2 it is restored back into the atmosphere. The clearing of trees by mass burning, which is occurring at a phenomenal rate in the tropical rain forests, is decreasing the amount of CO2 that is absorbed therefore increasing the quantity that is added to the atmosphere. CO2 contributes about half of the total gases that produce the greenhouse effect. Though deforestation is contributing greatly to the excess of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere, a larger fraction is caused by the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Fossil fuels are burned by electricity-producing power plants, vehicles and factories to name a few sources. The great majority of this excessive fuel consumption, its toxic pollutants and greenhouse-enhancing byproducts are found in the U.S., Russia and Europe. Among other greenhouse gases are methane, which is released when plants are burned during the clearing of land, during the coal-mining process and oil exploration activities; chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which is the gaseous substance which cools refrigerators and provides aerosol cans with propulsion and nitrous oxide (N2O) which is the lesser cause of greenhouse gas. It is estimated that man-made causes represents half of the CO2 production. (“Treaty,” 2001). The rising amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is becoming progressively more disconcerting. Eighty percent of the earth’s population lives in countries that, combined, emit just 35 percent of the total CO2 while the U.S. and the Russia combined are responsible for creating half. Motor vehicles are a significant cause of air pollution. The burning of fuel to heat homes and power industries along with the poisons emitted from smokestacks at coal-burning power plants. “Vehicles produce high levels of carbon monoxides (CO) and a major source of hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), whereas, fuel combustion in stationary sources is the dominant source of sulfur dioxide (SO2)” (Socha, 2007). If the balance between the CO2 levels of the ocean and atmosphere is disturbed by adding ever-increasing quantities of CO2, the oceans will continue to take in greater concentrations than it would naturally. The resulting warming ocean waters are less capable concerning their capability of absorbing CO2 and when the seas can no longer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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