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Global warming - Research Paper Example

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Global Warming What is Global Warming? For over two hundred years, the temperature of the earth has increased from 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius (Gore, 2007). This event is known as global warming. Global warming takes place when the average temperature of the earth near the surface and oceans progressively becomes warmer…
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Download file to see previous pages As stated, the temperature of the earth’s surface has been slowly but surely rising over the span of a few centuries. This increase in temperature, though assumed to have always been taking place, was first called to attention in the early 1800s. The first Industrial Revolution brought with it coal, railroads, and the cutting down of forests for various projects, all of which prompted the speeding up of greenhouse gas emissions (Weart, 2008). The second Industrial Revolution saw a similar change, and scientists began recording the slightest of changes to the earth’s temperature. However, in the past decade, it has been noted that this increase in temperature has only quickened with time. This is thought to be due to the advancement in technology that has allowed us to create more finite-dependable utilities. Due to global warming, various locations throughout the world are seeing changes to their weather and temperatures that they have never experienced before. While some places are experiencing unfamiliar, and often unbearable, heat, other places are finding themselves bundling up in attempts to withstand the unusual and unseasonal chill. The greatest change in surface temperature can be found in Alaska and Greenland, where the Inuit tribes are discovering for the first time what it means to have a warm day in a land predominantly made of ice. Similarly, the weather conditions throughout the world have changed, bringing rain to places that are otherwise barren and dryer weather to locations that are more used to rain or snow. The cause of global warming takes place on earth, but the effects primarily take place in the atmosphere. When greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation, become trapped in the earth, the greenhouse effect comes as a result. These gases would normally be able to escape from the earth, but when they are unable to they remain close enough to the surface to cause dramatic changes in temperature. Carbon dioxide is the most harmful of these gases as it stays in the atmosphere for an increased amount of time, often exceeding many hundreds of years (Archer, 2007). Even a small buildup of carbon dioxide can cause a significant increase in temperature. The more emissions we allow to enter our atmosphere, the more carbon dioxide that remains. This buildup leads to increased temperatures, and thus global warming. Effects of Global Warming Though global warming is being experienced throughout the world, the most noticeable and drastic changes can be seen in locations where ice caps are great in quantity. As the earth’s temperature increasingly becomes warmer, these ice caps, such as those found in the Arctic, begin to melt. Contrary to popular belief, ice caps melt starting at the bottom, gradually losing size to their bases and slowly moving up as the ice caps become smaller. Approximately eleven percent of all landmass is glacial ice (Houghton, 2009), so the water levels are greatly effected by the melting ice caps. The ramifications of these melting ice caps may not be immediately noticeable, but as they continue to melt, the sea levels continue to rise, which bring forth further problems. As the sea levels rise, the oceans expand. To make room for all of this excess water, the oceans have no choice but to spill over onto our landmasses, which can result in horrific flooding throughout the world. Any landmass that borders the oceans will be effected by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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