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The Global Warming Phenomenon - Term Paper Example

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THE GLOBAL WARMING PHENOMENON Global warming is defined as the continuous increase of Earth’s temperature. Since life exists within a specific range of temperature, the phenomenon affects all life forms, from microorganisms to plants and animals. In addition, a hotter earth surface will melt the polar ice, leading to rising sea levels that erodes coastal areas…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, this increases the risk for flooding in the usual storm-afflicted areas, and the likelihood of drought in locations that get relatively less precipitation. The change in temperature also makes the storm tracks vary, making the weather less predictable. More importantly for humans, increasing temperature will lead to heat-related health incidents, air-quality respiratory illnesses, and low crop yields (Environment Protection Agency). Because of the vast effects of global warming, even the government is being called upon to resolve the issue. A strong effort from the Congress to mandate the polluters to pay for the clean-up of the greenhouse gases they produce is needed to prevent the excessive and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions as well as to hasten the elimination of the gases. Investments on clean energy industries that use wind and solar power should are now strongly promoted. Households are encouraged to implement energy efficiency practices such as driving hybrid vehicles, reducing electricity use at homes and manufacturing plants with energy-saving machines, and advocating public transportation use, walking and biking (National Energy Information Center). MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING Many scientists believe that human activity is the main driving force causing global warming. Many evidences support such claim. It was seen that although the temperature in earth started increasing since the 1800, the most rapid increase has been observed in the recent decades (Environmental Protection Agency), and the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are blamed for it. Greenhouse gases is a mixture of gaseous compounds such as water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and aerosols that can fill the atmosphere to prevent infrared radiation from escaping to the space, trapping the heat and increasing the overall temperature of the earth (National Energy Information Center). According to World Meteorological Organization, there was almost a 30% increase in the Earth’s atmosphere in a span of two decades. Its concentration increases because the mechanisms that regulate their amounts in the atmosphere become less efficient. For example, in the case of CO2, it is regulated by the carbon cycle. During pre-industrial era, despite the production of CO2 by animals, the atmospheric CO2 remained constant. However, the continuously increasing levels of CO2 were noticed since the advent of industrialization, which emit the gas by biogas burning to power the machineries. Currently, the increased electricity and transportation use, as well as continuing deforestation add onto the CO2 in the atmosphere (World Meteorological Organization). CH4 is emitted from landfills, coal mines, oil and gas operations, and agriculture, all human activities. Similar to CO2, the industrial era marked the increase of CH4. NO2, on the other hand, is released from oceans, by burning fossil fuels, fertilizer use and industrial processes. Despite the relatively low amount of increase, its effects are around 300 times greater than equal amounts of CO2, because it also destroys the ozone layer that protects the earth harmful ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent the earth from heating up. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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