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Global Warming Update Essay, Research Paper

Studies made in the Earth?s temperature, reveal that the temperature is getting warmer. Industrialized countries and environmentalists say that it is time to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The average global temperature has risen about one degree Fahrenheit since the turn of the century. A small rise could wreak destruction throughout the world. [ CQ Researcher, Global Warming Update. 291]

The greenhouse effect can be explained by scientists of NASA in this way:

A: Sunlight radiates from the sun, through space, to earth?s atmosphere.

B: The sunlight enters the atmosphere and hits the earth. At the same time, air and land gets heated.

C: Infrared rays, that are emitted into the atmosphere get trapped by the greenhouse gasses.

D: When the infrared light tries to leave the atmosphere, some of it gets absorbed by the greenhouse gases and is remitted back to the earth; from which earth keeps itself warm enough for human habitation. Some of the naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere are carbon dioxide and methane. Humans have added more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossils fuels for power, transportation, and producing mass quantities of goods in factories. Humans have also added two more unnatural greenhouse gases; Nitrous oxide and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs.) [Internet Site]

There are several and important causes that increase the Earth?s temperature. Earth?s protective layer is losing ozone much faster than anyone had predicted, exposing humans to higher amounts of harmful radiation. Chlorine monoxide is a derivative of an important family of synthetic chemicals that is known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFSs). Which has enjoyed wide use for decades as coolants in refrigerators, air conditioners ,and propellants in aerosol spray cans. Once CFSs are released to the atmosphere, they drift upward until they reach the ozone layer. When they reach the ozone layer which is located in the stratosphere, intense ultraviolet radiation breaks the CFCs molecule structure apart, producing chlorine monoxide that produce series of reactions that destroy ozone.Greenhouse gas emissions levels vary widely among nations.[CQ Researcher, Ozone Depletion. 293] Per capita emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels range from 5.3 tons in the US to 2.4 tons in Japan and 0.2 tons in India.[Climate of Hope 32] ?…Chlorine, from Chlorofluorocarbons released from industrial uses and refrigerants into the troposphere, is leaking into the stratosphere, causing depletion of the ozone layer. Researchers using data from the Upper Atmosphere Research Mission (UARS), found chlorofluorocarbons in the stratosphere and the worldwide buildup of stratospheric fluorine gases corresponding to the breakdown of the chlorofluorocarbons. The detection of stratospheric fluorine gases, which are not natural, eliminates the possibility that chlorine from volcanic eruptions or some other natural source, is responsible for the ozone hole.? [USA Today. 23A]

Strong concentration of CFCs in the South Pole, causes circular winds known as the ?Polar Vortex?, which sweeps the destructive gases from the surrounding atmosphere into a wide funnel over Antarctica, where they remain isolated during the dark and frigid winter months.[Geology and the Environment 299]

Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is thought to disrupt photosynthesis, the process by which green plants use the sun?s radiant energy to produce carbohydrates. Studies project that a 10 percent increase in UV penetration, would cause up to a 9 percent increase in the incidence of the more deadly malignant melanoma among light-skinned people; the group that is most vulnerable to this violent form of cancer. There are preliminary reports of widespread blindness among rabbits, sheep, horses and cattle in southern Chile, where high UV radiation exposure resulted from the ozone hole over Antarctica.[CQ Researcher, Ozone Depletion. 293]

Once the equilibrium is broken in between man and nature the catastrophic effects of a small rise in the Earth?s temperature, can be noticed by man year after year and there is no turning back.

One effect of Global Warming would be drought. When the temperature rises, water evaporates quicker. In some places, it doesn?t rain much during the

year and the plant life depends on water from lakes and rivers. When the weather gets hotter, the water in that area evaporates and a drought occurs. The plant life would then die and there would be less plants to take carbon dioxide out of the air. This would make crops die and hunger or thirst would overtake many unfortunate people.[Internet Site]

Sea levels would rise and the effects that the world would face are catastrophic. The reason for this is because the ice caps and glaciers would melt, as a result from higher global temperature. A more important factor, however, is the expansion of sea water that results from an increase in temperature. Rising levels mean, among other things, that shorelines throughout the world will change and permanently inundate wetlands and lowlands. Bangladesh and Egypt, for example, would be among the nations most vulnerable to the rise in sea level. Up to twenty percent of the land in Bangladesh could be flooded with a 2 meter rise in a sea level. A thirty centimeter rise in sea level would result in beaches around the world to erode from twenty to sixty meters.[Internet Site]

Another effect of Global Warming would be severe weather. A change in temperature would mean a significant change in weather, in many places. There is a fact that increasing temperature could wipe out crops. This would create a shortage of food. As an effect, in places where people wouldn?t go hungry, food prices would sky rocket.Many animals may become endangered or extinct because, unlike any other time, this climate change is happening

rapidly. Animals will find their homes disappearing when trees find it no longer suitable to live in that climate. Animals will also find them in conditions that they have no chance of survival because of a temperature change or a humidity change or such. Animals might also be over taken by water when rivers and streams rise.[Internet Site]

Climate change very well may have an impact on human societies, particularly on human health and on the physical structures that are part of our urban areas. Although there may be increases in weather-related summer deaths due to respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular disease, there may be decreases in weather-related winter deaths for the same diseases. Sudden changes in temperature are correlated with increases in deaths, although if climatic variability increases, morbidity and mortality are also like to increase. Seasonal variation of fetal and infant mortality is thought to be due to summertime increases in infections. Increases in summer rainfall would multiply the amount of ragweed growing on cultivated land. [Climate of Hope 32]

…Changes in humidity may heighten the incidence and severity of skin infections and infestations such as ringworm, candidiasis, and scabies…[Global Warming 85,86]

In order to reduce the levels of CFCs in the atmosphere, there are several different possible solutions. Solar Energy can reduce the levels of CFCs by substituting fossil fuels by energy powered by the sun. Fossil fuels now count for 85 percent of US energy use. Solar Energy is the dream technology of environmentalists. During the 1970s, even politicians and businessmen hailed it as the answer to the energy crisis. Yet, like wind power, solar energy failed to produce much actual electricity. Nevertheless, most experts still believe solar power probably will be the foundation of a sustainable energy economy.

[CQ Researcher. Alternative Energy. 586]

Automakers are working on developing cleaner cars, by searching for alternatives to the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. But their goal primarily has been to reduce smog causing pollutants. General Motors? Saturn division has introduced the first commercially available electric passenger car – the EV1 (for Electric Vehicle 1)- in Southern California and Arizona. The EV1 can go just 90 miles between recharging its lead-acid battery. With its technical drawbacks and $35.000 sticker price, the EV1 is not likely to break any sales records. [Car and Driver, 33]

Aerial energy can substitute nuclear and electrical energy. Aerial energy can turn to be expensive and not as efficient as other kinds of energy. Wind farms got off to a turbulent start in the early 1980s. Today, wind power, among the cleanest and most competitive or renewable energy sources, is making a brisk comeback. Unlike traditional power sources, wind energy involves relatively simple, cheap equipment that is amenable to cost-cutting through mass production, Engineers have used advanced technology to make wind turbines that are far more efficient and cost effective than they predecessors. The total wind power generating capacity in the US already exceeds 1,600 megawatts (MW) with most of the 18,000 turbines located along a few mountain passes in California. Experts say today?s models of wind generators are capable of meeting 10 percent of America?s energy demand, and within 30 years, newer versions could provide for a quarter of the nation?s power need. To be sure, wind energy isn?t expected to become a significant power source nationally for at least a decade.[CQ Researcher. Alternative Energy 583,586]

Developed countries committed themselves to the aim of holding their emission of greenhouse gases at or below the 1990 level in the year 2000. They are trying to reach the goal of lower the levels of CFCs in the atmosphere. [Climate of Hope, 31]

Under the terms of the climate convention, all countries must prepare a full inventory of greenhouse gas emissions as well as a national climate plan. However, only industrial countries are required to adopt national emission

reduction targets, in line with the overall goal of the convention, and to implement action to achieve them.[Climate of Hope, 32,33]

Works Cited

Bernard, W. Pipkin. (1994). Geology and the Environment. US: West Publishing Company.

Cooper, H. Mary. ?Ozone Depletion.? CQ Researcher. April 3, 1992. Volume 2, No.13. 289-312.

Cooper, H. Mary. ?Global Warming Update.? CQ Researcher. November 1, 1996. Volume 4, No. 13. 963-975

Flavin, Christopher & Tunali, Odil. (June 1996). Climate of Hope: New Strategies for Stabilizing the World?s Atmosphere. US: Jane A. Peterson, Editor.

Frederik, D. Kenneth. ?The Effects of Global Warming.? (November 1997): n. page. On-line. Internet. November 11, 1997. Available at: http://www.geology/globalwarm/causes~1.HTML

Griffin, D. Rodman. ?Alternate Energy.? CQ Researcher. July 10,1992. Volume 7, No. 9. 575-586

Newton, E. David. Global Warming. (1993), US: Claredon Press.

Price, Robert. ?People, not Nature, Weaken Protective Ozone.? USA Today. November 7, 1997. Editorial Page. 23A.

Smith, C. Steven. ?Up Front? Car and Driver. December 1997. Vol.43, No. 6. 33.

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