Global warming and the greenhouse effect are issues discussed by scientists all the time. A natural process that keeps earths temperature at a livable rate is called the greenhouse effect. The energy from the sun warms up the earth when the rays from the sun are absorbed by greenhouse gasses. The gasses then become trapped in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and nitrous oxide are the most common greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gases cause the radiant heat of the sun to be trapped in the Earths lower atmosphere which causes global warming. If there werent any greenhouse gasses, the earth would be really cold due to very little sun rays being absorbed on the earth. Global warming can and will lead to several problems that affect the environment in which we humans live in. These problems can lead to warmer temperatures all around the world, it can endanger animals and the wildlife, and it can lead to widespread flooding from the glaciers melting. Here are a few more future effects that I will discuss in more detail about. Damage to human health, Severe stress on forests, wetlands, and other natural habitats, how fish will be affected. Global warming is a serious problem that will affect our generation when we are older.
In talking about global warming, we need to learn what causes the greenhouse effect. Rays from the sun are taken up and absorbed by water vapor that is natural in the atmosphere. The United States emits the largest manmade greenhouse gases in the world. As Americans we must realize the responsibility to reduce the emissions. (Gore, Albert)Water Vapor is eighty percent of greenhouse warming. The last twenty percent results from other gases that are in very little amounts. A huge absorber of the suns heat rays is carbon dioxide. Us as humans release a lot of carbon dioxide. When fossil fuels are burned, they release big amounts of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is on the increase in our atmosphere due to car emissions. Approximately eighty percent of CO2 increases because of mans use of fossil fuels. When there is more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere the more sun rays are absorbed. In result to this happening this will cause the earth and the earths atmosphere to warm. When the earth is warming, water temperatures will start to get warmer. Oceans and lakes will get warmer in result from the carbon dioxide. When the oceans and lakes heat up, water is evaporated at a great rate causing more levels of carbon dioxide to be released in our atmosphere. Every time the temperature keeps rising, the more carbon dioxide will be released. When this process gets going, it is very hard to keep in control.
Methane is another greenhouse gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas whose molecules absorb heat trying to escape to space. Natural sources include wetlands, swamps and marshes, termites, and oceans. (Methane) Methane gases are released into the atmosphere. Atmospheric methane has doubled since the Industrial Revolution and has contributed 20 percent to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect, second only to carbon dioxide. (Methane)
A major effect of global warming is there will be higher temperatures and it will affect how the water cycle works. Places on the earth will receive more rain than others. There will be a great amount of evaporation going on from the rivers, lakes and oceans due to a increase in the temperature. This could be a good thing for some people needing rain and a bad thing for other people who get to much rain. While the temperature is on the rise there will be greater amount of rains all over. In return with all of the rains this could help farmers. It would extend the growing season for crops. This would greatly help out the farmers because they would be making more money. While this is the positive side of the rain, this could also hurt the farmers.There are some crops that out there that will die with to much rain. There will be certain areas of the United States that get less rain which will cause droughts and would kill the farmers crops. Warm weather and rainy weather that brings out storms, devastating storms. There were over 500 deaths during Chicagos 1995 heat wave. (Heat Wave-Global Fever) This instability in the weather causes lots of problems for everyone. Plant life will have to adjust to the greater amounts of rain. Plants migrate naturally, but scientists think that global warming could make the plant life migrate at a much faster rate. If the plants migrate at a faster rate they then will need a larger area to live in.
Scientists predict that the average annual temperature will rise by 3 degrees Celsius by the middle of the next century. (Salmon hot water) That 3 degrees will be doubled by the year 2100. Scientists think that when the Earths temperature rises 6 degrees more than what it is now, glaciers will be melting at a high rate. With the melting of the glaciers this will make the sea level rise. Sea level rise could lead to flooding of low-lying property, loss of coastal wetland, erosion of beaches, saltwater contamination or drinking water, and decreased longevity of low lying roads, causeways and bridges. At Long Bay, sea level already is rising by approximately 2 inches per century, and it is likely to rise another 12 inches by 2100. (North Carolina)
Global warming wont only affect the rise of sea level it will also affect sea life. Corals will die because they arent used to warmer temperatures. The small increase in the temperature will kill corals. Corals have been dying in the past few years because of the increased water temperatures.Marine life will migrate to the south because the waters are warmer. The warmer water would fool them into thinking that they were in their natural habitat. While they think this they would actually be moving toward the poles. The bleaching and mortality rate may even worsen in the years ahead. This serves as a wake-up call for more research and monitoring to help protect these valuable coral reef ecosystems, Baker said. (Worlds Coral Dying)
Global warming causes circulation patterns in the sea water. The coolest water moves along the bottom of the sea floor toward the equator. The warm water from the equator moves toward the poles across the ocean. The motion is called thermohaline circulation. (Thermohaline Circulation) This process is important because the way it concerns ocean life. If it werent for this process there would be no oxygen brought to the ocean floor. Ocean life would not be able to survive if it werent for this process. Salmon are very sensitive to the change in water temperature. (Fish Temperatures) Salmon have a higher metabolic rate during the summer because the water is much warmer. In the winter months, their metabolic rate slows down. (Salmon hot water) This is good for the fish because there is less food available.
A major impact dealing with global warming is the outbreak of diseases. Diseases will spread more easily with global warming. Mosquitoes are a major carrier of diseases. Mosquitoes are known for carrying dengue fever, malaria, and cholera. The outbreak of malaria occurs usually where the temperature doesnt reach sixteen degrees Celsius. Scientists are starting to realize that malaria outbreaks are occurring in other places than where temperatures dont reach lower than sixteen degrees Celsius. They believe this is happening due to global warming. Major states that have had big cases of malaria are New York, Michigan, Florida, California, New Jersey and Texas. (Overview) People that live in these states realize how hot and humid their summers have been recently. Mosquitoes borne diseases such as malaria spread quicker when the weather is hot and more humid than usual. Hotter temperatures and more rain in different areas will cause more heat and humid weather. This will allow mosquitoes to find new places to love and spread the diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases are being reported for the first time at high elevations in Asia, Central Africa, and Latin America. An increase in winter temperatures, which tend to limit the distribution of insect populations, may be increasing mosquito survival rates and contributing to the spread of these disease. (Global Fever) These higher elevation places have never been exposed to these situations before. Cholera and dengue fever are also carried by mosquitoes and live in warm and moist climates. Like malaria, cholera and dengue fever outbreaks occur because of the migrating mosquitoes. Dengue fever also advanced elsewhere in Latin America, reaching as far north has the Texas border. By September the epidemic had killed 4,000 of the 140,000 people infected with this disease. (Global Fever) As explained earlier, as the oceans temperature rises, this will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This will soon become more severe as the temperature keeps rising. There are other ways that global warming causes diseases. When the weather becomes warmer, organic matter in the ground will be decomposed. The researchers said the increase in droughts predicted by some climate models could abruptly activate a dormant enzyme in moist, peaty northern soils, triggering a decomposition of their organic matter. This decay would release large amounts of carbon dioxide. (Global warming-wetlands) When the average temperature rises, soils will release a big amount of CO2 equal to almost 20 percent of the projected amount released by combustion of fossil fuels. Gas hydrates in the soil will decompose as well when the temperature rises. When the temperatures increases, frozen soil will melt and it would release gas hydrates, and hydrates from the ocean would then also break down. When this is all said and done with, more methane and carbon will be released into Earths atmosphere. This will make the greenhouse effect even stronger leading to our environment to even more damage than what it already is.
We have done a great deal of irreversible damage to our atmosphere. We expect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and related atmospheric greenhouse gases to have doubled by the year 2050. (Rising Tide) Also by 2050 climate change will directly lead to the extinction of thirty percent of species, the death of ninety percent of coral reefs and the loss of the Amazon rainforest. (Rising Tide) Without dramatic measures to decrease emissions worldwide, the world would be even a more mess. Countries all over are trying to reduce emission into the Earths atmosphere. The United States and other industrialized nations have been part of the global warming problem for a long, long time. If we are to persuade developing nations to clean up their acts, we must become part of that solution.
The Kyoto pact will likely to start changing landscapes all over the world. The pact is aimed at reducing emissions of global greenhouse gases from industrialized countries by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. (Kyoto Talks) The treaty is to set goals for reduction in emissions from carbon dioxide and anything else that strengthens the effects of global warming. As a result from the Kyoto Treaty mountain ridges and coastlines are likely to sprout plantations of steel windmills. With nations under pressure to cut pollution, new cars, household appliances, even the simple light bulb will have to be designed to save energy. (Max, Arthur, Kyoto climate) Carbon dioxide is released every time a person breathes. Scientists say that carbon dioxide from vehicles, and factories are messing the natural balance up. This process is changing the climate. Glaciers melting, sea levels rising and severe storms becoming more frequent everyday. (Max, Arthur, Kyoto climate) The Kyoto Treaty will set up domestic carbon trading markets where companies can buy and sell carbon credits. This is very similar from what the United States has done with sulfur dioxide. This was created to help reduce acid rain in the 1990s (Kyoto climate) Carbon will have a price. Until now, you could put as much carbon in the air as you wanted for free, said David Doniger of the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council. Thats going to affect the way power plants are built and the way cars are being designed.
Global warming is changing the twenty first century and beyond as we know it. This is a major problem and will be a major problem forever. When greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released, they will trap heat rays and keep them in Earths atmosphere. This will cause a increase in temperature. The increase in temperature will do a lot of damage even if it is in small increases. Only a few degrees increase ended the ice age many thousands of years ago. A warming like the ice age would have enormous environment effects on earth. It will change the water cycle because of warmer temperatures. Some areas will get more precipitation and storms while others will get nothing and have serious droughts. The warming of a few degrees will cause glaciers to melt and sea ice to melt leading to a lot of damage. This damage would lead the levels of the oceans to rise and would cause damage to coastal cities and islands. This would cause serious problems for the different species living in the oceans and could some disease. Especially diseases caused by mosquitoes which love warm and humid climates. There are many ideas and solutions to stop global warming. It is very difficult to reverse this process once it is started. If we want to live like we are now and have been we have to stop this process. Emissions of fossil fuels by humans is a big factor of global warming. The reason being is because of the amount of carbon dioxide released from the fossil fuels. Controlling these emissions is one huge step of many steps required to slow down and stop global warming. If global warming is not controlled, all the problems that have been mentioned, along with other problems will disrupt the living patterns in which we live.