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Effects of Global Warming

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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 weren't 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 sun's 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 man's 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 Chicago's 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 aren't 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. (World's 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 weren't for this process there would be no oxygen brought to the ocean floor. Ocean life would not be able to survive



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