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Global Climate Change

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Joe Kline

BS 105-03

March 5, 2001

Global Climate Change

Introduction to the Evidence for Global Climate Change:

Global warming has been and still is an increasing problem in the world today. There are is a great deal of clear evidence proving that global warming exists. The clearest evidence is the melting of the glaciers and the ice sheets because of rapidly growing temperatures. Temperatures are at an all time high, and are ruining the world.

More evidence of global warming still exists beyond the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Many people know of global warming, but do not know exactly what it is and does. Spreading of tropical diseases is more evidence that global warming exists. It is very harmful for the world and if we do not do anything to stop it, it is only going to worsen.

The third and final global warming evidence is the bleaching and disintegrating of the ocean corals. People seem to think that the global warming is just what it sounds, but what everybody needs to understand about it is that it is destroying our world slowly. Everybody just seems to think that it is just another problem that will go away, but this should not be overlooked. Global warming is something that will not only affect the world but also our next generation.

The First Evidence for Global Climate Change:

Everybody knows that the glaciers and ice sheets, which been around for thousands of years, are melting more rapidly than ever, but they don't know why (Biard 14-19). One reason they are melting is because over the past hundred years, measurements have been taken daily and prove that the world's temperature has increased by one degree Fahrenheit (Anon 2005a). This change is due to the burning of fossil fuels such as gas and coal. Fossil fuels are mostly burned to make electricity, power cars, and for heating or cooking (Stoles 2003). Other gases such as chloroflurocarbons, nitrous oxide, and methane are all gases that greatly increase the greenhouse effect (Macdougall 233-235). Methane alone traps thirty times more heat than carbon dioxide does, and the amount of methane in the atmosphere has doubled over the past 100 years (Stoles2003). One degree doesn't sound like much, but when thinking about what this little rise in temperature is doing, then we realize that it is a big deal. Melting glaciers do not sound all that bad, but when these retreating glaciers and melting ice caps turn into rising sea levels, they damage cities that are located near water (Biard 14-19). The rising of the world's temperature is affecting everybody whether they believe it or not. For example, everybody depends on crops for food, and rising temperatures are going to limit the seasons for growing these crops (Biard 14-19). The current rising of temperature is between 5.4 to 6.3 degrees each century, and 2005 tied the record as the hottest year since the 1800's (ECOBridge). In a comparison test, the world temperature has warmed by 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit since the last ice age (18,000 to 20,000 years ago) (ECOBridge).

There are so many known glaciers that have been decreasing in size due to global warming. According to Biard, "more than a third of the summer sea ice has disappeared over the past thirty years" (Biard 14-19). Not only are they melting in North America but also in five other continents. For example, the Bering Glacier, North America's largest glacier, has lost 7 miles of its length, while losing a quarter of its parts of the glacier, and more than 11 cubic miles of ice is melting along Greenland's coasts yearly, accounting for 7% of the annual global sea level rise (ECOBridge). The Tasman Glacier in New Zealand has thinned by more than 100 meters in the past century. New Zealand Glaciers have shrunk about a forth in size between 1890 and 1998 (ECOBridge). About 300 million acres of artic sea ice has shrunk, which about an area the size of California, Maryland and Texas combined (ECOBridge). At this rate, there is not going to be a world left before long. This is a big problem and should be taken seriously. To overlook this problem would be not only be stupid but dangerous for our children and especially our grandchildren.

The Second Evidence of Global Climate Change:

Not only is melting of the world's ice evidence of global climate change, but the spreading of tropical diseases is also. The rise in temperature could relate to a spread of infectious diseases and a greater risk for heart related problems (Anon 2005a). Throughout the world, the existence of particular diseases and other threats to human health depend largely on local climate. Extreme temperatures can cause the loss of life, especially those who have heart conditions. Extremely hot temperatures increase the number of people who die on a given day. People with heart problems have to be careful because their hearts have to work twice as hard to keep them cool. With global warming heat exhaustion and other respiratory problems increase. The higher the temperature, the more ozone is present at ground level. The ozone is good for blocking out UV radiation in the atmosphere but it is as good as pollution on ground level. Even people that are healthy can take in this "pollution" and have chest pains, and even nausea. Global warming may also increase the risk of some infectious diseases, particularly those diseases that only appear in warm areas (ECOBridge). Diseases that are spread by mosquitoes and other insects could become present if warmer temperatures enabled those insects to become established farther north; such "vector-borne" diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis (Early Warning Signs:Spreading Disease). These diseases could be avoided by having strong health programs available in countries with these diseases. These diseases aren't present in the U.S because of the health programs that are available, and the climate does not allow it, but if global warming continues, this may be a problem in the future. This warm climate is allowing disease-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi to move into new areas where they may harm humans. Pathogens that have been not able to



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