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Global Warming

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Global Warming

The 19th as well as the 20th century have been the most prolific time periods in modern history as concerns science, technology and socio-economic development. Within these two centuries we witnessed the discovery of electricity, the invention of the engine which played a very important role in the maturity of the well-known industrial revolution. Through this revolution people began to live in a more decent and comfortable manner; new commodities were produced and entire new kinds of industry were developed. Although all these inventions, discoveries and scientific breakthroughs improved in an outstanding way our well-being, they also provided us with some troubles that scientists had never foreseen or even imagined. One of the major setbacks of this technological evolution is the change of the World's climate: the so-called Global Warming.

Global warming is a very strange phenomenon which consists in the increase of the World's average temperature. Scientists after very precise historical observations and measurements have reached the conclusion that the global average temperature has increased by about 0.5 degree centigrade over the past 100 years. The likelihood that this global warming is due primarily to natural variability is low. Scientists believe that this global warming trend is a direct consequence of the enhanced greenhouse effect. The notion of an "enhanced" greenhouse effect refers primarily to the incremental global warming caused by the rising concentrations of human-introduced greenhouse gases over and above the greenhouse effect caused by naturally occurring greenhouse gases. Although there exist large uncertainties, scientists suggest that the emissions of greenhouse gases could, by the end of the next century, lead to an increase in global temperatures of about 1 to 4 degree centigrade.

This global warming tendency can cause a significant worldwide climate change. Human society is highly dependent on the Earth's climate. Climate patterns and human adaptations determine the availability of food, fresh water, and other resources for sustaining life. The social and economic characteristics of society have also been shaped largely by adapting to the seasonal and year-to-year patterns of temperature and rainfall. Some potential effects associated with climate change concern, first of all, the water resources. The quality and quantity of drinking water, water availability for irrigation, industrial use, and electricity generation, and the health of fisheries may be significantly affected by changes in precipitation. Increased rainfall may cause more frequent flooding and as a consequence the sea level may rise. Scientists announce that an estimated 50 cm rise by the year 2100 could submerge more than 5,000 square miles of dry land and an additional 4,000 square miles of wetlands in the U.S.

Another huge problem that can be caused by the global warming is an increase in mortality due to health issues. Changing patterns of precipitation and temperature may produce new breeding sites for pests and viruses, shifting the range of infectious diseases. In such way we may probably experience new epidemic strikes of diseases present 100 years ago.

Obviously, climate has a big influence on plants and animals in the natural environment, on oceans, and on human activities, such as agriculture, water supplies, and heating and cooling. The effects of climate change depend upon how much change there is, how fast it occurs, and how easily the world can adapt to the new conditions.

The effects of climate change on people would vary a lot from place-to-place. Economically developed societies, like those in North America, Europe and Japan, could use technology to reduce direct impacts. For example, they might develop new crop varieties, construct new water systems, and limit coastal development. Some northern countries, such as Canada and Russia, might even benefit from longer grow seasons and lower heating costs if the climate becomes warmer.

In contrast, economically less developed societies, like those in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America depend much more directly on climate, and could be hit much harder by sudden or large changes. Places like coastal Bangladesh and low-lying islands, could be flooded by storms or rising sea level. Droughts in Africa might become more serious. Developing countries have far fewer resources for adapting to



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