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The Reality of Global Warming

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The Reality of Global Warming

Cheryl H. Frazier

Axia College of University of Phoenix

COM 125 Utilizing Information in College Writing

Allen Mueller

July 22, 2007

Abstract

Since the Industrial Revolution our world has been affected by Global Warming. Increasing humans, vehicles, and electricity have put our earth in a position where we do not know the outcome of our mistakes. Many scientists agree this situation has escalated within the past decades. Studies show that fossil fuels have increased in the atmosphere. The Earth's natural cycle has been interrupted which affects the climate, land, ocean, and every living thing. Animals of the land and ocean are migrating towards cooler temperatures. Humans did not do this intentionally, but because of the outcome of the man-made machines, it is time to redirect our priorities. This situation will not get any better if people continue to think that it is a part of nature; which the reality is it is a human caused problem.

The Reality of Global Warming

Although, some people think Global Warming is nature at its best, research shows that humans are a contributing factor. As the world population reaches 6,606,526,224 (U.S. Census Bureau) for the year of 2007, it is hard to believe humans have no blame to the Earth's climate change. Global Warming is the cause of climate change, which the greenhouse gases stay on the earth's atmosphere and traps the heat. Since the Industrial Revolution from the seventeenth century, machines have dominated the world forever changing the climate. Man-made machines like the steam engine (trains), factories, and automobiles have required the use of fossil fuels. Some scientists are skeptical about the whole idea about Global Warming and they believe the earth goes through warming and cooling periods, which makes sense, but the alteration of the earth can have consequential changes. The earth is known for natural cycles, but from recent studies "Now, humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution. Changes this large have historically taken thousands of years, but are now happening over the course of decades" (National Geographic, 1996-2007). The affects of Global Warming would be catastrophic to every living thing on this Earth, if not contained within this century.

This graph shows an estimated increase of the world population within the last hundred years. From 1900 to 1930 the population took 30 years to reach 2 billion. From 1940 to 1970 it took also another 30 years to reach 3.7 billion people. From 1980 to 2006 the world population doubled within the past 30 years to 6.5 billion.

The Earth has been changing for millions of years, but within the last hundred years it is no surprise the more humans there are, the more fossil fuels will be used. Never in the history of the Earth has there ever been this many people. Automobiles, factories, and electricity "have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and these gases caused temperatures to rise between 0.6˚C and 0.9˚C (1.08˚F to 1.62˚F) over the past century" (Earth Observatory, 2004). With over 6.6 billion "People burning gasoline and other fossil fuels put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the planet can recycle through normal exchanges among plants, animals, land, water and the air, say climate scientists" (Stoffer, 2007). Even the smallest change in the temperature can have a significant impact on the environment. In the graph below it shows the change in temperatures in the last one hundred years. "The rapid rise in greenhouse gases is a problem because it is changing the climate faster than some living things may be able to adapt" (National Geographic, 1996-2007).

This graph shows the difference between a hundred years of Global Temperature Changes. Since the 1900's the temperature has risen about 1 degree in Fahrenheit, and in the future the temperature will continue to rise. By the year 2100 the temperature will rise about 1.4 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit if nothing changes about Global Warming; if the CO2 levels are contained by 2100 the temperatures will rise about 1 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The greenhouse effect is when "these gases let in light but keep heat from escaping, like the glass walls of a greenhouse" (National Geographic, 1996-2007). This is how it works:

The Sun reaches the Earth, roughly 30 percent of it is reflected back into space by clouds, atmospheric particles, reflective ground surfaces, and even ocean surf. The remaining 70 percent of the light is absorbed by the land, air, and oceans, heating our planet's surface and atmosphere and making life possible (Earth Observatory, 2004).

The history of the greenhouse effect dates back to "1824" from "Joseph Fourier" who "calculated that the Earth would be much colder if it had no atmosphere" and the "average" temperature would be "60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler" (National Geographic, 1996-2007). Another Swedish chemist "in 1895" named "Svante Arrhenius" found "that humans could enhance the greenhouse effect by making carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas," and that would eventually have started the "100 years of climate research that has given us a sophisticated understanding of global warming" (National Geographic, 1996-2007). Of all the "achievement of the past 120 years was learning how to burn gasoline and diesel fuel to propel cars. But scientists who study global warming say the process has a downside" (Stoffer, 2007).

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) can be good and bad. The good thing about carbon dioxide is plants inhale the gas, and it in turns makes oxygen for every living thing on this planet; it also helps to "maintain moderate temperatures" (Stoffer, 2007). The bad thing about it is if there is too much of the gas in the air it has nowhere else to go but make more heat in the atmosphere. The deforestation of trees has led carbon dioxide to be less absorbed. Since the other gases like methane, and nitrous oxide "concentrations are much lower than CO2, none of these gases adds as much warmth to the atmosphere as CO2 does" (National Geographic, 1996-2007). Humans are producing more carbon dioxide than the Earth can handle which ultimately changes the Earth's climate.

As the weather

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