effects of global warming

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Global warming is the warming of earth’s land, water and atmosphere. Global warming has happened throughout history, but has recently become more of an issue. Every year since 2001 has made it on the warmest year record list. There is much debate whether this is a natural phenomenon or if the human population is causing global warming. There is no denying that the earth is getting warmer. As shown in the graph to the right global temperatures have risen from -.4 C to .6 C over a four year period. Judging by the graphs steady rise, it’s only going to get hotter. One thing is certain, the effects that global warming has are life threatening to many populations (“Global Warming…”).

We can already see some of the impacts that global warming is having on the earth. Studies have shown that the arctic sea ice is decreasing in size yearly. The red outline in the picture to the left shows how large the Polar Ice Cap was in 1979. The white are in the picture is how big the Polar Ice Cap currently is, that’s a significant decrease over just thirty five years. The thinner the ice gets the faster it melts. Besides the shrinking, the arctic sea ice is also forming later and later every year. This is directly impacting the polar bears that depend on the ice for survival. Over a twenty four year period the average weight of female polar bears has decreased by 143 pounds. This is due to the polar bears having less ice to hunt on over the years. As a result the population of polar bears has declined drastically. Many polar bears are dying of starvation and some aren’t able to reproduce because they’re malnourished. Scientists are afraid that the polar bears are nearing extinction as conditions continue to get worse (“Global Warming…”). Ice melting into the ocean is not only affecting wildlife, it’s also affecting processes in the ocean. If the warming continues parts of the Greenland Ice Cap will begin to melt, sea level could rise to twenty feet or more than what it is...
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