23 May 2014
Global Climate Change: Causes and Effects
The Earth goes through natural phases of warming and cooling, due to changes in the Sun and volcanic activity. During these changes, the temperature fluctuates a little bit. However, the drastic incline in the temperature of the earth over the past century cannot be explained by these natural causes alone. What could have had the power to cause this drastic change, and what effect will this have on our planet in the future?
Humans have had a large impact on the average global temperature of the Earth. This is because humans have been releasing more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for a variety of reasons. We are doing this by burning fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, they release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases then remain in the atmosphere, and trap most of the heat from the Sun, causing the global temperatures to increase. There are three main reasons for why humans are beginning to put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The main thing we use fossil fuels is to generate electricity. Most countries in the world, including the United States, get their energy from burning coal and oil, which are both fossil fuels. However, when we burn these fossil fuels, we release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. About 40% of total U.S. CO2 emissions are electricity emissions.
Another thing we use fossil fuels is to support industrialization. Over the 20th century, many countries became industrialized. More and more factories were built. These factories, however, release carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Human-made pollution from factories has enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the global temperature to increase. For example. in China, the economy is greatly focused on industry. Today, China is the country with the most factories, as well as the countries with...