January 14, 2013
Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are sometimes called Greenhouse gases, are increasing into our atmosphere causing climate changes. Scientists call this climate change – Global Warming. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and storms are raging fiercer than ever before such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As the Earth spins each day, the new heat swirls with it, picking up moisture over the oceans, rising here, settling there. (http://www.nmsea.org) Is the climate caused by things that humans are doing or releasing into the air, or is it simply part of Mother Nature and just a hoax? Regardless, even if we disagree about the causes, global warming effects are real, or are they? The earth’s temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and leaving the planet’s system. (Retrieved from http://epa.gov) The earth gets warm when the sun’s energy is absorbed but when the suns energy is bounced back into space then the earth is cool. The balance of the earth’s energy can be changed by the greenhouse effect, variations in the sun’s energy and the changes of the reflection of the sun’s energy to the earth. The greenhouse effect is the process of the sun’s energy penetrating the planet warming the land and water and because the emission of CO2 and other gases, the energy is not released back into the atmosphere causing the earth to stay warm.
The different types of emissions are Carbon dioxide from fuel burning plants, and gas from various transportation methods and methane emissions from animals, agriculture and the Arctic seabed. In the U.S., about 40% of CO2 emissions come from electricity production and burning coal accounts for 93% of emissions from the electric utility industry. (Retrieved from: http://planetsave.com) Most of human kind is dependent on the burning of coal to supply our electrical needs. Gasoline for automobiles, planes and farming equipment equate to another large culprit of CO2 being released into the air. Approximately 60% of Americans in the U.S. have two or more vehicles per household. (Retrieved from: http://www.publicagenda.org) With this level of greenhouse gases being released in the air, they serve as a barrier to the sun’s energy being released back into the atmosphere and causing warmer temperatures. Increase in climate temperatures may not be a bad thing. The prediction of extreme disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters will most likely take place a century into the future. (Moore, 1998). There is absolutely no way to know what will happen in the future, it is just the same concept of we had no idea that the industrial revolution and its efficiencies that were created, would have an impact of global warming. Where would we be today without the industrial revolution? With the warmer climates lasting longer, some, not all people could enjoy less freezing weather. The warmer weather in addition to increased levels of CO2 will cause more plant growth; typically CO2 levels decrease in the springtime because the plants are absorbing the CO2. (Moore, 1998). Warmer weather can also benefit the northern climate as there are more deaths recorded in colder climates as opposed to warmer climates. Household heating costs will be reduced however air conditioning costs may rise. Warmer climates can also decrease damage to roads and highways as less salt will need to be used to make roads safe to drive on. It is also a known fact that retirees tend to move to warmer climates during the winter months. Companies may also have to pay higher salaries to those in colder climates than those in warmer climates. (Moore, 1998). Global warming is causing winters to come later, for instance snow and cold weather did not come to the lower Great Lakes area until late December in 2012. In spring of 2012, flower beds of tulips bloomed one month earlier than in previous years. This warmer...
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