18 November 2011
William Kelso; Renewable Natural Resources 1001
Causes and Consequences of Global Warming
To change something is to transform or convert it from what it is or what it would be if left alone. Global Warming is changing the earth. It is increasing temperature and affecting many plant and animal habitats. Those are only two of the many affects that Global Warming has on the planet. It is caused by many factors such as Greenhouse gases, thermal pollution and many more. If Global Warming continues at the rate it is presently going, our planet and everything on it will suffer significantly. Global Warming is stimulated by many causes that will put the earth at risk of serious consequences if not controlled.
Studies have shown that earth's temperature is increasing. This change in temperature is due to not only one, but many different factors (Nordell 2003). One major factor causing Global warming is the greenhouse effect (Nordell 2003). This effect involves the increase of greenhouse gas concentration into the atmosphere (Nordell 2003). These increases result in the increase of emissions of carbon dioxide, the increase of burning fossil fuels, and ultimately the increase of global temperature (Nordell 2003). Before Global Warming, geothermal heat flow was the only net heat source on earth (Nordell 2003). We now have heat dissipation from the use of nonrenewable energy adding to the net heat source (Nordell 2003). Examples of these nonrenewable energy resources are traffic, air conditioning, fossil fuel, and nuclear power (Nordell 2003)r. Another cause of Global Warming if fossil energy as well as not fully combusted fuel being converted into heat(Nordell 2003). This process is commonly known as thermal pollution(Nordell 2003). The process untimely stems from the study of thermodynamics, which states that all energy will eventually dissipate into heat(Nordell 2003). The absorption of solar energy at earth's surface also causes Global warming by radiating the earth layer by layer which results in heating of the atmosphere(Nordell 2003). The increase in the use of nonrenewable energy, thermal pollution, and the increase in global temperature will create many issues for the environment in the near future if they have not already started.
The consequences of global warming are already beginning to transform life on earth. One potential consequence is the affect global warming has on hurricane season (Anthes et al. 2006). An example is the 2005 North Atlantic hurricane season (Anthes et al. 2006). This specific season consisted of the largest number of storms and hurricanes and also included three category five storms as well as the most intense and most costly storms in history (Anthes et al. 2006). The intensity of a hurricane depends on rainfall, sea level, and storm surge which are all significantly affected by global warming (Anthes et al. 2006). Studies show that ocean temperatures are rising along with sea level and water vapor which results from the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Hurricanes gain their energy from warm oceans and condensation (Anthes et al. 2006). If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, future hurricanes are going to increase in intensity (Anthes et al. 2006). Since the 1970s hurricane strengths have risen (Anthes et al. 2006). Studies predict a rise in wind speeds and rain fall as a result of global warming (Anthes et al. 2006). Greenhouse gas emissions are not the only thing affecting the intensity of hurricanes (Anthes et al. 2006). When temperature rises, glaciers and ice sheets melt (Anthes et al. 2006). This creates an increase in sea level which will result in significant damage to surrounding land areas from increase intensity of storm surge (Anthes et al. 2006). The increasing temperature also results in an increased precipitation rate (Anthes et al. 2006). This will also lead to an increase in damage because more...