Climate is defined as the analysis of accumulated weather data for long term patterns and trends. The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines change as, "To make or become different." Climate change is therefore defined as "long-term weather patterns and trends becoming different over an extended period of time." For example, if the average temperature in Kalamazoo, Michigan over the 20th century is significantly higher or lower than the average temperature in Kalamazoo, Michigan over the 19th century, this would be an example of climate change. There are some scientists who do not believe that there is enough evidence to support the idea of global warming. They assert that concerns about global warming have been blown well out of proportion by the media. At the same time, other scientists assert that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that industrial activities, automobile emissions, and technological pollutants may eventually result in dangerous (and even deadly) trends in the overall global climate. This paper will attempt to address this concern by analyzing some of the scientific studies that have been published in major meteorology journals.
Our atmosphere consists of many gases. Some of these gases, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor, naturally absorb long-wave radiation that is emitted from the earth's surface. Short-wave solar radiation enters the earth's atmosphere and is absorbed by the earth's surface. This radiation is then recycled and emitted as long wave terrestrial radiation. Gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide absorb this radiation, hold it in the atmosphere, and keep the temperature of the earth warmer than it would otherwise be if there wasn't an atmosphere. This is what meteorologists refer to as the "natural greenhouse effect" (Mower).
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