Is global warming real? Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere. There is evidence of global warming all around us. For example, if we were to look at a graph of recorded global temperatures from the civil war on we would find that 20 of the 21 hottest years recorded happened in the last 25 years. (Al Gore 72) But for many skeptics this alone is not enough to prove that we are in real danger and that global warming is real. The fact of the matter is that global warming is very real despite what these skeptics might say and we need to learn from it so that we may correct these problems. If we don’t the, penalties could be catastrophic.
So what is global warming and what causes it? Global warming is the increase of the average temperature of earth’s atmosphere. The process of global warming works by the sun’s light waves entering earth’s atmosphere and heating up the earth and is then re-radiated back into outer space in the form of infrared waves. Under normal conditions some of the infrared waves are trapped on earth by its atmosphere. This keeps the temperature of earth at equilibrium so that its inhabitants can survive. Under our current conditions, however, the infrared waves that used to leave earth’s atmosphere are trapped along with the usual amount and this is causing the temperature of our earth to change from its usual equilibrium to a hotter climate which is dangerous to our survival. These infrared waves are trapped by the thickening of our earth’s atmosphere. This occurs from the huge quantities of human carbon dioxide and also other greenhouse gasses that are added to the atmosphere every minute. Greenhouse gasses are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. Some are naturally occurring but some are caused by humans burning fossil fuels. Some greenhouse gasses are a good thing. If we didn’t have greenhouse gases the average temperature of the earth would be zero degrees Fahrenheit. Under our current conditions however the concentration of greenhouse gases, is increasing and this is causing the temperature of our earth to rise dangerously. This is the basic idea of how global warming is happening.
So, where are these greenhouse gasses coming from? The first and most well known of the greenhouse gasses is carbon dioxide. It is the most well know because it accounts for about 80 percent of the greenhouse gasses and can come from the most places. Carbon dioxide is recycled by the process of photosynthesis when green plants and other organisms transfer light energy. Photosynthesis transfers carbon dioxide into oxygen and other organic compounds. But under our current conditions there is too much of the carbon dioxide to allow this cycle to change it to oxygen so the carbon dioxide goes to our atmosphere. Methane is the second largest amount of the greenhouse gasses, but its percentage is only at 17. Methane occurs when plants decay and there is not too much air. It is sometimes called swamp gas because it is mostly found near water and swamps. Nitrous oxide accounts for 6 percent of the greenhouse gasses. It occurs naturally from oceans and the bacteria in soil. It is used mostly for an anesthetic because it deadens pain, commonly known as laughing gas. This is the most potent of the greenhouse gasses because it lasts for around 100 years in our atmosphere, which is longer then any other greenhouse gas. The last greenhouse gas is fluorocarbons which make up about 5 percent of the greenhouse gasses. Fluorocarbons are basically any group of synthetic organic compounds that contain fluorine and carbon. Most forms of this can easily go from gas to liquid or vise versa. The current form that is produced in the U.S. is HFC which is used in refrigerators and air conditioners. All of these greenhouse gasses are contributing to global warming and if we do not take action against these the future looks pretty...
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