Individual Research Paper for Global Perspectives

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‘The single biggest environmental environmental and humanitarian crisis of our time. The Earth's atmosphere is overloaded with heat-trapping carbon dioxide, which threatens large-scale disruptions in climate with disastrous consequences’ (nrdc.org).

Climate change has been a natural phenomenon happening for centuries, for example, the different seasons during times of the year. However, ever since the industrialization and urbanization of the world, CO2 levels recorded by NASA, Gapminder, and EPA has evidently shown the drastic increase. So much so that Al Gore, a famous politician and activist in America, made a film called The Inconvenient Truth, showcasing the direct impact humans have on the earth. According to National Geographic, the problem which causes heat to be trapped in the atmosphere are the gas emissions. Several gases are generalized under the greenhouse gases title. Greenhouse gases include CO2 - from fossil fuels and deforestation, Methane - created from pastoral processes and unhealthy waste management, Nitrous Oxide - essentially formed from the use of fertilizers, and Fluorinated gases - generally in accordance with industrial methods (epa.gov).

Source: IPCC (2007)

Additionally, with every cause, there are effects, these effects are ambiguous, ranging from melting ice caps to evolving ecosystems to floods. To process discovery.com's article, the main effects of global warming are: rising of sea levels - everywhere, due to the heat which melts ice caps and glaciers; heat waves; storms and floods created - as a result of escalated temperatures atmospherically and ocean-wise; droughts; diseases - infrequent waves of “disease-carrying creatures” triggered by the warm temperatures; economic consequences; war; biodiversity and ecosystem detriment. The causes of global warming - accumulative greenhouse gases - have large impacts on the environment and ultimately shape the way we live, as there are innumerable effects evolved from global warming. Not only do the ways we live affect global warming now, but also affect our future circumstances.

Gapminder.org show statistics of CO2 emissions since 1820’s, where every person emitted less than 3 tons of CO2 per year. Up till 2011, the highest CO2 emission per person goes up to 21 tons annually. The country that emitted the most was China, which each person emitted 6.8 tons per year, and the yearly rate of total CO2 emitted was 9.11 million tons from the burning of fossil fuels. The rate of carbon dioxide emissions sky-rocketed as a result from the burning of fossil fuels. This may have been due to the industrialization and modernization of the world, but we have crossed the line by far. The knowledge of this is crucial - carbon dioxide traps heat at the atmosphere and is a main cause of global warming.

If we carry on in our current situation, emitting perilous greenhouse gases through deforestation, burning fossil fuels, utilizing fertilizers and other harmful agricultural activities, all effects currently caused by global warming will proliferate and many components of the environment will fluctuate. National Geographic affirms such predictions that “sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches by the end of the century”; “floods and droughts will become more common”, an example is the rainfall in Ethiopia, which “could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years”; fresh water will become a scarce, “if the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru continues to melt at it’s current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either”; severe storms and hurricanes are anticipated; and ecosystems will metamorphose, which may result in the fluctuating breeding of creatures, shown from concurrent trends of skinny polar bears ever since the ice has been melting - approximately the 1980’s.

As claimed by NASA's climate change site, the Arctic sea ice has...
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