Climatologists (scientists who study climate) have analyzed the global warming that has occurred since the late 1800's. A majority of climatologists have concluded that human activities are responsible for most of the warming. Human activities are throwing our natural greenhouse gas effect out of balance (Norby & Luo, 2004:282). Basically, we are surrounded by a blanket of air called the atmosphere which has kept the temperature on earth just right for centuries (Climate and Society). Just as the glass in a greenhouse holds the suns warmth inside, so the atmosphere traps the suns heat near the earths surface and keeps the earth warm. We call this the natural greenhouse effect because it makes the earth a perfect planet for growing and living things. Because of this blanket, for hundreds of years the earths atmosphere has changed very little. It has kept the right temperature for plants, animal and humans to survive quite comfortably (Norby & Luo, 2004:282). Greenhouse gasses are both natural and manmade. These gasses are Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) and Nitrous Oxide (Miller, 2005:475). This following essay will detail various human activities as well as other forces that are affecting the natural greenhouse gas effect. Furthermore, it will address the issue of global warming as well as outline some of the many consequences of global warming.
The main human activities that contribute to global warming are the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and the clearing of land. Most of the burning occurs in automobiles, in factories, and in electric power plants that provide energy for houses and office buildings (Juery Rohrer, 2007). The burning of fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide, whose chemical formula is CO2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that slows the escape of heat into space. Trees and other plants remove CO2 from the air during photosynthesis, the process they use to produce food(Miller,...
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