By Julie Purvis
June 13, 2010
Mitigation Strategies and Solutions for Global Warming page 2
Take a look at the world around us and think what it may look like in 20 years. Every day this environment is changing and not always for the better. Things we do in everyday life are destroying our environment. For instance, driving cars, using electricity from coal-fired powerplants, or heating our homes with oil or natural gas, all have devastating affects on our environment. One of those affects is global warming. There are people who dispute the effects of global warming, but scientist have proven that levels of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased by over 10% since 1950, while average temperatures have risen by over 0.5°C/1°F in the same period (n.d. Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect). What is global warming? Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s surface air and oceans. This is a result of greenhouse gas; such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane that traps heat and light from the sun in the Earths atmosphere. This is known as the greenhouse effect. A good example of the greenhouse effect would be your automobile. When you leave your car parked in the sun on a hot day with all the windows up, the temperature of your car will rise. This happens because the heat and light from the sun can enter into the car through the window, but it cannot exit. This is what the greenhouse effects do to our earth. The heat and light can get through the atmosphere, but it cannot get out. As a result, the temperature of earth’s surface air and oceans rises. Although the greenhouse effect is what allows us to live on earth, if too many greenhouse gases get trapped in Earths atmosphere, earth can get unusually warm. The unusual rise in temperature would lead to several catastrophe events, such as the deaths of many pant, animals, and humans because they would have no food to eat. Plants like corn, wheat, and other fruits and vet gables could not stand the heat and would die. This would cause us to have less food to eat, but it would also limit food to animals as well. If animals like cows do not have food to eat, they will not survive. Then we do not have cow for meat. It would be a chain reaction, when one thing happens it leads to another and so on. All people, plants, and animals would gradually die of hunger. Global warming also affects our oceans and forests. The rise in water temperature is killing algae who are vital to the ocean’s life. The algae is a food Mitigation Strategies and Solutions for Global Warming page 3
source for many different animals in the ocean; without it they cannot survive. Acid Rain is another product of the pollutants that cause global warming. Acid Rain is devastating to everything it touches. Some forest fires can be contributed to global warming; the excessive heat leaves forests extremly dry, which catches on fire. In 1998, 485,000 acres burned in Florida, due to excessive heat from global warming (www.climatehotmap.org). Global warming could completely destroy the environment in which we live; it is up to us to find ways to slow down the effects of global warming. We have discussed what global warming is and the effects it has on our environment, now let’s talk about what causes global warming. Many different things contribute to the cause of global warming. One of the largest causes is pollutants that are released into our atmosphere. One of the largest producers of these pollutants that cause global warming, is the making of electricity. To make electricity, fossil fuels are burned, such as oil and petroleum. When these fossil fuels are burned, they produce pollutants that are released in to the air. These pollutants are what cause...