Research Project Climate Change

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Penn Foster Career School

CLIMATE CHANGE
Global Warming

Cristina Miller
Student Number 22045543
Introduction to Biology, SCI 120
Research Project 25088100
November 20, 2014

INTRODUCTION
Climate change is the variation of the weather in global scale which include changes in temperature, precipitation, nebulosity and other phenomena. These variations last for an extended period of time (decades to millions of years) and they can be caused by external forces (variations on the solar activity, orbital variations, impact of meteorites), internal forces (volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics, El Nino), or by results of the human activity (global warming).

Global Warming
There are many questions about global warming, from its causes to its effects, and many people even question whether or not it even exists. Global warming is described as the increase of the average temperature of the Earth caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities, such as deforestation, use of fertilizers, fossil fuel combustion and cement production. According to the global warming theory, the intensification of industrial activities during the twentieth century (based on the fossil fuel combustion such as petrol and coal) increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The increase of the global temperature and the new composition of the atmosphere lead to several alterations which affect the elevation of the sea level, heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall, ocean acidification and species extinctions, to name a few.

Greenhouse effect and the emission of CO2
Greenhouse gases keep the Earth warm through a process called the greenhouse effect. If it were not for the greenhouse gases trapping heat in the atmosphere, the Earth would be a very cold place. Greenhouse gases are any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming. They include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and water vapor. Greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, but the elevated levels are directly blamed to human activities, specially the production in excess of carbon dioxide when any material containing carbon is burned, such as oil, coal, natural gas, or wood. However it is controversial whether the human activities are to blame for the global warming due to the emission of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide represents a very small percentage of the gases in the atmosphere (only 0.032%) and it is immediately absorbed by the vegetation, in all kind of environments, without any possibility of accumulation anywhere. The population that consumes CO2 (plants) is much bigger than the population that is emitting this gas (men and machines). Besides, the energy used in the process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere is endless: the solar energy. Mainly, the determining factors of the climate change are basically the energy of the sun or insulation and the speed of the rotation and translation of the Earth.

Is Global Warming Real?
Although the whole world is aware of the global warming issue and is afraid of what its impacts could do in the coming future, there are those who still believe global warming is a fiction and does not exist. The global warming debate in many parts of the earth is ranging more than before. One of the world’s best known climate change sceptic John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, has claimed that the theory of man-made climate change is no longer scientifically credible and rising global temperatures points to a natural phenomenon within a developing eco-system. According to Coleman, global warming has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid, and efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have...
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