Global Warming: Causes, Effects and Solutions

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas, Climate change Pages: 8 (3032 words) Published: November 9, 2011
Global Warming: Causes, Effects and Solutions

"'The future is here. Greenhouse warming is no longer just a possibility, it is happening now,' said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund" ("Greenhouse Warning"). Representatives from more than 160 countries met together in the first ten days of December this year to come to an agreement on a treaty to slow down global warming by setting the limits on the countries' greenhouse gases emissions, which include the emissions of carbon dioxide the industries, machines, and cars produce, to preserve the world as we know it, threatened by the consequences of the global warming. In spite of the causes of the global warming, people [humanity] can implement the solutions to deal with the effects of it on the international, state and personal levels.

Global warming is commonly referred to as an increase in the temperature of the lowest layers of Earth's atmosphere. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Primary greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Carbon dioxide, as well as other greenhouse gases, is a very important factor in the vital cycles which sustain life on this planet: plants use CO in photosynthesis and release oxygen necessary to maintain the lives of animal species, who through exhaling return CO in atmosphere, completing the cycle. Greenhouse effect is a natural process which made life on Earth feasible. Our planet's surface temperature would have been 33 degrees Celsius cooler, -18 C instead of present 15 C, if not for naturally occurring greenhouse gases. The temperature of Earth's atmosphere is regulated by a process in which the quantity of energy Earth gets from the Sun is poised by the amount returned back into space. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere let the energy in and prevent it from escaping, directing it back to Earth's surface. By the greenhouse effect, in the discussions of the global warming and other environmental problems, people mean "the enhanced effect which is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases from human sources".

Science brings different theories about the primary causes of the global warming of the atmosphere. Eventually, the processes that happen in the environment are so complex even on local scale, that analyzing causes and effects of global processes (e.g., global warming) leads scientists to controversial conclusions. Most scientists agree on certain facts. Arguments start upon interpretation of these facts. Concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which the scientists agree determines the temperature of Earth, has increased from a value of about 275 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to about 360 parts per million in 1996. The rate of increase has also been accelerating in this period of time. The researches made by different groups of scientists came nearly with the same results on the rise of the near surface atmospheric temperature. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) officially concluded in 1996 that it has increased by somewhere in between 0.5 to 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit since the last century. The sea level has risen four to ten inches during the same period of time. The main issue which arises not only scientific, but also political arguments is mans contribution to the current warming of atmosphere. In 1924 M. Milankovitch, a Serbian mathematician, worked out a theory about the causes of changes in the Earth's ice cover. He supposed that small variations in earth's orbit can lead to the "extreme" changes in climate. In the period of about forty one thousand years the axis' of rotation angle changes between 22 and 24.5 degrees resulting in melting or expanding of the glacier ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere...

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