Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Higher temperatures threaten dangerous consequences: drought, disease, floods, and lost ecosystems. From sweltering heat to rising seas, global warming's effects have already begun. Many people still believe that since the earth is so big, human beings cannot possibly have any major impact on the way the planet operates. The truth is we have grown so numerous and our technologies have become so powerful that we are now capable of having a significant influence on many parts of the earth's environment (Gore 22). Without the help of the human race, and the listening ears of our politicians, we are going to leave this extreme crisis to the next generation.
Everyone can see the effects of global warming. Hurricane Katrina is the most recent event to hit our nation, and Japan just recently set an all-time record for typhoons. The science textbooks had to be rewritten in 2004 because they used to say, "It's impossible to have hurricanes in the South Atlantic." But that year, for the first time, a hurricane hit Brazil (Gore 84). The most dramatic effect of global warming is the accelerating melting in the Arctic. When the ice melts it raises the sea level, and when it's finished melting, coastal property will eventually be 40 feet under water- leaving over 100 million people homeless. If we continue to see these rates rise and do nothing about it, there will be serious health problems, more extreme weather conditions, billion dollar industries will go bankrupt (skiing and wineries), and it will cause ecological catastrophes.
The history of the problem stems back to the 1960's when global warming was first discovered and tested. It was discovered that the CO2 levels were now increasing more rapidly than every before. Studies show now that the top 10 hottest years on earth have been in the last 14 years, with the hottest being 2005. Also, in the past 650,000 years, the CO2 concentration never went above 300 parts per year. As of now, it's almost reached 400. Scientists predict that 50 years from now, that number will be above 600 (Gore 64). If we burn less fossil fuels it will reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. The more CO2 we have, the thicker the ozone layer is and the less heat we let out of our atmosphere. When we reach the levels we were at for the 650,000 years before 1960, Global Warming will discontinue. There is proof and evidence gathered in the data showing our rapid incline of heat and CO2 in the atmosphere. Although there is a complicated explanation of the relationship between temperature and CO2, the less CO2, the lower the temperature. There are many causes of the increased CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, but one of the most devastating is the heavy carbon dioxide being released from the power plants. Coal from burning the fossil fuels emit tons more CO2 than natural gas and oil. Carbon dioxide emitted from cars is also a huge problem- about 20% of the U.S.'s CO2 emission comes from our cars. There are also dangerous amounts of CO2 coming from trucks, airplanes, and buildings. The lack of trees and deforestation also plays a big role and is responsible for 25% of all CO2 emitted in the atmosphere. The good thing is that global warming isn't going completely unnoticed. At least 16 cases, drawing on a variety of legal cases, are pending in federal or state court. These cases have to do with legal wars on oil, electric power, auto, and other companies whose emissions are linked to global warming. The best and biggest solution would definitely be for our countries to work together to make laws against letting such high amounts of CO2 enter the atmosphere. There should be very harsh punishments for these companies that emit so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and laws to make them change them. Some say that since Hurricane Katrina's fury was powered by unusually warm Gulf water, and since such warmth...
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