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Climate Change, Global Warming: Causes and Effects

Global warming is one of the most talked-about environmental issues today, because it is a problem that poses great danger not just to a specific group but to all living things around the globe. It could transform the planet we live on, cause climate change, and force many species into extinction.

What is global warming?

In a nutshell, global warming is the sustained increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere that causes climate change. This is the phenomenon that causes our planet to be warmer year by year. But global warming is not an all-new phenomenon. It was the same process that caused the passing of Ice Age, during which, the earth’s average temperature increased by 5 degrees centigrade over about 5000 years.

However, modern climate change is threatening to cause the same amount of temperature increase in a span of just a century. This entails the imminence of another Ice Age that could make many places around the world inhabitable.

What causes global warming?

There exists a controversy about the real cause of global warming. A minority of scientists are claiming that global warming is just a result of natural cycles and that there is nothing we can do about it. However, majority of climate scientists have reached a consensus that modern global warming can be traced back to mankind’s activities. Climatologists believe that the following are the primary culprits:

  1. Carbon Dioxide – released into the atmosphere by burnt coal, petroleum, and natural gas in factories, cars, and power plants.
  2. Methane – emitted into the atmosphere by rice fields, rotting garbage in landfills, mining, and pipe lines.
  3. Chlorofluorocarbons – emitted into the atmosphere by aerosol sprays.
  4. Nitrous Oxide – from inorganic or chemical fertilizers.
  5. Deforestation
What are the possible effects of global warming?

The sustained increase of the earth’s temperature can cause serious and threatening effects. Scientists fear that global warming would cause the following:

  1. Melting of ice caps
  2. Significant rise in sea levels worldwide
  3. Frequent heavy downpours and extreme wet and dry conditions of the atmosphere
  4. Large scale loss of crops
  5. Destruction of coral reefs
  6. Extinction of different species

These are the problems we will further face if global warming will not be given immediate attention. Now that we already know the problem, we should act immediately to save our planet.

Sources:

Adrian Grahams. “Global Warming Causes, Effects & Solutions.” (Posted on September 24, 2010) Retrieved on April 13, 2011 from http://www.ehow.com/facts_7226273_global-warming-causes_-effects-solutions.html

Susan Joy Hassol. “Teachers Guide to High Quality Educational Materials on Climate Change and Global Warming.” Retrieved on April 13, 2011 fromhttp://hdgc.epp.cmu.edu/teachersguide/teachersguide.htm

“Global Warming and Climate Change.” (Updated on September 6, 2010) Retrieved on April 13, 2011 from http://www.explainthatstuff.com/globalwarmingforkids.html.

“Top 10 Causes and Effects of Global Warming.” Retrieved on April 13, 2011 fromhttp://www.gstriatum.com/solarenergy/2010/11/top-10-causes-and-effects-of-global-warming/

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