There are a lot of important issues facing us lately, war, HIV/Aids, famine. None though, are quite as pressing or could have as much affect on the whole world as Global warming (short of a nuclear holocaust).
What is the green house effect all about?Global warming is basically a rise in the earths average temperatures; this is brought about by a rise in certain greenhouse gases: which is what causes the greenhouse effect. The greenhouses trap heat radiated from the some thus warming the earth and making it inhabitable, but as we burn fossil fuels and clear forests, the levels of these gases continue to rise and so more and more heat is trapped. As these temperature changes continue it has adverse affects on global weather patterns and many species are put at risk of extinction because of this. If these heating trends continue our entire planet is at risk of disasterHow fast is the earth heating up?There is no single thermometer measuring the global temperature. Instead, individual thermometer measurements taken every day at several thousand stations over the land areas of the world are combined with thousands more measurements of sea surface temperature taken from ships moving over the oceans to produce an estimate of global average temperature every month.
From these records, eleven of the last twelve years (19952006) rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global temperature (since 1850). The total global temperature increase between the 1850s to 2005 is 0.76°C and the rate of warming averaged over the last 50 years is nearly twice that for the last 100 years.
An increasing rate of warming has taken place over the last 25 years, and 11 of the 12 warmest years on record have occurred in the past 12 years. Above the surface,