The Causes and Effects of Global Warming

Essay by jenjones1901University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

download word file, 11 pages 5.0 1 reviews

This paper was written for a Global Issues class. It includes an introduction, a section which explains what the greenhouse effect is and a section on evidence that suggests it is occurring. It explains the effects of global warming, including the impact on ecosystems, animal species, plant species, and human species. The paper ends by offering possible solutions, and a conclusion. Also includes 2 references.


Global warming is easiest described as "human-induced climate change" (Lutz, 3). It occurs because of a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Many factors contribute to the abundance of these gases. Global warming is expected to increase the average temperature of the Earth's surface, raise sea levels, and change precipitation patterns (Lutz, 3). There are many potential impacts of these changes. The Earth could see an increase in extreme weather and will have impacts on humans, animals, and ecosystems (Lutz 24, Godrej 4).

There is a lot of uncertainty as to how much and how fast the climate will change (Lutz, 3). There is also debate about how serious the consequences will be (Lutz, 5). Since all of the nations in the world contribute equally to the emissions of greenhouse gases (Lutz 15), the solution will have to come on a global basis (Godrej 4).

The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect is rather simple to understand. Take the name, greenhouse effect. Think of the Earth as one big greenhouse. The glass walls of a greenhouse let light in, but trap heat inside. The atmosphere constitutes the glass walls (Lutz, 3). This is a natural occurrence. There are gases in the atmosphere that let in light from the sun, but absorb the outgoing heat from the Earth's surface and emit that heat in all directions (Lutz, 3).

Greenhouse gases make up less than 1%...