Effects of Global Warming

Essay by rpmonkey80Junior High, 9th gradeA, October 2007

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Global warming is a concept many people use more commonly these days. Lots of facts, rumors, and suspicions are told by, and taught to, Americans of all ages around the country, and even internationally. Basically, the Earth has an ozone layer to protect it from getting too hot or too cold. (See Fig. 1) However, with pollution, using too much electricity, burning fossil fuels, and many other things people are doing, greenhouse gases have been added to the ozone layer. Now, the sun can come through just as easily, but instead of most of it bouncing back into space like it used to (to keep the Earth at a constant temperature), the thicker layer is trapping more of the heat rays in. Called the Greenhouse Effect, this, while adding to the overall temperature of the Earth, is causing other drastic changes that will be discussed. Global warming has affected, and is still affecting, three major things on this planet: the environment, the animals, and the temperature.

Since the ocean temperatures are rising, glaciers are melting. In fact, in 2005, the ice cap covering the Arctic Ocean shrank to its smallest size since researchers began keeping records a century ago. Also, in the past five years, scientists reported that many Greenland glaciers are sliding faster to the sea and melting at their edges. This causes the sea levels to rise at uncontrollable rates and threaten some coastlines and small islands. During the past century, the sea level has already risen 10-15cm, and by the year 2100, scientists predict it will rise 50cm more. Eventually, all the ice will be gone. (See Fig. 2) What about all those animals that live on the ice? Polar bears, seals, and other creatures that make their homes there will swim on forever, eventually drowning in...