Global Warming

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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What is global warming? Global warming is when energy is absorb from the earth's surface by carbon dioxide (CO2) and many other gases in the atmosphere causing the warming effect in the earth atmosphere. (C.55.54) This warming effect is what's causing the earth's temperature to rise and create many problems that will occur in the coming years. A warmer earth speeds up the global water cycle, the exchange of water among the oceans, atmosphere, and land. Higher temperature causes more evaporation and soil tends to dry out faster. Increased amounts of water in the atmosphere will mean more rain overall. Such events can cause flooding, soil erosion, and even loss of life. (C55.54) With industrialization and population growth, greenhouse gases (GHG's) emissions from human activities have consistently increased. These steady additions have begun to tip the delicate balance, significantly increasing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and enhancing their insulating effects.

(C55.54) A variety of activities contribute to GHG gases emissions. Burning of coal, oil, and natural gas releases an astonishing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's). The effectiveness of any given GHG will depend on the magnitude of the increase in its concentration, it's lifetime in the atmosphere, and the wavelength of radiation that it absorbs.

A possible prelude to global warming is the decades of the 1980's. During this, time eleven of the warmest years this century was recorded. (C.55.54) This warming of the atmosphere will produce more violent storms and larger death tolls. Lighting strikes will set massive forest fires causing more CO2 to be release into the atmosphere. Once productive land will become permanently dry wastelands, due to the fact that rainfall in many areas will decrease or may stop all together. In other areas, rainfall may be so intense...