Friday, February 24, 2012

Global Warming Causes, Effects, and Controversy

Global Warming Causes, Effects, and Controversy
By Angela Ralano

image: depositphotos
Living things are able to survive on Earth because of its atmosphere. Without it, there would be no life and Earth would be just another inhabitable planet like the other planets of our solar system.
Because of our atmosphere, greenhouse gases are able to trap in heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. In many ways, this is a very good thing because we don't want the Earth to be too cold. However, the problem is that due to pollution from burning fossil fuels, car exhaust, and other chemicals we use, we are building up too much of the greenhouse gases too quickly for the Earth's biosystem to remain stable.

The greenhouse gases are:
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Water Vapor (H20)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous Oxide (N20)
Carbon Dioxide
Scientist have reported an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide due to our reliance on fossil fuels. Plants help to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere because they use it during photosynthesis and then release oxygen.
However, not only have humans been busy driving their cars (car exhaust is one of the biggest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions), but they've also been busy destroying the world's rainforests. If the rainforest continues to be destroyed at its present rate then there won't be enough trees and plants available to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from pollution.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
The other 4 greenhouse gases also contribute to the global warming effect. However, chlorofluorocarbons aren't as much of a problem as they once were. At one time, all aerosol cans were powered with chlorofluorocarbons. Thankfully, their use was stopped when scientists realized what they were doing to the environment. Unfortunately, their effect will remain in the atmosphere for years despite that they are no longer in use.

Methane Gas
One source of methane is from cows. There are a lot of cows in this world because they are raised for beef and these cows have flatulence in the form of methane gas.

Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is mainly formed by the combustion of fossil fuels and through farming practices, such as certain fertilizers.

The Effect on Our Climate
One thing all these gases have in common is that they help to trap in more heat.
The problem with this is that this could result in a climate shift for the Earth. The Earth's climate is constantly shifting, but usually it takes centuries to change. Due to global warming a climate change could occur much more quickly than it would otherwise occur.
No one is entirely sure what will happen, but a temperature increase of just a few degrees may cause flooding in coastal regions, drought, excessive hurricane activity, and extinction of many species.

Not Everyone Believes in Global Warming
It is also important to note that not everyone is in agreement about global warming. There are many people who believe it is all a scam.
However, even if global warming didn't exist and even if it wasn't true (and I believe that it IS true or I wouldn't be writing this), it still makes good sense to decrease the amount of pollution we create and it makes good sense to protect our rainforests.

More pollution and more deforestation will never be good for the Earth and I doubt that anyone will disagree with this statement.

About the Author:
Angela has a master's degree in psychology and is deeply concerned about the environment. She maintains the websites Environment Links Directory and Rainforest Fauna.

Article Source:,-Effects,-and-Controversy&id=6877402

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