A Dangerous Threat To Antarctica Essay

699 words - 3 pages

Global warming is one of the most tumultuous topics in today’s society. Some believe it is happening as we speak, while others question its very existence, So, is it real, or is merely a hoax? There is no one answer, but evidence does overwhelmingly support the former. Surely we have all heard this word at one time or another, but few individuals actually know its true definition. Justifiably, however, global warming is not that simply explained. In layman’s terms, it is the dramatic increase in the Earth’s average air and ocean temperature since the 20th century. This increase is primarily attributed to two main culprits: the greenhouse effect and human activity, such as fossil fuel burning. In both cases, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the enemy. The greenhouse effect is the process by which atmospheric gases, like CO2 trap the Sun’s infrared energy and stop it from radiating back into space. Shockingly enough, nearly half of all sunlight produced is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. However, the greenhouse effect would not be nearly as strong if it were not for human activity. By frivolously consuming oil, coal and gas, we emit countless tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year; thus, only intensifying the greenhouse effect. As a result, it is no surprise scientists have estimated that in the last two hundred years the global temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe that does not sound like much, but consider this: it only took four degrees to bring us out of the last Ice Age. Experts agree that global warming is one of the greatest—if not the greatest—challenge facing all of humanity.
The environment around us carries the scar caused by global warming. Precipitation has increased across the globe, which has consequently caused more frequent floods, an increase in sea levels, and a higher frequency of strong storms. Lakes are drying up, islands are virtually dropping into the ocean, and the polar ice caps are disappearing. The planet is truly in peril. This paper will focus on three regions of the Earth in particular: Antarctica, the Amazon Rainforest,...

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