Global Warming Essay

1419 words - 6 pages

Global Warming

First discovered at the turn of the century by the Swedish scientist Arrhenius, global warming was initially thought to only cause increased greenhouse gases from coal combustion emissions. It wasn’t until fifty years later that the real causes and effects of global warming would be discovered. A British scientist by the name of Calendar correlated the 10% increase of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide between 1850 and 1940 with the observed warming of northern Europe and North America, which began in the 1880's. As for the cause of global warming, scientists generally believe that both the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Human activities such as the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas contribute heavily to global warming. Other major causes include deforestation, methane gas emissions, and the release of nitrous oxide chemicals into the atmosphere. The gasses are released primarily by rice cultivation, cattle and livestock populations, gas pipelines, and landfills. Deforestation is a big problem as far as global warming because trees remove Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, but release large quantities when burned. Methane gas emissions contribute because they are trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and reflect light, which is usually released in a clean, healthy atmosphere. The energy burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories is responsible for about eighty percent of society's carbon dioxide emissions, about twenty-five percent of U.S. methane emissions, and about twenty percent of global nitrous oxide emissions.

The evidence of global warming has been a care and concern of many over the past couple of decades. Along with this increase in the global heat index, predicted to occur within the next half century are dangerously high levels of pollution and added water in global waters, increased pestilence and disease, large quantities of killed fish due to polluted waters, and the entire depletion of many global ecosystems. Although it seems far off for us, the ecological and economic impact on future generations could be catastrophic. Plant respiration and the decomposition of such organic matter release more than ten times the Carbon Dioxide than is released by human activities. The earth is only equipped to deal with the Carbon Dioxide that is a result of photosynthesis, and any amount left gets recirculated in the atmosphere and collects, which has led to the destruction of the Ozone layer of the atmosphere. What has changed in the last few hundred years is the additional release of carbon dioxide by human activities. Global warming will also have a drastic impact on the fish population and other aquatic species in two senses. Oceans and lakes around the world may become too warm for the fish that currently inhabit those areas, and at the same time warmer temperatures may also enable...

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