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Global Warming And The Carbon Cycle

847 words - 4 pages

Relating Chemical Systems and Equilibrium to Technology, Society, and the Environment

An increase in average global temperature/an increase in extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tornadoes
Is the carbon cycle involved?
Recent scientific evidence indicates that humans have upset the carbon cycle, leaving more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, burning biomass such as ethanol and wood, creating cement and releasing other chemicals into the atmosphere is upsetting the natural flow of carbon.
Greenhouse gases in our atmosphere act almost like a blanket between the earth and frigid space. At lower levels, greenhouse gases trap some heat in our atmosphere while letting other heat radiate out into space. However, as the layer of greenhouse gases around our planet grows thicker more heat is trapped in our atmosphere, less radiates away and the earth slowly heats up.
Hopefully you now understand how complex the flow of carbon is on our planet and how we as humans are currently impacting its natural cycles.
What happens in when volcanoes erupt (extreme weather condition)?
Several processes move carbon from the geosphere to the atmosphere.
Volcanic eruptions release carbon dioxide from molten rock beneath the earth's surface.
The production of cement that's used for homes, skyscrapers, streets and other hardscapes around the world releases an enormous amount of carbon dioxide. You see, cement is made from limestone taken from the geosphere. Cement production involves heating limestone and releasing its stored carbon as carbon dioxide.
Burning fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel and coal releases carbon into the atmosphere. Every time you drive your gas car you are burning carbon that was stored underground for millions of years!
Where on earth do you think this shift is most visible?
You can't see the signs of climate change from one day to the next, but if you compare from year to year, the clues are everywhere! For example, as the Earth has become warmer, the average sea level around the world has risen by nearly 7 inches in the last 100 years, glaciers all over the world are shrinking, and many bird species are shifting northward. Some of the most obvious changes are happening in the Arctic, where the amount of ice in the ocean has decreased dramatically. Some signs of climate change include: higher temperatures, more droughts, wilder weather melting glaciers, warmer oceans etc.

What are some possible causes of this shift?
The main reason the climate is changing is because...

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