Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface (Mastrandrea n. pag.). According to scientists, humans are the main cause of global warming. Scientists say global carbon dioxide emissions should be cut in half over the next fifty years or the effects may be irreversible (Eilperin n. pag.). The two main activities that humans do to contribute to global warming are burning fossil fuels and clearing land. Most of the fossil fuels come from burning in automobiles, factories and electric power plants which provide energy for houses and office buildings (McClure n. pag.). Continued global warming can cause harm to plants and animals that live in the sea and force plants and animals on land to move to new habitats. It could also change weather patterns that cause flooding, drought and an increase in damaging storms. Global warming could melt the polar ice caps enough to raise the sea level, and in certain parts of the world human disease could spread and crops being harvested could decline (Mastrandea n. pag.).
Also, during photosynthesis, the process trees and other plants use to make food; they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Clearing the land contributes to an increase in carbon dioxide by decreasing the rate at which it is removed from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Some scientists say that the increase in greenhouse gases does not make much of a difference in the temperature. They instead think that natural processes could have caused global warming. Those processes include the increase in the energy the sun emits. But most of climatologists believe that increase in the sun’s energy has only slightly contributed to global warming. (Mastrandea n. pag.).
However, global warming affects so much more of the Earth such as harming ocean life. The ocean’s surface water could become warmer, increasing the risk of tension on ocean ecosystems, such as coral reefs. High water temperatures can cause a damaging process called coral bleaching. When corals are bleached, they lose the algae that give them their color and nourishment. The corals turn white and unless water temperatures cool, they die (Mastrandea n. pag.). Increased temperature also helps spread diseases that affect sea organisms. The world’s ocean has absorbed about twenty times as much as the atmosphere over the past half century, leading to higher temperatures not only in surface waters but also in water 1,500 feet below the surface. The increases in water temperature are well outside the bounds of natural climate variation (“Human Impact” n. pag.).
In addition, the burning of coal, oil and natural gas are changing the configuration of the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. These human activities have led to increased atmosphere concentration of a number of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons and ozone in the lower part of the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is...