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Global Warming: Term Paper Mostly On Effects.

3089 words - 12 pages

The world has been around for billions of years and never has any creature affected it in such a way as human kind has. However most of the affects have come since the Industrial Revolution, and the effects are really beginning to be seen, as we have started to change our very own global climate. Although the reality of global warming is often disputed, its effects on our world are too threatening to be ignored considering the evidence backing it up.The world has been warming due to global warming and the greenhouse effect, and the temperature is expected to climb even higher. Globally, temperature has gone up 1C (1.8F) over the past century (Appenzeller), but most of the coldest, highest, or remote spots, like Alaska and Antarctica, have warmed up to 3.5F in the past 45 years (Luhr). Though the planet has warmed considerably, 90% of it has gone directly unnoticed into the water. On Signy Island, near Antarctica, dozens of lakes have warmed more than 1C (1.8F) in the past 15 years alone. Also, the oceans increased 1F, and at depths 0.5F, but it is the sheer volume that matters (Radford). This warming has occurred because we've pouring CO2 and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere for centuries faster than plants and oceans can keep up. The greenhouse effect occurs naturally, but it is augmented by human activities that introduce more natural gases into the atmosphere.The way greenhouse effect works is as the Earth absorbs incoming solar radiation and then tries to cool down by emitting long wavelength radiation, this radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases and can't escape causing the average annual temperature to rise (Greenhouse). Climate experts generally agree that global warming must have a part in the world's temperature (Kuchment). Even President Bill Clinton knew that global warming was a threat in his radio address on July 25, 1998. "Global warming is real; the risks it poses are real; and the American people have the right to know it and a responsibility to do something about it..." Even so some people argue that the world has been warming at a steady pace in a cycle. Ice cores show that between ice ages there were great swings in greenhouse gases and temperature of the atmosphere. However, today we are pushing the CO2 levels and temperatures past a height it last reached ages ago when Earth's climate was completely different (Kunzig).The last time the Earth recovered from the ice age the temperature increased only 5 to 9F, but we are already on our way past that. Since CO2 levels are expected to double by 2050, the IPCC projects the temperature to rise another 3 to 11F by the end of the century, and 1.4 to 4F by 2050 (Threat). Water temperatures will also rise dramatically, and warming will be far more pronounced in areas of high latitude because the Antarctic Circumpolar Current blocks currents that bring warm water to high southern latitudes (Luhr). High altitudes will also significantly rise, warmer parts of the world may...

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