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Global Warming

Essay by   •  May 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,249 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,169 Views

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Global warming has become a serious issue during the twentieth century. It has gained popular media attention as well. There are several campaigns supported by politicians such as Al Gore, Alicia Keys, and Wyclef Jean, among others, to "stop global warming" and educate us on the precautions we need to take to do so. "Get green" is a popular slogan found on t-shirts and there are even commercials that promote products such as SMART cars to reduce global warming. But what exactly is global warming? Why is it so important?

Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes). These changes can have a major effect on us and the world we live in. For example, global warming can cause droughts, thus intensifying the fight over the world's water. Doctors even warn global warming will bring more cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks. "The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car,' said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis." If that doesn't hit close to home, global warming can even affect the foods we like to eat. Get ready for a lot more chicken dinners: Wild pacific salmon have already vanished from 40 percent of their traditional habitats in the Northwest and the NRDC warns warmer temperatures are going to erase 41 percent of their habitat by 2045. Say goodbye to lobster dinners too. As the chilly waters of New England warm up, the American lobster has been withering at an alarming rate from New York to Massachusetts. Our leisure activities are even affected by global warming. lopes on the East Coast last year closed months ahead of time due to warmer weather, some losing as much as a third of their season. The effects of global warming are all around us. No wonder, it is inevitable that scientists come up with the cause of global warming.

Today, there is much debate about what causes global warming. At first, it was widely accepted that CO2 emissions was the primary cause of an increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere via the 'greenhouse effect. Lately, many have switched their position on this view. Former Vice President, Al Gore, one of the most famous global warming advocates, in an interview with Joseph Watson from Newsweek admitted that the majority of global warming that occurred until 2001 was not primarily caused by CO2, in fact, only forty percent of global warming was caused by carbon dioxide. There continues to be an ongoing debate. Opposers to carbon dioxide being responsible for global warming raise valid points:

1) Global temperatures have always been changing despite Co2 increases. There is much evidence to support this. Take for example, the icecap on Kilimanjaro. It has been melting since the 1800s, long before human emissions from carbon dioxide could have influenced the global climate, and satellites do not detect a warming trend in the region; deforestation at the foot of the mountain is the likely explanation for the melting trend. Also, most of the warming in the past century occurred before 1940, before CO2 emissions could have been a major factor. Between 1940 and 1970 temperatures fell even as CO2 levels increased.

2) CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of about 97% of water vapor and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, and N2O. CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere. While water vapor and clouds, which we can't control are thought to be responsible for 60% of the "Greenhouse effect."

3) CO2 does not hold heat. Co2 does not hold in heat! It can only absorb 8% of radiation frequencies available and only about 1%

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