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Global Warming

Essay by   •  May 1, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,211 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,355 Views

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Global warming is a worldwide issue that affects everything, including your health, your family and the world around you. Global warming is defined as the continuing rise in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. The instrumental temperature record shows that the average global surface temperature increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius or 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit during the 20th century alone. These numbers indicate that during the 21st century, the global surface temperature is likely to rise another 2.7 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit. This many not seem like a life-changing situation to many people, and they may continue to shrug it off and let it take its course. However, the problem that started out not seeing like such a big deal is turning into a problem affecting the whole world.

As with many new discoveries, there are the skeptics wondering if this new discovery is actually valid. These skeptics have varied their questions from the beginning, what caused it, and if this is just a natural part of a cycle. One of the most popular things people will bring up when talking about global warming is the fact that summers are still hot, and the winters are still cold. This however, is not completely correct. While these temperatures still feel somewhat normal for us, measurements over the last century show that the Earth's climate has warmed over all, in all seasons, and in most regions. The skeptics will spew numbers such as how the 2003-2004 winter was the coldest ever recorded in the northeastern United States. However, a single year of cold weather in one region does not indicate a trend in the global climate, instead that winter would be factored in to the long-term average of that region.

Another common skeptic question is that accurate weather predictions even just a few days in advance are hard to come by, so why should people believe that we have predictions that will happen decades from now. It is true that it is difficult to predict the weather but it is easier to make a climate prediction. Climate prediction relies on other, longer ranging factors. An example of this would be you may not know the exact temperature for Florida, but based on the climate, you would come to find that typically it would hot and warm from past readings of the climate. Today's climate models can now reproduce the observed global average climates over the past century and beyond. These findings have reinforced the scientist's confidence in the global warming research.

Another thing that is essential in understanding global warming is the causes. There are many causes, however there are some that leave a bigger impact on the Earth's climate. And with this information, people can have a greater understanding in how to change the Earth's future.

The biggest cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that are powered by fossil fuels. People have started relying more heavily on electricity and unfortunately much of this comes from coal burning power plants that release a massive amount of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Overall, around 40% of the CO2 emissions come from electricity production alone, and burning coal accounts for 93% of the emission from the electric utility industry. Every day, more and more electrical devices are added to the market, and it does not look like at the rate the world goes through electricity that the dependence will slow down much at all, if any.

Another cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide



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