Climate change and global warming have been a major topic over the last few years. It appears that you either believe in it or you don’t. However, we are asked to, as a nation, choose a side to support. Most of us have very little knowledge on the subject and are reduced to relying on what we see and hear on the news or other such programs. The cause of climate change is a debatable topic among many, for what is the true cause of climate change? Some will say that humanity is to blame; others will proclaim that the Earth is going through a natural cycle of climate change. Perhaps both are true. I chose the topic of environment due to the fact that I love our planet: Earth, and try to do as much as I possibly can to help out. I very much support the “green” movement. After reading “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver, it solidified my choice to take on the topic of the environment.
Climate change, do you know what it means or are you among the copious amounts of the population, wondering, what is it? If one were to look up the words climate change, you would be able to find numerous amounts of information on the issue. Description’s vary, the EPA states “climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended periods of times (decades or longer) (EPA); this might be confusing to some, so a much simpler description could come from Wikipedia, which states “climate change can be described as a long-term change in the weather patterns over periods of time” (Wikipedia). Regardless of the varying descriptions, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found on the topic, to educate the public. The terms climate change and global warming are fairly interchangeable, when either one is used; the speaker is referring to the same subject and information. It seems fair to say that global warming is happening and causing climate change.
Global warming is the increase of the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans. The main factor in global warming can be attributed to greenhouse gases, which are highly important to the survival of life. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. The greenhouse effect is when the sun reaches Earth’s surface, some is absorbed and warms the Earth and most of the rest is radiated back into the atmosphere at a longer wavelength than sunlight. Some of the wavelengths are absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before they are lost in space. These greenhouse gases act like mirrors and reflect back to Earth some of the heat energy. These naturally occurring gases have kept the climate stable, however, human activity since the industrial revolution, have increase the greenhouse gases (Wikipedia, Greenhouse Gas).The increase of greenhouse gas concentration, led to a substantial warming of the Earth and the sea is global warming. Meaning the man-made emission of greenhouse gases is the cause for global warming (Rohrer). This increase in greenhouse gases is resulting in an unpredictable climate that is changing rapidly (Washington). Unpredictable weather was also an issue in the novel “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver; the village of Kilango, located in the Congo, was a victim to tumultuous amounts of rain to a scorching hot drought, in no time at all (Kingsolver).
What are the effects of this global warming? The increase of global temperatures is causing a broad range of changes. Due to the thermal expansion of the ocean – sea levels are rising, in addiction to melting land and ice (Rohrer). Climate change affects people, plants, and animals. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years (NASA). The evidence for climate change is everywhere