Global Temperatures Christine Miller Essay

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Christine Miller
PHY 104
08/07/2013
Lillian Flakes

Global Temperature.

Global warming has been defined as an increase in the Earth’s atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in temperature and may result from the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon whereby the Earth’s atmosphere traps solar ration, caused by the presence of such gases within the atmosphere as Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane which allow sunlight to pass through but soak up heat exuded back from the Earth’s surface.

According to the EPA there are 10 top causes for Global warming. The first, is America’s lust for electricity and the burning of fossil fuels. America is highly dependent upon burning coal for personal and commercial electrical allocations. 42% of Co2 emissions come from production of electricity, while 93% of Co2 emissions come from burning coal. The second is Co2 emissions from burning fossil fuels: Gasoline. With a rise in our global population, production and use of cars is growing as well. 33% of Co2 emissions come for the use of automobiles. With an increase in population comes not only a need for more transportation, but also the need for more food. The release of Methane gases from livestock and agricultural practices adds to the deadly mixture of gases within the atmosphere.

Deforestation is number 4 on the EPAs list of global warming causes. Trees remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When cut down, they release their stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Therefore cutting down, large forests or deforestation releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The use of nitrogen rich fertilizer is also aiding in heating up our planet. While farmers historically used manures to fertilize their crops, it seems they have switched to nitrogen rich fertilizers. These fertilizers have 300 times more heat trapping capacity than Co2.

Scientists speculate that sea levels will rise due to the melting of massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. They believe the sea will rise predominantly on the Eastern coast of the United States. However this rise in sea level will affect the entire world and scientists surmise that it will displace millions of people worldwide. Another possible effect of Global warming is the formation of large and dangerous storms. The increase in oceanic temperatures is thought to be creating massive hurricanes, cyclones, and tropical storms. Scientists also claim there is a 90 percent chance that three billion people around the world will face famine and relocation. The climate changes are expected to have the most drastic effect on water supplies. Therefore, food production, sanitation practices, and economic development will most likely be effected negatively.

Scientists are also afraid that due to the rise in temperatures here on Earth, millions of species will be effected and will die off. As a result of the loss of millions of species Human will no longer be able to function as the predominant species on Earth. Therefore this Mass extinction will also lead to our demise as well. Lastly according to the EPA, scientists believe that coral reefs will not last any longer than 2100. For the hundreds of thousands of species that call the coral reefs their home, this will also mean their demise.

Most of the sun’s rays fall to the Earth’s surface in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is because the Earth’s atmosphere is transparent to these wavelengths. Depending on the reflectivity, part of the sunlight is reflected back into space, while the rest of the sunlight is absorbed by the earth and retained as thermal energy. This heat is reradiated as longer wavelength infrared radiation. The dominant gases of the atmosphere or greenhouse gases, absorb some of this infrared radiation.