By Hanna Nilson
Global Warming refers to a
weather phenomenon which effects average increase of global temperatures
since the mid-twentieth century. It is generally agreed that global warming
is the result of "green house gases" which have collected in
the lower levels of our earth's atmosphere.
Basically, the process begins
with the consistent increase of deposit of Green House Gasses. Green house
gases are gases such as water vapors, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous
oxide, ozone and other mixed compounds. These are all scientifically known
to be harmful to the repertory system of animals and humans alike. In
the earth's atmosphere, these pollutants act as a blanket which absorb
and produce radiation.
Green house gases are, mostly
water vapors, are essential to climate control within the earth's atmosphere.
The problem of global warming occurs due to the imbalance of these green
house gas qualities and quantities. The 2007 assessment report compiled
by the IPCC concluded that "changes in atmospheric concentrations
of greenhouse gases and aerosols, land cover and solar radiation alter
the energy balance of the climate system
increases in anthropogenic
greenhouse gas concentrations is very likely to have caused most of the
increases in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century."
There are many things to consider
when addressing the Facts of Global Warming.
For instance, the degree to which green house gas emissions cause the
overall reason for global warming, is still a matter of debate. Granted,
there might be other factors to take into account. For example, it is
indeed natural for the earth to experience certain patterns and trends
in climate change. History shows that there have been times when extreme
temperature highs and lows occurred long before green house gas emissions.
However, as technology and modernization quickly developed, so too did
our carbon footprint. At this point there is enough collected and analyzed
data to suggest that there is a significant difference between Global
Warming and Climate Change and that the causes of these unusual weather
phenomena are far from just natural.
The human factor is one that
cannot be ignored when evaluating reason behind global warming. The U.S.
EPA's Green house Gas Inventory Report's that the main sources of greenhouse
gases due to human activity are:
burning of fossil fuels
and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide concentrations.
Land use change (mainly deforestation in the tropics) account for
up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
livestock enteric fermentation
and manure management, paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes,
pipeline losses, and covered vented landfill emissions leading to
higher methane atmospheric concentrations. Many of the newer style
fully vented septic systems that enhance and target the fermentation
process also are sources of atmospheric methane.
use of chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and use of CFCs and halons in fire
suppression systems and manufacturing processes.
including the use of fertilizers, that lead to higher nitrous oxide
Other associated changes might
vary based on region, the atmospheric lifetime and Global warming potential
(GWP). Global warming is expected to continue beyond 2100, even if and
when emissions stop. This is because of the large heat capacity of the
oceans and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Indeed
global warming is a complex issue.
To find out more about Global
warming consider the following referances:
Global Warming Facts
How the Weather Center Works
A Modern Look at the Weather Almanac