This is the most controversial effect of air pollution. It is accepted as, by most scientists, the cause for the increase in temperature and the warming period the earth has been going through. The theory of global warming is simple and is best explained by the green house effect. The suns rays strike the earth and the ones that pass make it through the outer atmosphere easily pass through the lower atmosphere begin to warm the earth. Heat is reflected back toward space but is trapped by the lower atmosphere which keeps the heat in, just as the glass or plastic of a green house would. This process has been going on ever since earth has had an atmosphere but global warming says that the amount of sunlight the lower atmosphere reflects back to earth is increasing. The scientists who choose to believe humans are not involved in these climate changes say the earth is just going through natural shifts in temperature.
The gases that cause the heat to be retained and reflected back to earth are called greenhouse gases, but carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor. In a study conducted on core samples of ice in the arctic, data showed temperature fluctuated, but so did CO2 levels. There was a “medieval warming” as the skeptics say but the CO2 and temperature graphs were nearly identical. Carbon dioxide levels are now 2 times as large as they ever were and the temperature is increasing. This is definite cause for concern.
In the last 20 years the 14 hottest have been recorded. The effects of this increased temperature have innumerable weather impacts. A recent heat wave in
The other effects of global warming include melting glaciers.
Melting glaciers on the tip of Argentina.
You have all heard the doomsday stories of global warming and they all may be true. The temperature increases are shifting climate zones of warmer regions farther and farther north. Permafrost is the hard frozen earth that makes up most of the land area in northern
These temperature changes will not just be affecting permafrost and toppling trees, there are much more dramatic effects global warming has on the world. The advance of warm temperatures towards the poles is causing massive chunks of the ice caps to break off into the ocean. This decreases habit and range for a variety of creatures who seek out colder waters interspersed with icebergs or stable breeding grounds for seals. The other great problem is rising ocean levels.
Ocean levels don’t rise from the melting of the ice sheets for the same reason as ice cubes in a cup of water keep the same water level when left out on a sunny day, which is just a property of water. The real danger comes from ice sheets covering land masses namely