The Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect occurs when gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and CFCs trap heat in the atmosphere by acting as a pane of glass in a car. ³The glass² lets the sun light in to make heat but when the heat tries to get out the gases absorb the heat. Holding this heat in causes heat waves, droughts and climate changes which could alter our way of living. The main gases that cause the greenhouse effect are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane which comes mainly from animal manure. Other gases like nitrogen oxide and man made gases called chloroflurocarbons get caught in the atmosphere as well. The decay of animals and respiration are two main but natural sources of carbon dioxide. In my opinion we people of the whole world should try and slow down the emmission of greenhouse gases and/or find ways to balance the gases so the climate doesn't change so rapidly. If it did we would be forced to adapt to the new climate that we brought upon our selves. If we had a international cooperation to put a damper on the production of chloroflurocarbons and slowed down the use of fossil fuels it would dramatically slow down the process of "global warming." Over the last 100 years the global temperatures have been increasing slowly but steadily. Since 1980 the temperature has risen 0.2 degrees C (0.4 degrees F ) each decade. Scientists predict that if we continue putting the same amount of gas into the atmosphere by the year 2030 the temperature will be rising as much as 0.5 degrees C (0.9 degrees F ) or more per decade. Over all the global temperature could rise anywhere from 5 to 9 degrees over the next fifty years. If the temperatures do rise as predicted several things could happen. The increases of temperature could alter the growth of crops in areas near the equator due to insufficient rain and heat. This could really hurt countries that rely on imported food. With the high temperatures the polar ice caps could melt and cause the sea water level to go up 1 to 3 feet. This increase could take out small islands, coastal cities and some shallow rivers. The Everglades in
would be almost if not totally wiped right off the map. The Everglades is the home for many animals and plant life. If it did get flooded, they would all have to move northward across very dry land which they will not be able to endure for very long. When the hot temperatures do spread southward and northward, tropical disease will spread with it. Disease that were down in Mexico will maybe occur in The Carolinas or eventually Vermont. These new diseases will be hard to deal with causing many more deaths and illnesses than before. The financial problem with this is, that the flooding will cause dams to be built and cities to be reconstructed. The shortage of food will cause the price of the food to go up and with all the diseases we will need more medical supplies and workers. All of this combined could and will cost a lot of money if we don't do something about it now. The computer models can¹t predict exactly what the climate is going to be in the future, but they can come close to what it will be like down the road. Scientists proved this by predicting with computers what the climate was in the past. Then by looking back in records, they found that the predictions were close to being right. The "Topex" (Topographic Experiment) satellite has been collecting information on the changes of the sea level, and temperatures across the globe and the amount of gases emitted into the atmosphere. Each day the satellite makes 500,000 measurements, each at a different place on the earth. Measurements are all made between 66 degrees north and south latitudes.1 The Cretaceous occurred over 100 million years ago. It was the warmest period we have knowledge of yet. There was so much carbon dioxide in the air that the oceans rose many meters. was flooded and split apart into two pieces. The temperature then was more than fifteen degrees greater than the average temperature today. Scientists believe that the tilt of the earth's axis changes to tilt the opposite way every 10,000 years like a cycle. While going through this cycle it will change the climate of areas. Right now it is moving so that North America is going to be close to the sun in the winter. Seasons become more extreme when the opposite happens. This controls the cycle of ice ages. Volcanoes when they erupt, send clouds of dust into the air blocking sunlight. This would cool the earth off more. Oceans are known to absorb CO2 because of the ocean currents and the action of plankton. There is some evidence that there is naturally rapid climate change between each Ice Age, which confuses the whole global warming and idea. I think every human being should take part in the fight to stop global warming. The government is the key to this and they better do something soon or it will be too late. First, the American government should sponsor a meeting between the nations of this world. They should establish a committee for handling the money, politics, and scientific research in order to help cut back the emission of gases into the atmosphere. Every country will contribute by donating money. Each country would be required to give 0.01 of their GNP to this committee. If they refuse they will be boycotted and nothing will be sold to them by the participating countries. Global warming is a big threat to our nation and the world. If we do not act now, it may be too late. Of course, there is no sure way of telling if there actually is a greenhouse effect, but let¹s not take any chances. Look at what is happening to this world, and you will see that there is a pollution problem. There are steps being taken at this moment to reduce the gases put into the air but it still isn't enough. We need to cut back more by taking a few easy steps. Plant a tree, or take a bus to work instead of driving your own car. Those things may not seem like a lot, but if more and more people do it, it will make a difference.