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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 Florida 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. North America 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



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