In slow, arching spirals snow falls from the blue skies above. Everything seems tranquil, except for one thing; the unnerving fact that the calendar falls in June, and that the snow lands on the sandy beaches of Hawaii. “Never mind what you’ve heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly the crisis is upon us (Kluges, The Tipping Point 36).
Although this may sound like something out of a Steven Spielberg film, it would only take about three years for the Earth to completely freeze over (Hartmann, 1) After whirling orangeades, like Cyclone Larry, killer droughts, and devastating hurricanes, such as the Strain tragedy, who’s to say that the Earth sins ‘t in a bad mood? After all global warming has been steadily changing the world since the Industrial Revolution (Lemonier, Life In the Greenhouse 25). But for the average American, being green doses ‘t mean that much.TO influence change people need to know how bad Global Warming really is, why it’s happening what it effects, and of course, what can we do to slow it down? To start off we need to know why Global warming is such an issue. According to Lemonier (Life In The Greenhouse, 24), global warming is the “long term shift in [worldwide] temperature change. ” A long-term temperature change could be anything. Its often hard to tell what’s a global temperature disaster and what’s just a local climate fluctuation. But the low- down is this: when the earth’s done re-adjusting the climate it’ll make the coldest places hot, and the hottest places will burn.
This is most evident in the one degree increase of global temperature in the past one hundred years (Lemonier, Life In The Greenhouse 25). If you were falling out of your seat fore, and now you’ve relaxed then don’t. Sure one degree increase in a whole century doesn’t look so bad, but for global average that means something different. Picture it this way: for the numbers world-wide to rise one full degrees that means that one hundred years ago, summer used to be an astounding 196 degrees less intense (Farad, 2). Suddenly things look a lot more heated.The age old excuse that global warming is a slow moving threat just doesn’t cut it anymore. Global warming is “like the 21 12th degree Fahrenheit that turns a pot of hot water into a plume of billowing steam (Kluges, The Tipping Point 35). ” Global warming seemed to take an awfully long time to happen, but now that its happening things can get ugly pretty fast.
According to Hartmann (1), once we reach the threshold the results of global warming can be seen in two to three years. But now that we know that global warming is really going to make us sweat, we need to know what exactly causes it.Reasons for global warming fall into two main categories: artificial and natural. Although it may sound absurd nature plays a huge part in global climate, and could very well be the cause of the radical temperature metamorphosis.
After all the last ice age which spanned over 35 million years, was caused without any human interference. Ice ages and then periods of relative calm have happened in exchange since the beginning of time. Changing from temperate to ice cold roughly every 100,000 years.Right now we are in the interglacial period, a period of relatively calm climate, and all this talk about global warming might just be what most people think it is; a hoax. It might just be a minor temperature alteration as the planet steadies itself from the last ice age. But there is a lot more evidence pointing the other direction; at ourselves. Humans create to global warming largely through what is known as the green house effect.
If you have ever been in a green house the idea is quite clear. “Light passes through the glass into the greenhouse and heats things up inside the greenhouse.The glass is then opaque… , so the heat is trapped inside the greenhouse (Greenhouse To better adapt ourselves to the situation we can use a situation that happens every day. Normally sunlight would enter the atmosphere where some heat would be trapped by a single layer of carbon dioxide. The rest would be reelected back into the atmosphere.
Now fast forward to modern day. Sunlight once again enters the atmosphere, however this time the carbon dioxide layer has double in size. Therefore most of the heat is trapped, thereby increasing the temperature of that particular region.The greenhouse effect itself is not a bad thing- it is, in fact, what supports life on earth-it is the amount of heat that is trapped that poses a threat. Normally the greenhouse traps enough gas to keep our atmosphere at a fairly comfortable 57 degrees (Lemonier, Life In The Greenhouse 23).
However since the Industrial Revolution people have been pouring excess amounts of greenhouse gases (“gaseous components of the atmosphere that nutrient to the greenhouse effect (Greenhouse gases, 1). ” ) into the atmosphere. Over 75 percent of the greenhouse gases in the air today are emitted by humans.
Some harmful greenhouse gases include: Color Flour Carbons (CIFS), Carbon Tetrachloride, Haloes, Nitrous Oxide, Methane, and of course Carbon Dioxide (CO) (Hoff De al, 26). The most dangerous, abundant and easily produced gas amongst greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide. Humans have created over 400 billion tons of this gas throughout the past five decades. CO is produced everywhere.
Especially from burning fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and gasoline. In fact transportation is responsible for about 20 percent of all emissions. Whereas industry covers over 40 percent.The united States alone can dump over 6 million tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere each year (Greenhouse Gases 1). Carbon dioxide can create a huge problem mainly because it can easily let sunlight in but does not sunlight escape.
The result? More Carbon dioxide is equal to more heat. Once Carbon Dioxide is in the atmosphere it has an atmospheric shelf-life of about 200-450 years. This means that Carbon Dioxide will stay in the atmosphere and continue its damaging effect for up to 450 years. With the ever growing population of the world in mind it doesn’t look like consumption of fossil fuels will decrease.
Carbon dioxide is not the only gas responsible for global warming. Color Flour Carbons are artificially produced compounds that also contribute greatly to global warming. Cuff’s where founded in 1 928 by American engineer Thomas Mingled as a replacement for the compound ammonia. Cuff’s were a scientific breakthrough for the scientific community, they were non-toxic, non-volatile, and had low boiling points. This may hold true for the applications that Cuff’s were put to use in, but was it true for the atmosphere? Apparently not.Today CIFS are in everything from aerosol cans to air conditioners, they are also responsible for the depletion of ozone, and may have been the main culprit behind the gaping ozone hole near the Poles.
Ozone is composed of three atoms of oxygen, when ozone comes in contact with Cuff’s the third molecule of oxygen breaks off. The CUFF however escapes unharmed, and because Cuff’s have an atmospheric shelf life of about 100 years (Hoffman De al, 34), a single CUFF molecule can go off to destroy hundreds of ozone molecules. With all these green house gases pouring out no wonder the global average temperature has gone up.