global warming

What is global warming?

global warmingGlobal warming is a concept Al Gore has all taught us about with his movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” This movie premiered in 2006, and in it, Al Gore explains what global warming is, what causes it, and what we as humans can do about it. For those of you that haven’t seen this movie, however, there’s this article. We’ll go in detail and explain global warming to you in simple terms.

We’re sure you’ve heard the news over the last couple of years; the earth is heating up rapidly. Glaciers are melting, and the trees in the Amazon can’t keep up with the amount of toxic gasses we release that cause this change in temperature. It’s all very unfortunate, but what is global warming exactly, and how can you help make a change? You can read that in this article.

The greenhouse effect

The easiest way to explain global warming is by taking a look at a greenhouse. A greenhouse is used to grow plants and vegetables in, but it does so in a unique way: the glass windows that cover the greenhouse let light in, but don’t let any heat out. This, in a way, is exactly what we’re doing to the earth.

If we keep this greenhouse effect in mind, it’s simple to see why what’s happening to the earth’s temperature is really happening. We need a sun to live. It provides us with vitamins and helps plants grow. Plants filter the air and that’s, of course, very important as well. Most of this sunlight is absorbed by everything on earth, and then radiated back as heat. Some of these gases escape into space, never to be heard of again. Another part of these gases stay on earth, because they are trapped. The more gases there are in the air, the more heat can’t escape into space. It’s quite baffling when you read it like that, right? What’s also astonishing to us is that we’ve actually known about this since around 1824.

Humans are making this greenhouse effect much worse by the day by releasing carbon dioxide. Of course, we don’t do this intentionally, but factories and cars have a large hand in this. We can’t do without those things, thus we will continue to produce more carbon dioxide. Sure, you can put a filter on your car exhaust, and try to make regulations stricter for factories, but we’re only slowing global warming down a little bit. Since we’ve known about global warming, we have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by at least 30 percent. That’s a significant increase.

Climate change

Sometimes global warming is also referred to as climate change. This is because carbon dioxide changes the atmosphere and thus changes the climate. This climate change is different all over the world. In some countries it might mean that the air is much colder in winter, while in other countries it is much warmer in summer. The term “global warming” implies that the earth is heating up, which is true, but it mostly just means that significant changes in climate and weather can be witnessed all over the world.

Unnatural change

The industrial revolution has sped up the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by a large amount. Of course, the earth was bound to have several climate changes over the decades anyway, but not like this! We are basically forcing the earth to adapt to our carbon dioxide release, and it’s struggling to keep up. The releases of these “greenhouse gases” are changing the climate much faster than anticipated.
The effect of climate change/global warming

  • Glaciers are melting, which will raise sea levels. As a result of this, entire countries could be flooded in a matter of years.
  • The climate is changing, and we have no way to anticipate what the effects of this will be. Weather can be more temperamental; there could be more storms. More rain and more droughts might occur. These changes make it much harder for crops to grow.
  • It’s much more likely that extreme weather events will occur. This means that we’ll see many more tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.
  • Entire animal species could be wiped out by global warming. Take the polar bears: they are losing their territory (ice caps) slowly and we can’t do much about it.
  • Regions that are now colder might heat up rapidly. This is unfortunate by itself, but it’s also much worse when you take diseases into account. Malaria, a disease we see most in very warm and humid countries, might spread if a region is heating up.
  • Warmer seas do no good to plankton. Plankton is a source of food for smaller fish and vital to the underwater ecosystem. Without Plankton, smaller fish have less food. Without smaller fish, bigger fish will have less food, etc.

Global warming is forcing us to be inventive and change our ways

By now, you should understand that global warming is nothing to joke about. It’s a serious issue, and we must do everything to stop it— or at least slow it down. Major companies are already working on being more efficient and using different methods to reduce carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Take wind power, for example: a good gust of wind can make solid electricity without releasing any gases. If we use more solar power, wind power, and organic resources to get electricity and warmth, we could cut our emissions in half.



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Article written by: MirandaTempelman
Times read: 589x
Added: 29-11-2015 18:48
Last modified: 13-12-2015 22:20

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