Global Warming Is Becoming an International Dilemma Research Paper
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Global warming is becoming an international dilemma nowadays. The countries are determined to put a stop to global warming but it requires steps that are not easy to take because of their cost. According to a research, if the current trend of global warming continues, the cost of global warming will be as high as 3.6% of the total GDP. Out of all the impacts, just four will cause enough damage to the economy by taking up 1.8% of the GDP. These four are: hurricanes, real estate, energy and water costs. This will make up a total cost of 1.9 trillion dollars in 2100. So, it is necessary for all the countries to take up some drastic action on national and international level to reduce the financial and environmental shocks that are given to us by global warming. (Ackerman and Stanton, 2008)
The term global warming means an increase in the average temperature of the planet earth. The history of global warming is as old as the ice age. Seven thousand years ago, the ice age ended due to the natural process known as global warming. The increased temperature of the earth caused the ice to melt. This process continued from that day and is still happening today. The temperature of the earth has increased by 1° Fahrenheit in the last 100 years. This might not seem to be a very big increase but it causes problems for many plants and animals who find it difficult to adapt to these changes quickly. Global warming has horrid impacts on the globe and its environment and it is necessary to identify the causes of global warming and to eliminate its causes to have a healthier planet. (www.wildernessclassroom.com, n.d.)
Causes of Global Warming
Scientists have strived hard to obtain the reasons that cause global warming. They carried out a number of tests and scrutinized a variety of variables that cause the climate to change. They eventually found out that the cause of global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases by human beings. Greenhouse gases is the name given to a group of gases which consists of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chloro flouro carbons (CFCs). (Kejriwal, 2010)
Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
Different gases cause global warming to a different extent. The gas which is responsible for most of the global warming is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the gas which is released as a result of most common human activities. The running of internal combustion engine, machines and even respiration produces this gas. In addition to that, increased deforestation reduces the intake of carbon dioxide and causes the amount of carbon dioxide to increase. (Kejriwal, 2010)
The other greenhouse gases are emitted from different other sources and they also contribute towards global warming. Methane is emitted from landfills and agricultural processes. Nitrous oxide is a common product of the reaction between fertilizers and the surface of earth. CFCs are commonly found in refrigerators and other cooling instruments. (Wong, n.d.)
These gases cause the temperature of the earth to increase by trapping the heat in the atmosphere. The earth's atmosphere is basically made up of five layers. The first and the closest layer is troposphere in which the clouds and the air that we breathe are in. earth's weather and climatic changes occur in this layer. (www.wildernessclassroom.com, n.d.)
The layer above troposphere is called stratosphere. This layer is related to global warming. This layer absorbs extra radiation from the sun. This absorption is made possible with the help of the thin layer of ozone that is located in the upper section of stratosphere. Ozone layer absorbs harmful radiation from the sun to protect the living things on earth. (www.wildernessclassroom.com, n.d.)
When increased amounts of greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere, they do not let the ozone layer function properly and thus harmful radiation enter the atmosphere. In addition to that, another function of this layer is to reflect back the excessive radiation from the earth to outer space. As the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere become abundant, they hinder this function of the ozone layer as well. They start to reflect the excessive radiation back and make the planet warmer. The earth heats up as a result and the results of this process are problematic for everyone who lives on the planet. (Wong, n.d.)
Thus the cause of global warming, as determined by scientists
through studies, is the increased emission of greenhouse gases. These gases are emitted as a result of human activities and has effects on the climate of earth that make the lives difficult to live.
Effects of Global Warming
There are numerous negative effects of global warming which have a bad impact on the lives of people, animals and plants as well.
Global Warming and Public Health
Global warming comes with a lot of diseases for the people to fight with. In addition to the diseases caused by pollution, a cause of global warming, people are faced with other diseases caused by heat waves. Moreover, the floods and fresh water shortages caused by global warming also increase the amount of viruses and germs in the air. This increased amount of germs make the people ill. (American Lung Association, 2010)
A recent study in California showed that increased temperature has caused many people to get ill. Moreover, increased amount of carbon dioxide and other particles also cause respiration problems. Lung diseases have also become frequent as a result increased particle presence in the air. (American Lung Association, 2010)
Global Warming and Air Quality
Global warming also causes the quality of air to deteriorate. This is because global warming is caused by increased amounts greenhouse gases in the air. These greenhouse gases also make the air harmful and unpleasant to breathe. Global warming also causes the production of ground level ozone which is another harmful substance that is harmful for human beings. (American Lung Association, 2010)
A research carried out by CARB showed that Californians currently breathe in a poor quality of air and if the global warming goes on at the current rate, this quality will continue to deteriorate. Moreover, by 2100, this poor quality air will cover the states Los Angeles and San Joaquin as well. (American Lung Association, 2010)
Global Warming and Wildfires
Hotter, drier weather conditions, created by global warming, cause conditions that trigger wildfires in forests. These wildfires produce smoke that contains particles that cause irritation in the lungs and eyes. This smoke also causes several diseases such as asthma and emphysema. This smoke also poses a threat of getting secondary heart attack to people who have faced a heart attack. (American Lung Association, 2010)
CAT published a report in 2009 in which it mentioned that if the current state of global warming continues, the wildfires are expected to increase by 55% by mid century. It further mentioned that the risk of these fires will increase by 128% by the end of this century. (American Lung Association, 2010)
Global Warming and Sea Levels
In addition to that, global warming cause the melting of ice worldwide especially at poles. This melted ice causes the levels of oceans to increase. The increased ocean level causes floods in different areas. These floods cause massive destruction in the affected regions and the economy of the area is completely destroyed. The economy of the country is also affected badly by such floods. (Kejriwal, 2010)
Many studies have shown an increase in the sea levels in the past century. The number of floods in the coastal areas have also increased significantly. Studies also predict further increase in the sea level in between 7 and 23 inches. This may be dangerous if correct steps are not taken. (Kejriwal, 2010)
Effects of Global Warming on Animals
As mentioned earlier, animals are not capable of adjusting to the increase in temperature quickly. This problem is exacerbated if the animal normally lives in colder climates. It eventually causes the animals to die and their species to get extinct. Global warming has destroyed many animals that needed a colder climate to survive. A researcher found out that the number of Adelie penguins in Antarctica has fallen down form thirty two thousand breeding pairs to eleven thousand breeding pairs in just thirty years. Moreover, many animals have started to migrate to higher cooled areas due to increase in temperatures. (Kejriwal, 2010)
Furthermore, global warming may also push different interdependent species out of sync. A good example of this would be the blooming of flowers before the pollinating insects even get active. (Kejriwal, 2010)
Global Warming and Its Effect on General Weather
Global warming has caused rain and precipitation to increase all over the globe. This has caused the sea level to increase even more. In addition to the increased sea levels, weather extremes may also get intense. This means that the number and intensity of hurricanes and storms will increase. Moreover, these storms may also be followed by droughts. The weather will get extreme and cause…
Sources Used in Documents:
Ackerman, F. And Stanton, E. (2008). The Cost of Climate Change: What We'll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked. [report] New York: Natural Resources Defense Council, pp. 1-7.
American Lung Association (2010). Global Warming: Impacts to Public Health and Air Quality. [report] California: American Lung Association, pp. 1-3.
Kejriwal, A. (2010). GLOBAL WARMING ( Cause, Effect & Solutions). [online] Retrieved from: http://projectsmileindia.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/global-warming-cause-effect-solutions / [Accessed: 7 Aug 2013].
Knowlton, K. (2008). Preparing for Global Warming: A Framework for Protecting Community Health and the Environment in a Warmer World. [e-book] New York: Natural Resources Defense Council. pp. 1-4. http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/preparedness.pdf.
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