Global warming is when the earth heats up (the temperature rises). It happens when greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane) trap heat and light from the sun in the earth's atmosphere, which increases the temperature. A World wide rise in temperature called global warming.
Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.
Facts about Global Warming
• The earth is a natural greenhouse and is kept warm by water vapors, carbon dioxide (CO2), and other gases in the atmosphere, which absorb the sun's energy and radiate it back toward the earth. This type of warming is called “natural greenhouse effect.” “Enhanced greenhouse effect,” on the other hand, causes global climate change due to excessive levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
• Without the atmosphere to create a greenhouse-type effect, the average temperature on Earth would be just 5° Fahrenheit (F).
• Natural levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have varied throughout history between 180 and 300 parts per million (ppm). Today's CO2 levels hover around 380 ppm, representing a 25% increase over the highest recorded natural levels.
• Geologists believe sea levels could rise between seven and 23 inches by the end of the century if current warming trends continue.
• Methane is the second biggest cause of greenhouse warming. Gas from cows is a big contributor to global warming.
• In the year 1997 alone, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by 2.87 ppm; this increase is more than any other year on record.
• Scientists expect a 3.5° F increase in average global temperatures by the year 2100, resulting in the warmest temperatures in the past million years. During the Pliocene epoch 1.8 million years ago, when the earth's temperatures were roughly equivalent to today, sea level were 12-18 feet higher.
• Between the first Earth Day in 1970 and the new millennium, human-made emissions of greenhouse gases rose 70%.
• The earth's atmosphere now contains 40% more CO2 than before the Industrial Revolution.
• The effects of global warming could destroy the habitats of and threaten extinction for over one million species of plants and animals.
• Average temperatures in the Arctic climates of Alaska, Canada, and Russia have risen at twice the global average in the last century.
• According to NASA studies, average temperatures around the world have increased 1.4° F since 1880, with most of the change occurring in recent decades.
• Non-scientists often confuse the fact that ozone depletion is caused by the emission of harmful CFCs and gases. However, the truth is that the ozone itself is a greenhouse gas and it too can be harmful to human health when present in lower atmosphere. In reality, there are 2 types of ozone, both good and bad! Stratospheric ozone is 'good' because it keeps harmful UV rays from reaching the Earth's surface.
• Fossil fuel burning currently adds nearly six billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere every year. Only half of this CO2 is removed by forests and oceans.
The thing is, now is the time to think of the whole world as one entity rather than to restrict our vision to our own country. It is this, only this, which shall buy time for this planet as the damage done is irreversible and development and progress cannot be stopped. Planting trees, protecting agricultural land from being used for purposes other than planting crops, checking exploitation of natural resources such as ground water, devising ways and means to preserve, conserve and replenish what we take away from Mother Nature.
“Global Warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.”