Truth of Global Warming

Since saving the planet is such an important topic in this day and age, learning about global warming is critical to understanding how Earth is being affected by humans. As pollutants continue to go up and become bottled up within the Earth’s atmosphere, global warming climbs up and up. Many scientists and other researchers are tracking the phenomenon diligently, trying to convince the public about its reality – and its dangers.

Although the greenhouse effect has a largely negative connotation, it is something that actually serves a very useful purpose – to a point. Without the greenhouse effect, the surface of the Earth would not become warm enough to sustain life; the atmosphere would merely release any heat generated by the Sun instantaneously. However, global warming is caused by a marked increase in the greenhouse effect which is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. CO2 is the most characteristic aspect of global warming, and it has been introduced to the atmosphere in larger and larger quantities as industrial manufacturing has increased through modern times.

CO2 – or carbon dioxide – is the biggest culprit behind global warming; other pollutants also play parts in the problem. But where specifically do these contaminants come from? The majority of the CO2 and other pollutants that cause global warming come from two main sources: coal burning power plants and automobiles. Especially when they were first introduced, cars seriously increased the levels of CO2 in the air; more recently, emissions standards have been enforced around much of the globe in order to reduce their contribution of CO2 – and hopefully reduce the effects of global warming. Power plants were once far more polluting than they are today, since new standards have also been implemented for them.

As with any relatively controversial topic, there are plenty of people who are convinced that global warming is a hoax. They believe that the Earth simply has cycles of warm and cool, and that we happen to be in a warm cycle right now. During major elections, the merits of claims about global warming are hotly debated. Al Gore – the former Vice President of the United States – produced and directed a documentary about global warming called “An Inconvenient Truth” which increased the debate about this phenomenon around the world.

It is believed that due to global warming, the Earth’s temperature is rising at a faster rate over the past 50 years than it has at any other point in history. Interestingly, the ten hottest years ever recorded have all occurred since 1990 – prompting global warming warnings.

By the end of this century, average temperatures in the U.S. could rise by three to nine degrees. As further evidence of the effects of global warming, parts of the American Southwest experienced a record number of wildfires in 2002. Levels of CO2 are 31 percent higher than pre-industrial levels; more and more people are becoming concerned about global warming.


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