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Global Warming

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Global Warming

In the past five years the subject on Global Warming has become as rooted in our public consciousness as Madonna or microwave cooking. Perhaps all the attention is well deserved; Global Warming may be the single largest threat to our planet. For many decades human factories and cars have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the climate has begun to show some signs of warming.

The average temperature on earth has increased approximately

1.0 Degrees FHT. In the past century (NASA Facts June 2002 Pg.2)

although the temperature fluctuates naturally, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. Experts think the trend is accelerating and that unless we curb global warming emissions, temperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century. (National Resources Defense Control Website Pg.5)

So what is global warming? What are its causes? Could global warming trigger a sudden catastrophe? What's the present danger of global warming?

Global warming is explained as the raise of the planets temperature. It is caused by carbon dioxide and other air polluting that is collected by the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat causing the planet to warm up.

Researchers have investigated the possibility of abrupt climate change in which gradual global warming triggers a sudden shift in the earth's climate, causing parts of the world to dramatically heat up or cool down in the span of a few years.

Global Warming results in damage to the ecosystem which is caused primarily by the depletion of the O3 layer, which is about ten miles above the Earth's surface (NASA Facts June 2002 Pg. 01). This occurs largely as a result of the pollutants (unnaturally greenhouse gases) that are, or were, spewed into the air by man. The burning of fossil fuels now causes most of this: in our cars, trucks, power plants etc.

In February 2004, consultants to the Pentagon released a report laying out the possible impacts of the abrupt climate change on national security. In a worst-case scenario, the study concluded, global warming could make large areas of the world inhabitable and cause massive food and water shortages, sparking widespread migrations and war (NRDC WEB Pg 3)

Its is shown statistically that Americans make up 4 percent of the world's population, producing 25 % of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel burning- by far the largest share of any country. In fact, the United States emits more carbon dioxide than China, India and Japan combined (NASA Facts June 2002 Pg 10).

Global Warming s a complex phenomenon, and it s full scale-impacts are hard to predict far in advanced. But each year scientists learn more about how global warming is affecting our planet, and many agree that certain consequences are likely to occur if current trends continue. Among these we have the increasing storms and floods.

Dr. Thomas Karls, director of the National Climatic Date Center (NOAA), says that

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