The How Global warming works.



How does global warming work?

The Greenhouse Effect, Gases, and Global Warming

The greenhouse effect is able to take place because of natural substances that are found in the air. While a century ago, the levels of these substances were at normal levels and posed no threat, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been producing much more of these substances and it’s the increase of the substances that are harmful. These substances come mainly in the form of 3 main gases.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that is produced when organic matter is combusted. While the amount of CO2 on Earth should make up approximately 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s due to human activity that these levels are climbing to alarming rates. Carbon dioxide also absorbs infrared radiation, which is the energy that allows heat to escape the Earth’s atmosphere. This in turn makes carbon dioxide one of the biggest threats in global warming because it’s trapping more of the sun’s heat on Earth.

Nitrous oxide is perhaps an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2 because it absorbs 270 times more the amount of energy than CO2. However, nitrous oxide is not produced by humans nearly as much as carbon dioxide is. Still, when greenhouse gases are trying to be reduced, it’s important to reduce the emission of nitrous oxide as well. Fertilizing crops is one of the biggest releasers of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

Methane is a gas found within natural gas. It’s combustible and is often thought of as ‘swamp gas.’ Although methane is formed when organic material is combusted, there are also ways for man to create methane gas. These ways include taking it from coal, from livestock, from rice paddies, and from decomposing garbage in landfills. Methane also traps heat on Earth the same way that CO2 does but there is also not as much of this gas as there is CO2. However, methane has the ability to hold and release 20 times more infrared rays than CO2. Some believe that large releases of methane at one time, such as when it’s released from under melting glaciers, can lead to short periods of intense global warming. So what does all of this have to do with the melting glaciers and flooding that we’re always hearing about being related to global warming?

The Effects of Global Warming

Studies have shown that it’s the dropping of temperatures just a few degrees Celsius that results in an Ice Age so it’s obvious that if the temperature were to change in the other direction, the opposite effect would occur. Because the planet has never seen such extreme temperature increases that we have seen the very worst of what could happen, we can only look at what has already happened and rely on researchers and scientists to make educated guesses based on the different climate patterns.

It’s been proven that the glaciers and the icecaps of the world continue to melt at alarming rates. This contributes to global warming because the melting causes there to be less reflective surfaces to that are able to put the heat and energy back into the atmosphere. As the glaciers continue to melt the sea levels continue to rise and while an inch or two won’t make a lot of difference, it might be enough to send the lowest-lying areas of the coast under water. However, if enough of the glaciers and icecaps were to melt, such as the West Arctic Ice Field, it would raise sea levels by as much as 10 meters and many coastal areas would simply disappear.

Another problem occurring within the sea due to global warming is that we would likely see a huge increase in the number of tropical storms such as hurricanes. This is because these storms gain their strength by the heat of the water that they seemingly glide over and the warmer this temperature is the stronger, and more recurring, the storms will be.

Many are worried that global warming could cause the polar icecaps to melt due to the increasing ocean temperatures and that this could also cause a significant rise in sea levels. There is no concern of this happening with the South Pole in the Antarctic. This is because the ice here is so cold and so thick that it’s not expected to begin melting any time soon. There are some areas of the ice that never see temperatures above well below the freezing mark. However, if the Antarctic were to ever melt, it would raise sea levels around the world approximately 61 meters.

The Arctic, on the other hand, has very thin ice and often sees temperatures above freezing. The icecaps here are simply floating in the water and are not solid structures within the water. If this ice melted however, it would not affect sea levels at all. The ice that covers Greenland, which is about 7%, would cause an increase of approximately 7 meters if it melted. The biggest problem with the ice in the Arctic melting is not the rising sea levels but that these icecaps are the homes of the polar bears that live in the Arctic. When these melt, the polar bears have no place to rest from hunting or perches to swim from or sit on while they are looking for food. This is where the images of the polar bears sliding down the icecaps are so often seen. Rising sea levels, although just one of the problems caused by global warming, is definitely the biggest.

Is Global Warming Real?

Despite all the research that has been done to point towards the climate shift and the beginning effects of global warming, some still don’t believe that global warming is an actual problem. There are many different reasons for this. Some believe that the information that has been collected does not show a drastic rise in temperature or that the rise is so insignificant that it’s not worth worrying about. Although there are many scientists that believe that the evidence clearly shows a trend in global warming, there are other scientists that believe those looking at the data and finding global warming are seeing it simply because they believe in global warming and want to see it. And still others claim that the temperature shift has nothing to do with global warming or that something other than greenhouse gases is causing it.

Although most experts agree that global warming is occurring, not all of them believe that it’s something that anything can be done about or that any measures to stop global warming from happening are necessary. The scientists that are skeptical of the concept of global warming are generally looking at the less-disastrous results of global warming such as prolonged growing seasons and increased precipitation while others think that the blow the human race would feel in the economy from reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be far worse than any ill-effects global warming could bring. So, is it real?

Whether or not global warming will be the end of the planet Earth as we know it is not known. What is known and a generally accepted fact is that global warming is an occurrence on Earth, even though the extent of it may be debated. It cannot be argued then, that any global warming is a negative thing and that if there is even a slight amount of global warming happening, it’s in our best interests to stop it. So how do we do that? Preventing further global warming from happening is easy. We simply need to stop using the things that are causing it – greenhouse gases. How can you do that? Reduce the energy you use by doing things such as turning off lights when you leave a room; making sure your car is properly tuned so it will run better or better yet, walking or bicycling instead of driving. Even if you don’t believe that global warming is a threat, it never hurts to help the environment and cut down on the use of these substances.


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