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The definition of global warming, according to zfacts.com, is the "gradual increase in the earth's surface temperature". According to many people in the world, however, global warming is a sudden heating of the earth, evident right away and causing extreme heat meltdowns. Unfortunately, your local beach won't be getting suddenly hotter; climate change is not that drastically evident in everyday life. Global warming occurs slowly, but in the last few decades has slowly picked up pace.
(http://zfacts.com/p/49.html) Global warming can affect us in many ways; not just the temperature that keeps us comfortable. Global warming can force us to move because of rising sea levels, affect what we eat, and affect the way we live as humans.









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Global-Warming-keep-earth-green-1025467_490_351.gifTemperature on planet Earth is supposed to fluxuate; and it has, since the beginning of time. But the Earth's natural rises and falls in heat have never been this drastic. Carbon Dioxide emissions have never been this influential to our environment, in fact, CO2 emissions have tripled within the last few decades. Things that should be happening over centuries--maybe even thousands of years--is now happening within a fraction of our lifetimes. Surprisingly, the top eleven hottest years on record have occurred within the last 13 years. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213101419.htm) This shows just how drastically our Earth is changing before our very eyes. According to http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html, "Studies indicate that the average global surface temperature has increased by approximately 0.5-1.0°F (0.3-0.6°C) over the last century. This is the largest increase in surface temperature in the last 1,000 years and scientists are predicting an even greater increase over this century... Average global temperatures may increase by 1.4-5.8ºC (that's 2.5 - 10.4º F) by the end of the 21st century. Although the numbers sound small, they can trigger significant changes in climate. (The difference between global temperatures during an Ice Age and an ice-free period is only about 5ºC.) “As you can see, global warming is affecting our temperature on Earth very negatively. The heating of the Earth by greenhouse gases (see next paragraph) is not only causing hotter days, but can affect may aspects of our life. Climate change is causing unwanted heat that bothers more than just the comfort level of human beings; it affects much, much more. (http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html )

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Link For Picture At Right










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To understand greenhouse gases, you must first understand the Greenhouse Effect. The greenhouse effect is what happens to the sun's rays once they reach the Earth's surface; some are trapped inside the Earth's atmosphere, and some are ricocheted back into space, much like the mechanics of a greenhouse. The gases that keep these rays inside the Earth's atmosphere are called greenhouse gases; and these gases are not necessarily bad. They keep the earth in a condition that is suitable for humans to live on as well as plants and animals to survive. Greenhouse gases are, according to http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=environment_about_ghg, are Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=environment_about_ghg) Of course, there are more than just this, but some are not counted, have not even been discovered, or scientists have discovered them but are having trouble deciding whether or not certain gases have an effect on the atmosphere. For example, water vapor and ozone are technically greenhouse gases but are actually needed in abundance in certain parts of the world. (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=environment_about_ghg)











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Before the global warming crisis began, glaciers weren't melting like this. In fact, nowadays, the glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro and the Andes are melting so rapidly that they could completely disappear within the next few decades. According to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2001/feb/20/climatechange.climatechange, "Now, according to Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University, the Quelccaya glacier in Peru has retreated 32 times faster in the past two years than in the 20 years from 1963 to 1983. Kilimanjaro's ice fields have retreated by at least 80% since 1912. The icecap of Mount Kenya has shrunk by 40% since 1963. In 1972, in Venezuela, there were six glaciers; now there are only two. They too will melt within a decade." (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2001/feb/20/climatechange.climatechange) And these are not the only examples of global warming melting ice masses; this is happening everywhere. If Greenland alone melted, the sea level would rise 21 feet, or seven meters. (http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/askjack/2004-11-21-melting-polar-ice_x.htm)
If every glacier in the world melted, sea levels would rise by 230 feet, or 70 meters, ruining and devastating most of the globe's land. (http://www.just2smart.com/Weather/all-ice-world-melted.html)

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Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimajaro
Mount Kilimajaro


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Bolivia's Chacaltaya Mountain Glacier
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Pasterze Glacier, Austria




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The United States
The United States
The Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere











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coralreefs.jpgGlobal Warming doesn't just melt glaciers; it affects the animals that live on them, around them, near them, and far away from them as well. The most well-known of all of these animals affected is the polar bear; they are being killed off because their home of sea ice is melting and cracking. Population size is decreasing, and swimming conditions are becoming more and more fatal; these animals are drowning themselves to death. According to http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Polar-Bears.aspx, "In 2004, biologists discovered four drowned polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, and suspect the actual number of drowned bears may have been considerably greater. Never before observed, biologists attributed the drowning to a combination of retreating ice and rougher seas." (http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Polar-Bears.aspx)
Not only polar bears are suffering from the effects of climate change. Coldwater fish, for example, are affected greatly from global warming. The fish are very sensitive to temperature change, and once the water is too warm, the fish either leave the area to find new, normal temperature water, or die. (http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Coldwater-Fish.aspx)
Coral reefs are also affected by this global warming crisis. Algae gives coral reefs their color, and when waters get wamer, the reefs respond by spitting out the algae. Corals also are greatly affected by diseases that thrive in warm waters. These diseases kill the corals. Also, when the oceans absorb carbon dioxide, the oceans become more acidic, causing the reefs to grow slower and diminish calcification by half.
(http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Coral-Reefs.aspx)



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One of the main reasons there is excess CO2 in the atmosphere is deforestation. Deforestation is the burning and chopping down of forests, jungles, et cetera to obtain wood, land, or other things. But these trees being cut down are an important part of the ecosystem. Not only do rainforests account for almost all of the Oxygen in the atmosphere, but they house anywhere from 50%-90% of the world's species, 90% of all monkeys, and many, many, many animals that can't live anywhere else but the rainforest. Rainforests even have herbs that can create potentially life-saving medicines that humanity is simply throwing away by cutting down our jungles and rainforests. (http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/deforestation.htm) Not to mention the CO2 emmisions caused by deforestation; carbon dioxide has raised drastically, as shown by the chart below.

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(http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/annual_deforestation_in_the_amazon_and_resulting_co2_emissions)











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If Global Warming continues as it has been, the intensity and frequency of storms will increase. Disasters such as hurricaines, monsoons, and typhoons will thrive in the mix of warm and cold waters and wind that climate change will provide. (http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagid=1405) Oceanic currents, also known as thermohaline circulation, keep warm and cold waters fairly constant, in complicated, connected mazes known as gyres. These currents keep everything in order, but when cold air meets hot air, storms are formed, and if these hot and cold conditions get more extreme, so will the storms. (http://www.eoearth.org/article/Ocean_circulation)

A Map of Earth's Ocean Currents
A Map of Earth's Ocean Currents



















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Some people, however, think that Global Warming is not really happening. And with all the false information, how do you know who's tyelling the truth? These people usually suggest that the earth goes through periods of warming and cooling; and this is a natural occurence. The Arctic, for example, goes through major heating and cooling frenzies. The time when the Arctic was the warmest occurred in 1940; and then it cooled. Now, it is warming again, but even with these "manmade" contributers, it has not even reached the high temperature that it did in 1940. The following question was on the website: http://cagle.msnbc.com/news/GlobalWarmingSteigerwald/main.asp, an interview with Fred Singer, the "godfather of global warming denial".


Q: What's the best argument or proof that global warming is not happening?

A: The best proof are data taken of atmospheric temperature by two completely different methods. One is from instruments carried in satellites that look down on the atmosphere. The other is from instruments carried in balloons that ascend through the atmosphere and take readings as they go up. These measurements show that the atmospheric warming, such as it is, is extremely slight -- a great deal less than any of the models predicts, and in conflict also with observations of the surface.

(http://cagle.msnbc.com/news/GlobalWarmingSteigerwald/main.asp)


About half as many people believe that humans are not causing global warming, and most of this is due to false information. It's easier to believe what you are told than to try to back it up.

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http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2009/12/23/climategates-signs-of-the-times-anti-global-warming-signs-from-around-the-world-copenhagen-summit-crumbles/

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