Global warming is the observed and projected increases in
the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and
oceans. The Earth's average temperature rose about 0.6° Celsius
(1.1° Fahrenheit) in the 20th century, see temperature graphs
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of
the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its
The global average air temperature near the Earth's surface rose
0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in
2005. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
concludes "most of the observed increase in globally averaged
temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the
observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas
concentrations" via the greenhouse effect. Natural phenomena
such as solar variation combined with volcanoes probably had a
small warming effect from pre-industrial times to 1950 and a
small cooling effect from 1950 onward. These basic conclusions
have been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and
academies of science, including all of the national academies of
science of the major industrialized countries. While individual
scientists have voiced disagreement with some findings of the
IPCC, the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate
change agree with the IPCC's main conclusions.
Climate model projections summarized by the IPCC indicate that
average global surface temperature will likely rise a further 1.1 to
6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century. The range of
values results from the use of differing scenarios of future
greenhouse gas emissions as well as models with differing climate
sensitivity. Although most studies focus on the period up to 2100,
warming and sea level rise are expected to continue for more
than a thousand years even if greenhouse gas levels are
stabilized. The delay in reaching equilibrium is a result of the
large heat capacity of the oceans.
Increasing global temperature will cause sea level to rise, and is
expected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events and
to change the amount and pattern of precipitation. Other effects
of global warming include changes in agricultural yields, trade
routes, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the
ranges of disease vectors.
Remaining scientific uncertainties include the amount of warming
expected in the future, and how warming and related changes will
vary from region to region around the globe. Most national
governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed
at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but there is ongoing
political and public debate worldwide regarding what, if any,
action should be taken to reduce or reverse future warming or to
adapt to its expected consequences.
Causes of Global Warming
“As human-caused biodiversity loss and climate disruption gain
ground, we need to keep our sights clear and understand that the
measure of a threat is not a matter of whether it is made on
purpose, but of how much loss it may cause. It's an ancient habit
to go after those we perceive to be evil because they intended to
do harm. It's harder, but more effective, to "go after," meaning
to more effectively educate and socialize, those vastly larger
numbers of our fellow humans who are not evil, but whose
behavior may in fact be far more destructive in the long run." (Ed
Ayres, editor of Worldwatch magazine, Nov/Dec 2001)
Carbon Dioxide from Power Plants : In 2002 about 40% of
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions stem from the burning of fossil
fuels for the purpose of electricity generation. Coal accounts for
93 percent of the emissions from the electric utility industry.
Coal emits around 1.7 times as much carbon per unit of energy
when burned as does natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil.
Natural gas gives off 50% of the carbon dioxide, the principal
greenhouse gas, released by coal and 25% less carbon dioxide
than oil, for the same amount of energy produced. Coal contains
about 80 percent more carbon per unit of energy than gas does,
and oil contains about 40 percent more. For the typical U.S.
household, a metric ton of carbon equals about 10,000 miles of
driving at 25 miles per gallon of gasoline or about one year of
home heating using a natural gas-fired furnace or about four
months of electricity from coal-fired generation.
Carbon Dioxide Emitted from Cars : About 33% of U.S carbon
dioxide emissions comes from the burning of gasoline in internal-
combustion engines of cars and light trucks (minivans, sport
utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, and jeeps).US Emissions
Inventory 2006 page 8 Vehicles with poor gas mileage contribute
the most to global warming. For example, according to the
E.P.A's 2000 Fuel Economy Guide, a new Dodge Durango sports
utility vehicle (with a 5.9 liter engine) that gets 12 miles per
gallon in the city will emit an estimated 800 pounds of carbon
dioxide over a distance of 500 city miles. In other words for each
gallon of gas a vehicle consumes, 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide
are emitted into the air. A new Honda Insight that gets 61 miles
to the gallon will only emit about 161 pounds of carbon dioxide
over the same distance of 500 city miles. Sports utility vehicles
were built for rough terrain, off road driving in mountains and
deserts. When they are used for city driving, they are so much
overkill to the environment. If one has to have a large vehicle for
their family, station wagons are an intelligent choice for city
driving, especially since their price is about half that of a sports
utility. Inasmuch as SUV's have a narrow wheel base in respect to
their higher silhouette, they are four times as likely as cars to
rollover in an accident.
The United States is the largest consumer of oil, using 20.4
million barrels per day. In his debate with former Defense
Secretary Dick Cheney, during the 2000 Presidential campaign,
Senator Joseph Lieberman said, "If we can get 3 miles more per
gallon from our cars, we'll save 1 million barrels of oil a day,
which is exactly what the (Arctic National Wildlife) Refuge at its
best in Alaska would produce."
If car manufacturers were to increase their fleets' average gas
mileage about 3 miles per gallon, this country could save a
million barrels of oil every day, while US drivers would save $25
billion in fuel costs annually.
Carbon Dioxide from Airplanes : The UN's Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change estimates that aviation causes 3.5% of
global warming, and that the figure could rise to 15% by 2050.
Carbon Dioxide from Buildings : Buildings structure account
for about 12% of carbon dioxide emissions.
Methane : While carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas,
methane is second most important. Methane is more than 20
times as effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. US
Emissions Inventory 2004 Levels of atmospheric methane have
risen 145% in the last 100 years. Methane is derived from
sources such as rice paddies, bovine flatulence, bacteria in bogs
and fossil fuel production. Most of the world’s rice, and all of the
rice in the United States, is grown on flooded fields. When fields
are flooded, anaerobic conditions develop and the organic matter
in the soil decomposes, releasing CH4 to the atmosphere,
primarily through the rice plants.
Water vapor in the Atmosphere Increasing : Water vapor is
the most prevalent and most powerful greenhouse gas on the
planet, but its increasing presence is the result of warming
caused by carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases.
Water vapor holds onto two-thirds of the heat trapped by all the
greenhouse gases. As the Earth heats up relative humidity is able
to increase, allowing the planet's atmosphere to hold more water
vapor, causing even more warming, thus a positive feedback
scenario. Because the air is warmer, the relative humidity can be
higher (in essence, the air is able to 'hold' more water when its
warmer), leading to more water vapor in the atmosphere, says
the NCDC. There is much scientific uncertainty as to the degree
this feedback loop causes increased warming, inasmuch as the
water vapor also causes increased cloud formation, which in turn
reflects heat back out into space.
Nitrous oxide : Another greenhouse gas is Nitrous oxide (N2O),
a colorless, non-flammable gas with a sweetish odour, commonly
known as "laughing gas", and sometimes used as an anesthetic.
Nitrous oxide is naturally produced by oceans and rainforests.
Man-made sources of nitrous oxide include nylon and nitric acid
production, the use of fertilizers in agriculture, cars with catalytic
converters and the burning of organic matter. Nitrous oxide is
broken down in the atmosphere by chemical reactions that
Deforestation : After carbon emissions caused by humans,
deforestation is the second principle cause of atmospheric carbon
dioxide. Deforestation is responsible for 20-25% of all carbon
emissions entering the atmosphere, by the burning and cutting of
about 34 million acres of trees each year. We are losing millions
of acres of rainforests each year, the equivalent in area to the
size of Italy. The destroying of tropical forests alone is throwing
hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere each year. We are also losing temperate forests. The
temperate forests of the world account for an absorption rate of 2
billion tons of carbon annually. In the temperate forests of Siberia
alone, the earth is losing 10 million acres per year.
City Gridlock : In 1996 according to an annual study by traffic
engineers, it was found that drivers in Los Angeles and New York
City alone wasted 600 million gallons of gas annually while just
sitting in traffic. The 600 million gallons of gas translates to about
7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in just those two cities.
Carbon in Atmosphere and Ocean : The atmosphere contains
about 750 billion tons of carbon, while 1020 billion tons are
dissolved in the surface layers of the world's ocean.
Forests 610 billion tons of Carbon
Soils 1580 " " “ "
Deep Ocean 38100 " " “
Permafrost : Permafrost is a solid structure of frozen soil,
extending to depths of 2.200 feet in some areas of the arctic and
sub arctic regions, containing grasses, roots, sticks, much of it
dating back to 30,000 years. About 25% of the land areas of the
Northern Hemisphere hold permafrost, which is defined as soil
whose temperature has been 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees
Celsius) for a period of at least 2 years. Permafrost is under 85%
of Alaska land surface and much of Canada, Scandinavia and
Siberia and holds about 14 per cent of the world's carbon. The
hard permafrost on which is built homes and other buildings, can,
with rising temperatures, turn into a soft material causing
subsidence and damage to buildings, electric generating stations,
pipelines and other structures. Ground instability would cause
erosion, affect terrain, slopes, roads, foundations and more.
Tundra : A name very suited to the environs of the arctic and
subarctic, tundra means 'treeless plain' in Finnish. The tundra is a
biome (a major segment of a particular region having distinctive
vegetation, animals and microorganisms adapted to a unique
climate), home to about 1700 kinds of plants, including shrubs,
mosses, grasses, lichens and 400 kinds of flowers.
About 50 billion tons of carbon are estimated to be held in a
frozen state in the tundra, and now the tundra is beginning to
become a source of carbon dioxide. In the 1970's University of
California biologist Walter Oechel studied carbon dioxide
emissions in the tundra, which until this time had been thought of
as a carbon sink. Doing further tests in the 1980's, Oechel
discovered that this was no longer the case, that warming
temperatures had changed the tundra to a net emitter of carbon
dioxide. Says Oechel, " We found to our great surprise that the
tundra was already losing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. So
that by the start of these experiments, which was in 1982, the
tundra had already warmed and dried enough, that its historic
role as a carbon sink had reversed and changed. It was now
losing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That was totally
Effect of Global Warming
There has been a considerable increase in the average
temperature of earth in the past century. This rise in temperature
is attributed to the effect of warming brought about by the
accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This
phenomenon is called Global Warming. The effects of global
warming are numerous. The main culprits in the issue are
excessive discharge of green house gases in the atmosphere. The
greenhouse gases trap the heat in the atmosphere and make the
earth warm. The greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide,
methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor etc. have increased
tremendously in the atmosphere due to the recent
industrialization. The excessive deforestation has resulted in
further increase of the carbon dioxide in the air. Burning of fossil
fuels accumulated in centuries for the purpose of generation of
electricity by the power plants has led to great emissions of
carbon dioxide. More over the carbon dioxide emissions from the
road vehicles have further increased the contents of these green
One of the major effects of global warming is the climatic
change that is being absorbed on the earth. There are floods in
the areas where the flood history is not very common. There are
droughts in places, which were having good rainfall earlier. The
atmosphere gets suddenly very harsh in the terms of cyclones
and thunderstorms. The nature of earth's atmosphere is
becoming even more unpredictable and hence a cause of
attention. This in turn brings about a variation in the biological
systems essentially the crops, forests, oceans, fresh waterways,
and grasslands. As these are the building and breeding grounds
of life, the life on earth is getting affected.
Another major effect of Global Warming has been noticed in
the behavior of the wild life. There has been extinction of
various species due to global warming. Major changes are seen in
the animals as they react to the warmer environment, which are
caused due to global warming. A behavior pattern of the animals
studied shows that the animals are beginning to shift their
population towards north or towards a higher altitudes. A simple
study that was made in the university of California on a small
butterfly is enough to depict the changes in the availability of
species in the warmer areas. A survey at one hundred and fifty
one areas showed that the butterfly were getting less populated
in the southern areas which were warmer as compared to the
northern areas. Hence the butterflies have migrated from warm
southern zone to cooler northern zone.
The marine life is also very sensitive to the increase in
temperatures. The effect of global warming will definitely be
seen on some species in the water. A survey was made in which
the marine life reacted significantly to the changes in water
temperatures. It is expected that many species will die off or
become extinct due to the increase in the temperatures of the
water, whereas various other species, which prefer warmer
waters, will increase tremendously. Perhaps the most disturbing
changes are expected in the coral reefs that are expected to die
off as an effect of global warming. Even the penguins that live on
poles are getting affected as a result of global warming. Due to
melting of polar ice their life cycle is getting disturbed and which
leads to death of many animals.
Another effect of global warming will be on the vegetation that
is available on the earth surface. The tundra type of vegetation
will turn to temperate, cold deciduous and evergreen type of
forest. Woody plant population will tend to increase as a result of
increased precipitation. There will be a drastic change in the type
of vegetation available in the area, which will in turn effect the
inhabitation of the area.
As an effect of global warming the glaciers are retreating
at an alarming rate and changing the entire environment of the
mountains. This will bring about the most intense climatic
changes and alteration in the habitat. There will be a considerable
increase in the water level of oceans and seas as a result of
melting of glaciers. This increase in level of seas and oceans will
engulf land at the coastal areas and some low lying countries may
even become submerged. As an effect of global warming there
are rapid temperature changes expected in the future which will
affect the length of the seasons. The winter will be quite short.
This will imbalance the ecosystem and will effect greatly on the
behavior of the birds and the animals. This will require a drastic
change in the feeding periods of young birds and the availability
of food for them. These climatic changes will also impact on the
growing season for the farmers. The farmers are planting the
seeds according to the seasons and rain, but since the rains are
getting disturbed and also the climate is getting shifted, the
sowing time is difficult to predict, which will lead to poor
production and hence shortage of food grains. Much of the crop is
also effect by the violent nature of the atmosphere like thunder
storms and cyclones.
As an effect of global warming species like golden toad,
harlequin frog of Costa Rica has already become extinct. There
are number of species that have a threat of disappearing soon as
an effect of global warming. As an effect of global warming
various new diseases have emerged lately. These diseases are
occurring frequently due to the increase in earths average
temperature since the bacteria can survive better in elevated
temperatures and even multiplies faster when the conditions are
favorable. The global warming is extending the distribution of
mosquitoes due to the increase in humidity levels and their
frequent growth in warmer atmosphere. Various diseases due to
ebola, hanta and machupo virus are expected due to warmer
climates. The global warming is expected to cause irreversible
changes in the ecosystem and the behavior of animals.
The effects of global warming are very large in number and
still there are so many that are still to be found out. But recently
the problem has become visible and evident due to happening of
the events that were before just talked off.
Global Warming Kills the Animals
Species Disappear : The latest report from the World
Conservation Union says that a minimum of 40 percent of the
world’s species are being threatened ... and global warming’s one
of the main culprits.
Cannibalistic Polar Bears : As longer
seasons without ice keep polar bears away
from food, they start eating each other.
...And Dying Polar Bears : A recent study
completed by the U.S. Geological Survey
shows that cannibalism—while brutal—may
be the least of the bear’s problems. Many are also drowning,
unable to swim in the increased spaces between melting sea ice.
Two-thirds of them may be gone by 2050.
Dying Gray Whales : Save the whales! Global warming is
thwarting majestic gray whales’ struggle to recover from their
endangered status. In recent years, more gray whales have been
washing up on beaches after starving to death. Culprit: Rising
ocean temps, which are killing off their food supply.
Death March of the Penguins : Scientists
blame global warming for the declining
penguin population, as warmer waters and
smaller ice floes force the birds to travel
further to find food. “Emperor penguins ...
have dropped from 300 breeding pairs to
just nine in the western Antarctic Peninsula.”
Farewell to the Arctic Fox : The White Arctic Fox used to rule
the colder climates, but as temperatures warm up, its more
aggressive cousin, the Red Fox, is moving North and taking over.
Jellyfish Attack : Ouch! At least 30,000 people were stung by
jellyfish along the Mediterranean coast last year; some areas
boasted more than 10 jellyfish per square foot of water. Thank
global warming: Jellyfish generally stay out of the way of
swimmers, preferring the warmer, saltier water of the open seas.
Hotter temperatures erase the natural temperature barrier
between the open sea and the shore. The offshore waters also
become more saline, causing the stinging blobs of hurt to move
in toward the coastlines (and your unsuspecting legs).
Giant Squid Attack : Giant squid—an
“aggressive predator” that grows up to 7
feet long and can weigh more than 110 lbs
—used to only be found in the warm waters
along the Pacific equator. Hotter waters
mean today they’re invading the waters of
California and even Alaska.
Homeless Sheep, Goats, and Bears : Bighorn sheep, mountain
goats, and grizzly bears are becoming homeless, due to the
disappearance of the alpine meadows in Glacier National Park.
Homeless Deer and Marsh Rabbits : The deer and marsh
rabbits in the Florida Keys also face a housing crisis, as water
levels rise and warmer temperatures destroy coastal prairies and
freshwater marsh habitats.
Birds around the World : Recent research found that “up to 72
percent of bird species in northeastern Australia and more than a
third in Europe could go extinct due to global warming.”
Global Warming Kills the Planet
Greenland’s Melting : Greenland is melting at a rate of 52 cubic
miles per year—much faster than once predicted. If Greenland’s
entire 2.5 million cubic kilometers of ice were to melt, it would
lead to a global sea level rise of 7.2 meters, or more than 23
Less Ice in the Arctic : The amount of ice
in the Arctic at the end of the 2005 summer
“was the smallest seen in 27 years of
satellite imaging, and probably the smallest
in 100 years.” Experts said it’s the strongest
evidence of global warming in the Arctic
Ice Shelf in Antarctica Bites the Dust : In 2002, a chunk of
ice in Antarctica larger than the state of Rhode Island collapsed
into the sea. British and Belgian scientists said the chunk was
weakened by warm winds blowing over the shelf ... and that the
winds were caused by global warming.
Say Farewell to Glaciers : “In Glacier National Park, the
number of glaciers in the park has dropped from 150 to 26 since
1850. Some project that none will be left within 25 to 30 years.”
The Green, Green Grass of Antarctica : Grass has started to
grow in Antarctica in areas formerly covered by ice sheets and
glaciers. While Antarctic hair grass has grown before in isolated
tufts, warmer temperatures allow it to take over larger and larger
areas and, for the first time, survive through the winter.
Giant “Sand Seas” in Africa : Global warming may unleash
giant “sand seas” in Africa—giant fields of sand dunes with no
vegetation—as a shortage of rainfall and increasing winds may
“reactivate” the now-stable Kalahari dune fields. That means
farewell to local vegetation, animals, and any tourism in the
Florida’s National Marine Sanctuary in
Trouble : Global warming is “bleaching” the
coral in the Florida Keys National Marine
Sanctuary, killing the coral, tourism, and local fish that live
among the coral for protection.
The Oceans are Turning to Acid : It sounds like a really bad
sci-fi movie, but it’s true: The oceans are turning to acid! Oceans
absorb CO2 which, when mixed with seawater, turns to a weak
carbonic acid. Calcium from eroded rocks creates a “natural
buffer” against the acid, and most marine life is “finely tuned” to
the current balance. As we produce more and more CO2, we
throw the whole balance out of whack and the oceans turn to
Say Goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef : According to the
U.N., the Great Barrier Reef will disappear within decades as
“warmer, more acidic seas could severely bleach coral in the
world-famous reef as early as 2030.”
Mediterranean Sea? Try the Dead Sea : Italian experts say
thanks to faster evaporation and rising temperatures, the
Mediterranean Sea is quickly turning into “a salty and stagnant
sea.” The hot, salty water “could doom many of the sea's plant
and animal species and ravage the fishing industry.”
A Sacred River Dries Up : The sacred Ganges River in India is
beginning to run dry. The Ganges is fed by the Gangotri glacier,
which is today “shrinking at a rate of 40 yards a year, nearly
twice as fast as two decades ago.” Scientists warn the glacier
could be gone as soon as 2030.
Goodbye to the Mangrove Trees : Next on the global warming
hit list: Rising sea levels linked to climate change mean we could
lose half of the mangrove trees of the Pacific Isles by the end of
More Hurricanes : Over the past century, the number of
hurricanes that strike each year has more than doubled.
Scientists blame global warming and the rising temperature of
the surface of the seas.
More Floods : During the summer of 2007, Britain suffered its
worst flood in 60 years. Scientists point the finger directly at
global warming, which changed precipitation patterns and is now
causing more “intense rainstorms across parts of the northern
More Fires : Hotter temperatures could also mean larger and
more devastating wildfires. This past summer in California, a
blaze consumed more than 33,500 acres, or 52 square miles.
Thunderstorms Get Dangerous : Hurricanes aside, NASA
scientists now say as the world gets hotter, even smaller
thunderstorms will pose more severe risks with “deadly lightning,
damaging hail and the potential for tornadoes.”
Higher Sea Levels : Scientists believe sea levels will be three
feet higher by the end of the century than they are now.
Global Warming Makes Us Sicker:
People Are Dying : 150,000: Number of people the World
Health Organization estimates are killed by climate-change-
related issues every year.
Heat Waves and Strokes : Authorities in China say warmer
temperatures are responsible for an up tick in heat-wave
associated deaths, such as strokes and heart disease. They
calculated between 173 and 685 Chinese citizens per million die
every year from ailments related to global warming.
Death by Smog : Three words you really don’t want in your obit:
“Death by Smog.” Yet Canadian doctors say smog-related deaths
could rise by 80 percent over the next 20 years. And since warm
air is a key ingredient in smog, warmer temperatures will
increase smog levels.
More Heart Attacks : Doctors warn global warming will bring
more cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks. “‘The hardening
of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car,’ said Dr.
Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University.
‘Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so
More Mold and Ragweed = More Allergies, Asthma : A
Harvard Study in 2004 showed higher concentrations of CO2 in
the atmosphere is good news to allergens like mold and ragweed
(they love the stuff). And that means higher rates of asthma
attacks, especially in kids.
A Resurgence In Deadly Disease : “The World Health
Organization has identified more than 30 new or resurgent
diseases in the last three decades, the sort of explosion some
experts say has not happened since the Industrial Revolution
brought masses of people together in cities.” Why? Global
warming “is fueling the spread of epidemics in areas unprepared
for the diseases” when “mosquitoes, ticks, mice and other
carriers are surviving warmer winters and expanding their range,
bringing health threats with them.”
Spread of Dengue Fever : Scientists
predict warmer temperatures will allow
mosquitoes carrying Dengue Fever to travel
outside the tropics. Since people in cooler
climes lack immunity from previous
exposure, that means transmission would
be extensive. You get a severe fever, you
start spontaneously bleeding, you can die. There is no vaccine.
Death in the Time of Cholera : Cholera, which thrives in
warmer water, appeared in the newly warmed waters of South
America in 1991 for the first time in the 20th century. “It swept
from Peru across the continent and into Mexico, killing more than
Global Warming Threatens Our
Starvation : A study by IISS found that reduced water supplies
and hotter temperatures mean “65 countries were likely to lose
over 15 percent of their agricultural output by 2100.”
Large-Scale Migrations : Global warming will turn already-dry
environments into deserts, causing the people who live there to
migrate in massive numbers to more livable places.
More Refugees : A study by the relief group Christian Aid
estimates the number of refugees around the world will top a
billion by 2050, thanks in large part to global warming.
Increased Border Tensions : A report called “National Security
and the Threat of Climate Change,” written by a group of retired
generals and admirals, specifically linked global warming to
increased border tensions. “If, as some project, sea levels rise,
human migrations may occur, likely both within and across
Famine : “Developing countries, many with average
temperatures that are already near or above crop tolerance
levels, are predicted to suffer an average 10 to 25 percent decline
in agricultural productivity by the 2080s.”
Droughts : Global warming will cause
longer, more devastating droughts, thus
exacerbating the fight over the world’s
The Poor Are Most at Risk : Although they
produce low amounts of greenhouse gases, experts say under-
developed countries—such as those in sub-Saharan Africa—have
“the most to lose under dire predictions of wrenching change in
What is global warming?
Global warming is the rise in temperature of the earth's
It's said that by the time a baby born today is 80 years old, the
world will be 6 and a half degrees warmer than it is now.
Is global warming bad?
The earth is naturally warmed by rays (or radiation) from the sun
which pass through the earth's atmosphereand are reflected back
out to space again.
The atmosphere's made up of layers of gases, some of which are
called 'greenhouse gases'. They're mostly natural and make up a
kind of thermal blanket over the earth.
This lets some of the rays back out of the atmosphere, keeping
the earth at the right temperature for animals, plants and
humans to survive (60DegF/16DegC).
So some global warming is good. But if extra greenhouse gases
are made, the thermal blanket gets thicker and too much heat is
kept in the earth's atmosphere. That's when global warming's
What are the greenhouse gases?
Greenhouse gases are made out of:
• water vapour
• carbon dioxide
• methane (come from animal poo)
• nitrous oxide
• chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
They are all natural gases, but extra greenhouses gases can be
made by humans from pollution.
How are extra greenhouse gases produced?ss
Extra greenhouse gases are produced through activities which
release carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone CFCs
(chlorofluorocarbons). These activities include:
• Burning coal and petrol, known as 'fossil fuels'
• Cutting down of rainforests and other forests
• Animal waste which lets off methane
What's the 'ozone layer' got to do with global warming?
The ozone layer is another important part of the atmosphere.
It's made up of ozone (a type of oxygen) that protects the earth
from too many harmful rays called UVB.
So.... what could happen ?
If Earth gets hotter, some of the important changes could
• Water expands when it's heated and oceans absorb more
heat than land, so sea levels would rise.
• Sea levels would also rise due to the melting of the
glaciers and sea ice.
• Cities on coasts would flood.
• Places that usually get lots of rain and snowfall might get
hotter and drier.
• Lakes and rivers could dry up.
• There would be more droughts making hard to grow
• Less water would be available for drinking, showers and
• Some plants and animals might become extinct because
of the heat.
• Hurricanes, tornadoes and other storms which are caused
by changes in heat and water evaporation may get more
What's being done about it?
The United Nations has meetings where world leaders agree on
what to do about global warming.
Every five years, the Earth Summit happens.
In 1997 there was an Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and in
1997, an agreement was made at the UN Conference on Climate
Change in Kyoto, Japan, to cut the amount of gases that
Leaders agree the world can cut the amount of carbon dioxide
that's released into the atmosphere by changing the way power is
What can U do?
There are ways you can help cut greenhouse gases and help stop
They are simple things, but can make a difference if everyone
Re-cycle glass bottles, jars, newspapers and magazines
and tin cans. Save them and take them to local re-cycling
Re-use plastic shopping bags and envelopes, don't get new
Persuade you mum or dad (or whoever does the
gardening) to have a compost heap.
Put a brick in a plastic bag into your toilet cistern, then the
toilet will use less water each time you flush. Don't worry
that's plenty of water to get rid of...
Use paper on both sides.
Try and buy products that don't use much packaging.
Give unwanted gifts and clothes to a charity shop.
Only fill the kettle up with the amount of water you need to
boil that time.
Don't leave the TV or video on standby.
If you get lift to office in a car, take your mates along for
Ask whoever does your washing to use the machine at 40
degrees, this helps conserve power.
Switch lights off when you're not in the room.
Get a clockwork mobile phone recharger / if not available
locally. Take out the charger from the power socket when
it’s not being used.
Cycle to places!
Have showers instead of baths…or if you really care.
Other ways of making green energy
Gas produced from rotting rubbish on landfill sites could be
An example; www.projectsimilipal.blogspot.com
Experts are also looking at energy crops; sugarcane is
being used to produce ethanol,. as a green fuel.
Small scale and domestic solar energy are being
Most of the above said stuff is from BBC. That’s the basics.
Given below are some details about the same facts- in a slightly
more scientific way;
Burning fossil fuels, and the consequent release of carbon
dioxide, is highly essential to our day-to-day activities. But, the
increased quantity and speed at which these gases are released
into the atmosphere is threatening the earth’s climate.
This increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases released by human activities, such as
burning fossil fuels and deforestation, play a major role in
warming the Earth. This phenomenon, known as global warming,
is likely to raise sea levels by expanding ocean water, and by
melting glaciers and the polar ice cap.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported
recently that the 20th century was the hottest of the last one
thousand years. Six of the 10 warmest years ever recorded
were in the 1990s; the other four were in the 1980s. Europe's
winter is now 11 days shorter than it was 35 years ago. The
Arctic ice cover is at the same time shrinking by an area the size
of the Netherlands each year. Further south, Europe's largest
glacier, the Breidamerkurjoll in Iceland, is expected to slide into
the Atlantic within five years. In the last 100 years, the sea level
has already risen by about 7 inches, wiping up miles of land, and
it is expected to rise more in the future leading to the actual
submergence of islands.
By the year 2080, Manhattan and Shanghai could be underwater.
Moreover, storms, droughts, and floods could become more
they already are,
and this is also
attributed to the
gases (GHGs). As
a matter of fact,
climate change is
considered to be
the most serious
threat to the
environment, affecting human health, food security, economic
activity, natural resources, and physical infrastructure. Unless
curbed, global warming is to be the fatal catastrophe of our era.
Global Warming: Causes and Solutions
Although greenhouse gases are natural gases that maintain the
earth's temperature, an excess of those gases, resulting from
human activities, raises the temperature in the atmosphere and
leads to global warming.
So what are the human activities that release greenhouse gases?
1. Burning fossil fuels to produce electricity, power factories,
and to carry out a wide range of vital human tasks. The use
of fossil fuels accounts for three fourths of manmade carbon
2. Deforestation: Deforestation results in an increase of
atmospheric carbon dioxide as forests normally absorb this
greenhouse gas in the course of photosynthesis.
3. Accumulation of animal manure, which lets off methane-
another greenhouse gas. Methane is emitted from the
manure during storage in lagoons or concrete tanks.
Putting a stop to the process of global warming may be achieved
simply through reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases that
cause the greenhouse effect.
Industrialized countries that have spent decades enhancing their
industries and polluting the planet should be held accountable by
establishing environmentally friendly systems that cut the use of
fossil fuels and release smaller amounts of greenhouse gases.
We, the members of Group 3, would like to take this opportunity
to thank Prof. Mathew for giving us an interesting topic for our
presentation, on Global Warming. This presentation has helped us
to gain the maximum knowledge of the same. It has helped us to
learn about the effects and causes of Global Warming and also
about some of the preventive steps that could be taken to avoid
all the ill-effects.
This will surely be helpful to us in our near future.
We got our information from the following sites: -