Greenhouse gases are being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists believe that the carbon dioxide pollution is trapping the sun’s heat inside the world’s atmosphere and so the temperatures are rising…….
As the temperatures rise, the polar ice caps feel the effects. They are melting.
This could result in disastrous events such as the sea level slowly rising and flooding the land nearest to the coast.
Many people will die with the lack of clean drinking water as their lakes and rivers have been contaminated by the salty ice water. The floods will also spread famine and disease, killing millions of people.
The rate in which global warming is happening is increasing. The temperatures are rising more than twenty times faster than the global warming occurring in the last century. This is because of the massive number of cars being driven on the road and the thick smoke and pollution being released into the air by factories and power plants. The Earth’s main protection from global warming, vegetation, is quickly disappearing as the human race is clearing the trees for farm land and building more fume belching factories.
These pictures taken by NASA satellites show just how serious the problem of the melting ice caps actually is. This shows the change in the size of the polar ice caps in just thirty years. All the ice that has melted has gone into the sea to increase the levels by 2mm a year. This is growing though, as the temperatures rise and melt even more ice. Ice caps 1973 Ice caps 2003
The polar ice caps are not just slowly melting but getting weaker. In 1995 a massive ice shelf broke off into the sea, rapidly affecting the size of the ice caps. The ice shelf measured 1600 km ². In 1998, another ice shelf which measured 1100 km² broke away and then in 2002 a huge 13500 km² fell into the sea. These figures are very worrying as these huge blocks of ice may have held home to hundreds of animals which will die as the ice melts into nothing far off into sea.
In 100 years, the sea level has been believed to rise over 6 inches. Scientists have predicted that by the year 2100, the ice caps may be completely melted and the sea level will have risen between 50 inches and 90 inches. This water will spill over coastland and into lakes and rivers. A lot of land and lives will be lost.
Scientists have discovered that the polar ice caps are one of the Earth’s natural defences against the full heat of the Sun. It is believed that the ice reflected a lot of the suns heat back into space and so keeping the Earth at a temperature suitable for the habitation of humans, plants and animals. Because the carbon dioxide pollution is trapping the suns heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, the ice caps are melting and no longer have the power and surface area to reflect the majority of the Sun’s heat. This results in the Earth getting even hotter as the full intensity of the sun slowly works its way to the atmosphere and then gets trapped by the carbon dioxide layer.
Scientists have discovered, however, that without some greenhouse gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere, the average temperature of the Earth would be 0 °c and no species could be able to survive. It is because there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that the Earth is able to support life. If everyone was to stop using their cars and shut down all polluting factories, the Earth’s temperatures would suddenly drop and many species, including humans, would die out.
As the ice caps melt, many species who live in that area will become extremely endangered or extinct. Species such as the polar bear, penguin and arctic seal will find that their homes disappear into nothing and so will die out. Many eco systems will break down and while some species will thrive and their numbers will become increasingly huge but other animals will die out as their food becomes scarce.
Scientists have found that there is a lot of greenhouse gases on Venus. Because of the density of the gas, a lot of infrared rays get trapped in the atmosphere, making the planet very dangerous. If greenhouse gases continue to be released into the atmosphere, Earth could end up like Venus one day.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to cut down on the amount of carbon gases we release into the atmosphere every day. We need to keep plants and vegetation were they are as they will help to naturally relieve the Earth of excess carbon dioxide. Only when humans do this, can they provide a safe planet for future generations. Otherwise, they may find themselves up to their ears in icy water.