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Brendon Barone

Professor Elkin

January 11, 2017

GEOL 1003-001

Global Warming

The state of the climate is something that we should all be conscious of, and to an extent,

worried about. Odds are most people on the street know of global warming in some fashion or

another. What these people may not know is that, “the November temperature across global land

and ocean surfaces was 1.31°F above the 20th century average of 55.2°F” (NOAA, 2016). This

rise is significant in part because of the greenhouse gas emissions that we create, the societal

impacts this has on us, and the subsequent rising sea level.

Greenhouse gas emissions are introduced by the EPA saying that, “Greenhouse gases trap

heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase

in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years” (EPA, 2016). The sentence that

mentions how humans are responsible, is what has most people on edge. Looking at our

currently lifestyles, the number of cars on the road for example, it is no wonder so many people

are worried about global warming. Looking at the statistics provided by the EPA on the “Total

US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2014”, over 75% of our total emission

come from electricity, transportation, and industry (EPA, 2014). This massive amount of energy

has continued to grow since the last recorded data and has continued to provide a sticking point

for both politicians and scientists alike, “Since 1990, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have
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increased by about 7 percent” (EPA, 2016). Simply put, if we turn off our lights and take a bike

to work we can make a huge impact for the good of our planet.

Now that we have turned off our lights and locked up our bikes at the local bike rack, it’s

time for work. But global warming also affects the food we eat, which needs unique conditions

to thrive and produce a large yield. The Crop Moisture Stress Index (CSMI) is defined by NOAA

as, “a measure of the effects of drought and catastrophic wetness on national crop yield and is

calculated with a drought index (the Palmer Z Index) and annual average crop productivity

values within each U.S. climate division” (NOAA, 2016). Without having the correct amount of

wetness during a growing season the crop can be greatly affected. This goes for both too wet and

too dry conditions. So, not only are our cars affecting our lungs through the air we breathe, but

also the price we pay for food.

The warming of the globe has now affected our healthy and our pockets. What could it

affect next? That’s right, the most well-known aspect of global warming, the rising sea levels.

The rising of the sea level is one hotly debated topic and a cause for concern by both politicians

and scientists alike. Setting political affiliation aside and simply looking at the facts, one can see

that sea levels are, indeed rising. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA) talks about rising sea level saying, “Global mean sea level has been rising at an average

rate of 1.7 mm/year (plus or minus 0.5mm) over the past 100 years, which is significantly larger

than the rate averaged over the last several thousand years” (NOAA, 2016). These levels may not

seem like a lot but for cities on the coast like Los Angeles, Miami, and New York this could

mean disaster in the future.

In conclusion, people should be more conscious about global warming and the carbon

footprint we leave behind. It affects our cities, our wallets, and our health. On a personal level,
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reading through these topics has given me a newfound perspective on the importance of the

environment and the impact we have on it. Specifically looking at the CMSI, the delicate balance

of moisture needed for our crops was astounding. If we receive too much or too little water this

could affect the yield, which in turn affects people’s livelihoods. We are too comfortable without

lives to make the small changes that make a big difference. The little things like bringing your

own bags for groceries or taking a bike to work, are the things no one wants to do. If we all do

these things and more we can make a huge impact on our environment. Simply put, taking the

time to look at global warming and the affects this has on our lives makes me truly want to do

my part to help combat it.
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Works Cited

Crouch. "Global Warming." Global Warming | Monitoring References | National Centers for
Environmental Information (NCEI). NOAA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

Enloe. "Crop Moisture Stress Index (CMSI)." Crop Moisture Stress Index (CMSI) | Societal
Impacts | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). NOAA, n.d. Web. 04 Jan.

"Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 06 Oct. 2016.
Web. 04 Jan. 2017.