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The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect occurs when gases such as

met hane, carbon dioxide, nit rogen oxide and CFCs t rap heat in t he at mosphere by
act ing as a pane of glass in a car. �The glass� let s t he sun light in t o make
heat but when t he heat t ries t o get out t he gases absorb t he heat . Holding t his
heat in causes heat waves, drought s and climat e changes which could alt er our way
of living. The main gases t hat cause t he greenhouse effect are wat er
vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and met hane which comes mainly from animal manure.
Ot her gases like nit rogen oxide and man made gases called chloroflurocarbons get
caught in t he at mosphere as well. The decay of animals and respirat ion are t wo
main but nat ural sources of carbon dioxide. In my opinion we people of
t he whole world should t ry and slow down t he emmission of greenhouse gases and/or
find ways t o balance t he gases so t he climat e doesn't change so rapidly. If it
did we would be forced t o adapt t o t he new climat e t hat we brought upon our
selves. If we had a int ernat ional cooperat ion t o put a damper on t he product ion
of chloroflurocarbons and slowed down t he use of fossil fuels it would
dramat ically slow down t he process of "global warming." Over t he last
100 years t he global t emperat ures have been increasing slowly but st eadily. Since
1980 t he t emperat ure has risen 0.2 degrees C (0.4 degrees F ) each decade.
Scient ist s predict t hat if we cont inue put t ing t he same amount of gas int o t he
at mosphere by t he year 2030 t he t emperat ure will be rising as much as 0.5 degrees
C (0.9 degrees F ) or more per decade. Over all t he global t emperat ure could rise
anywhere from 5 t o 9 degrees over t he next fift y years. If t he
t emperat ures do rise as predict ed several t hings could happen. The increases of
t emperat ure could alt er t he growt h of crops in areas near t he equat or due t o
insufficient rain and heat . This could really hurt count ries t hat rely on
import ed food. Wit h t he high t emperat ures t he polar ice caps could melt and cause
t he sea wat er level t o go up 1 t o 3 feet . This increase could t ake out small
islands, coast al cit ies and some shallow rivers. The Everglades in Florida would
be almost if not t ot ally wiped right off t he map. The Everglades is t he home for
many animals and plant life. If it did get flooded, t hey would all have t o move
nort hward across very dry land which t hey will not be able t o endure for very
long. When t he hot t emperat ures do spread sout hward and nort hward, t ropical
disease will spread wit h it . Disease t hat were down in Mexico will maybe occur
in The Carolinas or event ually Vermont . These new diseases will be hard t o deal
wit h causing many more deat hs and illnesses t han before. The financial problem
wit h t his is, t hat t he flooding will cause dams t o be built and cit ies t o be
reconst ruct ed. The short age of food will cause t he price of t he food t o go up and
wit h all t he diseases we will need more medical supplies and workers. All of t his
combined could and will cost a lot of money if we don't do somet hing about it now.
The comput er models can�t predict exact ly what t he climat e is going t o be
in t he fut ure, but t hey can come close t o what it will be like down t he road.
Scient ist s proved t his by predict ing wit h comput ers what t he climat e was in t he
past . Then by looking back in records, t hey found t hat t he predict ions were close
t o being right . The "Topex" (Topographic Experiment ) sat ellit e has been
collect ing informat ion on t he changes of t he sea level, and t emperat ures across
t he globe and t he amount of gases emit t ed int o t he at mosphere. Each day t he
sat ellit e makes 500,000 measurement s, each at a different place on t he eart h.
Measurement s are all made bet ween 66 degrees nort h and sout h lat it udes.1
The Cret aceous occurred over 100 million years ago. It was t he warmest period we
have knowledge of yet . There was so much carbon dioxide in t he air t hat t he
oceans rose many met ers. Nort h America was flooded and split apart int o t wo
pieces. The t emperat ure t hen was more t han fift een degrees great er t han t he
average t emperat ure t oday. Scient ist s believe t hat t he t ilt of t he
eart h's axis changes t o t ilt t he opposit e way every 10,000 years like a cycle.
While going t hrough t his cycle it will change t he climat e of areas. Right now it
is moving so t hat Nort h America is going t o be close t o t he sun in t he wint er.
Seasons become more ext reme when t he opposit e happens. This cont rols t he cycle of
ice ages. Volcanoes when t hey erupt , send clouds of dust int o t he air blocking
sunlight . This would cool t he eart h off more. Oceans are known t o absorb CO2
because of t he ocean current s and t he act ion of plankt on. There is some evidence
t hat t here is nat urally rapid climat e change bet ween each Ice Age, which confuses
t he whole global warming and idea. I t hink every human being should t ake
part in t he fight t o st op global warming. The government is t he key t o t his and
t hey bet t er do somet hing soon or it will be t oo lat e. First , t he American
government should sponsor a meet ing bet ween t he nat ions of t his world. They
should est ablish a commit t ee for handling t he money, polit ics, and scient ific
research in order t o help cut back t he emission of gases int o t he at mosphere.
Every count ry will cont ribut e by donat ing money. Each count ry would be required
t o give 0.01 of t heir GNP t o t his commit t ee. If t hey refuse t hey will be
boycot t ed and not hing will be sold t o t hem by t he part icipat ing count ries.
Global warming is a big t hreat t o our nat ion and t he world. If we do not act now,
it may be t oo lat e. Of course, t here is no sure way of t elling if t here act ually
is a greenhouse effect , but let �s not t ake any chances. Look at what is happening
t o t his world, and you will see t hat t here is a pollut ion problem. There are
st eps being t aken at t his moment t o reduce t he gases put int o t he air but it st ill
isn't enough. We need t o cut back more by t aking a few easy st eps. Plant a t ree,
or t ake a bus t o work inst ead of driving your own car. Those t hings may not seem
like a lot , but if more and more people do it , it will make a difference.