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Global Warming

"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate.... It is


virtually certain that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases will cause global surface climate
to be warmer. The unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas
concentrations, together with other human influences on climate over
the past century and those anticipated for the future, constitute a real
basis for concern."

What Is Global Warming?


Global warming refers to a long-term rise in global average temperature. More
specifically, the ongoing rise in temperature that started a century ago and is
believed to be caused mainly by pollution from human activities, including the
burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Rising temperatures have already
resulted in an increase in extreme weather events, loss of sea ice and glaciers,
rising sea level, and harm to wildlife. But it is not too late to take action. A
sharp reduction of greenhouse gas pollution would significantly slow global
warming and reduce the likelihood of dangerous and irreversible impacts.

The Greenhouse Effect is what keeps Earth warm enough for people to live on,
but a build-up in the gases that produce this warmth is overheating our planet
and causing global warming.
How does global warming occur?
Heat from the sun is trapped at the Earth's surface by a blanket of greenhouse
gases. This "greenhouse effect" keeps the Earth warmer than it otherwise
would be. Human activities are rapidly increasing the amount of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere, causing more heat to be trapped and increasing
global temperatures. The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and
land-use changes such as deforestation have raised the amount of carbon
dioxide, the most important human-produced greenhouse gas, by 30% since
pre-industrial times. Concentrations of methane, another potent greenhouse
gas, have more than doubled. Climate scientists around the world agree that
global average temperature has risen about 1°F (0.6°C) over the past century.
Current temperatures are likely the warmest seen in the last 2,000 years.
Assessments by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) find that most of the
warming of the past 50 years is likely due to human-produced greenhouse gas
pollution.

How much global warming is predicted for the future?


Scientists predict that in the absence of policies to cut greenhouse gas
pollution, the Earth will heat up by 2–10°F (1-6°C) over the next century, more
quickly than at any other time in the history of civilization. The difference in
global average temperature between modern times and the last ice age—when
much of Canada and the northern U.S. was covered with a thick ice sheet—
was only about 9°F (5°C). A future rise in temperature greater than 4°F (2°C)
could have dangerous and irreversible effects on the planet, such as the
disintegration of ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica and the resulting
inundation of coastal cities. Action is needed now to prevent these kinds of
dangerous impacts in the future.
Global Warming? Blame it on the Immigrants!
Today, the Center for Immigration Studies, our lovely friends at the nativist
“think thank” have released yet another report. We all remember a few weeks
ago when they claimed that the numbers of unauthorized immigrants in the
country was decreasing because of raids, not because of our failing economy.

Well now, they are blaming immigrants for Global Warming. No, really.

The findings of a new study indicate that future levels of immigration will have
a significant impact on efforts to reduce global CO2 emissions. Immigration to
the United States significantly increases world-wide CO2 emissions because it
transfers population from lower-polluting parts of the world to the United
States, which is a higher-polluting country.
I really can’t do justice to the type of rebuttal I would like to give this, but No to
Borders and Binaries has a great post that rips apart the report. Here is an
excerpt.The argument assumes that if these immigrants stayed in their
countries, they would not get the chance to consume like most Americans, and
hence not increase their carbon footprint. Is the CIS implying that improving
standards of living for people through immigration or development in their own
countries leads to global warming so improving their quality of life is wrong?
How honorable. It does absolutely nothing to propose solutions to the very real
problem of global warming (a fact that right wingers choose to overlook till they
can use it against immigration), and is yet another means of immigrant
scapegoating.

Furthermore, the report completely looks over the fact that the countries which
contribute the most immigrants–legal or illegal–to the United States (India,
China, Mexico) are developing countries where consumption rates are likely to
explode in the future–another fact that right-wingers always point to
themselves when told to rein in consumption by the G-8 nations. Again, the
United States can take the lead in this matter and do something about its own
consumption rates before it starts blaming population growth for the problem.
If we rein in consumption patterns, our ecological footprint decreases and
hence population growth–from immigrants or otherwise–becomes a less
important issue.
Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases Are Effecting

The world is undoubtedly warming right? This warming is as a result of


emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human
activities including industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and
changes in land use, such as deforestation.
Continuation of historical trends of greenhouse gas emissions will result
in additional warming over the 20st century. Current projections point to
a global increase of 2.0°F to 11.5°F (1.1°C to 6.4°C). This warming will
have real consequences for the world, for with that warming also come
additional sea-level rise that will gradually inundate coastal areas and
increase beach erosion and flooding from coastal storms, changes in
precipitation patterns, increased risk of droughts and floods, threats to
biodiversity, and a number of potential challenges for public health.
Addressing climate change is no simple task. To protect ourselves, our
economy, and our land from the adverse effects of climate change, we
must ultimately dramatically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and
other gases.
To achieve this goal we must fundamentally transform the way we power
our global economy. This demands shifting away from a century’s legacy
of unrestrained fossil fuel use and its associated emissions in pursuit of
more efficient and renewable sources of energy. Such a transformation
will require society to engage in a concerted effort, over the near- and
long-term, to seek out opportunities and design actions to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.also we canAvoid using electric or propane-
fueled bug traps, which contribute to global warming. Instead, consider
natural alternatives to repelling pests such as burning citronella candles
or surrounding your patio with plants that repel insects (such as
marigolds or geraniums.
The Data on Global Warming is Conclusive

As we sit in our living rooms, buttressed against the cold by blankets, hot
toddies, and cranked-up thermostats, it may seem easy to believe the
assertions of those who say that global warming isn't real or those who say that
it may be real but it's nothing to worry about. Hey, who doesn't love hot fun in
the summertime? Maybe global warming will be our most successful export!

Well, not so fast there, Sly. Let's take a look at some data. In 2001, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization whose
membership includes the US, released a report that included data and analysis
about temperature trends, what's causing them, and what impacts we might
expect to see. The graph below shows IPCC's scientific estimates of
temperature changes over the last 140 years. The graph is a little techno-
nerdy, but the most important part is the solid black line, which shows a clear
increasing trend over the last century.

Some would still argue that scientists also know temperatures vary from year
to year, and even long-term trends (over decades and centuries) in temperature
can vary. Yes, this is true, but a quick look at the next graph should dispel any
doubt that something very different has gone on in the last century, something
indicative of a radical departure from past temperature variations and trends.
The plot below shows how temperatures over the last 1,000 years varied from
the 1961-1990 average. Beginning in the early 1900s there is a steady rise up
to the baseline period (1961-1990), and in the decade 1990-2000 the rise is
even more dramatic. While the sharp rise in the last century is quite
noticeable, the most important thing to see is that this rise contrasts sharply
with the overall consistency of the previous 900 years.
Global warming pictorial food for thought