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"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 propanefueled 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 technonerdy, 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
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