Global warming is another negative byproduct of air pollution. There is debate about the source of the problem; most scientists agree that the earth is heating up. One of the principal causes is thought to be high atmospheric concentrations of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These and related substances are called “greenhouse” gases because they trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere instead of letting it radiate into space, thereby raising air temperature.
Some scientists are of the opinion that the Earth has warmed up about 1° Fahrenheit (0.6° Celsius) in the last 100 years. The rate of change, they say, is speeding up and in a hundred years from now, the Earth may be as much as ten degree hotter.
Causes of Global Warming
Sunlight brings energy to the Earth, this light turn into heat when it hits the ground. The heat in turn seeps away from the Earth but the atmosphere slows the heat’s escape. The atmosphere is a layer of air around the planet, it holds in some of the warmth.
The atmosphere is a mixture of many gases, in the last 250 years, this mixture has been changing. The amounts of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide have been rising.
These gases trap heat more effectively than other gases. They make the Earth’s atmosphere act like the glass in a greenhouse. It lets sunlight in, but doesn’t let heat out. As a result, heat is building up close to the surface.
Man’s activities are changing the atmosphere, the changes started hundreds of years ago when people began cutting down forest and burning the woods.
The invention of cars and other machines greatly increases the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Such machines burn fuels like wood, coal, oil and natural gas. When these fuels burn, they add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and methane comes from producing coal.
The Effects of Global Warming
There are several effects of global warming, but all countries of the world do not experience the effects of global warming equally.
Global warming could result to the breaking of the ice at the poles. When this happens, it increase and raise the level of the oceans. As a result, water would then cover all the flat coastal lands leading to less land on which to live and grow food.
Plants and animals adapt to their climates, if the climate changes rapidly, many may not be able to adapt and some species will simply die out while others may spread to cooler climates.
Burning less wood, coal, oil and natural gas will help stop global warming. Scientist recommend that people get more energy from sunlight, wind, tides, nuclear energy and other sources that don’t burn fuel. Energy sources like these put little or no greenhouse gases into the air.
Also, according to scientist, trees can help prevent global warming. This is because all growing plants take carbon dioxide out of the air, and trees do this well. They turn the carbon part of carbon dioxide into wood and release the oxygen.
In recent years, people have been cutting down forests all over the world. Scientist advocate for more trees to be planted.
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