Environmental Problems

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Global Warming

Global warming is an increasing problem among us. According to National Geographic, temperatures on Earth are rising over twice as much as they were in 1968. Global warming is an atmospheric trend forecast by scientist as a result of global increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and several other gases (Marsh & Grossa, 434).

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The reason temperatures are on the rise is due to majority of human action.
Many scientists believe the later part of the 19th century is when human activity began influencing the change in climate, but new studies bring the date forward to the 1830s. As humans began industrialization the chemistry of the atmosphere was altered with an addition of CO2. The period prior to this change is referred to as the “pre-industrial era” and the period following the change is simply referred to as the “industrial era”. Although it is difficult to determine the exact time at which humans began drastically influencing climate change, we can get a general idea from what scientists call the “time of emergence”.

Warming in the Arctic began in the 1830s and scientists have seen the fastest temperature rises in the world occur there, which is known as Arctic Amplification. While the continent does not show consistent warming throughout, the parts of the Arctic which have warmed the most considerably are the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica. The Southern Hemisphere had a slower response, beginning to show signs of warming in the late 1890s. However, a clear signal of global warming in this area did not present itself until the 1960s. The onset of global warming in the tropical ocean area occurred earlier than is usually assumed from records that focus on the Northern Hemisphere’s land temperatures.

Sustained warming began in the early 19th century and has steadily continued until today. Changes in temperature and rainfall in different parts of the world signified this over time. Prior to the 19th century volcanic eruptions were causing the Earth to cool, but following this warming was accelerated beyond what could be explained by the Earth’s natural climate readjustment. Without the increase of pollution from industrialization the warming would have likely leveled off before the start of the 20th century. Global temperature rises in response to to the increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, known as climate sensitivity.

Another issue affecting global warming is greenhouse gas emissions. According to LiveScience, greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation. Thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. By increasing the heat in the atmosphere, these greenhouse gases are responsible for the greenhouse effect. The most known greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Even though oxygen is the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere,

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