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Global Warming

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My Environment Contest deals with the natural environment and more specifically global warming. Global warming should be stopped because of the effects it has on everyone no matter who you are or where you live it affects you. As you read this essay please think of how it affects you, and what you can do to stop these terrible events from happening.

We now know global warming is an issue because scientist track changes to the planet's temperature in many ways. Weather stations and ocean buoys are all over the world to monitor temperatures constantly. Making it very hard for something unusual to happen without scientist knowing, temperatures from the past left their traces in many areas such as ice cores, coral reefs and tree rings. Scientists look at all this evidence and find things that are not supposed to be there.

There are three sources that could be responsible for the global warming that scientists look at; the sun, the earth's reflection (The atmosphere), and greenhouse gases. Scientists have looked carefully at each of these factors. It is not the sun, because a study in 1985 of solar activity showed that sun had little or no effect on earth’s temperature. How close the earth is to the sun does change the seasons and the amount of daylight/night, but does not affect the temperature. Therefore, the sun is out of the question. The earth’s reflection is not either because around 30% of the sun's energy that reaches the Earth is reflected back into space. And the rest is absorbed by the ozone and stratosphere (the ozone protects us from the U-V rays that the sun releases). Therefore, reflectivity is canceled out too. The only one where the data matches up is greenhouse gases. Levels of these gases have risen sharply as we burn more fossil fuels (Gas/oil/etc). And, it is getting worse as more humans are making cars and trucks and anything that uses fossil fuels. (Fossil fuels are made from long dead organisms that have decomposed into the earth, over time pressure is put on these decomposed products and have mashed them together. Over time they are made into coal or other fuels). People around the world are addressing global warming. For example, California made a law to cut global warming pollution. Of course other state polluters that use fossil fuels attacked that law saying it goes against them, but really how we are going to save earth if what we use every day hurting it slowly and painfully.

Global warming does affect everyone in hundreds of ways. “In the past 50 years, the average temperature in the United States has gone up by 2 degrees F, precipitation has increased by roughly 5 percent, and extreme weather events have become more frequent and intense”, according to a recent report by the U.S. Global Change Research. Food prices are rising because it is harder to maintain climate conditions with this extreme weather think of all your favorite tasty foods gone such as pizza or chips or even cake all gone. Fresh Water is becoming a lot scarcer and 18% of the world’s fresh water supply comes from the great lakes. Water levels are rising massively and the polar ice caps have reached a record low by 30%! If the Earth's climate warms by 2 or 3 more degrees by the year 2100 global sea level will have risen 3 feet displacing almost 56 million people around the world. That is affecting cities like New York, Miami, and New Orleans. Fire is increasing in number because of increases of drought throughout the world. The University of Arizona reported that “From 1987 to 2003, seven times more forested land burned in the western United States than during those 16 years and large fires were four times as frequent.” The EPA predicts that if the earth warms another 3.6o F, wildfires in that part of the country will burn four times more land than they currently do.

My solution to fossil fuels is going natural, natural energy that does not release carbon dioxide. This is our ticket to leading better and cleaner lives. We could use air turbines, Hydroelectricity, and solar power (anything that does not release carbon dioxide into the air) for our electrical needs. Anything at all you can do to save this sacred land. “The environment is everything that isn't me.”-Albert Einstein

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