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Global Warming: The man-made apocalypse


Global warming has become one of the most complicated issues facing world leaders. Global emissions have jumped by 3% in 2012 and are expected to jump another 2.6% in 2013.( Johannessen) This means that the invisible blanket of carbon dioxide located in our atmosphere, which traps heat from the sun, is growing thicker. Americans should take action to stop global warming because it seriously affects our environment, it causes bizarre, sometimes disastrous weather and it affects human agriculture and plant life all over the world.

Have you noticed that we have been having some strange, bizarre weather lately? In 2011, the October snowstorm in the US East Coast, the 2012 summer heatwave, and Hurricane Sandy? All of these are not just coincidences, they’re a glimpse of the many consequences that global warming will bring upon the US, along with the world, if we don’t put a stop to it. Hurricanes and storms are likely to get stronger, if global warming continues.(Global Warming and Climate Change) These stronger storms are already evident. Nobody expected that hurricane Sandy, which devastated the whole East coast of the United States, would be so powerful. It was one the worst storms to ever hit that area. It caused power outages, chaos in cities, the destruction of many homes, and even some deaths. It was completely devastating, and it showed the world that super storms were now a threat to humanity. Last year, 2012, was the hottest year ever in the US.(Johannessen). In fact the year beat the record set in 1998 by a full degree celsius. This is clear evidence that our atmosphere is getting warmer and warmer. The global average temperature has risen from 0.6, up to 0.9°C between the past 50 years.(Reebok) It is still increasing today. The increasing temperature in the atmosphere causes natural disasters to happen more often. (Essick) Since the temperature rises, the sun evaporates more water. This can lead to droughts and floods, which have the power to devastate many regions, throughout the US, and the world. Global Warming is clearly not something to joke about.

I am in social studies class, sitting in the front row. My teacher, stands in front of the class, zipping through pictures of life in Africa, and projecting them onto the Smart Board. These pictures show children starving, and living in small, improvised shacks. There are pictures of men and woman, with hopeless looks on their faces. What could possibly cause this, I thought. Later that day I would hear from Mr. Holzapfel, an experienced social studies teacher, at Eisenhower middle school, that “Many African countries are struggling because their farmlands are becoming desert. This is due to global warming.” As a carbon dioxide gas, mainly released by cars and manufacturing companies, goes into the atmosphere, the earth traps more heat from the sun. This heat is making many valuable farmlands in Africa, turn into a desert. This is mainly a huge problem for Africa because most Africans are subsistence, meaning they depend on their crops in order to survive and support their families. So basically, if an African farmer’s land is ruined, the African farmer is doomed. Another factor that affects crops in Africa, as well as in the United States, is the weather. Global warming increases the amount of storms, floods, tornadoes, and droughts, all over the world. (Reebok) These catastrophes will, kill, wreck, or destroy any crops that they encounter. This is devastating to farmers, as well as crop consumers. In the end, everyone in the area is affected by the loss of crops, one ways or another. Imagine if you were a farmer, and one day you wake up, to find that your crop have been wrecked by a storm. How would you feel? We must stop global warming.

Critics might argue that global warming cannot be stopped, because our economy depends a lot on major industrialized factories, or companies. This is true, a lot of our economy is dependent on factories and industries. However, this doesn’t mean that industries can’t go green, and help the environment. They can stop using coal, one of the dirtiest carbons. They can take steps toward investing in clean, future energy like wind or solar energy. They can take in mind the environment and decrease the amount of pollution that they release into the atmosphere. It isn’t too much to ask for, when you’re talking to a multibillion dollar company. Global warming can truly be stopped.

Imagine a nice sunny day, with a bright blue sky, green plant life everywhere, birds chirping away in the pure air, and the cool breeze making the temperature just right. Now, picture of grey, gloomy day, with dying plants, falling trees and an unbearable humid temperature. This is what will become of our precious environment if we don’t stop global warming dead in its tracks. As the carbon gas levels emitted into our atmosphere rise, the amount of heat that is being trapped in our atmosphere also rises. This causes the average earth temperature to rise every year. Statistics show that as of 2009 carbon dioxide levels have risen by 38% and methane levels have risen by 148%.( Johannessen) That is a lot of gas polluting our precious atmosphere. The rising temperature causes the melting of the polar ice caps in Antarctica. This is a major loss of habitat for animals like polar bears and penguins. The Penguin population in Antarctica has fallen from 32,000, to 11,000 in the past 30 years.( Essick) If this dramatic decrease in population continues, penguins in Antarctica may become extinct. The melting of the polar ice caps causes sea levels rise, which can lead to the complete underwater submersion of islands or coastal areas. (Global Warming and Climate Change). The increase in temperature, can also cause droughts, in areas near the equator. Global warming is also affecting animal migration. Foxes and various types of birds are starting to move farther north to cooler areas, along with some species of butterflies.(Effects of Global Warming)) This migration could seriously affect the food chain and disrupt the natural life of many animals, including us. It is clear that global warming will change the environment as we know it; is it really worth it?

Global warming must be ended by our society. Not, in three or four years, but now. Global warming kills our crops, causes catastrophic weather, and cripples our environment. Together we can pressure industries to decrease the amount of carbons they released into the air. We can use our cars little less, whenever possible. We can use solar or wind energy as opposed to green house electricity. Anything can make a difference. Together we can, no we should, no we will stop global warming.



Citations

NA. “Global Warming and Climate Change.” Air Trends Summary. United States Federal Environmental Protection Agency, 5 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrnd95/globwarm.html>.

Johannessen, Steen Urik. “Global Warming & Climate Change.” Science. New York Times, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html>

NA. “Effects of Global Warming.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-effects/>.

Essick, Peter. “Causes of Global Warming.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-causes/>.

Reebok, Holli. “Global Warming.” Earth Observatory. NASA, 3 June 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/>.




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