Getting Warmer | Teen Ink

Getting Warmer

September 24, 2007
By Anonymous

Human activities have contributed to global warming to the point that it has become a serious problem. The earths’ climate does experience natural cycles of temperature change but human pollution has caused an unnaturally fast rise in temperature. Global warming also causes other climate changes that are easier to see at times, such as record storms or record droughts. All scientists agree that humans have increased carbon dioxide levels and that carbon dioxide increases the amount of heat that is kept in the earth’s atmosphere. But don’t panic. There is still hope for mother earth with a little change in your day you could help reduce the effects of human-caused climate change.

About every 100,000 years the earth begins to change its temperature from warm to cold or vise versa. These phases are natural but scientists have found evidence that the earth is now heating up at a much faster rate then ever before. A large part of the evidence comes from the study of the ice caps. Climatologists have studied the carbon dioxide levels in the ice which indicate the earth’s temperature from the past million years. Human activities such as driving, producing energy, and industrial pollution have increased carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere. The problem with this is that when the carbon dioxide builds-up in the atmosphere, heat from the sun can’t escape back in to space. So, our atmosphere heats up and problems begin to occur for us and other earth life.

The effects of global warming are everywhere; the heat wave of 2003 in Europe that killed 35,000 people, record temperatures across the American west, and the break up of the artic ice shelf. Global warming is also affecting the earth in ways that we may not care about until the future. Forty percent of the world’s population relies on glacier runoff for survival. Right now they have as much water as they could ever hope for but in 50 years almost half of the world won’t have enough water to stay alive.
Global warming is having other major effects on our earth that we may not realize. The world’s oceans are getting warmer and that creates bigger storms. In 2005, the hottest year on record, 3 hurricanes hit the American coastline including Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. Also that year, the first hurricane ever on record formed in the South Atlantic and struck Brazil. Japan also had a typhoon record and there is some evidence that global warming may be intensifying the El Nino affect (ocean water temperature fluctuations).
It may seem impossible but global warming is causing dry areas to get dryer and wet areas to get wetter. Precipitation is coming in more single storm events rather than spread out over the normal period of time. Deserts are seeing even less rain now then 50 years ago. Things like this are causing huge floods or long droughts that are destroying towns and ecosystems. Animal’s ecological niches are being disturbed by global warming to the point that huge populations are dying.
Scientists and most politicians agree that global warming is a problem. No matter where you live you have probably experienced some changes in weather. Shorter skiing seasons, hotter days, dry summers that have ruined crops, or floods that have destroyed homes and lives forever. These are all things that we may have to deal with in our home towns. So, recycle, carpool, and buy energy efficient light pulps. Turn off anything you are not using. These little things make a difference. We can help make global warming less of a problem for everyone and every living thing on earth.

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