What is Global Warming?
The name global warming is given to the phenomenon where there is an increase in the temperature of the Earth’s surface. This is typically due to the collection of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap excess heat and light from the sun that would otherwise escape back into space. While Earth’s atmosphere is design to do this the excess gases have intensified this effect causing a warming of the Earth. Global warming was recognized by scientists and meteorologists in the mid 20th century. Since then investigations have been undertaken to determine what is causing the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increase in these gases can be traced back to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
How Does Global Warming affect the Environment?
Global warming has may affects on the earth natural environment. Due to the slowly rising temperature on earth the polar ice caps are beginning to melt. This will cause a rise in the sea levels which will cover some low lying land. In addition to the ice caps melting the sea temperature is also rising. This is causing the widespread death of various types of marine life such as algae and plankton. It is also causing the bleaching of coral reefs as the coral dies.
The changes in the earth’s atmosphere are also contributing to changes in weather patterns. This means that both droughts and floods will become more likely as rainfall patterns are altered. It also means that the likelihood of hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, hail and acid rain will increase.
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