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Chem 1312H Global Warming Paper chem

Chem 1312H Global Warming Paper chem - The term global...

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The term “global warming” refers to the warming of the world’s climate system, or the rise in the average air and ocean temperatures. The validity of this theory has been questioned time and time again by scientists, and a schism of sorts has since been formed between advocates of the theory and the opposition. Scientists from the three Working Groups of the IPCC, or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have asserted that if global warming follows its current path, the sea level will rise several meters due to the melting of the ice caps, and many species will become extinct around the globe (IPCC 1). Additionally, Kelly Reed of the environmental organization Greenpeace has declared that an increase in global temperatures would also cause “an increase in floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, intensified hurricanes, and the spread of infectious disease” (Haley 13). Several possible causes of global warming have been offered, but the mostly widely discussed factor has been the human induced greenhouse effect, which focuses heavily on carbon dioxide emissions. It is important to have some amount of greenhouse gases, gases that allow light from the sun to enter the atmosphere, but the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide being deposited into the atmosphere may eventually lead to dangerous changes in climate (Gore 28). The exact process by which the earth’s climate is heated originated with Svante Arrhenius in 1896. He suggested that the carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels would trap excess heat in the atmosphere (Haley 12). Carbon dioxide absorbs heat radiation from the earth’s surface and therefore “acts like a blanket over the surface” (Houghton 9) of the earth.
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