global warming - Global Warming: Causes and Comparisons...

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Global Warming: Causes and Comparisons Cassie Fenley November 21, 2007 Nats 104
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Global warming has been a very controversial issue over the past years. There have been many speculations as to the causes of global warming, or if it even has a real effect on our environment. It is even argued that human actions take no part in this phenomenon on our planet. Although many people have doubt that global warming should be considered a big issue, there have been recent changes in climate and our atmosphere that prove how dangerous global warming can be. There has also been a lot of scientific research trying to determine if we, as humans, can do anything to prevent global warming. While some may believe that the global warming phenomena is primarily caused by human involvement or man-made processes, others believe that natural causes such as volcanic eruptions or solar energy are the primary causes, and that there is nothing major we can do to prevent it. The factors that effect global warming are both man-made (such as, emissions of CO2 from power plants and cars, fossil fuel combustion, coal mining activities) and natural causes (such as volcanic eruptions and an increase in solar energy reaching Earth’s surface). Global warming is affecting our entire planet. Author of Global Warming: The Complete Briefing , J ohn Houghton, describes global warming by saying, The basic principle of global warming can be understood by considering the radiation energy from the sun that warms the Earth’s surface and the thermal radiation from the Earth and the atmosphere that is radiated out to space. On average, these two radiation streams must balance. If the balance is disturbed (for instance by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide) it can be restored by an increase in the Earth’s surface temperature (Houghton, 2004). The “average balance of radiation streams” that Houghton mentions are regulated by the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere. The greenhouse effect that surrounds our planet acts
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much like an ordinary greenhouse that keeps the air warm inside its glass walls. The most
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course NATS 104 taught by Professor Lewis during the Spring '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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global warming - Global Warming: Causes and Comparisons...

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