275Final - Global Warming 1 Global Warming Mitigation...

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Global Warming 1 Global Warming: Mitigation Strategies and Solutions Ryan Murray Sci/275 October 12, 2010
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Global Warming 2 Our atmosphere took billions of years to develop. Yet technological advances have given today’s society the power to change the atmosphere in fewer than 100 years. Unfortunately, it is not change for the better. The Industrial Revolution that began in the late eighteenth century made it possible for inventors to create many energy-saving machines. The only energy these machines save is human energy, because the machines use energy in the form of fossil fuels – made of large amounts of carbon. They were created when the organic remains of plants and animals were buried millions of years ago, mostly during the Carboniferous Period. Over time, heat and pressure changed the remains into coal, oil, and natural gas. When people burn fossil fuels, huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases are released into the atmosphere. The result is several changes to the composition of the atmosphere. The most significant environmental problem this paper will focus on is Global Warming. People who grow flowers year-round often use a special building that has walls and a roof made of glass. The transparent glass allows insolation to enter but prevents heat loss by radiation. So when the insolation enters the green house, the sun’s energy is trapped and warms the house. This keeps the greenhouse warmer than its surrounds. Carbon dioxide and water vapor are like the glass in a greenhouse. They allow insolation to reach Earth’s surface, but they cut down on the escape of energy. This is known as the greenhouse effect. Without the greenhouse effect, too much energy would escape from Earth, making it too cold to sustain life. However, some scientists fear that carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels could upset the energy balance of Earth by trapping more heat. This would warm Earth more than natural warming would. Furthermore, forests are being cut down at an alarming rate. Trees and other plants are important because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Climatologists—scientists who study different climates—
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Global Warming 3 are making measurements of temperatures around the world. They are recording and analyzing the data to determine if human activities are causing Earth to become warmer. This warming trend is called global warming. However there are potential problems, or “side effects” of global warming that must be addressed as well. If global temperatures rise, areas that are already warm might become even warmer. This might change farming regions with little rainfall into deserts, decreasing our ability to grow food. Global warming could cause the Antarctic ice cap to melt. The water from the melting ice could raise the sea level and possibly flood coastal cities. (EPA, 2008) There are various sustainability plans and solutions available today. However, despite the fact that global warming tends to be the biggest challenge facing today’s society, it is a fact that
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275Final - Global Warming 1 Global Warming Mitigation...

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