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RUNNING HEAD: ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION: GLOBAL WARMING 1 Atmospheric Pollution: Global Warming Chris Bolte SCI/275 July 24, 2011 David Barraza
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ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION: GLOBAL WARMING 2 All living things rely on a cycle, which includes climate, food, and habitat. It is a rhythm called a life and is in danger of drastic change. The culprit is atmospheric, or air, pollution. The result is global warming, which is causing a set of changes in the Earth’s climate. Humans are to blame for this mess, as we relentlessly and almost carelessly fuel our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, the levels are higher now than in the last 650,000 years (National Geographic, 2007). Gases in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) are some of the contributors to global warming. Our large SUVs, trucks, and cars (the average American home owns 2.28 vehicles per household, AutoSpies, 2008) emit startling amounts of carbon dioxide. Another large contributor is factories and refineries making carbon dioxide the undisputed leading contributor to our global warming problem. Methane gets released from landfills and agriculture. Most do not realize that grazing livestock, such as cows, horses, sheep, and goats release large amounts of methane from their digestive systems. Fertilizers are guilty of releasing the dangerous gas, nitrous oxide. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change, the median surface warming is projected to rise 5.1 ° C by the year 2100. That is an increase of 41.18 ° F and nearly doubles their previous prediction in an earlier study (Romm, 2009). Global warming affects animals all over the world, especially those living in the colder Polar Regions, such as Antarctica. For instance, in the last 30 years, the Adelie penguin’s numbers have fallen from 32,000 to 11,000 breeding pairs because of the rising temperatures (National Geographic, 2007).
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