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| Words: 2578 | Submitted: 05-Apr-2011
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Global Warming The beginning of the Industrial Revolution brought many new, exciting inventions into our lives to simplify our lives and made them more efficient. Such inventions included cars, household appliances and plants that burn solid waste, fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, and wood and wood products for fuel. Before the Industrial Revolution, human activities caused very few gases to be released into the atmosphere, but now scientists say, through the burning of fossil fuels, a large population growth and deforestation, humans are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere. This mixture of gases in the atmosphere is causing the worldwide problem known as Global Warming. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the earth has a natural “greenhouse effect” which is caused by energy from the sun controlling the earth’s weather and climate, and heats the earth’s surface. In response to the sun, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases, trap the energy leaving the earth and retaining it as heat, much like a greenhouse ceiling. This is a natural and necessary effect, without it temperatures on earth would be much lower than they are now and life as it is today would not be possible, but with the greenhouse effect the earth’s average temperature is a more comfortable and life-supporting 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The problems that have arisen with the greenhouse effect have occurred due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases. The EPA reports that data collected over the last 100 years shows that the average land surface temperature has risen between .8 and one degree Fahrenheit, precipitation has increased around one percent over the globe and the sea level has risen approximately 6-8 inches, approximately 1-2 inches of the rise caused by melting mountain glaciers and another 1-4 inches has resulted from the expansion of the ocean water as a result of the warmer ocean temperatures. Scientists believe that the increase in greenhouse gas concentration, especially of carbon dioxide, is being caused by the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities. Fossil fuels burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98% of the total U.S. emission of carbon dioxide, 24% of the methane emissions and 18% of nitrous oxide emissions. Also contributing a significant share of emissions is the increase in agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining. Scientists predicted that in 1997 the United States was responsible for the emission of about one-fifth of the total global greenhouse gases. The total amount of future emissions depends on a range of factors, such as demographic, economic, ...
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