The world is undoubtedly warming. Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth’s temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. A warmer Earth may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.
The Earth has warmed about 1ºF in the last 100 years. This warming is largely the result of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activities including industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation. Global warming is the gradual increase in global temperatures caused by the emission of gases that trap the sun’s heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Gases that contribute to global warming include:
Effects of Global Warming:
Changes in rainfall patterns.
A wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.
Heat waves and periods of unusually warm weather.
Ocean warming, sea level rise, coastal flooding and glaciers melting.
Arctic and Antarctic warming.
Impacts of Global Warming:
Spreading disease. Forests, farms and cities will face troublesome new pests and more mosquito-borne diseases.
Earlier spring arrival. Plant and animal range shifts and population changes.
Coral reef bleaching. Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and alpine meadows could drive many plant and animal species to extinction
Downpours, heavy snowfalls, and flooding, Droughts and fires.
Rising sea levels will lead to coastal flooding.
Glaciers melting, early snowmelt and severe droughts will cause water shortages.
Warmer sea surface temperatures will fuel more intense hurricanes in the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Human activities that leads to Global Warming:
Using the air conditioner.
Turn on a light.
Use a hair dryer..
Throwing away garbage.
Riding a car.
Playing a video game .
Listening to a stereo.
Washing or drying clothes.
Microwave a meal.
Make a difference:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.
Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning.
Change a Light bulb. Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
Drive Less and Drive Smart. Explore your community’s mass transit system, and check out options for car pooling to work or school
Use Less Hot Water, Plant more tree.
Unplug and strip: Many electronic devices draw power whenever they are plugged into an outlet, even when they are turned off or are fully charged.
Solarize your cookouts. Use solar ovens.
Technologies exist today to make cars that run cleaner and burn less gas.
Modernize power plants and generate electricity from nonpolluting sources.
The challenge is to be sure these solutions are put to use.