The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect occurs when gases such as methane, carbon dioxide,
nitrogen oxide and CFCs trap heat in the atmosphere by acting as a pane of
glass in a car. ?The glass? lets the sun light in to make heat but when the
heat tries to get out the gases absorb the heat. Holding this heat in causes
heat waves, droughts and climate changes which could alter our way of
living.
The main gases that cause the greenhouse effect are water vapor, carbon
dioxide (CO2), and methane which comes mainly from animal manure.
Other gases like nitrogen oxide and man made gases called
chloroflurocarbons get caught in the atmosphere as well. The decay of
animals and respiration are two main but natural sources of carbon dioxide.
In my opinion we people of the whole world should try and slow down the
emmission of greenhouse gases and/or find ways to balance the gases so the
climate doesn't change so rapidly. If it did we would be forced to adapt to
the new climate that we brought upon our selves. If we had a international
cooperation to put a damper on the production of chloroflurocarbons and
slowed down the use of fossil fuels it would dramatically slow down the
process of "global warming."
Over the last 100 years the global temperatures have been increasing slowly
but steadily. Since 1980 the temperature has risen 0.2 degrees C (0.4 degrees F
) each decade. Scientists predict that if we continue putting the same
amount of gas into the atmosphere by the year 2030 the temperature will be
rising as much as 0.5 degrees C (0.9 degrees F ) or more per decade. Over all
the global temperature could rise anywhere from 5 to 9 degrees over the
next fifty years.
If the temperatures do rise as predicted several things could happen. The
increases of temperature could alter the growth of crops in areas near the
equator due to insufficient rain and heat. This could really hurt countries
that rely on imported food. With the high temperatures the polar ice caps
could melt and cause the sea water level to go up 1 to 3 feet. This increase
could take out small islands, coastal cities and some shallow rivers. The
Everglades in Florida would be almost if not totally wiped right off the map.
The Everglades is the home for many animals and plant life. If it did get
flooded, they would all have to move northward across very dry land
which they will not be able to endure for very long. When the hot
temperatures do spread southward and northward, tropical disease will
spread with it. Disease that were down in Mexico will maybe occur in The
Carolinas or eventually Vermont. These new diseases will be hard to deal
with causing many more deaths and illnesses than before. The financial
problem with this is, that the flooding will cause dams to be built and cities
to be reconstructed. The shortage of food will cause the price of the food to
go up and with all the diseases we will need more medical supplies and
workers. All of this combined could and will cost a lot of money if we don't
do something about it now.
The computer models can?t predict exactly what the climate is going to be in
the future, but they can come close to what it will be like down the road.
Scientists proved this by predicting with computers what the climate was in
the past. Then by looking back in records, they found that the predictions
were close to being right.
The "Topex" (Topographic Experiment) satellite has been collecting
information on the changes of the sea level, and temperatures across the
globe and the amount of gases emitted into the atmosphere. Each day the
satellite makes 500,000 measurements, each at a different place on the earth.
Measurements are all made between 66 degrees north and south latitudes.1
The Cretaceous occurred over 100 million years ago. It was the warmest
period we have knowledge of yet. There was so much carbon dioxide in the
air that the oceans rose many meters. North America was flooded and split
apart into two pieces. The temperature then was more than fifteen degrees
greater than