Saturday, February 23, 2008

What is Global Warming?

Carbon Dioxide builds up in the atmosphere from fossil fuels, industry, transport etc. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the air is very small but since the Industrial Revolution at the start of the Twentieth Century, millions of tons of this greenhouse gas have been released into the atmosphere.

It is odourless and colourless so why the problem?

As the Sun's rays travel through space, they hit the Earth and are reflected back by the Earth's oceans. It then sits in the atmosphere where trees and plants absorb it for photosynthesis, creating a balance. But with increased deforestation and more 'concrete jungles', carbon dioxide is increasing without any sign of diminishing. It gets trapped in the atmosphere and the Sun's rays, reflected back by the oceans, hit the molecules and bounce back to Earth instead of disappearing into space. This then causes the Earth's surface temperature to rise.

This is the considered opinion and is very valid. Although not much publicised, it is the interior of the Earth that is warming up as well. The Earth's inner core could expel heat via volcanoes but with the surface heating up, the Earth has to balance itself so there will be an increase in volcanic activity. As with everything in life, the warmer it gets, it expands in size and the Earth is no exception - more earthquake activity will also appear. Diseases will appear more frequently.

Coupled with the melting polar ice caps, Global Warming is having a more disastrous impact on the Earth and our lives than we can possibly imagine.

If the forests of the Earth are not protected and allowed to rejuvenate so they can reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, then the Earth will not recover. Sombre thought really, considering it is our actions that have brought this about.

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