Meghan McDonald McDonald 1 Mr.Hrkal OAC World Issues December 18th, 2000 Global Warming Now, for the first time in Earth’s history, humans may be a decisive factor in future climate change. The actions we make towards the temperature of the earth and the depletion of the ozone layer are irreversible. A warmer future could result from present-day human activities releasing large amounts of heat-trapping gases into the air. These “greenhouse gases” are part of the reason for the 1F (.5C) rise in global average temperature documented over the past 100 years. If the Earth’s temperature continues to rise as predicted, future global warming could happen faster than any climate change of the last 10,000 years. If so, future variations in local climate could be even more disruptive than those of the past. Fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide when burned, are used to generate electricity; heat and light homes and workplaces; power factories and run cars. Unless we reduce population growth and use of fossil fuels, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will double by sometime in the middle of the next century. The future of Earth’s climate may depend partly on the buildup of heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, in the atmosphere. Industrialized nations now release the most carbon dioxide. But how can this world wide disaster be stopped? To fully understand the magnitude of this problem, we must look at the causes McDonald 2 of global warming, what is being done to stop the problem, consequences of this issue, and how we can prevent it. What is Global Warming? The depletion of the ozone layer and global warming are a result of the heat trapping abilities of greenhouse gases. The glass panels of a greenhouse and the Earths atmosphere are both transparent to sunlight, and both trap heat. Energy from the sun drives the earths weather and climate, and…
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