GLOBAL WARMING AND THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
The greenhouse effect is a natural process. It warms the Earth, and, in fact, is quite necessary for our survival. Gases in the atmosphere, like carbondioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and others are a natural blanket by preventing the sun’s total heat getting back into space. The sun’s energy hits the Earth. Some of that energy is absorbed by the earth’scrust and by the oceans, warming the planet. How much heat is retained depend on the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Without the greenhouse gases, our planet would be too cold for humansto survive.
From the Industrial Revolution onwards, production of industrial goods and consumption of energy have increased gases emitted into the atmosphere and keep on growing both in quantity andvariety. GLOBAL WARMING is the name given to the accelerated process of the natural greenhouse effect, as consequence of high concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere. Thereis so much heat retained in the atmosphere as a consequence of this.
EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
1- Melting of ice sheets in the Artic and Antarctica:
Arctic ice cap is thinning by 10 cm a yearand icebergs of record sizes are breaking off the Antarctic ice sheet during the summer. Glaciers in high mountains are retreating and some of them are disappearing. As a consequence of this effect, sealevels are rising (2)
2- Sea levels are rising: Sea levels are already 20 cm higher than they were 100 years ago. Islands such as the Maldives (picture) are seriously threatened by rising sealevels. For this reason, low coastal zones are flooding (3)
3- Coastal areas are flooding: In Indonesia, nearly 70 percent of the south coastal area is flooded, as we can see in the picture.
4-There are several projections of the sea level change by the year 2100 (two thousand and a hundred). It is estimated that the sea will rise 50 to 90 centimeters. There is also a projection including...
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