Global warming is currently the world's biggest issue. The increase in greenhouse gases is rapidly changing the face of the Earth. Greenhouse gases come from the burning of fossil fuels. These gases have been on the rise since the industrial revolution in the mid 17th century. This is when people began to make machines to help them work. Carbon dioxide (CO²) is the gas given off from the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide only makes up a small part of the atmosphere but is the main heat absorbing component. Most infra-red radiation from the sun was once bounced back into space. Now carbon dioxide absorbs a lot more of the sun's energy. There is an estimated 150 000 deaths each year from global warming.
Global warming is on the rise and needs to be halted. We have to cut greenhouse gas emissions and use renewable
Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases trapping in more of the sun's heat. In the mid 17th century people began to invent machines to help them work. Most of the machines were steam powered and burned coal to produce the heat. When coal or any other fossil fuel is burnt it produces carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable energy source. There is currently 10% more CO² in the atmosphere than there was 30 years ago. There are over 600 million motor vehicles in the world. In the next 30 years this figure is expected to double. Global warming is caused by the increasing amount of CO² in Earth's atmosphere. Earth's climate is being directly affected by human activity. CO² is released when fossil fuels are burnt. Records show that 11 of the last 12 years have been some of the hottest on earth. Carbon dioxide is a great conductor of heat, because of the increasing amount the earth is getting hotter.
Global warming is the average temperature on Earth increasing. The increasing temperature on Earth has lead to some of the polar ice melting. If polar ice continues to melt the sea level will rise and many coastal towns and cities will be flooded. According to NASA the polar ice caps are now melting at the rate of 9% per decade. Artic ice thickness has decreased 40% since the 1960's. The number of category 4 and 5 cyclones and hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. There are also stronger and more frequent storms.
Global warming also changes weather patterns. This causes droughts in places that once had plenty of rain and floods in other countries. The lack of water in some countries will lead to famines and in places that are flooded many will become homeless. Many glaciers around the world are slowly melting. Up to 100 million people will become refugees if polar ice continues to melt. Many pacific islands and low lying countries like Bangladesh will be flooded.
The rise in temperature has also affected animals and insects. The warmer climate has lead to animals having to shift and change where they live. Warmer weather has also lead to diseases becoming wider spread. Mosquitoes that carry diseases like the Ross River Virus and Malaria are able to travel to places that were once cold.
Many coral reefs are being devastated by global warming. With increasing water temperatures, coral can't survive. Many fish that live off coral or live in coral reefs will also be affected. Many animals that live on ice will also suffer from the effects of global warming. Polar bears have to travel further to find ice that is thick enough to support them. In recent years many polar bears have failed to reach thick ice and have drowned.
Global warming needs to be stopped if humans want to live on Earth any longer. Global warming will have to be halted soon if we want to stop sea levels rising. If sea levels continue to rise many people will be left homeless. A great deal of resources will have to be used to relocate people that have suffered from rising sea levels.
Many pacific islands will be flooded and there will be millions of refugees. If the world can work together in halting global warming, future generations will be better off than if we leave gas levels to continue rising. If gas levels continue to rise many ocean animals will die. Many fish will die and many people will die also from no food. Other people will loose jobs because there will be no fish and other marine animals to catch. In Africa large lakes are drying up.
Many people are also loosing their jobs. Most fishermen from Lake Chad have turned to farming to support their families. Lake Chad was once Africa's third largest inland lake. If global warming isn't halted now we will have to use more power to keep cool in summer. We will also have to use lots of resources to build new places for people to live because rising sea levels will cover many low lying countries. Fresh water lakes will dry up and we will have to use desalination plants.
Australians will also be affected by global warming. Since the middle of the 20th century Australian temperatures have risen by about 1° Celsius. The southern half of Australia will become drier and the north will become wetter. Australia has the largest coral reef in the world. The Great Barrier Reef will die if greenhouse gas emissions aren't stopped. Australians are also the worst polluters of greenhouse gases per person. Australians spend $37 billion each year on energy. Most of this energy is wasted. Australians should spend this money on reducing greenhouse gases and to make use of renewable energy sources.
Many things are being done already to try and slow global warming. There have been agreements to cut greenhouse gases. One of these agreements was signed at Kyoto in Japan. All countries except Australia and America have signed the Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The world's worst country for pollution is America. Many people are taking it upon themselves to cut greenhouse gases. People are buying hybrid cars while others are planting trees. Trees use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and exhale oxygen but there aren't enough trees in the world to lower CO² levels.
Global warming is changing the world. The increasing temperature affects everything that is on the Earth. Rising greenhouse gas levels are changing the Earth in many ways. Diseases are wider spread, the sea level is rising and the average temperature on Earth is increasing. Weather patterns are also changing and many countries are being affected. Countries are suffering from severe drought, while others are experiencing stronger and more frequent storms and cyclones. If something is to be done about global warming the cost will be great, but it will be far greater if we don't do anything now. Everyone has to work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions and halt global warming.