Climate Change : Global Warming

Decent Essays

Global climate has been changing throughout history; just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advances and retreats. The abrupt end of the last ice age, about 7,000 years ago, marked the beginning of the modern climate era and of human civilization. Global warming has gradually increased the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. There is compelling evidence of rapid climate change because of different sea levels rising, glacial retreat, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, extreme weather, ocean acidification and decreased snow cover. Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect”: which is when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from earth towards space rather than allowing it to pass through. Certain gases in the atmosphere that do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as “forcing” climate change. Water vapor is an example of this; it responds physically or chemically to changes in temperature and is seen as “feedback.” If we don’t know how much of the recent warming is natural, then how can we figure out how much is manmade? The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a group that assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for

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