Global warming is one of the most talked about issues within the science community. While, it should also be a serious issue for everyone in the world, it is not. Many people have just shrugged their shoulders and continued their lives not fully understanding what global warming really is, or what it is doing. Our planet is disintegrating more and more each year. Temperatures are rising all over the world; ice that has been there for hundreds of years is starting to melt. The oceans are rising and destroying the once stunning coastal regions. Global warming is a serious issue; without a change in our lifestyles our planet will be destroyed before we know it.
Even though global warming is affecting our way of life, many still do not understand exactly what it is or what causes it. “Simply defined, global warming is the increase in the average global temperature that has been caused by the presence of certain gasses, called the greenhouse gasses, in earth’s atmosphere.” (Flannery, 2009) While a lot of greenhouse gasses occur naturally, there are many that are man made. Natural greenhouse gasses like: water vapor, carbon dioxide, or methane are important to our planet’s ecosystem. And for many years they have balanced out with our atmosphere but, with the amount of man made gasses added to the natural gasses, the atmosphere is getting clogged. Man made gasses like: carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion make up 82 percent of the greenhouse gasses that are in our atmosphere. Driving your car, using a hot tub, watching your plasma TV, all of these activities are a part of people’s lifestyles; what they do not realize is it all is affecting our planet.
The build up of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is causing a change in temperature all over the world but, in the Arctic the temperature rise is higher than any where else. In the past two decades the amount of ice that has melted in the Arctic is astronomical. According to the Christian Science monitor center “temperatures are 25 degrees higher than normal.”(Kister, 2005) The reason for that is because the “ice acts like a mirror to the sun’s energy, reflecting much of it back out into space. As Arctic ice disappears, dark ocean water and land is revealed, which soaks up more sunlight and accelerates warming and melting.” (EIGW, 2010) The multi-year ice that still remains is also declining at an accelerated rate; soon it will be gone too. Climate models predict “the temperature may rise another 18 degrees more this century.”(Kister, 2005) If the temperature continues to rise at this rate, all of the ice in the Arctic will be gone before we know it.
The temperature rise is not only affecting the ice but it is affecting many of the animals that live in the Arctic. The polar bear population in the Arctic is declining; scientists have determined in the next 45 years the population will decrease by 30%. Polar bears are not the only animals in danger of extinction. The rise in...