Global warming, as defined by Collins English Dictionary, is an increase in the average temperature worldwide believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the release of excess greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Some of these greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, chemically known as CO2, and more powerfully, nitrous oxide. Other greenhouse gases include chlorofluorocarbons which have been banned from many parts of the world because of the extent to which they eliminate the ozone layer. Since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions have gone up by about 6 billion metric tons ofgas, which is an over 20% increase.
The ozone layer is a layer of O3 gas that surrounds the Earth in a 3 mm strip. This part of the atmosphere is highly important for climate control on Earth. The ozone layer absorbs 97-99 percent of the sun’s harmful ultra violet rays. After much research, it has been determined that an average of about 4% of the ozone layer is depleting every decade. The depletion of the ozone is dangerous to the entire ecosystem of this planet. If plants absorb too many ultraviolet rays, they will not survive, which will result in lack of food, as well as a decreased concentration of oxygen. Additionally, excess ultraviolet rays have been proven to cause skin cancer.
In order to thoroughly have a unified understanding on the causes and effects of global warming, the United Nations formed a group of scientists from around the world to research and analyze the situation. This group is called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and features representatives from around the world who each represent hundreds of scientists with a unanimous conclusion. This group meets every few years to share their findings and to produce a report of the overall current situation of climate change.
The IPCC has come up with a list of negative effects that global warming is already starting to have on the planet. These include an increase in the rate that the sea level is rising due to melting glaciers. Additionally the extinction of numerous species that depend on cold icy conditions for survival is becoming imminent, as species such as the Adelie penguin have reduced greatly in number. Many butterflies and other species have also had to migrate farther north in order to find a home in a more suitable climate. However, the most impending effect that the increase in climate change currently has on the Michigan youth is the lack of snow days that are resulting from the increase in temperature. Snow days carry strong traditions among many young Michigan students.
The increase in global climate is resulting in the loss of not only a pure beautiful substance, but also the loss of snow forts and friendly snow ball fights during the day followed by warm hot cocoa beverages in the evening. This year, as a result of the lack of snow, these traditions could not be embraced by the youth. In order to prevent such negative effects, one should take basic steps to reduce greenhouse gases in the environment and prevent climate change. Start a carpool or take a bus to work or school in order to reduce the CO2 exhaust. Recycle all recyclable materials in order to maintain the balance between O2 and CO2 in the environment.
To learn more about how to prevent climate change visit environment.nationalgeographic.com.