Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Effects Of Global Warming That Are Happening Today

Effects Of Global Warming That Are Happening Today BY J Simkhai

While you may not like Al Gore and not believe a single word he says, you do need to give him credit for bringing global warming to the public eye. Global warming is a real threat and threatens all of us regardless of religion, race, or background. Sure, we’ve all been aware of pollution and greenhouse gasses. We just didn’t know it was actually that bad.

All of the most recent scientific data confirms that the earth's climate is changing at an alarmingly rapid pace. Global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the course of the last century, and it are only likely to rise even more rapidly in coming decades. A thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution traps heat in the atmosphere causing the phenomenon.

Scientists say that unless we reduce our global warming emissions, average U.S. temperatures will rise another 3 to 9 degrees by the turn of the century with far-reaching effects and damaging consequences. Many of these changes have already begun. Some impacts from increasing temperatures are already happening.

First off, ice is melting worldwide, mainly in the Arctic and Antarctic waters. This also includes mountain glaciers and ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland.

Researchers and scientists have recently tracked the decline of Adélie penguins at Antarctica and discovered their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to just 11,000 in a little less than 30 years.

The rise of the sea level was faster over the last century than any other recorded data we had.

Much of the United States has warmed, in some areas by as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Many had their hottest seasons or days on record in the late 1990s.

Some species of butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants that are inclined towards cold weather have been found farther north than ever before. They are moving to higher, cooler areas.

Precipitation such as rain and snowstorms has increased on average all across the world.

The invasive Spruce bark beetles of Alaska have seen a boom in populations because of twenty years of warmer than usual summers. These insects have caused unheard of environmental damage by chewing up 4 million acres of spruce trees.

While the above effects can bee seen and found now, there are other drastic events that we will soon witness if this trend continues. Some of these other effects which can happen at some point this century are:

Our sea levels are rising at a scary rate. They are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches just by the end of this century. If we cannot stop global warming and it continues, add an additional four to eight inches to that number from our polar caps melting.

Hurricanes and other high-powered storms are likely to become more common and even stronger. The number of category 4 and 5 storms has greatly increased over the past 35 years, along with ocean temperature. Think Hurricane Katrina and multiply that by ten continually throughout the summer season.

Deadly floods and epic droughts will become more common ever single year. The annual precipitation of the United States increased between 5 and 10 percent since the early 20th century, largely the result of heavy downpours in some areas. The national drought between the years 1999 and 2002 was one of the three most extensive droughts recorded by scientists in the last 40 years for the U.S.

Some diseases like malaria and yellow fever will spread from disease-carrying mosquitoes that are spreading as climate shifts allow them to survive in formerly inhospitable areas.

By: J Simkhai

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