What is the Global Warming Effect?

M.R. Anglin

The global warming effect describes what could happen if the world’s climate warms. In effect, the global warming effect state that excess greenhouse gasses released into the air will trap the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere. The accumulation of that heat will warm the earth, causing climates to change. Climate change can cause devastating effects on the planet and those who live on it. Such effects can take the form of rising ocean levels and stronger storms.

A map of the polar ice caps, which are thought to be affected by global warming.
A map of the polar ice caps, which are thought to be affected by global warming.

Excessive greenhouse gasses are the culprits of the global warming effect. Usually, when the sun shines on the earth and warms it, a natural amount of greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide and water vapor, will trap some of the heat and keep the earth warm, much like glass in a greenhouse. However, some of that heat is also allowed to escape into space. When fossil fuels are burned, more greenhouse gasses are emitted into the air, causing an excess. Instead of allowing heat to escape into space, the gasses in the atmosphere will reflect more heat than is necessary back onto the earth.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists polar bears as being "vulnerable".
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists polar bears as being "vulnerable".

The global warming effect may be wide-reaching and devastating. The warmer ocean water can spawn bigger, stronger storms, and can also lead to an imbalance in the ocean flora and fauna. In addition, warmer temperatures can cause the ice caps to melt. All that ice melting can cause ocean levels to rise. In addition, without the ice, animals, like polar bears, that depend on the ice will suffer.

There are those who disagree that the global warming effect is a threat. Some experts cite facts that state that the earth has actually been cooling over a period of decades. Other researchers point to ice rafting and other evidence to indicate that the earth may be in for a cooling, rather than a warming, trend. Other scientists do agree that a warming trend is happening, but that it is natural. Looking back in the earth’s climate history reveals a trend of warming and cooling, and the earth, they say, is simply in a period of warming.

Despite the discussions about whether the global warming effect is a real threat or not, there are steps being taken in an attempt to reduce waste. People are being encouraged to save energy and reduce emissions in various ways. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy. Thus, they require less fossil fuel to be burned in order to create electricity. Automobiles have also become more fuel-efficient so there are less emissions being released into the air.

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