Global warming impacts

By Sami Godowsky
March 19, 2009

There has been much controversy over whether global warming is really occurring or not. In my opinion, it most certainly is.

If you are unaware of what global warming actually is, it is the increase of the earth’s average temperature.

In the past 100 years, the Earth has warmed one degree fahrenheit. One degree fahrenheit may not seem like a lot but in actuality it is a drastic difference.

It is not a coincidence that we have been suffering from more severe hurricanes, droughts and floods in the last few years; it is because of the increase of the earth’s temperature.

It is also not a coincidence that 11 of the 12 years from 1995 to 2006, were the warmest years recorded since global temperatures were first kept in 1850.

The danger of global warming is only escalating. By 2100, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a 10.5 degree fahrenheit increase in heat.

So what does this mean for people living on Earth? Natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are only going to get more severe. Haven’t they caused enough damage already?

Global warming is not only affecting humans negatively, but we all know the polar bears are in great danger. In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

If global warming was not in effect right now, then why is the Arctic Sea ice beginning to melt? The Arctic Sea contains glaciers, icebergs and ice shelves, which are beginning to thin out.

With the thinning of the ice it is hard for polar bears to hunt for seals to eat. There is only a short season to hunt for seals, so polar bears are not eating properly and starving to death. Scientists have reported seeing a drastic decrease in polar bears weight.

Since there is not much ice, polar bears go out looking for food and swim to find ice to stand on and are unable to find any ice. Several polar bears have drowned in search for ice.

Whether you want to believe it or not, global warming is occurring as we speak. Instead of trying to deny what is going on, try helping to reduce the effects because not only are lives of polar bears at stake, but our lives as well.

You can help to reduce the effects of global warming by driving fuel-efficient cars, like hybrid vehicles. Hybrids can be expensive but there are still ways to help without purchasing an expensive car.

Try driving less, do more walking, biking and taking the train. Also plan to carpool; it is unnecessary for several people to drive to the same place when you could all go together.

It is really important to help reduce the amount of driving we do because every single gallon of gasoline burned, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide goes into the environment.

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Sami Godowsky

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