Global Climate Change Essay.

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Details: Provide a brief synopsis of global climate change.  What are the main reasons and impacts?



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Climate change may be described as a prolonged change in the average weather patterns of a particular place including temperature, wind, and precipitation. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), describes climate change as a phenomenon that is already apparent as manifested by the increased temperatures, increased ocean acidity, rising sea levels, and ice melt. It may be further stated that global surface temperatures have increased by 0.74 °C (1.33 °F) over the 20th century. Studies have further indicated that these trends may continue over the 21st century along with new changes such as increased extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes. In fact, the most recent IPCC  synopsis as cited by Solomon indicated that the average global temperature increase may exacerbate further  1.1 to 6.4 ºC (2.0 to 11.5 ºF) over the 21st century due to the increased green house gas emissions (Solomon, 2007).


The Greenhouse Effect


The greenhouse effect may be described as a warming process that balances the earth’s temperatures. During the process, sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere a short-wave radiation as the earth absorbs the radiation; it is heated, and the earth then emits the radiation in the form of long-waves which are absorbed by the greenhouse gases. These gases act like a glass roof cover over the earth; they include carbon (IV) oxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), tropospheric ozone (O3), nitrous oxide (N20), and water vapor. The molecules of the greenhouse gases get energized by the long-wave radiation then they emit energy in the form of heat in all directions. When the heat is emitted towards the earth, it heats the earth. However, the warming mechanism of the greenhouse gases may be different from that of greenhouse walls; while the greenhouse gases absorb long-wave radiation and emit heat in all directions, the greenhouse walls trap the heat inside the greenhouses and prevent it from escaping to the atmosphere.


The greenhouse effect is a natural process that maintains the earth’s average temperature to around 60 ºF. Without this process, the temperatures on earth would be low, and there would be minimal chances of life on earth. However, an increase in greenhouse gases exacerbates this process thus increasing the average global temperature; this in return is accompanied by changes in precipitation patterns. When weather changes of a particular area change in one direction over a long time, they result in a net climate change in that area.

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