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Source Based Essay

Source Based Essay

Research Question: Is Global Warming effects of the increase in urbanization and how can the United States government protect the earth from atmospheric damage?
Introduction:
Over the last century on earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. The clearing of land for agriculture, industry, the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and human urbanization have released water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere. Solar radiation hits Earth’s surface and then bounces back toward the atmosphere as heat. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone could trap heat close to the Earth’s surface, preventing it from escaping into the void of space. That small changes in the amount of those gases could make a big difference in how much heat was trapped.
The extra heat in the atmosphere causes the earth’s surface to become hotter and drier in some places, glaciers and sea ice will melt also causing water levels to rise all over the world. Severe weather and climate change will also be a result of climate change. Dry desert areas will become even more dry and hurricanes and typhoons will become even more extreme. The climate change is destroying the natural habitat of plants, such as the coral reefs, and animals such as penguins along with many others. If the earth temperature is allowed to continue to rise there will be even more extreme effect that will eventually become a problem for us humans.
We are the cause of Global Warming and we should do something about it before it is too late. Well more specifically human urbanization is a main cause of the increase of the Earth’s global temperature. Urbanization is the movement of large numbers of people into permanently concentrated in relatively small areas to form cities. However urbanization the rate of urbanization is increasing along with the population. As a result resources are being disproportionately used by these urban residents. These cities and their inhabitants are key drivers of global environmental change due to clearing of land for buildings and roads, and the demand for goods and resources by urban residents. Urban areas are the major sources of carbon dioxide emissions; according to Sue Grimmond, more than 90% of anthropogenic carbon emissions are generated in cities from the burning of fossil fuels for heating and cooling, transportation and other activities.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution humans have been rapidly changing the balance of gases in the atmosphere. Human activities release water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone and nitrous oxide (N2O), the primary greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere. Even though only a tiny amount of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are greenhouse gases, they have a huge effect on climate. With more greenhouse gases in the air, heat passing through on its way out of the atmosphere is more likely to be trapped because of the added greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases absorb the heat then radiates this heat. Some of the heat will head away from the Earth, some of it will be absorbed by another greenhouse gas molecule, and some of it will wind up back at the planet’s surface again. With more greenhouse gases, heat will stick around eventually warming the planet and causing major climatic changes. This warming is known as Global Warming.

One of the many effects of global warming is extreme weather and climate change. Changes in extreme weather and climate such as heat waves and droughts are the main ways that most people experience climate change. As a result of climate change caused by humans these disasters have already started to increase with greater intensity. Over the last 50 years, the United States has seen increases in longer periods of severe drought, heat waves, heavy rain, and in some regions, severe floods. Hurricane, typhoons and other weather phenomenon has also become more frequent. These natural disasters are becoming more unnatural as a result of human activities and will continue to become even more frequent and severe unless there is a drastic change in the way we do things.
One of the obvious results of Global Warming is a rise in temperature known as Heat waves. Heat waves are periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks. According to Christidis, N., P. A. Stott, and S. J. Brown research the number of heat waves has been increasing in recent years with the number of intense heat waves being almost triple the long-term average. “The recent heat waves and droughts in Texas (2011) and the Midwest (2012) set records for highest monthly average temperatures” says C. Tebaldi in his research. All the research shows that these changes in the weather and climate are human-induced and has generally increased the probability.
Another impact of global warming: extreme weather. Hurricanes and typhoons are expected to become more intense as the planet warms. The reason is hotter oceans evaporate more moisture, which in turn fuels these storms making them stronger and more frequent. Whether climate change will lead to an increase in the number of hurricanes, warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels are expected to intensify their impacts. How hurricanes develop also depends on how the local atmosphere responds to changes in local sea surface temperatures, surface temperatures increase more uniformly around the world due to increased amounts of human-caused heat-trapping gases.
Global warming will destroy natural habitats and drive species to extinction. Each species evolves to thrive in its own particular ecological home with specific living conditions. Without these specific environment conditions several species of plants and animals will fail to thrive. Some species however are more adaptable than others. Because of human-caused climate change temperatures, precipitation and sea level are changing, wiping out some habitats and shifting others faster than many species can adapt or migrate. Unless we drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect several factors to combine that will make the coming die out astonishingly severe.
One of the most affected species is the Coral reefs. Coral reefs all over the world are experiencing coral bleaching, a condition that can seriously damage and kill entire coral reefs. Nick Cobbing stated that Corals contain microscopic algae called zooxanthellae, which provide the coral with food and give them their vibrant colours and that rising ocean temperatures cause corals to become stressed, which expel the zooxanthellae and turn white or “bleach”. If zooxanthellae do not return to the coral’s tissue, the coral will die. His result shows that as little as a 1°C (1.8°F) increase in temperature above the summer maximum can cause corals to bleach. He went on to say that unless we slow the rate of which the earth’s temperature is rising much of the reef will be dead in decades and hundreds of species relying on the reef will follow as they will be deprived of their living homes. Humans are not as threatened as these species but if the temperature continues to rise the we will have a serious problem on our hands. If fish that we eat die then we will lose food. The marine life and ecosystem will suffer along with everyone who depend on it for any reason.

Another major effect of global warming is the melting of ice around the world. Since the beginning of the rise in global temperature in the early 1900s, many glaciers around the world have been rapidly melting. Human activities are at the root cause of this phenomenon. The industrial revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have raised temperatures, even higher in the poles, and as a result, glaciers are rapidly melting, calving off into the sea and retreating on land. “The glacial melt we are witnessing today in Antarctic and Greenland is changing the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean and has been linked to collapse of fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and more destructive storms and hurricanes around the planet” Lorin Hancock stated.
The effects of Glaciers Melting glaciers can be seen all over the planet. Melting Glaciers add to rising sea levels, which in turn increases flooding, coastal erosion and increases storm surge as warming air and ocean temperatures create more frequent and intense coastal storms like hurricanes and typhoons. “The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are the largest contributors of global sea level rise. Right now, the Greenland ice sheet is disappearing four times faster than in 2003 and already contributes 20% of current sea level rise” (Hancock, Lorin ). If emissions continue to rise, the temperature will continue to rise thus the current rate of melting on the Greenland ice sheet will no doubt continue to rise. Water level will rise with the temperature

Industries that thrive on vibrant fisheries will be affected as warmer waters change where and when fish spawn. Coastal communities will continue to face billion-dollar disaster recovery bills as flooding becomes more frequent and storms become more intense. People are not the only ones impacted. Polar bears are the world’s largest land predator. They can go for long periods, even months, without eating, but need to build up fat to live through lean times. The polar bear does this mostly by eating seals they catch on the ice but without the ice, they can’t get to their prey, therefore they will starve. Sea ice will continue to melt and much of the Arctic ecosystem would change or collapse. We should start taking steps to stop the warming of the Earth before the effects are catastrophic.
We are the cause of all this worldwide problem but like every problem there is a solution. It is not too late to stop global warming but if we don’t act now then we might be in great danger. We can take steps to slow and hopefully stop the rate at which the earth’s temperature rises. As we know, global warming is an effect of the different greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere from human activities and traps heat making it hotter. Hotter global temperature causes many problems from droughts to flood to species extinction. However there are a number of ways we can help our planet.
The main thing we can do is to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, we can do this by using other renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy instead of burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil In addition to moving away from coal and petroleum we can start using more electric cars and public transportation. Simply reducing greenhouse gases will not stop global warming. We will need to change our consumptive lifestyle. In the household we must use more environmental products, led light bulb, less heating and air conditioning to save energy and also reuse and recycle where we can, these actions may seem hard at first but is sure to become natural to us and will help the environment a lot. However, one cannot do it alone, we must all do our part then we will be able to see the difference.
One way of doing this is to get the government involved. The Kyoto protocol is a treaty that asked the world’s leading carbon producers to cut their carbon emissions in order to get global warming under control, at the time the United States decided not to participate but if we the people come together in support of such treaties then the government will have no choice but to cooperate. The government can also pass additional laws against companies and power plants that produce a lot of greenhouse gases to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This will greatly slow the rate of global warming. The government can stop mass deforestation, protect forests and encourage the planting of trees within its country. With all these being done the temperature will cease to rise. Natural disasters will become less frequent, temperature will eventually go back to the way it was, floods and long droughts will stop. The weather and climate will go back to how it was naturally.

Citation

“The Causes of Climate Change.” Global Climate Change, NASA, 30 Sept. 2019,

McKibben, Bill. “Climate Change.” Foreign Policy, no. 170, Jan. 2009, pp. 32–38. EBSCOhost,
search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=8gh&AN=36779306&site=ehost-live.

Pappas, Stephanie. “What Is Global Warming?” LiveScience, Purch, 10 Aug. 2017, https://www.livescience.com/37003-global-warming.html.

Grimmond, Sue. “Urbanization and Global Environmental Change: Local Effects of Urban Warming.” The Geographical Journal, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd , 5 Apr. 2007, https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1475-4959.2007.232_3.x.

https://scied.ucar.edu/longcontent/greenhouse-effect
https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/extreme-weather#intro-section-2

http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/campaigns/climate-energy/problems/impacts/habitat-loss-and-species-extinction/
https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/why-are-glaciers-and-sea-ice-melting

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