Defined global warming and its effects
While many organizations and governments use the term Global Warming, there is no universal definition for Global Warming. There is, however, a general understanding of what the term references.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, global warming is any increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface. This increase may be caused by natural occurrences within the earth's atmosphere or by man made influences.
Causes of Global Warming
Global warming is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases occur naturally within the atmosphere at levels that are not detrimental to the environment. The earth does an outstanding job of balancing each of its processes in order to keep everything in check. However, when mankind's efforts to "improve" life interfere, the balance is interrupted.
How Severe is It?
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global temperatures will rise, as will sea levels, with the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, precipitation patterns are predicted to change. What is not known, however, is the extent to which the earth will warm, how fast this will occur and how the earth will be affected, including climate systems and storms.
One thing that is definite, however, is levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are increasing. The buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is the result of human efforts to better life by burning fossil fuels and industrializing society. From 1906 to 2005, it's documented that the earth warmed 1 to 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere right now are predicted to remain there for decades to centuries. This will cause the potential build up of even more gases over time, causing even more global warming effects.
Already, changes in the climate can be seen. The predictions about El Nino and other weather patterns came true. Along with record-breaking heat and cold throughout the world. Another change in climate that is obvious is the less predictable weather. Typically, certain areas of the world have weather that follows normal trends with average temperatures and average precipitation levels.
In the past decade, these norms and averages have become less and less predictable. Major snowfalls and blizzards have been more common, in addition to droughts and flooding in areas never flooded before. These changes in climate can be attributed to an increase in greenhouse gases and global warming.
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How strong is methane on its effect on global warming?
Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas twenty times more powerful that Carbon dioxide (CO2).
What is global warming and what are its effects?
Global warming is the recent increase in the temperature of the earth and its atmosphere.
The possible effects of this global warming are various kinds of climate change, including more frequent and more severe weather 'events' (storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, etc). Other results include melting of sea ice, ice caps and glaciers, leading to rises in sea levels and alteration to animal habitat that may lead to extinction.