What are people doing about global warming?
Plant life removed 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (See References 5)
Global warming is a term that describes one facet of climate change: the temperature increase occurring at the lower layers of the atmosphere and the surface of the planet. Other factors of climate change include alterations in wind patterns, average precipitation and sea levels. Many human activities release greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming. (See References 1)
The Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect is a vital natural process since it allows life to exist on Earth. Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and water vapor, trap some of the sun's heat in the atmosphere, which maintains the planet's habitable temperature range. Over billions of years, the Earth's greenhouse gases varied in concentrations. Natural increases in greenhouse gases occur from processes like volcano eruptions and fires. (See References 3) Human activities release not only carbon dioxide, but also methane, fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these activities are the main cause for the dramatic increases in greenhouse gases since the year 1750. Carbon dioxide has risen 36 percent, methane increased 148 percent and nitrous oxide levels grew 18 percent since then. (See References 1)
Energy, Industry and Agriculture
The combustion of fossil fuels, like oil and coal, is the main source of carbon dioxide production. Generating electricity with fossil fuels accounts for 41 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, according to the EPA. (See References 4) Other human activities that produce carbon dioxide emissions include burning wood and solid wastes, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing. (See References 2) Humans release methane gas into the atmosphere through industrial pollution and the processing and distribution of energy sources, like oil, natural gas and coal. Additionally, livestock manure and belching release methane. Many of these activities produce nitrous oxide, as well. Fluorinated gases, like hydrofluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoroide, are potent man-made greenhouse gases emitted during the production of metals, semiconductors and other industrial processes. (See References 2, 5)
Decomposing wastes in landfills produce a significant amount of methane gas and carbon dioxide emissions. In 2008, landfills accounted for 22 percent of all methane gas emissions. Although methane and carbon dioxide are powerful greenhouse gases, it is possible to capture these landfill gases and convert them into energy. Not only does this reduce global and local air pollution, it is a cleaner source of energy and does not deplete nonrenewable resources, like fossil fuels. (See References 6)
Is there a website for global warming?
"Global warming" is now referred to as "Climate Change" as scientists have begun to realise that variation in the Earth's climate may actually cause cooling as well as warming.
The main organisation involved with climate change research is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see the related links). This was founded by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide scientific information on climate change.
In the UK there is the UK Climate Impacts Program website and the Met Office website "Your guide to climate change" as well…