The Three Causes And Effects Of Global Warming

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Global warming is a natural occurrence that is not caused by humans, but humans have accelerated the process by changing the environment negatively worldwide. The term “global warming”, though, does not incorporate the whole definition. The “greenhouse effect” is the term that is used to accurately describe the situation. The greenhouse effect has two aspects to its meaning. It encompasses the natural greenhouse effect and the man-made “enhancement” of the natural greenhouse effect (Spencer). Both of these have an influence on what is happening with the climate. Climate change can come from one of three basic causes: man-made, natural external forces, and internal, natural variability (Begley).
Many of the human climate drivers have a big effect
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The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have heated up .5 to 1˚F since 1906 (Begley). As the oceans heat up, the frozen methane hydrates at the bottom of the oceans thaw. Then methane gas bubbles up to the surface, which adds more carbon into the atmosphere (Kump). This is just a recurring cycle. Volcanoes also have an effect on the environment. When volcanoes erupt, they release gases and aerosols into the air. Aerosols that were put out during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991 blocked enough radiation for two years that it caused observable cooling (Trenberth). The effects of global warming have been seen in the past …show more content…
Eventually, though, so much of the gas seeped into the ocean that it created a surplus of carbonic acid which acidified the oceans (Kump). It took more than 150,000 years for the oceans and the forests to absorb the excess carbon and for the planet to cool (Kunzig).
The PETM brought along a lot of environmental changes. The rainfall had dropped by around 40 percent (Kunzig). Before the PETM, the summer water temperature in the Arctic Ocean was around 64 F. During the PETM, it shot up to around 74 F (Kunzig). Droughts resulted in many parts of the planet most likely exposed forests and peat lands to wide spread wildfires, which released even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Kump). Not everything is looking up for the future of the planet though.
Sea levels are expected to rise at an average globally by about one meter (Mihm). Precipitation extremes are expected to increase along with the frequency of the events (Trenberth). “Floods that historically have had an expected return period of 100 years may now reoccur in 50 or 30 years.” (Trenberth). Droughts are likely to become more extensive and longer lasting, take hold quicker, and the plants in those areas will wilt sooner (Trenberth). The number of frost days and cold waves are also likely to decrease

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