The Relationship between Human Nature and Global Warming Essay

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The Relationship between Human Nature and Global Warming

According to the National Academy of Sciences, global warming over the past century has caused a rise in Earth's surface temperature of about 1 degree Fahrenheit. There is evidence to substantiate attribution of the increased rate of this warming phenomenon over the past 50 years to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of Earth's atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (Internet 0). This paper will explore modern human nature, the technology that it demands, and the effects, both positive and negative, that these factors have had on the environment.

The advent of the Industrial
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Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15% (Internet 2). The natural ?greenhouse effect? of Earth?s atmosphere occurs when greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy from Earth?s surface, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse. Without this natural "greenhouse effect," temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. However, problems arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases past its natural percentage (Internet 3).

Climate change is perhaps the most noticeable and most notorious effect of the increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The following is a series of disturbing facts pertaining to climate change due to global warming:

Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.5-1.0°F since the late 19th century. The 20th century's 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century... The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent? Evaporation will increase as the climate warms, which will increase average global

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