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Global Warming Is Caused by the Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Effect

Global warming facts reveal that the greenhouse effect is a process in which thermal radiation from a planet’s surface is absorbed by the so-called greenhouse gases and radiated in various directions. A part of this radiation is thus reflected back to the surface and lower atmosphere, consequently increasing the surface temperature of the planet and causing climate change.

Temperature on Earth Would Be 59°F Lower without Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere surrounding our planet are the main cause of the greenhouse effect that gradually but consistently increases the Earth’s surface temperature. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the gases that are present in the highest concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the human race’s excessive release of these gases into the atmosphere is the main reason for global warming. If there were no greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, the average temperature on Earth would be around minus 2°F (currently it is about 57°F and rising).

The Arctic Is One of the Places Most Affected by Global Warming

Arctic Sea Ice Melt

Arctic Sea Ice Melt

The rise in average temperature in recent decades has caused the Arctic ice that covers the Arctic Ocean to melt. 400,000 square miles of Arctic ice have already melted due to global warming and by the year 2040, or perhaps even sooner, the region will have completely ice-free summers. Consequences? A lot of fresh meltwater that will disrupt the currents in the oceans and cause additional climate change.

The US Accounts for 5% of the World’s Population, but 25% of Its Emissions

Greenhouse Gas Emissions per capita by Country

Greenhouse Gas Emissions per capita by Country

This, of course, means that the US is emitting five times more emissions than it should according to its size in population, and is thus the world’s number one greenhouse gases contributor. 80% of fossil fuel consumption, which is one of the most dangerous contributors to global warming, occurs in the US.

The Kyoto Protocol Was Designed to Reduce the Amount of Greenhouse Gases

The treaty that commits almost 200 countries to reducing their greenhouse gases emissions was first introduced in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. Designed as one of the possible key solutions to the global warming problem, it might actually not be as effective as intended, since it focuses on reducing CO2 emissions. CO2 is only a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for 25% of the total greenhouse effect, and only 25% of it is caused by the human race. It is thus predicted that the Kyoto Protocol reduction of CO2 emissions will only cool the Earth for about 0.04°F by 2050…

Sea Levels Have Risen by 7 Inches in the Last 100 Years

Global Average Sea Level, 1870-2008

Global Average Sea Level, 1870-2008

One of the biggest dangers of global warming is the melting of polar ice and, consequently, a rise in the sea levels on Earth. Seven inches in the last 100 years might not seem like much, but that is more than the sea levels rose in the previous 2,000 years. But, what is even worse is the prognosis for the future – according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the rise in sea levels could be anywhere between an additional 7 and 23 inches by the end of this century.

More than 100 Million People Live within 3 Feet of Sea Level

All these lives will be greatly endangered in the near future if we cannot stop the increase in temperature on Earth. And these 100 million people are only the first potential victims of global warming – there are thousands of big cities across the world that lie near the coast and will also be in grave danger if sea levels rise significantly.

All this is not just a possible future danger – flooding caused by global warming is already happening. In 2007, the residents of the Tegua Island in the Pacific Ocean were evacuated due to flooding; this became the first official relocation necessary due to climate change.

2 Major Warming Periods Occurred on Earth in the Last Century

Global warming facts show that the first warming period began at the beginning of the previous century and ended in the 1930s, and the second began in the 1970s and still lasts today. Needless to say, the current warming is much more intense than the one at the beginning of the 20th century…

The World Will Invest about $20 Trillion in New Energy Research

Since a big part of global warming is caused by our energy pollution, numerous efforts are being made to invent technologies that could enable us to become more energy-efficient. About $20 trillion is expected to be spent on green energy research over the next two decades. That is 2 with 13 zeros!

Global Warming Has Cost the US 100s of Billions of Dollars in Damage Alone

One of the most unpleasant consequences of global warming, at least when it comes to North America, are hurricanes and other violent meteorological phenomena which have caused hundreds of billions of dollars of damage. The warming of the Earth causes these natural beasts to become more frequent and more intensive. In 2005 alone, for example, the damage in the US caused by hurricanes cost around $100 billion.

More than 1 Million Species Could Become Extinct Due to Global Warming

Global warming has caused natural habitats to disappear, ocean ecosystems to become acidic, and various natural resources to be destroyed, endangering numerous species around the globe. If the current trajectory continues, more than 1 million species could be obliterated by 2050!

Heat-Related Deaths Will Increase by 150,000 by the End of the Century

Heat-Related Deaths in US

Heat-Related Deaths in US

Since the late 1970s, around 8,000 Americans have suffered heat-related deaths. Due to global warming, this number is predicted to greatly increase by the year 2100 according to global warming facts, reaching more than 150,000 deaths caused by heat overall.

The Human Race Dumps More than 1,000 Tons of Carbon Dioxide per Second

This means that the atmosphere receives more than 80 million tons of carbon dioxide per day, more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, and more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide per decade.

The Montana National Park Has Lost More than 70% of Its Glaciers

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Statistics connected to global warming facts are often too abstract to really understand, but become much more tangible when presented on a specific case. Let’s have a look at the Montana National Park – in 1910, it boasted 150 amazing glaciers, but today only 25 remain. The rest have gradually melted away due to global warming.

Some People Blame the Sun, but Its Radiation Remains Stable

The radiation from the Sun also greatly affects the climate on Earth, so many try to blame global warming on increased radiation. But, scientific observations refute this claim – solar radiation has not increased since 1978 and could thus not have caused the global warming that has occurred in the last three decades.

13 of the 15 Hottest Years Have Occurred since the Year 2000

Temperature History Chart

Temperature History Chart

That clearly shows that the climates throughout the world are indeed becoming warmer. 2014 is the current record holder (although 2015 might be even hotter), with average recorded temperatures 1.24°F higher than the long-term average. 2014 was also the 38th consecutive year with temperatures above the long-term average.

Global Warming Conspiracy Theories Claim Distorted Statistics

Although the vast majority of the science world nowadays agrees that global warming is very real, there are still groups who believe it is just a myth, or even a conspiracy, spread for ideological or financial reasons. According to Public Policy Polling (PPP) data from 2013, 37% of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax.

One of Michael Crichton’s Novels Deals with Global Warming Conspiracy

The State of Fear, published in 2004, describes a conspiracy of scientists to create panic about global warming. Although fictional, it uses some of the real global warming facts and statistics, but was criticized by the climate scientific community for often being inaccurate and misleading.

Global Warming Facts – Facts about Global Warming Summary

Global Warming FactsGlobal warming and climate change are two terms often used interchangeably, both meaning the rise in the Earth’s average temperature, mostly caused by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which reflect a part of the heat back to the surface. The prognosis based on current statistics is troubling – if the current warming trend continues, the Earth faces several ecological catastrophes, the deaths of millions of people, the extinction of one million species, and complete destruction of various natural environments. The debate on global warming has been very complex and often contradictory for many decades in political, scientific and general public spheres, and no final answer or solution is currently known.