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Global warming refers to the increase in average ground temperatures on earth. These higher temperatures across the planet are caused by an intensification of the "greenhouse effect." Before recent scientific inquiries into this phenomenon, the greenhouse Effect simply referred to the natural process by which the earth's atmosphere traps heat and warms the planet to a livable temperature. This heat trapping, however, has begun to escalate to possibly dangerous levels. Scientists have attributed this escalated Greenhouse effect to the collection of burning fossil fuels (the gas we use in our cars and other machinery), chemicals and other pollutants that wind up in our atmosphere. It is a serious problem and the results of global warming are significant. Levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have increased by 30% over the last century. Extreme changes in weather have become more common than ever. Some areas of the world have already become as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. Most scientists and physicians believe that global warming may be the cause of increased infectious diseases, skin cancer and heat related deaths. Observations over the past century indicate a rise of temperature of .8 to1 degree Fahrenheit. Each 1.C of warming will shift temperature zones by about 100 miles northward (or 500 feet in elevation). Many plant and animal species will be unable to migrate fast enough to find suitable habitats. An increase of 3.C could threaten 7-11% of North America's plant species. Northern limits of many birds are strongly associated with climate. Scientists estimate that there will be a loss of cold-water fish habitat of 1.7-2.3 million acres by 2060. While this doesn't seem like much it does add up and soon we will have to pay the price for how past generations and we have misused mother earth and her nature resources. Another problem about the change in climate is that insects, such as mosquitoes will move thusly spreading diseases like, Malaria: hotter and more humid than usual, Hantavirus: six years of drought followed by warm, wet spring, St. Louis Encephalitis: warmer and wetter than usual in January and February; above normal temperatures in May through August; cooler than normal in April; abnormally dry in July. Another serious effect of this problem is that precipitation is increasing in the Polar Regions while precipitation in the tropical regions is getting less each year. This basically means that plants and animals in the tropics will not get enough water and the plants and animals of the polar regions get to much water. Which could lead to the extinction of many species. The oceans have risen aproximently 6 to 8 inches over the past century!! 1 to 2 inches due to the melting of glaciers and the rest to the water heating up and expanding. The temperatures of the Earth and any other planet depend mainly on (1) the amount of sunlight received, (2) the amount of sunlight reflected into space, and (3) the extent to which the atmosphere retains heat. The extent and speed at which humanity changes the climate will depend to a large extent on the rate at which society adds additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Until a few decades ago, energy consumption grew at about the same rate as the Gross National Product. That was however just one school of thought and I found out that many people think that global warming is incredibly exaggerated. One person who believes this is Dr. Patrick Michaels. He has been quoted as saying, "The warming we are seeing is largely confined to the areas of Siberia and northwestern North America, and the vast majority of that occurs during the winter months." Dr. Michaels and others in the "Cooler Heads Collation" believe that global warming will be good for us and that all the studies done in the past have been off. In my opinion the only way you can judge on whether or not there is such a thing as global warming. And more importantly if it is actually a threat or maybe just a blessing in disques is to go and look up all the different stuff that's in the news today and make up your own decisions.

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