Global Warming

By now you’ve heard about global warming, but what exactly does it mean? Well, from the name you’ve probably deduced that it has to do with the Earth becoming warmer, but why? When sunlight hits the Earth, much of it is reflected back into space by the atmosphere. Some of it is reflected off of the Earth’s surface and the remaining portion is absorbed by the Earth. Greenhouse gases occur naturally and serve to trap a certain amount of heat within the Earth, and prevent it from being emitted back into space. This process is necessary to maintain a livable condition here on Earth. Without it, temperatures would drop drastically and most life as we know it would perish. However, due to greenhouse gases being produced in excess by man-made creations and industry, there is now a dangerous abundance of greenhouse gases. This is having a reverse effect, in the sense that too much heat is being trapped within the Earth, and not as much is escaping back into space. This process is causing the overall temperature on Earth to rise gradually, creating what is now known as “global warming”. The steady increase of global temperatures is already affecting our environment. One major indication is that the great glaciers are declining at alarming rates. If this trend continues, sea levels will rise drastically and potentially put many parts of the world in jeopardy. It is also believed that global warming is to blame for the increase and intensity of severe weather events like tidal waves and hurricanes. To learn more about the causes and effects of global warming, see the links below.