• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the causes of Global Warming

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the causes of Global Warming Ideally, the earth is constantly kept at an ideal temperature to sustain life of around 16?C (60?F). The earth is heated by the sun's rays in the form of visible short-wave light, the majority of these rays pass from the sun, virtually unstopped through the thermal 'blanket' of the earth's atmosphere, and heat the surface of the earth. This energy, after the earth has absorbed it, is transferred back into space as long-wave infrared energy. The 'natural greenhouse effect' is the accepted warming up of the earth that is explained by the presence of naturally occurring greenhouse gases, and has been observed on other planets (Houghton, J 1994). Global warming, however, has been and continues to be a major concern for the planet. It is the process by which the earth's surface is gradually increasing in temperature because of a variety of factors but primarily because of human activity, either by creating new sources of greenhouse gases or by obstructing natural sinks that eliminate them. ...read more.

Middle

Fig.2 shows the flows and stores of a carbon cycle and the increased levels which contribute to global warming (Gribbin 1978, McCarthy et al. 1986). Another main cause of global warming is the release of methane into the atmosphere. This accounts for 20% of the 'enhanced greenhouse effect', it comes primarily from agriculture, especially flooded rice paddies, and animal waste, both of which coincide with the increase of CO2 from deforestation as the pressure for land increases and more is cleared, so in turn the levels of greenhouse gases are heightened. It is difficult to make an accurate statement of how much this has affected global warming because the majority of this production is done in the developing world where research is limited, but the trend of increased global warming has followed that of the increase in rice cultivation (Watson et al 1990). The final of the important factors that contribute to global warming is nitrous oxides, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) ...read more.

Conclusion

There have been attempts to try to lower global warming especially concerning CFCs and the emissions of CO2 but it still remains a serious concern and it has been estimated that without any curb of the current trends the average temperature will rise by up to 1/4?C every 10 years or 21/2?C every century (Kemp, D 1994). Fig. 3 shows what is predicted will happen to greenhouse gas levels depending on whether we 'carry on as we are' or try to prevent it. (Houghton et al. 1990). Therefore to conclude, although the 'natural greenhouse effect' does exist it is enhanced by the considerable role human activity has to play and although predictions have been made as to what the long term results will be, such as melting of polar ice caps which will cause coastal flooding and also a significant change in climate with more frequent tropical storms (UNFCCC), it can not be certain what positive feedbacks have already occurred. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Global Warming Newspaper

    purely because of their industry. If the Indians and Japanese had to slow down their usage of factories etc. it would be a colossal loss in the economic side of the countries. Fact There is 1 new factory opened every 10 seconds around the world!

  2. Global warming

    <Flooding caused because of global warming. This is a picture of a typhoon from space. > Here are some headlines about global warming. Global Warming Approaching Point of No Return, Warns Leading Climate Expert. Children get on line to talk about global warming.

  1. The role of leadership in global politics: do leaders make a difference?

    A similar problem attaches to the notion of calendars that were once the principal programs organizing the emergence of civilization. A calendar might be thought of as a program that orders a temporal sequence and tells us how to act in relation to it or else it might also be

  2. In this booklet I will be describing global warming, its effects, its causes, my ...

    They include nitrous oxide (N2O) and several synthetic compounds from industry containing fluorine. This pie chart shows the percentages of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as given off by each manmade factor. It shows that power plants create huge amounts of CO2. Whereas transport as a whole only creates 14% of the CO2 given off into the atmosphere by manmade processes.

  1. Global Warming

    Temperatures of only 5� to 9�F cooler than those today prevailed at the end of the last Ice Age, in which the Northeast US was covered by more than 3,000 feet of ice." ("Global") The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was established in 1988 by the United Nations

  2. The sun undergoes a cycle of increased and decreased activity over a period of ...

    The radiation incident to the Earth does not then all get reflected or radiated back into space, but remains in the troposphere created a rise in temperature. (b) Human activity and global warming is most closely associated with the greenhouse effect and the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse

  1. Physical Geography Earth revision notes

    They become salt marshes and are arable . £5-10,000 per 100mx100m . Allows areas to become flooded . Farmers get compensated . Land will be lost . Sea level rising There will be increased erosion and flooding events because more cars / technology are causing high pollution are being made .

  2. Earthquakes and volcanoes research

    This results in a gently sloping, domed-shaped mountain form. Cinder cone volcano A cinder cone volcano is steep, has loosely arranged sides, and typically has large bowl-shaped craters. These volcanoes are formed by eruptions that throw different sizes of volcanic material high into the air. Stratovolcano Volcano These volcanoes are built up from uneven layers of rock and lava.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work