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Global Warming - History and Effects on the Earth.

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Introduction

Global Warming: History and Effects on the Earth. The historical background into the effects of global warming on our immediate environment cannot be overemphasized. Critically defined as an increase in the average temperature worldwide by the Collins English Dictionary, it has been the source of a drastic environmental hazard which if not curbed soon, poses a serious threat to life on earth. As far back as the late 1890s, there has been concern over the release of carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels. Late last century, the concern was over coal, which was being burned in massive quantities to fuel the Industrial Revolution. Several factors therefore contribute to raising global temperatures with a resultant effect of global warming. Furthermore there have been startling predictions that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would lead to worldwide warming on the order of 9 degrees F [(5 degrees C) [Global Warming Unchecked, Signs to Watch for (HAROLD W.BERNARD, Jr.)].The earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. ...read more.

Middle

Without its presence however, the temperature of the earth's surface would be some 33 degrees lower than it is today, which is also very harmful to survival of life on earth. Most prominent among the effects of global warming on life is in the field of agriculture. Contributing largely to poor yields caused the unusual heat and drought, the fate of agriculture and man's consequent survival will largely depend on a fast solution to the increasing effects of global warming. The summer of 1998, marked by unusual heat and drought throughout North America and elsewhere, reduced the North American grain crop by about 30 percent, and affected the price of grain globally(GLOBAL WARMING, LEGGETT). The increasing industrial activities of man though positive, however have far more detrimental outcome especially for the ordinary subsistent farmer whose sole reliance for survival lies on his agricultural produce. Closely related to the agricultural hazards of global warming, are associated effects on the availability of water resources and supplies. Continuous industrialization has had a great effect on water supplies resulting in drought as a result of persisting global warming. ...read more.

Conclusion

All hope should not be considered lost consequently if only would take into consideration, all the preventive and corrective measures. The increasing trend of global warming can also be reduced by harnessing clean, renewable energy from the sun and wind which offer non-polluting, economical and durable alternatives for generating electricity rather than the "dirty" and highly polluting forms which already abound. Wind energy, an indirect form of solar energy is cheap and clean and presents an enormous potential for greater use than it is at the moment (http://www.sierraclub.org/globalwarming/cleanenergy/wind.asp). Solar energy can also be converted directly into usable energy through a variety of processes in order to maximise the natural energy flow thereby reducing to a very reasonable extent the harmful effects of electricity and the consequent global warming. Realistically, the effects of global warming will be greatly reduced with individual determination and collective efforts. Consequently, all hands should be on deck in order to stem down this growing trend; the indiscriminate use of all forms of fuels should be stopped immediately while harnessing the less threatening forms of fuels and sources of electricity. This would go a long way in protecting our environment and ourselves too paving way for the gradual reduction in the global trend which has been with us for decades. ...read more.

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