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Global warming

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Surface temperature measurements recorded daily at hundreds of locations for more than 100 years indicate that the Earth's surface has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century. This warming has been particularly strong during the last 20 years, and has been accompanied by retreating glaciers, thinning arctic ice, rising sea levels, lengthening of growing seasons for some, and earlier arrival of migratory birds. In addition, several other data support that conclusion.

But are humans to blame?

Scientists delving into the earth's history have found quite a different global warming: an ancient, natural, 1500-year warming-cooling cycle driven by a known cycle in the magnetic activity of the sun. Written history tells us the Medieval Warming was a mild-weather period from the 11th to 13th centuries, with temperatures 1 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today. It was followed by the Little Ice Age, with temperatures 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit lower, harsh storms, encroaching glaciers, and crop-failure famines. History also records an earlier Roman warming, it too, followed by a mini-ice age.

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which collect’s like a blanket in the atmosphere. As a result, the planet is getting warmer. In fact, 2002 was the second warmest year on record.

Although earth temperatures fluctuate naturally, warming over the past 50 years is the fastest in history. And experts think the trend is accelerating. Scientists say that unless global warming emissions are reduced, average temperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century.

It's not just warm weather, Global warming means more air pollution and problems with water supplies as precipitation patterns change, as well as huge threats to ecosystems from the Everglades to the glaciers. There will be hotter, longer heat waves and more intense storm systems. Forests, farms and cities will face troublesome new pests and more mosquito-borne diseases.

Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems.

 Around the world, ice sheets and glaciers are melting at a rate unprecedented since record keeping began.

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There are many ways to reduce global warming, which include relying more on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar power and hydrogen fuel cells, which would dramatically reduce global warming pollution. We could also make our homes, offices and industries much more energy-efficient, which would cut pollution and save money. For example using a compact fluorescent light bulb over an incandescent bulb, you'll lower your energy bill and keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air. We could also replace the old power plants with new, cleaner power plants.

The best way to reduce global warming would be to make more energy efficient cars, which don’t give out as much CO2 and only use them when necessary.  



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