Hershey Weekly

Bethany Major

Global Warming: How Harmful?

Recent studies have shown that the increase in "greenhouse gases" and temperature have skyrocketed since the late 1880's, as shown on the graph (below). When the first cars were invented, they consumed an excessively large amount of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, our main energy source, are any material created by pressure applied to fossilized remains. The most common forms of fossil fuels are oil and coal. While this consumption rate has gradually decreased with new models, cars still emit drastically high amounts of greenhouse gases. When paired with the steadying increase in factory production and CO2 output, this has resulted in a continuing rise is global temperatures that can have a devastating impact on our planet.

Rising Temperatures Impact our Planet

Ocean Levels

One major impact of these warmer temperatures is the rise of ocean levels. When the temperature of water increases, the volume expands. This is due to the fact that with higher temperatures, the kinetic energy of the water molecules increases, resulting with a larger space between molecules. Due to the global temperature increase, sea levels have risen, resulting in more of islands underwater. In contribution to the rising sea level, glaciers are melting worldwide. The runoff water is adding to the volume of the oceans.

Habitat Destruction and Animal Extinction

Another effect of this global warming is the destruction of natural environments which often results in endangerment or extinction of many species. When temperatures increase, evaporation levels rise. This can cause a lack of precipitation, or misplaced precipitation. The level of rain/snow/hail fall is a key factor of habitat zones, and changing this can result in the changing of said habitats. For example, tropical rain forests exist due to the high precipitation rates. The majority of tropical plants are dependent on the humidity content. Thusly, the base animals of the food chin that inhabit the tropical regions can suffer a shortage of food, which can mean extinction. When base animals die off, as do their predators.

Agriculture

Due to changes in precipitation, as discussed above, drought is devastating farming land. This is causing export income in some regions to suffer. Many crops are only or mainly grown in one or few countries/states because of the climate there. Precipitation is a major factor of climate. Drought is limiting what crops can grow in many areas, and therefor is changing the exports of that area. This also affects the food and water, basic human necessities, available in said region.

Does This Matter?

Minimal or no attempts to reduce or stop Global Climate Change can result in the extinction of certain animals, but also of homo sapiens. If we want to preserve our planet for future generations, we need to limit greenhouse gas production, save energy, and take advantage of reusable materials.