Essay about The Global Warming Debate
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"Global warming is not a conqueror to kneel before - but a challenge to rise to. A challenge we must rise to."
-- Joe Lieberman
Global warming is a controversial environmental topic in today’s society. Global warming is when greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide) act as a blanket that insulates the earth and prevents heat from escaping into space, which in turn causes the global temperature to rise. This “greenhouse effect” is a naturally occurring phenomenon; without it, the earth would be too cold for any life to inhabit. However, due to fossil fuel burning and other human activities, there is an excess amount of greenhouse…show more content…
The majority of scientists link this temperature rise to the increase in carbon dioxide; however, other scientists argue that the temperature rise is a part of a natural fluctuation. In 1997, delegates to an international summit on global warming in Kyoto, Japan approved an agreement called the Kyoto Protocol, which requires 38 industrialized nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. These nations must accept legally binding limits, which will reduce greenhouse emissions to levels that are an average of five percent below the emission levels of 1990. The reduced levels are to be achieved between 2008 and 2012 (http://encarta.msn.com). PRO ARGUMENT Greenhouse gases reduce the escape of the earth’s infrared radiation into space. This “greenhouse effect” causes the earth to maintain warm temperatures. Due to human activities, the earth’s temperature has steadily increased, thus causing global warming. This rise in temperature leads to climate change, an increase of infectious diseases, droughts, changes in precipitation, the rising and warming of oceans, and glacial melting.
One effect of climate change is the spread of infectious diseases, such as vector-borne ones. Vector-borne diseases are illness transmitted to humans directly from insects or animals (http://www.nas.com/nwrc/epireprt/epivec.htm). Some examples of vector-borne illnesses are hantavirus, rabies, dengue fever, river blindness, Lyme disease, sleeping
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