Greenhousing the Wrong Way

By Andy & Luke

Exactly what is the "Greenhouse Effect?"

The "Greenhouse Effect" is the common name given to global warming. The
effect is named so due to its similarities to the function of a greenhouse.
Heat from the sun is allowed into our atmosphere, and then bounces off of the
Earth and heads back out to space. But now that we have a wall of Carbon
Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and CFC's, the sun's heat rays bounce back
towards the Earth. The continuous burning of fossil fuels and the rain forests
is causing excess amounts of carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide acts as the walls of a greenhouse that encompasses the
whole world, trapping heat into the atmosphere. The thickening of the blanket
is causing more heat to be trapped resulting in the warming of the earth. One
great example of the Greenhouse Effect is the planet Venus. Venus's atmosphere
had a thick layer of CO2, giving the planet's surface a temperature warm enough
to melt lead. So What Does All This "Greenhouse" Stuff Have To Do With Me?
As the temperatures rise, the waters get warmer and begin the melting
process of the polar ice caps (Popular Science).
Long term predictions of Global warming say that the melting of the
polar ice caps will continue causing ocean waters to rise, resulting in massive
coastal flooding of major cities such as Los Angeles and Miami.
If the next century's warming stays at a low end of estimates, the
consequences are likely to be mild. But if warming reaches the middle or top
estimates, we are likely to see such things as more frequent and more intense
heat waves, increased flooding, and droughts in different areas. Not to mention
the 60,000,000 migrants that would be caused if only 1% of our future population
had to seek higher ground. This many migrants would help to further our
already crowded cities, and take more jobs and require health care. Diseases
such as malaria and other insect borne ailments will have an expanded range if
the tropics continue to warm. If conditions change faster than species can
adapt, many, many, many animals will become extinct (World Book). So What Am I
Supposed To About All These Man Made Disasters?
Become knowledgeable about the subject of global warming. Recognize
that global warming may worsen and prepare yourself and others for it. Help
inform others of the problem, and write letters to large companies and your
government. Lots of people don't even know about global warming, and most that
do are underestimating its possible effect. Renew the search for safe and
clean alternatives to fossil fuels and alternatives to transportation (Global
Climate Change). The most important thing you can do is care enough to try to
make a difference.

Works Cited

"Turning up the Heat", Popular Science, October 1989, p.53

Whitmore, Susan C., Global Climate Change and Agricultural Summary, Sept. 1992

World Book Encyclopedia, volume G, 1991, p.407