Saturday, June 17, 2006

What is Global Warming?

After blogging about global warming and the film "Inconvenient Truth," I realized that not everyone may not be convinced that global warming is a threat. I hope that is not the case as unusually hot summers, mild winters, recent natural disasters such as the Tsunami that devastated South East Asia or closer to home, Hurricane Katrina, make global warming a blatant reality to me. However, as Gore explained, while all of the articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals unanimously delineated that global warming is a reality, approximately 50% of popular media sources did not agree that global warming was a problem.

Therefore, I wanted to make sure I provided readers with the facts that I have copied and pasted from the film's website:

Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.

The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.

We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.

If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.
Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.
Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.
Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.

Please help save our earth and ourselves in the process!

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