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Minggu, 2008 Desember 14
The Top 10 Worst Effects of Global Warming
Global warming is the long-term, cumulative effect that greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane, have on Earth’s temperature when they build up in the atmosphere and trap the sun’s heat. It’s also a hotly debated topic. Some wonder if it’s really happening and, if it’s real, is it the fault of human actions, natural causes or both?
Global Warming Effect 10: Rising Sea Level
Earth’s hotter temperature doesn’t necessarily mean the Miami lifestyle is moving to the Arctic, but it does mean rising sea levels. How are hotter temperatures linked to rising waters? Hotter temperatures mean ice — glaciers, sea ice and polar ice sheets — is melting, increasing the amount of water in the world’s seas and oceans.
Scientists are able to measure that melt water from Greenland’s ice cap directly impacts people in the United States: The flow of the Colorado River has increased sixfold [source: Scientific American]. And scientists project that as the ice shelves on Greenland and Antarctica melt, sea levels could be more than 20 feet (6 meters) higher in 2100 than they are today [source: An Inconvenient Truth]. Such levels would submerge many of Indonesia’s tropical islands and flood low-lying areas such as Miami, New York City’s Lower Manhattan and Bangladesh.
Global Warming Effect 9: Shrinking Glaciers
You don’t need special equipment to see that glaciers around the world are shrinking. Tundra once covered with thick permafrost is melting with rising surface temperatures and is now coated with plant life.
In the span of a century, glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park have deteriorated from 150 to just 35 [source: New York Times]. And the Himalayan glaciers that feed the Ganges River, which supplies drinking and irrigation water to 500 million people, are reportedly shrinking by 40 yards (37 meters) each year [source: The Washington Post].
Global Warming Effect 8: Heat Waves