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Kevin Gonzalez

Carrie Hatfield


July 23rd , 2018

Climate Change

The world today is plagued by many ailments. One of which is named climate

change. Climate change is how the climate and weather on Earth reacts to certain

pollutants released into the atmosphere by humans. Climate change ranges from the

melting of ice sheets, to the rise in global temperature which has been observed over the

past century. Each climate change phenomenon is directly caused by the same

problems. The three main causes of climate change are greenhouse gases, dependency

on fossil fuels and deforestation.

The vast amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contribute to the

changing climate on Earth. Greenhouse gases warm the surface of the earth through

redistribution of infrared radiation from the Sun, into the atmosphere (Baum et al).

However, the issue arises when the surface of the Earth then radiates said heat back

towards outer space, only to then be absorbed and redistributed back downwards by

greenhouse gasses (Baum et al). This is known as the Greenhouse gas effect. Gases such

as these include water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and most importantly, carbon

dioxide (Co2) (Baum et al). Due to the industrial age, fossil fuels are involved in

powering the infrastructure for billions of humans, at the cost of introducing Co2

emissions into the atmosphere along with several other greenhouse gases. An increase

in Co2 emissions directly coincides with a rise in global temperature due to the

Greenhouse Gas effect.

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Some dispute the statement that rise in Co2 emissions ties in with rise in global

temperatures by claiming that the global temperature has not tied in with Co2 emissions

in the past. This however, is false, and the ocean plays a large part in disproving the

aforementioned claim. From 1970 to the present day, sea levels have risen quite

noticeably (Foss). This is in large part due to how water expands when exposed to four

degrees Celsius or higher of temperature(Foss). As more heat is unable to escape

through the atmosphere due to increased greenhouse gases, it then transfers into

different bodies of mass, the largest of which happens to be the ocean. Global

temperatures seem to not directly tie into the Co2 trapped in the atmosphere because

the extra heat is absorbed into the ocean. This, evident by the rising sea levels, caused by

the expansion of the heated water.

Deforestation has contributed to Co2 emissions, "up to 15 percent" in fact

(Sheer). With the millions of acres of rainforests being torn down, there are less and less

plants to recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen (Sheer). Not only do trees recycle Co2

during photosynthesis, they also release their stores of it from within them when they

are cut down (Sheer). From the year 2000, to 2009, over "32 million acres of tropical

rainforest" were cut down (Sheer). The released stores of Co2 greatly contributed to the

amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping in more heat and becoming a

catalyst for climate change as a result.

Ensuing the 1800's, the burning of fossil fuels rose exponentially (Foss). The

reason for this was the start of the industrial revolution. Day to day life increasingly

began to tie in with machinery, that of which needed to be powered using a source of

energy, mainly fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels emits harmful gases into the

atmosphere, mainly Co2. This Co2 traps heat and causes a rise in global temperatures.
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Since almost every consumer good in some way uses fossil fuels during production, the

Co2 emissions will only climb. The emissions from the billions of cars being driven every

day are contributing as much as "14 percent" of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

(Sheer). The electricity used to power homes and machines is created at power plants

where fossil fuels are burned to create the energy. Somewhere down the line in almost

every product created, some sort of fossil fuel must be burned, from what is needed to

power the lightbulbs inside of factories, to any tool used which was molded using a

machine powered by electricity. Humans need to create massive amounts of waste to

exist, and this will continue to contribute to climate change across the globe.

The day to day life of almost every single human on earth requires for fossil fuels

to be consumed. The consumption of fossil fuel has provided incredible benefits to

humankind. For example, when someone drinks some milk from a gallon jug, the jug

had to have been created with plastic which originated from oil. There is also by

products of production which can be toxic. The byproducts can also be C02, a

greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are ones which trap ultraviolet rays from the sun in

the Earth's atmosphere, not letting them escape into space, which causes an increase in

temperature on Earth. This ties into climate change. With increasing production of

products using fossil fuels, there is an increase of greenhouse gases being released into

the atmosphere. These gases trap more and more rays from the sun on earth instead of

letting them be released into space, so over time the Earth accumulates more gases.

When the temperature of the Earth increases, so does the temperature of the ocean.

When this happens, the saturation of Co2 in the water drops, causing Co2 to be let out

into the atmosphere, increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

(Baum et al).
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The causes of climate change are one thing, but climate change itself is

completely different. Temperatures increase due to the burning of fossil fuels emitting

Co2, which increase greenhouse gases, subsequently trapping an increased amount of

harmful rays on Earth. This, along with how humans cannot recycle the amount of waste

they produce is alarming due to the implications of such inefficiency. With an increase

in temperatures comes the melting of ice sheets. There are "three ice sheets around the

world. There is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the East

Antarctic Ice sheet" (Baum et al). The melting of these ice sheets due to increasing

temperatures would lead to higher sea levels. The exact increase is currently unknown

but some coastal cities could be at risk of complete destruction due to permanent

flooding. Along with this, the tides and currents of the oceans would move too, changing

the routes that underwater wildlife may take. Along with this, the reefs on the bottom of

the ocean could be completely destroyed, greatly disturbing the ecological chain of

wildlife across the ocean floor.

The Earth has been plagued by many problems throughout its history, one of

which is referred to as climate change. Climate change can include the rise of the sea

level from increased temperatures, or can be stated as the source for the melting of the

ice caps. Nonetheless, these problems are be caused by many things, from excess

harmful carbon emissions trapping heat in the atmosphere, to the eradication of the

Earths wildlife leading to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air. Each of

these causes is backed with factual evidence, and explanations are given with each

statement. Climate change exists for various, undisputable reasons.

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Works Cited

Baum, Seth D., et al. “Climate Change: Evidence of Human Causes and Arguments for

Emissions Reduction.” SpringerLink, Springer, Dordrecht, 23 Apr. 2011,


Foss, Andrew. "Notes on the Essay Review by Henry Bauer of Climate Change: Evidence

and Causes." Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 29, no. 4, Winter2015, pp.

649-658. EBSCOhost,



Sheer, Roddy. “Deforestation and Its Extreme Effect on Global Warming.” Scientific

American, The Environmental Magazine,