Global warming is caused by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, or carbon gases, act like a blanket that traps heat in the atmosphere, and prevent this heat from escaping into outer space. Global warming can be quantified by the rise in average temperature of the oceans and the Earth's surface. Most of the temperature rise has been caused by the increase in production of greenhouse gases by humans caused by the burning of fossil fuels and worldwide deforestation.
Effects of Global Warming
The last two decades of the twentieth century have been the warmest decades in 400 years. Global warming is causing sea levels to rise and desserts to widen all over the world. The Arctic region is feeling the worst effects, as the average temperatures across Canada, Alaska and Russia have been raised at twice the rate of the global average. The arctic ice is disappearing and if current trends continue, it could be completely melted by the year 2040.
Coral reefs are also feeling the effect. They are sensitive to small temperatures rises and the warmer water globally is producing a bleaching effect in which the coral reef are turning white and dying. Global warming is also producing heavier storms and heat waves that are creating floods, air pollution and agricultural problems.
How to Prevent Global Warming
The best way to stop global warming is to do everything we can to reduce our own personal carbon footprint. We should ride our bicycles to work or take public transportation instead of driving. Buy food from local markets to reduce the polluting effects from transportation from importing the food from other countries and other states. Avoid heavy consumerism in purchasing material objects that you do not need. Recycle more and buy recycled products so manufacturers do not spend energy in creating these products.
Add more vegetarian meals your diet to reduce the amount of corn manufactured to feed livestock. There is an environmental and energy cost for transporting corn to the livestock, the shipping the livestock to the slaughterhouses, and then processing the meat so it can be consumed by humans.
Take measures in your own home to improve the energy efficiency of your household appliances. The less electricity your appliances use, the less your local power plant has to work to send you that electricity, and the less carbon emissions that power plant produces.