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Causes of Global Warming: Natural Phenomenon or Human Intervention?

It is no secret that the causes of global warming are linked to the greenhouse gas emissions. The sun’s rays descend into the atmosphere and are converted into energy. Some of these gases, such as carbon dioxide return to the air and are supposed to release into space, only they remain in the earth’s atmosphere like a blanket covering the earth and thus warming the planet. Much of these gases known to be the causes of global warming are air pollutants that not only warm the earth but also endanger human health, animal and plant life.

The earth has gone through several climate changes and each time the face of the earth and its inhabitants have changed along with it. The onset of the ice age is believed to have killed off the dinosaurs while it also facilitated new types of animals and plant life, but when the ice age ended, such creatures such as Mastodons (animals that resembled modern day elephants), became extinct. They could not survive the warmer climate.

Then again in the middle ages Europe went through what has been called the little ice age. Around the 14th century much of Europe was covered in ice and glaciers, food was scarce and many people died of exposure and famine.

In recent history, we know that the earth has warmed up by one degree within the last century. Even though this could be a natural phenomenon, humans have also added to the causes of global warming through modern intervention and technology.

The Industrial Revolution has been cited as one of the major causes of global warming. It also was the beginning of the last 200 years of manipulating the environment through machines, technology, and pollution. Since the Industrial Revolution, factories have been releasing fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and tar sands into the environment trapping the gases in the earth’s atmosphere.

Today power plants, which produce coal and coal by products in the USA, account for the most carbon dioxide emission in the nation; they release 2.5 billion tons of toxins into the atmosphere each year.

However, we cannot only blame factories for greenhouse gases emissions. We as consumers, in our quest to constantly make our lives easier, are in fact polluting our environment as well. Carbon dioxide exhaust from our automobiles produces over 1.5 billion tons of pollution released in the atmosphere annually by citizens of the United States.

Simple activities we take for granted in life are causes of global warming. Whether we are watching TV, playing video games, using the computer, listening to music on the stereo, microwaving a meal, using our clothes dryer or hairdryer, washing our clothes in a machine, cleaning our homes with chemicals, using an air conditioner, plastic products or even turning a light on, we are releasing carbon dioxide and hazardous gases within our environment.

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