The Future Effects of Global Warming
After several years of scientific debate over the existence of global warming, most experts now agree that global warming exists and may have devastating effects on Earth’s climate. Global warming will influence and/or cause heat waves, polar ice caps melting, flooding, extinction, and droughts.
Social, Historic and Intellectual Context of the Study
The existing research literature suggests that global warming is going to greatly affect the Earth’s climate. Global warming is defined as an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution (Merriam-Webster Online
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(Michaels 48) The polar ice caps have already begun to melt. When the ice melts or when ice falls into the sea, the sea level rises. That is one of the reasons that the sea levels have been rising all over the world. (Gore 184) If half of Greenland and half Antarctica were to melt or fall into the sea, sea levels would rise 18 to 20 feet worldwide. (Gore 196) Areas that do have floods will see floods more often and they will be more severe. The number of major floods per decade has risen dramatically since the 1950’s. In the Americas, there were about 10 major floods in the 50’s. In the 70’s, the number jumped to about 75 major floods. In the 90’s, there were about 195 major floods in the Americas. The number of major floods per decade is definitely increasing. Floods are occurring more often. (Gore 106) There will be a large number of species that will become extinct due to global warming. Chris Thomas led a group of researchers in an experiment to see what effects climate change would have on a large variety of species from various parts of the world. The study was looking at the climate change all the way to 2050.The study involved over 1,000 species that included trees, crustaceans, and mammals from regions covering 20 percent of the Earth’s surface. (Flannery 182) These regions included Mexico, South Africa, Europe, South America, and Australia. His research suggested that at only a 1.4 to 3°F average