Global warming is an increase in earth’s temperature due to burning of fossil fuels, industrial, and agricultural processes caused by human and natural causes as well as gas emissions. This results in an increased emission of greenhouse gases.

Short-wave solar radiation sinks into the earth’s atmosphere and warms it’s surface; while long-wave infrared radiation emitted by earth’s surface is absorbed, and then re-emitted by trace gases.

This was our environment before some time. Below in this picture you can see our glaciers as they existed.  

   

These glaciers contain a large amount of water and ice in them. Due to global warming they are melting fast. It’s a large threat to human life. It seems no body wants to save these as every one is busy in living their lives. Another reason for global warming is large scale cutting of trees to fulfill human needs.

There are many misconceptions about global warming. Some believe that pollution causes global warming, but the fact is that global warming is the result of burning fossil fuels, coal and oil that release carbon dioxide.
  

Another misconception is nuclear power causes climate change. Nuclear power actually reduces emissions of carbon dioxide when used in place of coal.  

But now can you believe that this is our environment - 

 
Yes these glaciers which were largest containers of water on earth are disappearing fast due to “GLOBAL WARMING”. It is a great loss of our lives - can’t we stop it? Yes we can. 

Otherwise earth will become hell. 

After years of debate, consensus amongst most of the  scientists is that we are warming the planet. Unless we take steps now to curb global warming and our way of life, our planet and our children are all in grave danger. There is hope. Each us can make simple decisions that can help in reducing  global warming. The Sierra Club is working with churches, labor unions, mayors and state governments to bring about a cleaner, smarter energy future. 

How can Global Warming affect our lives?  

Global warming is sometimes referred to as the most dangerous experiment ever conceived. We do not know what the full affect of radical climate change will be on our environment, but we do know that even a modest rise of 2°- 3°F (1.1°-1.7°C) could have dramatic effects. In the last 10,000 years, earth’s average temperature hasn’t varied by more than 1.8°F (1.0°C). Temperatures only 5°-9°F cooler than those today prevailed at the end of the last Ice Age, in which the Northeast United States was covered by more than 3,000 feet of ice. Leading scientists assert that a rise of 3 degrees would cause famine and drought and threaten millions of lives. It would also cause a worldwide drop in crops of between 20 and 400 million tons, threatening 400 million more people with famine, and put up to 3 billion people at risk of flooding and without access to fresh water supplies. Few ecosystems could adapt to such a dramatic temperature change, resulting in the destruction of half the world’s nature reserves and a fifth of coastal wetlands. Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet if the ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica collapsed, which is a distinct possibility if temperatures continue to climb. Droughts and wildfires will occur more often. More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.

You will be thinking that..
  
Does the rise in the earth’s temperature cause more intense storms/hurricane/ tornados ? If so, how? 
While it is impossible to blame any single event on global warming, there are several reasons to believe that global warming will create more intense storms. Hurricanes are powered by warm water on the surface of the ocean. As global warming heats the surface of the water, hurricanes will increase in speed, power, and frequency. Tornadoes are caused by rapidly rising heat from the lower areas of the atmosphere to higher portions of the sky. While scientists are again reluctant to pin individual storms on global warming, global warming does create greater amounts of heat in the lower portions of the atmosphere, creating more tornado-causing energy to be released into the upper atmosphere. 
What are the largest sources of global warming pollution in the world and in the United States? 

The US produces far more carbon dioxide than any other country in the world. According to the latest figures by the Department of Energy, the US produces 22% of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, at 5,912.21 million metric tons in 2004. That is more than China, and India together (17% and 4.1% respectively), more than Russia (6%), Japan (4.7%), Australia (1.4%) and the whole of Europe put together (17.2%). In the United States, the major sources of CO2 emissions stem from burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. We burn coal and natural gas to produce electricity and energy for our homes, businesses, and factories while most of the oil is burned to power transportation – planes, buses, and especially cars. However all of the technology that produces this energy is outdated and inefficient. We can continue to live our lives by putting more efficient technology to use and by getting more energy from clean sources like wind and solar.  

Can we curb our emissions of global warming pollution without hurting our economy? 

In addition to being dirty and dangerous, America’s coal and nuclear power plants are wildly expensive. America’s energy policy is terribly expensive, requiring large subsidies while taking a heavy toll on consumers. There have been dozens of studies which show that by investing in clean energy, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, we can reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while creating new jobs and saving consumers money. While many countries in Europe and Asia are recognizing the need to curb emissions, America’s industries are being left behind. America needs policies and programs that will stimulate green power industries. We can ensure that America will once again lead the world in technology and manufacturing. And by making simple choices in the kinds of products we buy, such as Compact Florescent lightbulbs and hybrid cars, we can all save money and protect the environment by consuming less energy.  

Is it too late to stop Global Warming?  

While it is true that global warming is already occurring and affecting the way we live, it is vital that we take steps to curb global warming pollution. If we do not begin to make the change to clean energy, the heat waves and hurricanes that we have already suffered through will become more routine and worse. Thankfully, we have all the tools necessary to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases – tools like clean energy, energy efficiency, and cars that go farther on a gallon/litre of gas.  

Responsible Choices:  

The choices we make and the products we buy test our commitment to maintain a healthy planet. When we burn fossil fuels—such as oil, coal, and natural gas—to run our cars and light our homes, we pump carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. This thickens the heat-trapping blanket that surrounds the planet, causing global warming.
Choosing modern technology can reduce our use of fossil fuels and help protect the planet. These ten steps will help curb global warming, save you money, and create a safer environment for the future.  
  
We can do only 10 things to protect our environment:  

Drive Smart!  

A well-tuned car with properly inflated tires burns less gasoline—cutting pollution and saving you money at the pump. If you have two cars, drive the one with better gas mileage whenever possible. Better yet, skip the drive and take public transit, walk or bicycle when you can.  

Modern technology can make our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon/litre of gas. It’s the biggest single step we can take to curb global warming. The less gasoline we burn, the less CO2 we put into the air. Taking this step would also save nearly 4 million barrels of oil a day — more oil than we currently import from the Persian Gulf and could ever extract from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge combined. And by saving gas, you save nearly $2,000 at the pump over the life of your car.

Support clean, renewable energyRenewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power, can reduce our reliance on coal-burning power plants.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs

Especially those that burn the longest each day. Compact fluorescents produce the same amount of light as normal bulbs, but use about a quarter of the electricity and last ten times as long. Each switch you make helps clean the air today, curb global warming, and save you money on your electricity bill.  

Saving energy at home is good for the environment and for your wallet

Start with caulking and weather-stripping on doorways and windows. Then adjust your thermostat and start saving. For each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can cut your energy bills by 3 percent. In US, ask your utility company to do a free energy audit of your home to show you how to save even more money.  

Become a smart water consumer

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and you’ll use half the water without decreasing performance. Then turn your hot water heater down to 120°F and see hot-water costs go down by as much as 50 percent.  

Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances

Replacing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner with an energy-efficient model will save you money on your electricity bill and cut global warming pollution.

Plant a Tree, protect a forest

Protecting forests is a big step on the road to curbing global warming. Trees “breathe in” carbon dioxide but slash-and-burn farming practices, intensive livestock production and logging have destroyed 90 percent of the native forests in the United States. And you can take action in your own backyard — planting shade trees around your house will absorb CO2, and slash your summer air-conditioning bills.  

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70 to 90 % of the energy and pollution including CO2 that would result if the product came from virgin materials. Recycling a stack of newspapers only 4 feet high will save a good-sized tree. Please…buy recycled products!  

Mount a local campaign against global warming

Educate your community about how it can cut global warming pollution. Support measures at the national, state, and local level that:
Make automobiles go further on a gallon of gas;
Accelerate the use of clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind;
Increase energy efficiency and conservation;
Preserve forests around the world.

Save Money, Save the Earth  

Every time you buy a home appliance, tune up your heating system, or replace a burned-out light bulb, you’re making a decision that affects the environment. You are probably already aware that most of our biggest environmental problems are directly associated with energy production and use: urban smog, oil spills, acid rain, and global warming, to mention a few. But you may not realize just how big a difference each of us can make by taking energy use into account in our household purchasing and maintenance decisions.The cost of using appliances and heating and cooling equipment averages more than $1,200 per year. You can sharply reduce your energy bill by using high-efficiency appliances and space conditioning equipment. While these may be more expensive to buy than comparable models with lower or average efficiency, your reduced energy bills will put that money back into your pocket long before the product wears out. By purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you can also have a positive effect on national security, the economy and the environment. The efficient use of oil, gas and electricity improves economic competitiveness and reduces the environmental pollution associated with energy production and use. In fact choosing energy-efficient appliances is one way you can immediately reduce your contribution to global climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary gas affecting global warming and virtually all energy-using equipment results in CO2 emissions either directly or indirectly. Since burning oil or gas in your furnace creates CO2 directly choosing a more efficient furnace will reduce this pollutant right from your home. Furthermore, coal or gas is burned in most power plants to create electricity and this produces emissions. By replacing a 20-year-old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model not only will you save about 800 kWh per year, you will also reduce your home’s CO2 contribution by about one ton per year.

Time for introspection ?..

by Rahul

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