What is Global Warming Anyway?

Is It Happening?
Global warming, yeah, it's happening. Right now as a matter of fact. The evidence is everywhere, even in your backyard. Climatologists note that significant changes have been occurring in the earth's atmosphere and their records show that:
The Earth's average temperature is steadily increasing, up 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
There is a 20 percent decrease in summer Arctic ice since the 1970's.
Over the last 40 years, it's reported that over 22 percent of Antarctic ice has melted.
Extreme weather, including hurricanes and drought, has increased throughout the last century.
Snow has fallen later and melted sooner...yes, in your own backyard.
Is It Serious?
If you think that a sea level rise of up to 20 feet isn't serious because it won't happen in your lifetime, then you're seriously mistaken. At the current rates of global warming and carbon output, Antarctica's Western Ice Shelf will slip into the oceans raising sea levels and causing a landslide of events affecting the world that include flooding, drought and famine.
Consequences of Not Acting?
Any one reason to act far outweighs any fifty reasons not to. But even after the evidence above, if there are those who still deny, deny, deny...well, then let's all just put our bathing suits on and hope there's enough food around to feed your fan waver because it's going to get toasty.
Some consequences of not acting:
NASA projects the first ice-free summer by 2040, and a completely ice-free North Pole by 2100
Massive hurricanes many times stronger than 2005's Katrina may occur.
Heat waves have already killed 700 Chicagoans in 1995 and up to 50,000 Europeans during the summer of 2003, and they are sure to continue.
Droughts will become commonplace, such as the current one in The Sahel in southern Africa right now.
Rainfall will continue to increase in other areas, as has been already witnessed in Scotland in 2000 and India in 2004.
2.8 billion people now live under the poverty level - that is, under $2 USD per day. These people account for half of the world's population and most of them live in low-lying areas extremely vulnerable to flooding and with rising sea levels, they will be the first to feel the tragic effects of global warming on a large scale.
Can We Stop It?
Oh if global warming were like a light where we can just flip the switch at will, but unfortunately it's not. But there are many things we can do, including reducing our contribution to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and oceans by seeking cleaner and more efficient fuel sources, reducing energy consumption per person and better educating the public about the importance of environmental responsibility.

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