Global warming is an increase in the earth's temperature due to fossil fuels, industry, and agricultural processes caused by human, natural, and other gas emissions. This results in an increased emission of greenhouse gases. Short-wave solar radiation sinks into the Earth's atmosphere and warms its surface; while long wave infrared radiation emitted by earth's surface is absorbed, and then re-emitted by trace gases.
Climate changes occur in our earth's atmosphere due to a buildup of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases can occur naturally as well as a result of human activities. Problems can occur when higher concentrations of greenhouse gases are present in our atmosphere because they have enhanced our earth's heat trapping capability.
There are many misconceptions about global warming. Some believe that pollution causes global warming, but the fact is 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. Some believe that global warming means that it will become warmer all over. The name is misleading because in some places, it will actually become colder. The majority of scientists believe global warming is a process underway and that it is human-induced.
The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. These gases occur naturally. The Earth uses those gases to warm its surface. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels, wood, and wood products are burned. Each greenhouse gas absorbs heat differently. If natural gases did not occur, the temperatures would be degrees cooler than the current temperatures. These gases trap heat and cause the greenhouse effect, rising global temperatures. Human activities add to the levels of these gasses, causing more problems. The burning of solid waste, fossil fuels, and wood products are major causes. Automobiles, heat from homes and businesses, and factories are responsible for about 80% of today's carbon dioxide emissions, 25% of methane, and 20% of the nitrous oxide emissions. The increase in agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining contribute a significant share of emissions too. The gases released into the atmosphere are tracked by emission inventories. An emission inventory counts the amount of air pollutants discharged into the atmosphere. These...