By Andrew Symeonidis, Michael Tzanatos & Bill Nikos (A class)
Most climate scientists agree that the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the «greenhouse effect», an effect that occurs when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from the Earth towards space. This happens because certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. We are going to analyze some of the effects and the consequences below.
First of all, there has been an increase in the number of droughts and floods in the last years and it seems that the increase will be continuous. Extra water vapour in the atmosphere falls again as extra rain, which can cause flooding in other places in the world. When the weather gets warmer, evaporation from both land and sea increases. This can cause drought in areas of the world where the increased evaporation is not compensated for by more precipitation. Also, less ice and snow has been observed compared to some years earlier. This can cause catastrophic results for some areas that are dependent on melted water from mountain areas and they may suffer from drought and lack of domestic water supply.
In addition, another consequence is the more extreme weather incidents and conditions. The warmer climate will probably cause more heat waves, more violent rainfall and also an increase in the number and/or severity of storms. Finally, the sea level is constantly rising. Some Pacific Island nations are expected to be partially or completely submerged by the end of the century. Sea level rises because of melting ice and snow and because of the thermal expansion of the sea (water expands when warmed). Areas that are just above sea level now may become submerged.
To sum up, the greenhouse effect is a phenomenon that can cause serious damage in some domains of life in Earth, but without it, the planet would be a very cold place.