Polar Bears and Global Warming

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Geography Essay Polar Bears and Global Warming Climate change is the key reason that polar bears are being pushed closer and closer to extinction. Although some climate change occurs naturally, this is not what is killing off the polar bears. Global warming is responsible for approximately a 1.4 degrees in Fahrenheit rise in temperature throughout the world on average (National Geographic, 2007). To be able to understand the reasons behind this dramatic climate change one must understand global warming. Global warming is the change in climate due to the greenhouse effect. The sun may be the source of heat to our planet, but if it wasn’t for the greenhouse effect our planet would have an average temperature of 1 degree Fahrenheit, which is not warm enough for some life (National Geographic, 2007). When the heat from the sun comes through the atmosphere a majority of the heat is absorbed in the surface of the earth. The heat that is not absorbed reflects off the earth’s surface and is then sent towards our atmosphere in the form of infrared radiation. Our atmosphere stores gases, known as greenhouse gases, like water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane gas, fluorinated gases, and nitrous oxide. These greenhouse gases trap some of the radiation which warms our planet to allow humans, plants and animals to survive. The dramatic changes to the climate from greenhouse gases is not a natural process which is why the climate changes are such a big issue . Throughout the history of the earth natural climate changes have been known to occur over thousands of years due to the Earth’s orbit and the exposure to the sun. That fact is actually used in arguments for people that believe global warming is a myth. The problem with that argument is that this intense change has happened not just over thousands of years, but over a few centuries (National Geographic, 2007). Human

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