How Global Warming Affects Us


Robert S. Donovan

Power plant adding to Global Warming

Most people have heard about global warming, but the majority of the population doesn’t actually know what it is. Some people say it is the melting of the polar ice caps, while others say it is why the summers are warmer. Some people say, “It’s warmer today.” The truth is, it’s only the weather.

Climate is the average temperature on a yearly basis. For example, the Sahara has a hot climate, and Antarctica has a cold climate. There may be average temperature days in the Sahara or warm days in Antarctica. This, however, is the weather, not the climate. Climate change, or global warming, is the warming of the climate, meaning that the average temperature is slowly getting warmer.

Most of this heat is actually going into the ocean, which is even more disastrous. The heat can kill coral and other fish that need a certain temperature to survive. Just raising the temperature by 2 degrees celsius can cause coral bleaching. Bleached coral is completely white, and this happens when the algae that coral live with stop producing food. The coral then expels the algae. The algae are what give coral color, so with the algae gone, the coral turns white. 

There are also the melting polar ice caps. With all the water from the melted ice caps, the sea level would become much higher. This would be awful since it would cause flooding all over the world. But what is causing the heat? The heat comes from all the carbon dioxide in the ozone layer. This forms a blanket that lets sunlight in, reflecting about 70% of the heat and making it much warmer. When this happens, the heat will most likely hit the sea and is absorbed into the water. This causes a change in the ocean’s temperature. It is also absorbed when the heat hits the ice, but it turns the ice into liquid as all heat does. If the heat gets high enough, it evaporates and goes into the atmosphere. Now, people might think this is great, but the temperature at which saltwater evaporates is 212.74°F. This temperature is enough to kill humans and most other creatures.

One thing that causes more carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere is burning coal and factories. One thing that people can do to help is by recycling. Recycling reuses things already being used, reduces the number of items being manufactured, and greatly lessens carbon dioxide production.

Always remember to recycle, support anti-climate change movements, and save the world.