The Domino Effect of Global Warming

The Domino Effect of Global Warming
When thinking of global warming, one could picture a line of dominos. Imagine if someone had knocked over just one domino, what would happen to the rest of the dominos in the line? The others would follow. Global warming can be compared to dominos in that both cause a chain reaction. Carbon dioxide could very well represent the first domino since it is carbon dioxide that creates the blanket-like effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. This blanket effect sets the other dominos in motionThe main purpose of a blanket is to keep things warm. The ?blanket? around the earth keeps the earth dangerously warm. Forest fires could be one catalyst for putting the dominos in motion. The smoke that a fire produces releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while killing plants that would normally convert carbon dioxide into oxygen (Adams 38). The fires cause the soil to dry out. As a result, the soil absorbs more heat and less water; this increases the likelihood of droughts. These forest fires could also potentially disrupt habitats and may lead to the extinction of several species of animals and plants. The next reaction in the chain of dominos could be the melting of polar ice and permafrost (Adams 38). Due to the increase in temperature to the earth?s atmosphere, permafrost will being to melt and release harmful gases like methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because of the decaying organic matter that was trapped in the soil. Less ice means an increase in global temperature because ice reflects nearly ninety percent of the energy that the sun shines on it. Ocean water produces an opposite effect; it absorbs ninety percent of the energy that the sun shines on it. The absorbed energy warms the water causing the ice to melt. As the planet?s ice melts, the earth absorbs more of the sun?s energy further raising the temperature. This, in turn, causes the remaining ice to melt quicker. With less ice and permafrost, the water gets warmer which can have a great affect on how strong a hurricane could become, ?Warmer water is like rocket fuel for typhoons and hurricanes? (Kluger 41). The amount of category four and five hurricanes doubled over the past 35 years while the wind speed and duration of hurricanes increased fifty percent (Kluger 41). With warmer water and the melting ice, the water level will rise because the ice is becoming water. Thermal expansion has already raised the oceans 4 to 8 inches in one-hundred years. This rise would pale in comparison to what would result if Greenland?s massive ice sheets melted. If this worst-case scenario were to happen, it would raise the sea level twenty-three feet worldwide. Such a rise may engulf cities that are located at or near sea level. Major cities from Los Angeles to London would be submerged (Lovgren). Rising sea levels would also lead to coastal flooding on the Eastern seaboard, in Florida, and in other areas such as the Gulf of Mexico. We have experienced several abnormally-strong natural disasters within the last year. For one thing, we witnessed a major tsunami that killed 226,000 people and left 617,159 people homeless while leaving 6,425 people missing. A major hurricane also smashed into the gulf coast causing $75 billion worth of damage. This became the costliest hurricane in United States history while leaving 1,420 Americans dead and countless others homeless. Might these natural disasters be signs that the dominos have already begun their falling? Some people do not believe global warming to be a serious issue. Many others do not believe that ?global warming? exists. This disaster is real; numbers do not lie. In the last century, the global surface temperature has climbed approximately 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit around the world. Scientists have found that if Greenland?s temperature increases another 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit its massive ice sheets will begin to melt (Lovgren). It was stated earlier that if Greenland?s ice sheets do melt major cities could be submerged. Sea levels have already increased four to eight inches in the last hundred years. No one wants to wait until it is too late to prevent global warming, so why not start the prevention now? Little things such as carpooling, conserving energy, and reducing the amount of fossil fuels used will be a healthy start towards the ultimate goal of prevention.

The Domino Effect of Global Warming 9.5 of 10 on the basis of 1999 Review.