Q&A: Global Warming.

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Q. What is Global Warming?

A. Global warming is the increase in global temperature. Over the past 50 years or so, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate recorded in the history.

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Q. What Causes Global Warming?

A. It is caused when the collection of Carbon Dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and the solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Normally, radiations as such escape into space. However, these pollutants that can last for centuries in the atmosphere trap the heat and cause the temperatures to increase and hence, heat up the earth.

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Q. Global Warming and Extreme Weather?

A. Scientists agree that the earth’s rising temperatures are fueling longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall, and more powerful hurricanes. The earth’s ocean temperatures are getting warmer, too—which means that tropical storms can pick up more energy. So global warming could turn, say, a category 3 storm into a more dangerous category 4 storm. The impacts of global warming are being felt across the globe. Extreme heat waves have caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years.

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Q. What are the other effects of global warming?

  • Melting glaciers, early snowmelt, and severe droughts will cause more dramatic water shortages and increase the risk of wildfires.
  • Rising sea levels will lead to coastal flooding.
  • Forests, farms, and cities will face troublesome new pests, heat waves, heavy downpours, and increased flooding. All those factors will damage or destroy agriculture and fisheries.
  • Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs.
  • Allergies, asthma, and infectious disease outbreaks will become more common and the spread of conditions favorable to pathogens and mosquitoes.

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Q. Is global warming too big of a problem for you to help tackle?

A. Reduce your own carbon footprint by following a few easy steps. Make conserving energy a part of your daily routine and your decisions as a consumer. When you shop for new appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers, look for products with the government’s Energy Star label; they meet a higher standard for energy efficiency than the minimum federal requirements. When you buy a car, look for one with the highest gas mileage and lowest emissions. You can also reduce your emissions by taking public transportation or carpooling when possible.

Voice your support for climate-friendly and climate change preparedness policies, and convey that transitioning from dirty fossil fuels to clean power should be a top priority—because it’s vital to building healthy, more secure communities.

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