Environmental Science
Human kind has entered a brand new relationship with the earth. The constant and
increasing pressures we are exerting threaten our planets ability to sustain
life itself. Change-in the way we think , and in the way we live-is needed now.

Global warming is the most urgent environmental problem the world will face in
the next decade and the next century. Few, if any, trends are more important to
our future than climate change caused by human activities. Scientist around the
world are warning us that global warming poses a major threat to our future
quality of life, previously there has been little information on this problem.

Right now, the rate of global warming may be 100 times faster than it has ever
been. Very soon the earth may become hotter then at any time in human history.

In the last decades the problems of atmospheric change have been gravely
advanced by pollution resulting from human activities. These environmental
changes pose a real threat to the lives of people and wild life. It is vital to
all of us that we fully understand the complex relationship between the
atmosphere and the earth. The earth is getting warmer. the changes are small, so
far, but they are expected to grow and speed up. Within the next 50 to 100
years, the earth will continue to heat up hotter than it has been in the past
million years. as oceans warm and glaciers melt, land and cities along coasts
may be flooded. Heat and drought may cause forests to die and food crops to
fail. Global warming will effect weather everywhere, plants and animals
everywhere and people everywhere. Humans are warming the earth's atmosphere by
burning fuels, cutting down forests, and by taking part in other activities that
release certain heat- trapping gasses into the air. Humans all over the world
need to get together and solve these problems. In the southern hemisphere, the
warming is the greatest over Australia, southern south Africa, the southern tip
of south America, and the area of Antarctica near Australia. In the northern
hemisphere, warming is strongest in Alaska, northwest and eastern Canada, most
of the Soviet Union, and parts of Southern Asia, North Africa and south west

Europe. Climate has cooled in Great Britain and northern and eastern Europe. In
the USA scientists found no overall warming trend in weather records kept since
the nineteenth century, however keepin mind the United States covers only 1.5
percent of the earth's surface. As warming continues, every place on the earth
will be effected. In the frozen heart of the last ice age, 18,000 years ago, the
temperature was only about nine degrees Fahrenheit colder then today. So a
change of a few degrees can have a dramatic effects. Todays most sophisticated
climatic models estimate the global temperature will rise between 3 and 9
degrees Fahrenheit in the next century. This could occur as early as the year

2050. Here are the large scale changes the rise might bring: As water warms it
expands, taking up more space. So warmer ocean water, with added melt-water from
glaciers, will rise by twenty inches to five feet in the next 50 to 100 years.

Just a 1 foot rise in sea level can cause shorelines to recede a hundred feet,
and in flat terrain, a thousand feet. If ocean waters rise several feet, whole
beaches could wash away. Many homes, hotels, other buildings, and entire cities
will be threatened. Salt water will pollute freshwater wells that millions of
people use for drinking water. Coastal marshes, which are vital nurseries for
fish and other ocean life will be endangered. Along undeveloped coast, marshes
may survive because they can move inland with the rising waters. In many places
seawalls and other human structures will prevent this process and the marshes
will be destroyed. In the United States ocean water may cover the Florida Keys
and large parts of southern Florida and Louisiana. Two kinds of action are
called for. One is to take steps to prepare for the the effects of warming that
already have begun. Agricultural scientist must develop varieties of wheat and
other crops that can grow in a longer but drier growing season. Ways must be
fond to use irrigation water more effectively. Conservation will also be
important for drinking water supplies. Governments that control building and
other development along coasts must begin to plan for rising sea levels. In the

United States, billions of dollars have been spent to replace send eroded from
beaches, and to help ownersof beach front homes rebuild after storm damage. The
states