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Complete Name: Course: Title: Global Warming Introduction For over a hundred years, humans have understood the possibility of atmospheric warming due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. As early as 1896, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius predicted that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would raise average global temperatures by 4.95 degrees C (9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) (Valente, 1995).


These alterations threaten to transform the global environment. As one author imagined it, “The year is 2035. In New York, palm trees line the Hudson River … Phoenix is in its third week of temperatures over 130 degrees … Holland is under water. Bangladesh has ceased to exist … in central Europe and in the American Midwest, decades of drought have turned once fertile agricultural lands into parched deserts (Rifkin, 1988).” Composition of Greenhouse Gases Methane and carbon dioxide primarily constitute the greenhouse gases. They also consist of water vapor and trace amounts of other gases including ozone, nitrous oxide, and HCFCs. Greenhouse gases “trap” some of the sun’s infrared radiation within Earth’s atmosphere, similar to a greenhouse. As the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase, they trap more of the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere, which has a number of effects on the earth’s environment. Were it not for greenhouse gases, most of the sun’s energy would radiate back out into space, leaving the earth cold and lifeless with an average temperature of minus 18 degrees C (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) (Miller). ...
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