Carbon Dioxide

     Carbon dioxide has been rising in the atmosphere throughout time. Recently
though, the levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing at a more alarming
rate. The cause of this is a direct result of manís burning of fossil fuels.

We know that every action we make, as humans, will have some effect on the
environment around us and those effects can be either good or bad. The rising
levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may potentially inflict some negative
effects on our environment. The termed used to describe the rise in CO2 in the
atmosphere is the greenhouse effect. Major greenhouse gasses include carbon
dioxide, water vapor, and methane. Greenhouse gasses collect in the atmosphere
and trap solar radiation within the atmosphere. Therefore as the level of CO2
raises the amount of collected solar radiation will increase as well. There is a
direct correlation with the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and the rise of the
global temperature. When man burns fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum, CO2
is released into the atmosphere. Another problem is " large-scale
deforestation, especially in the tropics, is reducing the most effective natural

CO2 removal process." (Craig 1996, p.9). The increase in CO2 has the potential
to set off a chain of events that could have a severe impact on our environment.

First the increased CO2 causes an increase in the collection of solar radiation.

The rise in temperature could cause the polar ice to melt causing sea levels to
rise. The increase in temperature could also cause the cold water in the oceans
to expand, which could have a great effect on shorelines. Other problems caused
by the increase in temperature could be changes in the growing seasons of
plants, or it could even change the patterns of rainfall. "The major fear of
global warming is massive flooding which will devastate low lying areas of the
earth." (Global Warming)