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Q & A: global warming

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
what is global warming, and what does it come from? PLEASE GET THIS DONE BY AT LEAST TOMORROW!!!! PLEASE?
- emily (age 12)
mo
A:
The Earth's temperature depends on how fast energy flows in from the Sun and how fast it flows out to space. The incoming energy is largely in the form of visible light. The outgoing energy is mostly infrared light. If something traps some of the outgoing energy then the Earth heats up. Some gases in the atmosphere do just that. One of the most important ones is CO2, which is released whenever we burn coal or oil. We've increased the CO2 concentration so much that the Earth is starting to warm up a lot. It's going to get a lot warmer, especially if we don't take steps to reduce how much fuel we burn by a lot. The effects will include death of many forests (which can't just pick up and move to where they like the climate), melting ice causing rising sea levels and floods, changes in storm patterns, and many other serious problems.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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