Many things cause global warming. One thing that causes global warming is electrical pollution. Electricity causes pollution in many ways, some worse than others. In most cases, fossil fuels are burned to create electricity. Fossil fuels are made of dead plants and animals. Some examples of fossil fuels are oil and petroleum. Many pollutants (chemicals that pollute the air, water, and land) are sent into the air when fossil fuels are burned. Some of these chemicals are called greenhouse gasses.
We use these sources of energy much more than the sources that give off less pollution. Petroleum, one of the sources of energy, is used a lot. It is used for transportation, making electricity, and making many other things. Although this source of energy gives off a lot of pollution, it is used for 38% of the United States’ energy.
Some other examples of using energy and polluting the air are:
... Turning on a light
... Watching T.V.
... Listening to a stereo
... Washing or drying clothes
... Using a hair dryer
... Riding in a car
... Heating a meal in the microwave
... Using an air conditioner
... Playing a video game
... Using a dish washer
When you do these things, you are causing more greenhouse gasses to be sent into the air. Greenhouse gasses are sent into the air because creating the electricity you use to do these things causes pollution. If you think of how many times a day you do these things, it’s a lot. You even have to add in how many other people do these things! That turns out to be a lot of pollutants going into the air a day because of people like us using electricity. The least amount of electricity you use, the better.
When we throw our garbage away, the garbage goes to landfills. Landfills are those big hills that you go by on an expressway that stink. They are full of garbage. The garbage is then sometimes burned. This sends an enormous amount of greenhouse gasses into the air and makes global warming worse.
Another thing that makes global warming worse is when people cut down trees. Trees and other plants collect carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a greenhouse gas.
Carbon dioxide is the air that our body lets out when we breathe. With fewer trees, it is harder for people to breathe because there is more CO2 in the air, and we don’t breathe CO2, we breathe oxygen. Plants collect the CO2 that we breathe out, and they give back oxygen that we breathe in. With less trees and other plants, such as algae, there is less air for us, and more greenhouse gases are sent into the air. This means that it is very important to protect our trees to stop the greenhouse effect, and also so we can breathe and live.
This gas, CO2, collects light and heat (radiant energy), produced by the sun, and this makes the earth warmer. The heat and light from the sun is produced in the center of the sun. (The sun has layers just like the earth.)
This layer is called the core. Just like a core of an apple, it is in the middle. Here there is a very high temperature, about 27,000,000°F. This heat escapes out of this layer to the next layer, the radiative zone. This layer is cooler, about 4,500,000°F. Gradually, the heat and light will pass through the convection zone at a temperature of around 2,000,000°F. When it gets to the surface, the temperature is about 10,000°F. Finally, the heat and light is sent into space. This is called radiant energy (heat and light). The radiant energy reaches the earth’s atmosphere. As a result of this process we get light and heat. When you pollute, you send chemicals into the air that destroy our atmosphere, so more heat and light cannot escape from the earth’s atmosphere.