The primary trait of our planet is its temperature. Our warmest years of record occurred during the 20th century, with the global surface temperature rising by about one degree Fahrenheit. About two thirds of the temperature increase occurred after 1980, with 1998 being recorded as the warmest year to date. This phenomenon is known as global warming, which is defined as the gradual rising temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. For decades, scientists have debated ways to reduce this warming effect and the many possible causes. Most experts agree that humans cause global warming (Borick & Rabe, 2010).
Dangers. Global warming concerns the international community because it can eventually make life on Earth more difficult for all living things. The changes in climate have caused evaporation to increase, which could possibly lead to floods and severe rainstorms. Melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions could also cause sea levels to rise about two feet over the next 50 years, decreasing the amounts of inhabitable land on the eastern coast of the United States (2010).
Americans may not fully understand scientific jargon related to global warming. However, most have noticed obvious changes in their environments due to increased temperature changes. The majority of Americans have recently participated in conversations about prolonged heat waves during summer months and unusually warm winters. Major meteorological events, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, have also been linked to global warming (2010).