Sample Scholarship Essays

Global warming

Global warming occurs when the levels of greenhouse gasses rise and less infrared light, or heat, escapes the earth’s atmosphere. Thus, the temperature experienced on Earth begins to rise. Climate change is a part of the Earth’s history. There have been dramatic fluctuations in overall average temperature for the past 150,000 years that suggest a direct association with carbon dioxide levels. In the past the temperature highs and lows have been in tandem with carbon dioxide level highs and lows, this does ijopnot seem to be a mere coincidence. Carbon dioxide currently accounts for 0.03% of the gas content within the atmosphere. However, it has a disproportionate impact on the earth’s temperature. Thus, minor fluctuations in the percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide will likely have a significant effect on the global temperature. The percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen over the past century at an alarming rate. Industrial civilization is essentially driven by fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gasoline all major contributors to the raise in carbon dioxide emissions. Deforestation also releases carbon dioxide via burning and exposing the soil to sunlight. Also, since trees are a major factor in the natural processing of carbon dioxide, needing it to make up their mass, when they are cut down they can no longer serve to absorb carbon dioxide. Our practices are altering the environment and endangering society in return. Carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere in many ways; some of which are naturally occurring and others are from human activity. Over 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions are from natural sources, and would occur even if humans were not on Earth. However, Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, due to the cyclic nature of the carbon cycle, would change little if not for human activities that produce so much every year. The present addition of 3% annually to emissions is enough to throw off the balancing effect of the carbon cycle. The result is a build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is currently at about a third higher than pre-industrial levels worldwide. Throughout the last century our world, reshaped by dams, irrigation, logging and so forth, has seen drastic human population growth. Resulting technologies produced an industrial age that transformed the land, sky, waters, and distribution of the biota of the worlds’ nations. The engines and power plants, which evolved from this historical transformation of science and technology, threaten our stability. Just imagine for a moment how the American continent was changed by these revolutions: The frontier was conquered during the industrial age when science and technology were unifying in a grand experiment which, at the time, seemed like the manifest destiny of civilization: to plow from one coast to the other. The wheels of transformation were set into motion long ago and they are far from slowing down. The consumption patterns of the industrial age will continue to grind for some time and place even greater demands upon all related resources in the meantime. Even if we change our practices in time to avoid instantaneous climatic disturbances, the lessons of ecological history show that society and environment continually alter each other regardless of the global warming phenomenon. The environment may initially shape the range of choices available to a people at a given moment, but then culture reshapes environment in responding to those choices. The reshaped environment presents a new set of possibilities for cultural reproduction, thus setting up a new cycle of mutual determination. The root of the problem is the historical separation of man from nature. The consumption patterns and lifestyles of the U.S. people clearly indicate our cultural values have shifted far from our perception of our dependence upon the health of ecosystems. Global warming is a crisis of human perception in competition with natural cycles, which we have ignored for far too long. A few examples might make this clear: There are many possible adverse side effects of global warming on living and nonliving systems. For example, the displacement of habitat would affect the natural selection of local flora, which feed the fauna that a human community ultimately depends upon for food or cash. Similarly, our dependence on the natural environment will become painfully clear in terms of coastline property loss. Although one might be able to place a dollar figure on the latter, both will demand a shift in lifestyle for humans within both scenarios. Whether or not we have the foresight to change to more sustainable practices before or after such cataclysms may happen is yet to be seen. In addition to raising temperatures scientists discovered that chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), long used as refrigerants and as aerosol spray propellants, damage the ozone layer. Destruction of the ozone layer is predicted to increase the incidence of skin cancer, damage crops and the marine food web, and to lead to an increase in carbon dioxide, possibly stimulating global warming by decreasing the number of absorbers; trees, plankton, etc. Ultimately, the complexity of global warming lessens the distinction between the living and the nonliving systems as distinct entities. In addition, the interdependence of human communities and inhuman systems is forced out into the open. Our dependence upon non-human species would become evident if the food chain were to be disrupted in a local community via habitat loss. This environmental crisis we face is the product of a crisis of perception; we as a species can’t see that our actions will have tremendous effects. Industrial societies typically have a history of shallow ecological, reactive policy-making as opposed to deep ecological, pro-active planning. With this tradition, how can we realistically expect to survive in the years to come? Yes, perhaps we will survive this threat, seeing as we have so many resources, but what will the quality of life be like? And what of less advantaged nations who may not survive at all The prospects of future generations being born into a world affected by human-induced warming seem probable unless we act pro-actively as an international community to examine how we contribute to global warming on an individual basis. The future of earth’s climate is in the hands of humans. It seems to be that the human influence on the earth’s natural balance will only lead to our destruction. With simple measures we, as inhabitants of this planet, can not seal our fate in rising temperatures, but rather we must change our views completely. We have to stop thinking of the natural world as something that we can exploit, and start thinking of it as something that is crucial to our very existence. We must take responsibility for our home. We have but one Earth, one chance.
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Global Warming

Global Warming Global Warming, aside from pollution is one of scientists biggest concerns. Global Warming is caused by the Greenhouse effect. There are 4 steps in the Greenhouse effect. 1-Sunlight radiates from the sun, through space, to Earths atmosphere. 2- The sunlight enters the atmosphere and hits Earth. Some of it turns into heat energy in the form of infrared light. The heat gets absorbed by surrounding air and land, which in turn makes it warm. 3- Infrared rays, that are remitted into the atmosphere are trapped by greenhouse gases.

4- The gas then absorbs the light and is remitted back to the Earths surface and warms it even more. Some of the naturally occurring greenhouse gases are Methane and carbon dioxide. This is the way the Earth keeps itself warm enough for humans to live on it. The only problem with this is that humans enhance the process even more. Over the past 200 years the emissions of greenhouse gases have been increasing due to the increase in technology that humans have developed (example, factories).

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These human-induced gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone depleting substances such as CFCs, also known as Chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons. These gases are generated a number of human activities such as fossil fuel combustion, waste disposal in landfills, the use of a refrigerator, numerous agricultural and industrial activities, and the cutting down of numerous forests. These human practices have already changed the chemical make up of the atmosphere. Between the pre-industrial times and today, we have seen the concentration of carbon dioxide rise 30% in some regions, in particular the northern hemisphere, human practices have increased concentrations of aerosols in atmosphere, which is a traditional form of air pollution), which tends to cool the atmosphere. With all these gases in the air, it is starting to change the Earths climate. The temperature of the Earths surface is as warm, if not warmer than it has been in any other century since at least 1400 AD.

The temperature over the past century has risen one degree Fahrenheit over the last century. These last few decades have been the warmest this century. The sea level has risen 4 to 10 inches, and mountain glaciers world-wide have begun to retreat. It is important to recognize that with the recent warming and the other climatic changes that have been going on have not been related to one another. For example, warming has been greatest over the mid-latitude continents in the winter and spring, with some area of cooling, such as over the North Atlantic Ocean. Local and regional climate variation are not inconsistent with the existence of global warming.

One recent study by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) said that unless governments do something to restrict the emissions of greenhouse gases to a lower level, global temperatures could rise 1.6 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. This would represent the fastest rate of global warming since the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. With the increased warming of the Earth it could lead to catastrophic events that could endanger living things on our planet. One event is major drought all around the world. With the warming of the planet, the water on the ground would quickly evaporate causing the rivers and lakes to quickly dry up.

This would lead to crops dying from lack of rain, which would lead to food prices to skyrocket, which would lead to people dying from hunger if they do not have enough money to pay the price for food. Another event that would occur from global warming is the drastic rise in sea level. As the Earth warms up, the polar ice caps will start to melt. This would put immense amounts of water into Earths oceans. All cities along the coast would be flooded from the rise in sea level. This would cause people to move inland, and with more people inland, it would cause a shortage of space in some areas.

With the coastal cities under water, this would cause a great economic strain on the rest of the cities throughout the world. Global Warming would also cause extreme weather. Thunderstorms would be more powerful than they have ever been. Tornadoes would be stronger than they normally would. With the warming of the surface it would also warm the ocean over time.

This would cause hurricanes to be numerous and stronger than they have ever been. There is only one way to stop global warming before it becomes a real threat. That way is to stop emitting the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Only then will the problem of global warming be solved.


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