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Adapted from:
Environmental Defense Fund. "Greenhouse Gases Cause Global Warming." At Issue: Greenhouse Gases. Ed. Ronnie D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. 3 Feb. 2010

A There are many myths concerning global warming. Global warming, however, is a scientific fact, caused by an increase of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels (gas, oil, and coal). While some critics have said that increased water in the air causes most global warming, increases in CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels are responsible for trapping more water vapor in the atmosphere. Global warming will have a devastating impact on the earth's environment, leading to floods, droughts, and heat waves, and will severely affect agriculture.

B The first myth is that scientists don’t have enough information to say that man is definitely the cause of global warming. However, the most respected scientific bodies have said there is no doubt that global warming is occurring, and that people are causing it by burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil and natural gas) and cutting down forests. The only disagreement in the science community about global warming is about how much and how fast warming will continue as a result of human activities. Scientists have given a clear warning about global warming, and we have more than enough information, about causes and solutions, to implement solutions right now.

C Another myth is that global warming and extra CO2 will actually be beneficial—they reduce cold-related deaths and stimulate crop growth. However, any beneficial effects will be far outweighed by damage and disruption. For example, rising seas would cover coastal communities, contaminate water supplies with salt and increase the risk of flooding by storms. This will affect tens of millions of people around the world. Moreover, extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts and floods, are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity, causing loss of lives and property and throwing agriculture into turmoil.

D Higher levels of CO2 have already caused the ocean to become acidic, and scientists are warning of possible devastating effects on marine life and fisheries. Moreover, higher levels of smog, a result of warmer temperatures, could affect people with breathing difficulties. Furthermore, less developed countries and natural ecosystems may not have the ability to adapt. Lastly, we live in a global community. When an environmental disaster creates millions of refugees half-way around the world, people in richer countries are also affected.

E Some global warming skeptics say that recent cold winters and cool summers show that global warming is not happening. However, while there are some small areas which have experienced some cold winters here and there, the overall trend is warmer winters. Measurements show that over the last century the Earth's climate has warmed overall, in all seasons, and in most regions. A single year of cold weather in one region of the world doesn’t mean that global warming isn’t real.

F The same argument is put forward for glaciers. Global warming can't be happening because some glaciers and ice sheets are growing, not shrinking. However, again in most parts of the world, glaciers have shrunk dramatically . The best available scientific data indicate that Greenland's massive ice sheet is shrinking. Leading scientists agree that rising air temperatures are the most important reason for this.

G While there are some who believe that global warming is natural and even beneficial, there is general agreement among leading scientists that man made emissions are in fact raising earth’s temperatures to dangerous levels. The results of this will be devastating, affecting the availability of food and standards of living. (678 words FK 11.1)