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Many people are claiming that the recent record cold in the U.S. proves that global warming is a hoax. Not true. Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect. A greenhouse is warm inside because the glass roof traps the solar radiation (heat) inside the greenhouse.

In Earth’s atmosphere, greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane) act like the glass in a greenhouse roof, trapping heat inside Earth’s atmosphere. As greenhouse gases accumulate in our atmosphere, more heat is trapped, causing global warming. Global warming causes long- term climate changes around the planet. Jet streams buckle and ocean currents change. Short term weather patterns are disrupted, causing colder winters and hotter summers.

Mankind generates most greenhouse gases by burning carbon-based fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas). Every gallon (6.3 pounds) of gasoline burned produces 20 pounds of atmospheric CO2. All fossil fuels burned globally produce 21.4 billion tons of CO2 each year. Natural processes (like photosynthesis) can only absorb half of the CO2 being produced, creating a net increase of 10.7 billion tons of atmospheric CO2 each year.

Over the past 400,000 years, CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (PPM). Our atmosphere currently contains over 410 PPM of CO2 and is still rising by 2 PPM each year.

Humanity must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Everyone needs to understand the science behind global warming to create the global political will to address this problem. Please share these facts with your friends and family.

Richard Patterson

Hampton

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