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"Global Warming 101"
|By: LeRoy French
29 August 2008
We have heard the term 'Global Warming' many times in the past few
years. Most of us really do not understand exactly what it means. In
simple terms it is the accumulation of C02 and air pollutants collecting in
the atmosphere and forming a huge shield that traps the sun's heat causing
the earth to warm up.
Coal burning power plants and automobiles are the biggest cause of this
So when the planet warms up the eco-system is threatened. An example
would be the polar bear. He is having a very difficult time right now. With
the increase in water temperature we see some of the arctic ice floes melting
at an alarming rate. This means the polar bear has further to swim and as a
result many are drowning. Here's a sad fact: Two-thirds of the world's polar
bear sub-population will be extinct by the mid-century due to the melting
of these arctic ice floes.
Coral Reefs are affected. Due to the high percentage of C02 emissions
the ocean retains a high percentage of acid. When this happens coral
begins to die off, (already witnessed in many areas as 'coral bleaching').
Our world oceans have a tremendous burden placed on them daily.
Shipping traffic, fishing, oil drilling and of course dumping of waste. All of
this is a huge threat to our oceans eco-system, and then put 'Global
Warming' on top of all this and the future of our oceans does not look good.
So in a nutshell here are some well known facts: Early snow melts will
cause water shortages. Rising sea levels will cause coastal flooding and
beach errosion. Warmer seas create more intense hurricanes, and as we
mentioned, the interruption of coral reef habitats can lead to many species
Having said all this, you say Wow! this is a huge problem, but I don't see
how I can help. Well everyone can help and it's very simple. Start driving
eco friendly cars. Conserve energy. Cut down on plastic usage. Promote
the installation of marine parks, discard trash properly. What you bring to
the beach take it with you when you leave.
It's time to start thinking about what we will be leaving behind for the next
generation. Here in St. Maarten we have a great community of people and
we should all try to work together to keep our island Eco-Friendly. I know it
sounds like a big order but believe me this needs to be a group effort.