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Word Count: 515
A modern city in the western world depends largely upon the generation and consumption of energy We use wood and fossil fuels to supply our vast cities with energy but do not consider the environmental implications that are involved We are depleting the earth of these fuels faster than they will be able to be formed and are also bringing great havoc to nature by causing global warming The Greenhouse Effect is the term used for the role the atmosphere plays in helping warm the Earths surface The atmosphere is largely transparent to incoming short-wave solar radiation which is absorbed by the Earths surface Much of this radiation is then re-emitted at longer infrared wavelengths but some of it is reflected back by gases such as carbon dioxide methane nitrous oxide halocarbons and ozone in the atmosphere There has always been a significant warming effect upon the earth but the increasing rate at which air pollution is being produced by human related activities is at the root of the theories concerning global warming the enhanced greenhouse effect Since 1860 there has been a mean rise in global temperature of about 1 C Most scientists have predicted that if the rising levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue the global temperatures could rise some 2 to 6 C by mid-21st century A significant global warming of the atmosphere would have profound environmental effects It would speed the melting of polar ice caps raise sea levels change the climate regionally and globally alter natural vegetation and affect crop production These changes would in turn have an enormous impact on human civilisation Each year industrially developed countries generate billions of tons of pollutants The most prevalent and widely dispersed air pollutant produced is carbon dioxide The worldwide increase in the burning of coal natural gas and oil in factories power plants motor vehicles etc since the late 1940s has lead to ever-increasing concentrations
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