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Shvoong Home>Science>Global Warming Alert - 1 Summary

Global Warming Alert - 1

Book Summary   by:Kimimaro     Original Author: Iruka
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10. Aggravated Allergies

Have those sneeze attacks and itchy eyes that plague you every spring been worsening in recent years? If so, global warming may be partly to blame. Over the past few decades, more and more Americans have started suffering from seasonal allergies and asthma. Though lifestyle changes and pollution ultimately leave people more vulnerable to the airborne allergens they breathe in, research has shown that the higher carbon dioxide levels and warmer temperatures associated with global warming are also playing a role by prodding plants to bloom earlier and produce more pollen. With more allergens produced earlier, allergy season can last longer. Get those tissues ready.


9.Heading for the Hills

Starting in the early 1900s, we''ve all had to look to slightly higher ground to spot our favorite chipmunks, mice and squirrels. Researchers found that many of these animals have moved to greater elevations, possibly due to changes in their habitat caused by global warming. Similar changes to habitats are also threatening Arctic species like polar bears, as the sea ice they dwell on gradually melts away.



8.Arctic in Bloom

While melting in the Arctic might cause problems for plants and animals at lower latitudes, it''s creating a downright sunny situation for Arctic biota. Arctic plants usually remain trapped in ice for most of the year. Nowadays, when the ice melts earlier in the spring, the plants seem to be eager to start growing. Research has found higher levels of the form of the photosynthesis product chlorophyll in modern soils than in ancient soils, showing a biological boom in the Arctic in recent decades.


7.Pulling the Plug

A whopping 125 lakes in the Arctic have disappeared in the past few decades, backing up the idea that global warming is working fiendishly fast nearest Earth''s poles. Research into the whereabouts of the missing water points to the probability that permafrost underneath the lakes thawed out. When this normally permanently frozen ground thaws, the water in the lakes can seep through the soil, draining the lake, one researcher likened it to pulling the plug out of the bathtub. When the lakes disappear, the ecosystems they support also lose their home.

6.The Big Thaw

Not only is the planet''s rising temperature melting massive glaciers, but it also seems to be thawing out the layer of permanently frozen soil below the ground''s surface. This thawing causes the ground to shrink and occurs unevenly, so it could lead to sink holes and damage to structures such as railroad tracks, highways and houses. The destabilizing effects of melting permafrost at high altitudes, for example on mountains, could even cause rockslides and mudslides. Recent discoveries reveal the possibility of long-dormant diseases like smallpox could re-emerge as the ancient dead, their corpses thawing along with the tundra, get discovered by modern man.


Published: March 28, 2008   
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