When thinking of global warming, one could picture a line of dominos. Imagine if someone had knocked over just one domino, what would happen to the rest of the dominos in the line? The others would follow. Global warming can be compared to dominos in that both cause a chain reaction. Carbon dioxide could very well represent the first domino since it is carbon dioxide that creates the blanket-like effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. This blanket effect sets the other dominos in motion.
The main purpose of a blanket is to keep things warm. The "blanket" around the earth keeps the earth dangerously warm. Forest fires could be one catalyst for putting the dominos in motion. The smoke that a fire produces releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while killing plants that would normally convert carbon dioxide into oxygen (Adams 38). The fires cause the soil to dry out. As a result, the soil absorbs more heat and less water; this increases the likelihood of droughts. These forest fires could also potentially disrupt habitats and may lead to the extinction of several species of animals and plants.
The next reaction in the chain of dominos could be the melting of polar ice and permafrost (Adams 38). Due to the increase in temperature to the earth's atmosphere, permafrost will being to melt and release harmful gases like methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because of the decaying organic matter that was trapped in the soil. Less ice means an increase in global temperature because ice reflects nearly ninety percent of the energy that the sun shines on it. Ocean water produces an opposite effect; it absorbs ninety percent of the energy that the sun shines on it. The absorbed energy warms the water causing the ice to melt. As the planet's ice melts, the earth absorbs more of the sun's energy further raising the temperature. This, in turn, causes the remaining ice to melt quicker. With less ice and permafrost, the water gets warmer which can have a great affect on how strong a hurricane could become, "Warmer water is like rocket fuel for typhoons and hurricanes" (Kluger 41). The amount of category four and five hurricanes doubled over the past 35 years while the wind speed and duration of hurricanes increased fifty percent (Kluger 41).
With warmer water and the melting ice, the water level will rise...