Date of Award


Degree Type



Environmental Science


John Van Buren


During the last couple of decades, global warming has been a topic of great investigation. The temperature of the Earth has been slowly raising and an increase in just a few degrees can have tragic consequences to this planet. One of the reasons for global warming is due to the effect of solar variation. The surface of the sun develops hot spots where more heat is generated and therefore results in an increase in the Earth’s temperature. The major reason for global warming is due to human activities. The human population greatly depends on coal for a source of fuel and energy. Coal, which is a mixture of dead leaves and mud, takes many years to create under certain pressures of the planet. When we burn coal, we are releasing carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon dioxide is considered to be one of the greenhouse gases because it participates in the greenhouse effect. The sun itself gives off radiation, which in turn hits the surface of the Earth and then bounces off into space. When the concentration of greenhouse gases increase in the atmosphere, they act as a sort of insulator so when heat comes into our atmosphere then more of it stays rather then exits into space. Therefore the more heat that stays in our atmosphere, the higher the temperature of the Earth will become.