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Critical Analysis of An Inconvenient Truth as Presented by Al Gore

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The recent surge in land-based ice melting is alarming because of the implications for global sea levels. Land-based ice is ice propped up above sea level. If it melts, the runoff increases sea levels, if a big chunk of land ice were to melt, world sea levels could rise by up to 20 feet (Beyerstein, 2006). Gore displays a series of maps simulating the effect of such a sea-level rise on coastal cities in several low-lying regions of the world. Sea levels would rise by another 20 feet if a chunk of Greenland melted. If sea levels rose by 20 to 40 feet, rain patterns would radically change and flooding would inundate many regions while others experienced droughts on an unprecedented scale. With Katrina’s devastating effects on the Gulf Coast fresh in our memories, Gore notes that we’ve seen the effects of 200,000 refugees and to then imagine the effects of a hundred million (Chutry Experiment, 2006). Gore then demonstrates that rising water levels and the massive human misery it would cause is not the worst effect of melting ice. As Greenland melts, cold water mixes into the warm Gulf Stream currents in the Atlantic which act to keep Europe warmer than other regions of similar latitude. If this warmer current turns cold, as it would if half of Greenland melted, a present-day ice age would envelop all of Europe. Rising temperatures also give rise to more violent storms by increasing evaporation from the seas (Fitts, 2006).According to an article by G. Tyler Miller, the scientific community agrees that global temperatures are rising due to the burning of fossil fuels which are damaging the protective atmospheric Ozone layer by changing its composition. Human pollution is changing the climate of our earth and has increased global warming in the past half-century. Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to result in a warming of the Earth’s surface accelerating the greenhouse effect. Currently carbon dioxide is responsible for 57 percent of the global warming trend.