Welcome to Heat Watch, an interactive learning center. This center has been designed especially for students to enhance our understanding of global warming. We have six feature sections to explore. Each section is described briefly here:
The Background section, which you are now viewing, gives a short history of the development of global warming.
The Causes section explains why global warming happens, using a graphical model of the driving force behind global warming, the greenhouse effect.
The Dangers section presents several of the most important effects of global warming and how they threaten to be dangerous in the future.
The Solutions section suggests actions anyone can take to fight global warming. After seeing the dangers we face, you will want to see solutions.
Our Dynamic News Site links us to some of the most reliable and up-to-date sources of global warming news and information on the Internet.
Finally, our Interact Discussion Board allows us to talk about global warming and get feedback on this site. You can use it to say whatever you wish.
Industrialization started the problem, 1750-1900. The industrial revolution marked the beginning of global warming.
Life in the 1700s brought prosperity and a demand for luxuries. Manufacturing and transportation industries brought these luxuries to market. Industries were fueled mostly by coal. Burning of coal was later found to be the first major cause of global warming. Industrialization thus began global warming.
Consumerism accelerated the problem, 1900-1970. As consumerism took the world by storm, global warming increased.
When consumerism took off in the early 1900s, even more people wanted the newest luxuries, and industries increased production. As a result, the amount of coal used by trains grew. Trucks and cars became popular and they worsened the problem. The exhaust emitted by cars and trucks is another major cause of warming. In addition, other industries such as the manufacturing industry and the service industry expanded their use of fuels. Advertising promoted consumption of resources without showing these consequences.
Calls for solutions began but failed, 1970-2000. Although scientists identified global warming as a problem, global warming worsened.
By the end of the 1980s, scientists agreed that global warming is happening. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that the global temperature rose 0.6-1.2°F (0.3-0.6°C) between the years 1900 and 2000. IPCC predicted the world will warm 1.8-6.3°F (0.9-3.3°C) more from 2000 to 2100 if emission trends continue. Seeing the dangers of such a warming, nations met to discuss possible solutions during the 1990s. Nevertheless, the burning of fuels and other actions causing global warming have continued steadily.
Take the Background Quiz to test what you have just learned about the history of global warming. Then go on to the Causes section. There you will learn about the greenhouse effect and see why global warming is happening.