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Reduce Your Impact on the Greenhouse Effect

by Barbara Herel
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The greenhouse effect is changing the climate of the Earth. Rapidly rising levels of greenhouse gases due to the burning of coal, gas and oil are one of the contributing causes of global warming.

Unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect the effects of global warming to have catastrophic consequences for wildlife around the world.

From plankton to penguins to polar bears, the greenhouse effect is harming our animals by forever changing their natural habitats. A recent sobering study says that scientists are now predicting that half of the world's plants and one-third of the animal life will disappear from half the places they now populate by 2080 due to climate change.

In the Arctic, global warming is already responsible for the loss of sea ice, which scientists have shown is having a negative impact on the health of polar bears and reducing their population. The polar bears' hunting season is being shortened due to warmer temperatures, melting their sea-ice hunting ground at a faster rate. As a result, polar bears now have less food to eat and to raise their young. It is doubtful polar bears can survive if there is a complete loss of the Arctic's summer sea-ice cover, according to the International Arctic Science Committee.

In Antarctica, the number of Adelie penguins has diminished because of rising temperatures and loss of sea ice. The delicate domino effect is played out in this way: Melting sea ice reduces the amount of algae. If the algae don't thrive neither do the krill shrimp, which feed on the algae, and neither do the Adelie penguins, because krill shrimp are their primary food source.

Whales, caribou, trout, coral reefs, monarch butterflies, lions, gorillas, and songbirds are just some of the species in danger from the effects of greenhouse gases. And if our wildlife is threatened by global warming, then it goes to reason that we are as well.

Thankfully, there are simple things that we can do right now to reduce the effects of global warming and help save our wildlife.

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From which light bulbs you use to how much you drive your car, every day we can make better choices that can help save our wildlife.

Here are some tips to reduce your impact on the greenhouse effect and save wildlife:

  • Lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer.
  • Replace your regular light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Keep your car tuned-up and observe speed limits. Whenever you can, leave your car at home. Instead, use public transportation, walk, or ride your bike.
  • Plant a native tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and also provide protection for wildlife.
  • If you buy coffee and chocolate, choose organic versions. The coffee and cacao plants in the tropical rain forests of Latin America help sustain migratory birds.

If you have a little more time, Charity Guide provides additional volunteer opportunities to reduce global warming in just a few hours.

For even more global-warming prevention tips, review the guidelines offered by: The Environmental Protection Agency and The National Resources Defense Council.

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