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USGS CMG InfoBank: Carbon Dioxide

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Comment: 24:42 - 26:06 (01:24)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed 24, Waves, Beaches and Coasts
Keywords: "Industrial Revolution", "carbon dioxide", atmosphere, "fossil fuel", coal, vegetation, steam, gasoline, oil, "Greenhouse Effect", "air temperature", "polar ice melting", "sea level", flood, pollution, "geologic hazard"

Our transcription: But since the Industrial Revolution began to mechanize our world in the late Eighteenth Century, we've been adding tremendous quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.
The first of these was coal, the fossil remains of vegetation.
Burning coal produced the steam, which powered steamships, factories, and locomotives.
It also released vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which until then had been stored underground for millions of years.
Since the early days of the Industrial Revolution, the world's reliance on fossil fuels has increased dramatically.
Today, these fuels include not only coal, but, gasoline and oil.
If we continue to burn these at our present rate, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase significantly.
This could magnify the Greenhouse Effect to such an extent that air temperatures could rise by several degrees and accelerate polar ice melting, which would result in a rise in sea level of a few meters.
This may not seem like much, but it would be enough to flood many of the world's coastal communities.

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