Global Warming

Global Warming- In a nutshell it is an excess emission of greenhouse gases caused by humans, the gases are naturally occurring substances, however due to industry there has been huge amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. From the gases in the atmosphere the greenhouse effect takes place within Earth's atmosphere, which is exactly what it sounds like, as light (infrared radiation) passes through the upper layer of the atmosphere it hits the Earth and warms it due to radiation and reflects back up as to escape Earth's atmosphere, however due to the excess CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases the infrared radiation gets absorbed by the CO2 and thus warms the climate of the Earth.
"The Worldwatch institute reports that carbon emissions worldwide have increased from about 1 billion tons in 1900 to about 7 billion tons in 1995. The Institute also notes that the average surface temperature of Earth has gone from 14.5 degrees C in 1860 to 15.3 degrees C in 1980." (source: How Stuff Works)
"The IPCC says that the pre-industrial amount of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere was about 280 parts per million (ppm), meaning that for every million molecules of dry air, 280 of them were CO2. In contrast, 2005 levels of CO2 were measured at 379 ppm" (source: How stuff works)
Evidently, this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. This is where the government comes in; the government has the authority to, for example. pass regulations mandating the amount of greenhouse gases that a factory/automobile/etc. can legally release into the atmosphere in an effort to stop global warming. However, the government is made up of public officials who have, for the most part, an educational background in law, not environmental science. Hence, public officials and scientists must work together in order to understand the problem and figure out what to do about it. In short, as the scientists make the discoveries about global warming, and continue to research the problem, the government officials must adapt and change legislation, policies, and keep up to date information. It is more or less teamwork, and the two function separately from one other, but share a common goal - the scientists perform the research, and the public officials decide what needs to be done in order to prevent serious damage to the world.

A timeline dealing with a few key points of both the politics and the physics of global warming is shown above.

Greenhouse Gases

The Greenhouse Effect
Damaging effects
Public Opinion on Global Warming
International Efforts to Combat Global Warming
Legislation of Global Warming