What Causes Global Warming?

What are the causes of global warming? What is the green house effect? Is global warming really as destructive as it is believed to be? In the following article, we will try to answer all these, and other such FAQs, about the global warming causes.
Causes of global warming
Global warming has surfaced as a major environmental issue, especially over the past few decades. There has been a lot of hue and cry about global warming, and its impact on the climate, ever since the idea was first put forth. Even though there is no dearth of books or articles on the Internet, the layman still seems unaware of the basic causes of global warming.

Causes of Global Warming

Global warming is basically a change in the climatic conditions of the Earth, brought about by a considerable rise in the near-surface temperature of the planet. A number of factors have been contributing to this rise in the average global temperature - either directly or indirectly, right from the time the planet came into existence. It is the alarming rate at which the temperature has been rising over the last few decades that has put the scientific fraternity on its toes, and the desperate measures to find out what is causing the global temperature to rise at this rate, hints at this very fact.

Global warming, and the resulting climate change, can be caused by natural as well as man-made factors (anthropogenic factors, to be precise). The natural factors causing this sudden warming of the planet include the greenhouse effect, solar activity, volcanic emissions, orbital forcing (slow tilting of the Earth's axis), etc. The anthropogenic causes, on the other hand, include various human activities - right from breathing (respiration), to the use of vehicles and various industrial processes, which add to the greenhouse effect and cause the Earth to become warm.

Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect is said to be the most crucial factor contributing to global warming. It refers to the process wherein the radiations coming from the Sun are trapped by the greenhouse gases within the atmosphere of the Earth, which in turn causes the temperature near the Earth's surface to soar. The greenhouse gases in question here, include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), water vapor, etc. It is believed that the greenhouse effect has increased the Earth's temperature by somewhere around 24 percent, with carbon dioxide contributing to about 12 percent of the greenhouse effect, water vapor contributing around 36 percent, methane 5 to 10 percent, and Ozone making around 3 to 7 percent to the same.

Solar Variation
The changes in the amount of radiant energy emitted by the Sun, i.e. solar variation, is said to be yet another reason of global warming. This solar variation has been correlated with the changes in the Earth's climate and temperature. The solar variation theory states that the amount of solar radiation has been increasing with time. If the proponents of this theory are to be believed, the Sun has been gaining strength, and is at its strongest since the last sixty odd years. And thus, it is believed that the Sun may now be acting as a cause of global warming.

Sunspots are also said to be a cause or catalyst for global warming. Recent reports suggest that the number of sunspots in an area directly affects the amount of time taken by that region to cool down. The Sun is the main source of energy to the Earth. The Earth absorbs about 70 percent of the solar flux, which - in turn increases the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, land and oceans.

Human Activities
It isn't quite a coincidence that global warming and industrialization seem to go hand in hand, and that becomes obvious as you compare the industrialization and temperature rise trends over the last few decades. Even scientists acknowledge that rapid industrialization, wherein we have opted for quite a few shortcuts, has contributed to the increase of global warming today. Humans had started contributing to global warming some 8000 years ago with the start of agriculture, wherein deforestation to clear land for farming resulted in a significant rise in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A prominent greenhouse gas, methane is released in the atmosphere as a part of the digestive process in cattle and other ruminating animals.

Scientists are of the opinion that bad practices in industries result in release of various greenhouse gases which eventually trap the Sun's radiations in the atmosphere, and contribute to global warming. Though the use of household appliances which release chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere has come down now, it was at its peak in the 90s and caused irreversible damage to the atmosphere. Other than cattle, methane also exists in plenty beneath the Earth's crust, and the release of methane during mining indirectly contributes to rising temperature on the planet. Other than deforestation, humankind has also contributed to global warming by using fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide and other such harmful gases.

While all the natural factors do come into play when it comes to global warming, one has to understand that they are necessary in maintaining the right balance on the Earth. Had it not been for all these natural occurrences, the entire planet would have had been a cold desert resembling the continent of Antarctica. In fact, some scientists are of the opinion that human life would have been impossible on the planet in the absence of greenhouse effect (human activities excluded), because the average temperature of the planet would be around 27°C in that case.
Last Updated: January 3, 2012
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what is the definition of global warming? please reply soon... - Tanushree [January 12, 2014]
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what causes globle warming ?
- Lynsay Adams [June 21, 2013]
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l think that green house gases can be prevented by reducing the number of flights - faith [October 31, 2012]
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- Abby [October 2, 2012]
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greenhouse effect is said to be the most important factor contributing to global warming - grade 7th [May 16, 2012]
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I don't know whose koolaide this guy has been drinken but his facts are off considerably. Global warming is part of long term climate cycles which most likely will begin to a cooling phase in the near future into another ice age. Scientist's as yet don't have positive evidence as to what causes these cycles. The warming is most likely 95% natural.

7th grader science at best.
- Scottar [May 9, 2012]
Too long. Didn't read. - A redditor [April 19, 2012]
people just stop burn garbage and dump it in holes - ask me later [April 17, 2012]
many words - 123 [April 13, 2012]
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what causes global warming? people! do yuh underst and what im asking you? - kimberly kately [April 6, 2011]
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- Justin Bieber [January 13, 2011]
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hi hi hi hi hi hi hi. My name is Kylee and i like this website because it tells me the cause and affect of global warming. - Kylee Maddox [January 13, 2011]
wat abiut the eaths temreture dropping - beenal [January 9, 2011]
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Global warmin does not have the posibility to decrease rapidly - Jeny evans [January 5, 2011]
Global warming had made the major effect on the continent of antartica - vandana [December 28, 2010]
I love my carbon footprint and plan on increasing it, what are you going to do about it, also, thank to all who drive hybrids, more fuel for me to burn. - Ray [December 25, 2010]
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- Ashley OLSEN [October 27, 2010]
Global warming is not a myth. It is an extremely severe disaster that is effecting many parts of the world such as the arctic regions. It's most likely caused by polution and excessive amounts of toxic fumes. - Sam [October 21, 2010]
Hello Julia Gilard, moving forwad - Julia [October 19, 2010]
global warming is just an ordinary cycle or earth life which occurs may be every billion years we don't know but nothing to worry about...its' just being in you...its used only to have billion of funds,funds, funds..which is not fun anymore...just enjoy life as it is...God Takes the Rest... - McRainier [October 11, 2010]
whats 1+1? - justin bieber [October 5, 2010]
Who knew the sun? - A person [October 4, 2010]
we need to aware the people that polluted air can damage the ozone layer and can cause global warming and we know that its gonna cause lots of troubles
- PINKY [September 29, 2010]
im really scared what should i do - shannon [September 23, 2010]
it is a very good website and it will lean loads of people - connor cotteril [September 22, 2010]
We Agree with tyler. Global warming is said to of believed to be a Natural Phenomenon of the Earth! We might be speeding up the process but who knows? WE are not all-knowing.. only god is. Maybe over periods of times stuff like this happens to the Earth! Who knows were weren't alive 20,000 years ago... this same thing might of happened but we dont know that. It could also happen 20,000 years in the future! Or however many years this happens. WE DONT KNOW! - ABarbee&JSzabo [September 15, 2010]
we should stop pollotion - rajiv [August 18, 2010]
hello? - camel toe [August 3, 2010]
you need more infomation about the causes of global warming - jessica [July 1, 2010]
wee shudd stopp global warminqq noww beforee itt iss too latee! or elsee will wee reqrett itt&&we'll all diee. truee shizzz :) duecee listen too mee! - Jahaira Ramos [June 22, 2010]
and WE CANNOT STOP GLOBAL WARMING! we can only slow down the procedure, and without everyone's efforts, there is little chance of this happening. - Tyler [June 19, 2010]
if the greenhouse effect was non-existent, neither would we as humans because our planet would be inhabitable. GLOBAL WARMING IS A NATURAL PROCESS and humans are simply speeding up the procedure. Yes, we may need to find an alternative to fossil fuels, because us as humans are partially to blame for the process, but there are natural causes of global warming aswell, for example solar activity, and the greenhouse effect itself. we may be speeding up the process, but both nature and mankind are to blame. - Tyler [June 19, 2010]
good - good [June 14, 2010]
you should tell us how to stop it or there will be no point in makeing this...but good job anyway:) - akl s [June 10, 2010]
all good but try to make us try to stop it - han [June 9, 2010]
very good but you sould try and tell us how to stop global warming - lka s [June 9, 2010]
what r d causes of global warning - joe s [June 9, 2010]
Yeah. But what about the recent rapid rate? - J [May 31, 2010]
What are some accual causes of global warming and i think it is so horrible we should do something about it - Olivia [May 27, 2010]
this is a very good article.thx - why r y asking [May 26, 2010]
i think you should do some bullet points about the causes of GLOBAL WARMING! - don'tneed2know [May 26, 2010]
I think we should try to stop Global Warming because everything is either melting or dieing. Polar Bears can't swim for ever in the water and would you like swimming with sharks. Cause I know I wouldn't! So help out more. Get ride of factories (their is other jobs), stop using so many cars, and try to start a car pool. Put yourself in the paws (cause they don't have shoes) of a polar bear. - Rachel P. [May 20, 2010]
possome save the plor bares! - luna [May 19, 2010]
I love jesse willis - drew [May 14, 2010]
i thank it is dum that we no that it is happin and we are not doing any thing about it.. - chance lucas [May 14, 2010]
Global Warming is and everyday thing and it will keep getting worse as we live on, if we don't do anything to stop it now - Max [May 13, 2010]
global warming refers to an average increase in the earth's temperature which in turn causes change in climate. - grace kinuani [May 13, 2010]
i said what causes it - pete [May 10, 2010]
The industries should be made far away from residential areas & it should not release a large amount of carbon dioxide.if we want to survive till we are we should contribute towards it by impoving are way of living.as we should remember that it is mostly caused by man made circumstences.AND WE SHOULD READ MORE ABOUT IT - Kritika [May 5, 2010]
whackk - kimmy [May 4, 2010]
Malaysian government! STOP PLAYING CORRUPTION and start to save the world! - Lim [May 4, 2010]
The world governments should take action to find out how to do with the increase of world population and accommodation. Close the burning factory and make more plants surrounding us, for example. And, humans... think about how to save your-self.

- tee [May 4, 2010]
Sight is very hot - shelby [April 30, 2010]
i love you - Alexa [April 30, 2010]
i like your speech - jessica [April 26, 2010]
This page was VERY helpful. I would like to know how warm the Earth is right now though...
I hope this helps in my research.
- Tree Hugger [April 19, 2010]
global warming is a bad thing it is killing our puppies - potatoe [March 31, 2010]
you know i should say you need to show some pictures so it could help me understand better but i really liked your explaining and answering - bryan [March 26, 2010]
it helped me alot - bryan [March 26, 2010]
thank u i am doing a project and this page had lots of good info - ben [March 24, 2010]
Global warming is a dumb idea just a big scam to get money - ben [March 24, 2010]
i think global warming is very bad and people need to start doing things too help. - billy [March 1, 2010]
Wat do u think the main thing bout globel warming iz - alyssa [February 27, 2010]
i think ppl need to be nicer to the earth! - Katherine [February 22, 2010]
this info was really helpful to me for my assesment task...thanks - bianca renshaw [February 19, 2010]
Agree. There are many factors in play here - discussed in innerdep. We should at least do our part in preventing the climate change. - Jaya [February 15, 2010]
I think that global warming is going to bring on an ice age that people are not thinking about at this time. But if f you look at it you can not control mother nature. As far as the carbon foot print, its jut another way for the rich to out buy the poor. I should say pass the buck. - RICHARDAW [February 14, 2010]
i think we should stop global warming! - desiree [February 9, 2010]
i like this article... nakatabang jud xa sa among term paper ... thnx jud kaayo...jejeje...dili nami mghago pah... gamay na lang amo i- research - rr [February 2, 2010]
global warming is bad - sean [January 21, 2010]
i hate global warming we are going to die because of hippies - Chole Evans [January 20, 2010]
Your Comments: - Your Name: [January 20, 2010]
i think both! - Liz [January 19, 2010]
go on a rollercoaster - jacob [January 19, 2010]
can we have a comersation - jacob [January 19, 2010]
industrilisation is factorys - jacob [January 19, 2010]
please tell me what industrilisation is. - bebbsy [January 19, 2010]
very good website and very helpfull - bill browne [January 19, 2010]
I think that all yall dont have a clue what u r talkin bout. - Adria [January 18, 2010]
I think that global warming is caused by nature and that it is not a big deal. - Adrianna [January 18, 2010]
good and intresting - spy [January 15, 2010]
it was good info - myself [January 14, 2010]
How does industrialization directly reflect on global warming? - Zohan [January 6, 2010]
It is very nice to see that now i know to stop the global warming i will tell the members those who are in helpful for global warming to stop - john cena [December 24, 2009]
what are the counter arguments for the continued increase in CO2 levels, yet the fall in temperature? The GW crew points to the CO2 level as the end all and be all, yet there seems to be divergence occurring...www,carboncorrection,com - lindsy [December 19, 2009]
All of Greenland has melted in each interglacial period (there have been four interglacial periods) over the last 400,000 years. Why do we not expect it to melt this time? Why do we think we can do anything about it? - edguy99 [December 16, 2009]
i think this is to long - bb [December 12, 2009]
hi think this site is good for getting information
and join jill sanders facebook friends list shes will love you for ever if you do
- paig3 [December 8, 2009]
it is the scientists fault - macca [December 8, 2009]
Yay. I love Global Warming (: I hope we all die. - Jonathan Rhineh [December 2, 2009]
what causes global warmin - sanjeet singh [November 18, 2009]
i think its the white-men that causes global warming with the things they made - alice [November 16, 2009]
that's a good help by this web i like it - jasmine [November 7, 2009]
global warming is truley a very bad thing but can we stop it in ime before its to late? - 11111111uy [November 6, 2009]
Quite good x - Megan [November 4, 2009]
i think we as people need to take care of the earth - Darius Harris [November 3, 2009]
PLS send more info on ur website so people like me can get more from it 2 write there project. - uche [November 2, 2009]
pls put more article on this website so that people can gain more knowledge. - uche [November 2, 2009]
what causes global warming - ghjgh [October 8, 2009]
I HATE GLOBAL WARMING - james walsh [October 6, 2009]
I hate global warming - AJ JONES [October 5, 2009]
Isn't its the high time that we make some strict laws to protect the earth from global warming. Make these laws global so all countries should follow it and call it.. Earth Laws! - renu. [September 13, 2009]
we sould all stick together to change the earth - rishi [September 13, 2009]
good job roy i think that this artical waas amazing it really taught me alot
me and my two friends entered a comment each and we all think the same thing

i feel that we should all stick together in saving our earth because we are all in this together on our Earth
Our home

thanks for the great artticle

ps. i love that u wrote about this it was my favorite
- Sydney [August 26, 2009]



- STEVE [August 26, 2009]
i think that if every one pitch in a little bit like recycle so the gases from landfills don't produce and go into the ozone, the climate wouldnt be changing aas much - Katarina [August 26, 2009]
the issue of global warming is being raised day by day,we even learn about it now at our university, but still people are not taking this seriously, i personally think a lot of work needs to be done. - Mapaseka [August 12, 2009]
i don't think and believe that Carbon dioxide plays a role in the global warming issue.Just consider this, the vast sea which has been the major producer of carbon dioxide has been there for about 4.5 billion years and had never been the cause for global warming.I believe if we understand how clouds are formed then we will know exactly what causes global warming. - W. F. Forson [August 2, 2009]
nice info Roy - michaela [June 23, 2009]
what causes global warming? - jimmy [June 23, 2009]
if v all work 2gether, v can make history! - hilary duff. [June 4, 2009]
are we going too DIIIE! - melissa paahana [May 29, 2009]
Global Warming is NOT GOOD! - HFGJFG [May 27, 2009]
This is very useful for my essay on global warming and how we could try to prevent it - A.C [May 27, 2009]
I think that us humans can do something about htis, for example we could stop using cars, if you stop using your cars so often you would already be helping planet Erth! - Cool Gye [May 27, 2009]
hahahhahaha wow that was funny - sukadick [May 27, 2009]
Hi my name is bob i think Global warming is real - Bob [May 26, 2009]
this is very good - kuhanesan [May 23, 2009]
global warming is - harry [May 19, 2009]
we equally think that deforestation reduces the amount of CO2 intake there by encouraging the quantity of CO2 over the atmosphere - jevis chu njie [May 15, 2009]
I think the global warming is getting bad every second of the day.We need to tell the people the that they are hurting the planet earth that we live on.We need to cut back on a lot of the stuff that is hurting us really bad on earth.I bet that earth is saying right now is that he wish that no one had live on me cause they are hurting me really bad right now. - Sydney R [April 27, 2009]
well i still dont get it... - annie [April 24, 2009]
Well i didn't really get anything out of this artical maybe you could explain it more and actuallt tell what causes global warming... - John bob [April 24, 2009]
it gives alot of vivid detail for the reasons global warming has happened! - shauna [April 22, 2009]
wow i think that this article put it out there and i believe every word it says about global warming and the causes - frenchi [April 15, 2009]
let our scientists make a roof containing chemicals that easily react with CO and others so as to reduce it's effect on the ozone layer.
I mean a roof like structure that converts these chemicals (Reacts) into useful products to the society. eg. C, can be supplied with enough Oxygen to produce Carbon IV oxide
(i'm also still on research)
- Egwu E.C [April 4, 2009]
what are the percentages of global warming, for example 15persent is fosil fules 20 percent isnatural gasses ect. - kristen [March 19, 2009]
Need more info on this for my report - Zack [March 16, 2009]
i think i got good info on this - Zack [March 16, 2009]
Well it is very effective & good to read this . - Ritu [March 12, 2009]
This website was extremely helpful. Thank you for your help and understanding! - Joe Shmoe [February 25, 2009]
i think global warming is terrible! i would love to help it stop! - rachel [February 15, 2009]
i think your web site is really GOOD! i think this site will be much better if u put more pics - Xidhu [February 11, 2009]
i think that global warning shouldnt be prevented - mauricea [February 9, 2009]
this is really good people should stop littering uhhhhhh! its called a trah can sheesh! - jb fan/demi lov [February 2, 2009]
i really like the idea how u made this it really helped me with my hw thnxz - tiffany coburne [February 2, 2009]
bvxhzvx - bdfigsdk [February 2, 2009]
sometimes i wonder if global warming really does exist or if the media just made it up to get more publicity, to have something big happening. the headline "the world is doing just fine" isn't going to sell many magazines as "SHOCKING NEWS: the earth is facing one of its biggest problems yet! what is it? what causes it? and what can you do to help?" is going to sell A LOT more copies! - cynthia p [January 25, 2009]
thats in Farenhet or how ever you spell it - brittany [January 21, 2009]
all you guy have a good point - dakotah [January 20, 2009]
i think its caused by mankind...
when we didn't have all this high tech stuff the earth was perfectly fine!
- unknown [December 10, 2008]
Why would anyone want global warming? - Bob [December 4, 2008]
good stuff - tim [October 26, 2008]
its amazing how many people care about out earth keep on working hard we all can make a difference:) - Lee-Anne [October 21, 2008]
is thier a way that global warming could be prevented - sarah w [October 17, 2008]
I think that global warming is caused by people polluting the earth by throwing thier trash alover instead of a trash can - britanny w [October 17, 2008]
While human activity may be one of the causes of Global warming, is it not likely that position of the solar system in its rotation around the center of the galaxy may also decide the average temperature of the earth! If we plot the extreme temperature fluctuations in the history of the world, beginning of the ice age or Wurm glaciation with the position of the earth's rotation around the Galactic center, both fall around the same time interval. The solar system goes around the Galactic center once every 250,000 years and earth undergoes an ice age at about the same interval. - Kirtidev Bhatt [October 1, 2008]
i love to learn about global warming it shows how i can help - abby [September 21, 2008]
i think you know to mucgh - freddy [August 24, 2008]
i think it makes a lot of sense - black cat 13 [June 23, 2008]
Wow awesome article - jonasfan [June 15, 2008]
excuse me sir i couldnt understand half of what yu rote...anyways...i got the point tho...i would call yu a MONGOLO ...look it up.. - luv.Chachi [June 4, 2008]
what if people dont want to help prevent or decrease global warming?i think that people havent learned their lesson till they see that the earth is going to flood whenever mother nature wants that is when they are going to say we should of done more for the earth but it's going too late for that. that is why people should start recycling more use less power when not in use and or around home...and do more to derease global warming! - anonymous [May 22, 2008]
Global Warming is caused by numerous things that can be prevented. If the united Stes especially would stop being lazy and do somethings without trying to advance in technology for things not required to live, then maybe our climate wouldnt be so ruined. - Da'Kayla [May 20, 2008]
yo thiz story about global warming iz so nice it tellz me alot of thing and i get them. it really helps me alot and now i know much better,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...................i wish if u guyz could put more cause now am really learning alot about global warming these dayz,,......... - tamika [April 29, 2008]
hey wa
aiou a do
- elsom [April 28, 2008]
i liked your discussion about the natural factors causing global warming, but the man-made factors do not really explain how they cause global warmin. forinstance when you taled abt Agriculture you said,"Humans had first affected global warming some eight thousand years ago, with the start of agriculture. Due to the clearing of the forests for agriculture, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased drastically". you did not mention how the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmoshere causes global warming.

- Chaachele [April 24, 2008]
- MEAGHAN [April 17, 2008]
It has unique information and it is thorough. - Joseph [April 17, 2008]
im hotter than yooh !! - sxc beast [March 27, 2008]
I agree with no name and start doing something.
- Anonymous [March 26, 2008]
I think that people should be more concerned about golbal warning. - no name [March 26, 2008]
This is a very good article, I was doing a school project and got lots of good information. - Hannah [March 12, 2008]
this information is really god but really long and hard to read cuz how small it is - joe [March 12, 2008]
all this information is very great! i want to tell those people that global warming IS serious. if global warming is not reduce, it could lead to dire concequences! anyway, i think u should put more info like how politics, culture etc and elaborate more on the info u already put up. :) - sammy [February 11, 2008]
i have an i wonder project and
you need to help your
- anna [February 3, 2008]
i feel that you have some words wrong and i am doing a report so it will help if you fix them - Anna [February 3, 2008]
I tinking global warming is bad - heather [January 30, 2008]

Scientists are of the opinion that industrialization releases various gases like carbon-dioxide and methane which are known to contribute to Global Warming. Deforestation is also said to increase global warming. Trees contain a high level of carbon, and therefore their cutting creates an increase of carbon in the atmosphere. Humankind also contributes to the increase of carbon dioxide by the burning of fossil fuels. The contribution of humankind to global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels has increased by about eighty percent in the past twenty years.
- lee bartlett [January 23, 2008]
hi. how do we get global warming . - lee [January 23, 2008]
this is a really you should write more cause
im learning a lot from reading this
and i need more to write on my
26 page essay....
- hayley chyanne [January 17, 2008]
I am with glenn beck.. tee hee - Anonymous [December 11, 2007]
I don't think global warming is occuring as serious as people think it is - Anonymous [December 11, 2007]
it is great - lengy [October 21, 2007]
cool - lengy [October 21, 2007]
it is useful information for my project. - mickey [October 21, 2007]
Adolf's back! - Hi Hitler [July 3, 2007]
Go home - Hee [July 3, 2007]
i am back - bob [July 3, 2007]
Great Work. Very interesting read. - C.B [June 26, 2007]
k....but could b shorter - y should i tell [May 15, 2007]
....um...i dont get it.......... - Me [May 15, 2007]
2 long..but good - Me [May 12, 2007]