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Global Warming Rough Draft Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2263 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In recent discussions on the topic of Global Warming, a controversial issue has been whether the facts support this as a real issue and that the worlds temperature is in fact warming or one of this being a myth and the planets overall temperatures are not raising any more or less than in any other time in history. On the one hand, some argue that patterns of climate change have always existed in history and that does not show that the planet is warming at all. From this perspective, many factors can effect climate change and the planet has a cycle of warming and cooling that has continued throughout history. On the other hand, others argue that the use of fossil fuels such as (oil, gas, and coal) have created excess Co2 in the atmosphere creating a greenhouse effect that has helped to raise temperatures of the planet substantially. In the words of most reputable scientists, one of this view’s main proponents, “Al Gore” author of the inconvenient truth, states global warming is indeed a serious issue in our world and is not just a myth. According to this view, climate change is an excepted fact and the planet is indeed warming as a result of human beings burning fossil fuels. In sum, then, the actual issue is whether global warming is real or a myth. Most scientists agree that this is not debatable and see it as more of fact.

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The dispute of global warming can be narrowed into two parallel debates. One is scientific, which focuses on the analyses of complex data that is hard for the lay person to understand and the other political side which is addressing what the proper response governments should take to a hypothetical risk. To add to this complex issue, large energy companies are lobbying against global warming in an effort to manipulate the truth, making even more grey areas and casting doubt on its veracity. Each side of the debate provides abundant scientific evidence that attempts to prove there point. Proponents of an instantaneous and all-encompassing regulatory response insist that the scientific debate has long been settled.

Some scientific skepticism can be beneficial for scientists to challenge themselves to improve the understanding of the science behind global warming. Thus far this is not what materializes with climate change denial. Disbelievers dynamically censure any evidence that supports the issue that human beings are the main cause of global warming and yet embrace any argument, article, study, or blog that proposes disproving global warming or the affects individuals are partaking on global warming. The deniers and skeptics have used similar deceitful schemes that they have used for years. They continue to attack the messenger, proposing that a worldwide plot of officials and environmental scientists are trying to safeguard their funding using a one-sided portrayal of the IPCC process. Their attempts are to highlight any specific downgrade in the predictions and lift that out of context to suggest a less dire overall picture. Casting a fortified doubt and confusion, following the model of the “experts” employed for years by the tobacco industry to debunk the effects of smoking direct relation to cancer. This is why Global Warming still has many controversies surrounding the topic that draw attention away from the real issue.

Global warming still has many controversies surrounding the topic that draw attention away from the real issue. One example would be the resent “Climatgate” scandal where scientists were accused of manipulating and possible destroying data on climate change. According to an anonymous hacker with the pseudonym “FOIA” hacked into email accounts gathering over 1000 personal emails. The hacker then leaked small details of the emails in a way that at first looked like two chief researchers had manipulated or omitted parts of the data in order to present their findings. They later found the researchers did nothing wrong in the research or no evidence was found of foul play or manipulation. This shows the ongoing struggle at what lengths the individuals are willing to go to debunk the research. Many discussions still continue on the topic of Global Warming with both sides taking a stand on whether the facts support this as a real issue and the world’s temperature is in fact warming or one of this being a myth and the planets overall temperatures are not raising any more or less than in any other time in history. According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the product of hundreds of leading scientists from around the globe, confirms that global warming is happening now and needs to be addressed quickly to avoid costly and difficult problems.

Many consider human caused global warming to be a myth, just an excuse for the record temperatures and other weather patterns. There are two main sides to the argument of the cause of global warming; those who believe that global warming is just a natural phase in the climatic habits of earth, and those who believe humans are the direct cause through the burning of fossil fuels and other processes. In an article released by the Dept. of Commerce, NASA claims the solar increases do not have the ability to cause large global temperature increases greenhouse gasses are indeed playing a dominant role. As the leading global scientific institution of the US Government, NASA’s point is highly accepted by the community. In the same article, the Dept. of Commerce says that only a quarter of the amount of global warming can be attributed to the sun. That one-quarter is the natural part of global warming; the rest is from human activity.

Humans are the dominant force behind the sharp global warming trend seen in the 20th century. Natural factors like volcanic eruptions and fluctuations in the suns emissions, which were powerful influences on temperatures in past centuries, can account for only 25 percent of global warming. The rest of the warming was caused by human activity, particularly rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. According to author, Thomas J. Crowley a Texas A&M geologist “natural variability” plays only a subsidiary role in the 20th century warming and that the most parsimonious explanation for most of the warming is that it is due to the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases. Crowley proposes the most direct link to date between people and the 1.1 degree Fahrenheit rise in average global temperatures over the last 100 years is due to something called the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by gases trapped in the atmosphere. Part of this re-radiation is reflected back towards the surface and the lower atmosphere. This results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases. Increase in weather phenomena is another effect of global warming. One theory is that global warming may be contributing to stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic over the past 30 years. FSU geography Professor James B. Elsner, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor James P. Kossin and FSU postdoctoral researcher Thomas H. Jagger have used global satellite data to find that the strongest tropical cyclones are, in fact, getting stronger and ocean temperatures play a role in driving this trend. This is consistent with the “heat-engine” theory of cyclone intensity which is all a result of the warming of our planet. Drought As global warming increases it will alter many climatic patterns of the planet. As far as rainfall is concerned, it will rise equatorially in both polar and sub-polar regions, and decrease in subtropical areas. This change in precipitation pattern will generate a drought in certain areas, while floods in other areas. Warming of the atmosphere will escalate the temperature in the planets seawaters, which will endure continued elevated temperatures for centuries. Warm water will lead to frequent natural disasters like hurricanes. Overall, the planet will experience extreme weather conditions, characterized by flood and droughts, heat waves and cold waves, and extreme storms like cyclones and tornadoes.

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A rise in global temperature will also hamper the lavish biodiversity of innumerable ecosystems. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on (IPCC), an increase in global temperature by 1.5 to 2.5 degrees will make 20 to 30 percent of species vulnerable to extinction, while a rise of about 3.5 degrees will make 40 to 70 percent species vulnerable to extinction. Climate change will result in loss of habitat for many animal species like polar bears, tropical frogs and coral reefs just to mention a few. More importantly, any alteration in the planets weather patterns will seriously affect the migration patterns of various species. Unstable patterns of rainfall will affect animals and humans equally. For humans, global warming will affect our foodstuff and water supplies as well as our health conditions. Changes in precipitation will affect basic necessities such as agriculture, power production etc. Increase in the temperature of ocean waters will hamper fisheries. The sudden change in climate patterns will have a hazardous effect on the human body which won’t be able to endure the extreme conditions, a hint of which can be seen in form of frequent heat waves and cold waves. Upsurge in natural catastrophes such as storms, will lead to substantial human casualties. Communicable illnesses will rise to a noticeable degree as infection transmitting insects will adapt more quickly to extreme conditions carrying with them many diseases. Many people will die of malnutrition as food production will decrease due to frequent droughts and floods. The ever increasing stress it will have on our system will create less aid for those that rely on our kindness to feed themselves.

As a nation, we are attributed as the leading cause of global warming, with the most greenhouse emissions anywhere in the world. As the most influential country in the world, we can choose to sit by and watch it happen, or we can decide to become a more environmentally aware population, setting an example for the entire world to see. The debate of the causes of global warming should not matter, because the fact is that we are contributing to global warming through our activities, adding on to any natural climatic phase that the earth is experiencing. By not releasing so much greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, we can end the global warming scare, and end the most debated environmental topic of the world today. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC), estimates are that it will take $1.375 trillion per year to keep the effects of climate change at a sustainable level keeping the global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius (3.6 Degrees Fahrenheit). Having a well-coordinated tax on co2 emissions will benefit the world as a whole and help to sustain countries by allowing them to purchase tax credits from underdeveloped countries which they can then use for an innovative and more sustainable future. A carbon tax is a pay as you go plan with carbon credits and being traded in an open market for current polluters to have time to retool for a sustainable energy source. Trade caps would invite civil war between the extreme groups of polluting nations and those that are more environmentally conscious. Monitoring of large pollution sources is already in place with a satellite and checks in surveillance and fiscal and economic policies. By taxing a relatively small number of large sources we can move forward to a cleaner more sustainable earth. Maybe add something on Sustainable Biofuels find alternatives to fossil fuels and Carbon sinks to reduce the effects of Co2 emissions from burning carbon based fuel. To summarize the most significant scientific findings of the preceding few years, scientists have added extensively to the vast body of evidence that demonstrates heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide that are fashioned primarily from the burning of fossil fuels are most certainly changing the global climate, rising temperatures and unsettling environments around the earth. My own view is that Global warming does exist and that humans have caused this increase due to the use of fossil fuels creating a greenhouse effect. Though I concede that specific variations of climate change can be on a cycle of the earth’s history, I still maintain that recent increase in climate changes are caused by an excess Co2 emission. For example, the burning of (oil, gas, and coal) is causing Co2 to build up in the atmosphere creating a greenhouse affect trapping gases that would not normally be there. This is rising the overall temperature of the earth and we are unsure of the negative side effects this may be causing for the future. Although some might object that the earth’s climate has a history of cycles and with no clear data as to what effect it will have on human’s lives, I would reply that more research is needed and that we need to start looking for innovative ways to lesson our use of fossil fuels and look for renewable sustainable energy sources with less emissions. The issue is important because we all only have one planet and waiting until it is to late would not really be a viable option.


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