It will then provide evidence supporting that global warming is present in the world today and how human activities plays a major role on this issue, as well as why certain predictions made by experts in reference to the effects of global warming have been subdued. The Global Warming Issue In order to determine the validity of whether global warming is a myth or otherwise, the issue of global warming as how it was initially presented must be explained. The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a number of gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
These gases trap energy coming from he sun. This is termed as the “Greenhouse Effect. ” It is this greenhouse effect that made life possible on planet Earth (Buchwald, Twig ; Crewel’s, 2002). The problem of global warming began during the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel in the form of coal and petroleum were being burned to provide electricity and energy, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This caused the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to increase. Because of this, more solar energy is trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere.
This brought the rise of the global warming issue (Rampant, 2006, Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Experts have alerted the public of this concern by addressing the possible changes to the climate and how it will affect the ecology of the planet. Among these changes are the melting of the icebergs, increase events of wildfires, reduced monsoon rainfall, increased of floods due to coastal storm surges, and increase incidents of respiratory diseases (Buchwald, et al, 2002, Apelike, Jar. , R. A. , Lands, C. , Mayflies, M. , Leaver, J ; Paschal, R. 2005, Rampant, 2006, Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Over the years, various events have supported the threat of global warming n the planet. For instance, scientists have suggested that the more frequent and strong hurricanes that hit the United States in 2004 could have been linked to the global warming phenomenon (Apelike, Jar. , R. A. , et al, 2005). Heat waves that occurred in Europe back in the summer of 2003 had temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making this the hottest summer Europe has experienced within the last 500 years.
The increase in wildfires spreading was attributed to severe droughts caused by the unusual warm waters in the western Pacific region, which was linked to global warming. The same warm water conditions had caused massive coral bleaching back in the years 1997-98 affecting 16% of the coral reefs worldwide (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Also, the Andean glaciers, which have been intact for the past 5,000 years have been recorded to be melting at a faster rate than expected (Wang ; Chemises, 2007).
This could be due to global temperatures increasing by as much as 0. 6 degrees Celsius, or 1. 1 degrees Fahrenheit, within the past 100 years (Buchwald, et al, 2002, Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Many climatologists have seen the 20th century as having the warmest enraptures in record with the year 2005 having the highest temperatures. Perhaps the most alarming evidence for this is the significant decline of the Artic sea ice from Greenland and Antarctica. This led to the increase of the sea level average.
This change in sea levels could eventually change the global ocean circulation patterns, which is crucial as a climate regulator (Jordan, 2006). Global warming does not merely affect the Earth’s climate, but also the ecosystems in the planet. One example of this is the effect of the rise of sea levels would have to the migrating birds in the United States that feed on insects. These migrating birds Over the next few decades, various global climate models have predicted that situations will worsen by the year 2080.
They had predicted that the maximum wind speeds that will be experienced during hurricanes will increase by as much as 5%, and will occur five times more frequent than today, affecting as much as 88 million people with floods due these storm surges. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) had stated coastal flooding as a result in the increase in sea levels will only be a matter Of time, especially with the rapid melting of the ice caps (Jordan, 2006, Apelike, Jar. R. A. , et al, 2005, Wang & Oppenheim, 2005).
Myths about Global Warming Despite many changes in the Earth’s environment, many have begun to be skeptical that these changes are caused by global warming, and that this concern even exists until today. The skepticism has been fueled by a number of information provided by climatologists and meteorologists in the Earth’s environment that contradicts the global warming issue. According to Murray (2005), satellite and weather balloon soundings have acquired substantial data that the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed lesser than what was initially forecasted.
This has en further substantiated with the fact that meteorologists have announced that winters have been getting colder, contradicting the thesis of the global warming threat, which is that the temperature all over the world is increasing (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Although the skeptics of the global warming threat do not contest the fact that greenhouse gases levels in the atmosphere have increased, they have attributed the changes in the Earth’s climate to other factors. One is that it is a natural phenomenon that happens in the Earth’s history.
The based this claim on the Medieval Warming Period that occurred between A. D. 1000 to A. D. 1400 when, according to skeptics, temperatures during this period were higher than the temperature readings seen in the 20th century (Wang ; Chemises, 2005). Another factor that they have mentioned is that the extreme shift in the Earth’s climate is due to the increase of solar activity and sunspots. These sudden bursts of solar energy could explain the increase in the temperature of the planet (Wang & Oppenheim, 2005).
Still another factor skeptics have accredited to changes in the Earth’s climate is arbitration. According to skeptics, arbitration changed the land surface wrought human activities such as deforestation, causing temperatures and the climate to change (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Also, large urban areas are known to be several degrees higher than their surroundings, with buildings absorbing heat. This could cause discrepancies in the computation of the average climate changes which would lead people to believe that the Earth is getting warmer Road, 2006).
Skeptics have also stated that global warming is not to be seen as a threat as scientists have pictured it to be. They have stated that global warming offers many benefits. They have stated that the changes in climate would engine the warmer seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, allowing crops that could not be planted previously to be grown in these areas. Also, since the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased, plant life will be able to grow more rapidly since plants use this gas during photosynthesis (Jordan, 2006).
A warmer climate would also lower the mortality rate due to cold climates (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). Contesting the Myths about Global Warming Studies have recently contested the claims of skeptics that global warming is no longer as much of a threat to the Earth’s environment as it was previously resented. A re-analysis of the same satellite data and balloon sounding that skeptics have used as evidence that global warming is no longer happening had shown that there was indeed an upward trend in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere (Bass ; Taylor, 2007).
Wang ; Oppenheim (2005) stated that there were a number of reasons for the discrepancies of results from the data retrieved from these satellite readings. The first reason is that there were no satellites that were monitoring temperatures for long periods. Because of this, scientists needed to combine data gathered from various titillates. This posed as a problem since each satellite used unique measuring instruments which needed to be calibrated precisely in reference to one another.
The second reason is the fact that satellites may not provide consistent measurements over time due to satellites drifting in orbit. The third reason is that data from the satellites may be contaminated with temperature readings from the Earth’s stratosphere. The cold temperature readings from the stratosphere would cancel out warm temperature readings from the troposphere. These factors are also true to the data received from theater balloon soundings (Wang & Oppenheim, 2005). In line with the claim that winter conditions in 2004 were cooler, measurements done prove otherwise.
These measurements show that the Earth’s climate temperature has increased. This cold winter claimed by skeptics has been noted to be only the 33rd coldest winter experienced since 1896 (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). While it is true that arbitration plays a part in the global warming trend, it is also important to note that most temperature sites are located in urban areas. Furthermore, temperatures have been increasing significantly over the oceans, making arbitration not he primary cause of global warming in the planet (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005).
Also, scientists have discovered that during the period when there was a rapid upward trend of the Earth’s temperature, direct satellite measurements of solar activity show little or no movement. Thus, solar activity contributed very little, if not nothing, to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere (Wang ; In addition, while there are some stated benefits for the warming of the Earth’s climate particularly in terms of agricultural products, if the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere is not seen as a threat, the negative effects resulting o global warming would severely outweigh any benefits global warming may have.
While it is true that the increase in the Earth’s climate’s temperature may cause the mortality rate as a result of cold weather to decrease, the rate of heat-related deaths would increase. Furthermore, carbon dioxide fertilization, which skeptics have attributed as a benefit to global warming, is not permanent. In fact, it diminishes after only a few years. Too much carbon dioxide may also cause certain plant species to die out (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005).
Finally, ten separate and independent studies have included that there was a great warming trend experienced in the 20th century as compared to changes in temperature over the past two millennia. It has also been noted that, unlike the change in temperatures around the world experienced today, the Medieval Warming Period was a regional phenomenon that occurred, and not a global one (Wang ; Chemises, 2007, Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005).
Warming The Effect of Aerosols to Global Rampant (2006) had suggested a possible reason for the difference in opinion of both experts and people in general about the presence of the global warming threat in the environment. This division in opinion about the matter is due to the fact that the extent of global warming is not yet fully reflected in the Earth’s atmosphere and climate changes. This is because while the atmosphere contains green house gases, it also contains other particles that work completely opposite them. This is the reason why skeptics have been led to believe that global warming is a myth.
A careful analysis of the components of the earth’s atmosphere will show that it contains atmospheric particles called aerosols. These particles, which come from volcanic eruptions, rocks, soil and burning of plants, prohibit the alarm energy to reach the Earth’s surface and scatters solar energy, allowing less solar energy to reach the Earth’s atmosphere (Buchwald, et al, 2002). This presence of aerosols could account for the claim of skeptics that changes in the Earth’s temperature was not in line with what scientists have initially claimed.
When scientists came out with the effects of global warming to the Earth’s climate and environment, the figures and predictions they have made were based on data retrieved from computer models of the Earth’s climate and environment. However, it has been determined that the reason for the inaccurate predictions made by the computers models were due to the lack Of sufficient, objective data provided to the model (Bass & Taylor, 2007). It could then be assumed that the contribution of aerosols to the climate changes and global warming may be one such information that was not included in these computer models.
While aerosols, which are seen in the Earth’s atmosphere in the form of haze or smog, prohibit solar energy from entering the Earth’s surface, it does not mean that its presence would not affect the climate of the planet. Evidence has suggested that the presence of haze or smog still cause the effects that scientists have linked to global warming to occur. One such effect is drought. Scientists have found a direct link between the increase of haze or smog to the decrease in the amount of rainfall during the monsoon season.
Since aerosols in haze and smog allow only a small amount of solar energy to pass into the Earth’s surface, this reduced the amount of water evaporating from the oceans. This decrease in the amount of water evaporating from the oceans reduces the amount of rainfall during the monsoon season. Thus, dry seasons become longer, affecting agricultural crops. This could be seen in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea where the amount of sunlight on these two bodies of water decreased by as much as (Rampant, 2006).
Information from NASA satellites have shown that although these aerosol particles may produce a cooling effect of the Earth’s surface temperature by allowing only a minimal amount of solar energy to pass, they increase the amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere to increase by as much as 50% (San Diego Earth Times, 2001 unlike greenhouse gases that may be removed from the Earth’s atmosphere through photosynthesis, the amount of aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere loud be decreased through it being brought back into the Earth’s surface through precipitation (Buchwald, et al, 2002).
Human Activities and Global Many experts have associated that the adverse changes in the level of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere could be linked to human activities. In fact, many experts have directly linked human activities as the primary reason for the imbalance of atmospheric gas levels causing the global warming epidemic. Before the onset of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere as a natural byproduct.
The amount of carbon dioxide is emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere is close to the amount of it being removed from the atmosphere through natural processes such as photosynthesis (Wang ; Oppenheim, 2005). During the Industrial Revolution various milestones were reached as a result of human activities. Advancements such as the automobile and electricity have made it possible for living to be more convenient, and also allowed the human population to increase.
Most of these advancements required the need for power or fuel, which was achieved through the burning of materials from wood to petroleum and fossil fuels. The combustion of these materials releases particles in the air, both aerosol and greenhouse gases. This led to the disruption of the balance of the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere with human activities causing carbon dioxide to be emitted to the Earth’s atmosphere twice more than natural processes do.
Although nature has its own methods for removing these in the atmosphere, the rate that human activities cause these to be absorbed in the atmosphere appears to be at a speedier rate than nature could remove it from the atmosphere. Wang & Oppenheim (2005) had noted that greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for centuries ND went on further to mention that carbon dioxide that could be found in the atmosphere of the Earth in the 20th century may be traced back to the period of the Industrial Revolution.
As mentioned earlier, arbitration, although is not the prime reason for global warming, plays a major role in contributing to global warming. Once again, this could be linked to human activities. Deforestation not only diminishes the forests and plant life that play an important role in the reduction of the greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, but also causes soil to be easily carried up into the Earth’s atmosphere which increases the mount of aerosols in the atmosphere.
Outlook of the Public Regarding Because of the success of human civilization to survive in spite of various changes in its environment, people have come to believe that society will be able to adapt to the changes in the climate as a result of global warming. Various groups have also suggested allowing the environment to recover on its own without human intervention since it will be impossible for humankind to be able to change the climate conditions of the planet (Wang & The fact is, although human civilization as a whole has survived through mime, many individual civilizations have disappeared.
This was true for a number of civilizations such as the Amman civilization in Latin America and the Acadia civilization in Mesopotamia. Archaeological studies have shown that the climate changes which resulted in prolonged droughts became the primary reason for the decline and subsequent disappearance of these civilizations. This threat is greater in third world countries that may not have adequate resources in order to adapt with the constant climate change such as the creation of measures to protect them from the rise of sea level (Wang Oppenheim, 2005).
Because greenhouse gases are able to stay in the atmosphere for a very long period, delaying any measures to add Reese the issues may cause the further imbalance of the greenhouse gases, which could result to more severe consequences. Contrary to the belief that human activity’ cannot have an impact on the Earth’s climate, human activities could account for the immense amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Thus, humankind can reverse this through the implementation of various programmers in order to rectify the situation Wang & Oppenheim, 2005). Conclusion Global warming has been an event that has been occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning often. The greenhouse gases that have contributed to the warming of the Earth’s climate made it possible for life to thrive on this planet. The planet regulates its climate temperature through aerosol particles which controls the amount of sunlight absorbed on the Earth’s surface.
However, human activities have caused the levels of these components of the Earth’s atmosphere to become imbalanced. On one hand, the imbalance causes the rapid warming of the Earth’s climate temperature, causing the letting of the ice caps and the increase in sea levels. On the other hand, the increase in aerosol particles in the presence of brown haze and smog in the Earth’s troposphere have increased the blockage of solar energy absorbed by the Earth’s surface.
This resulted in a decrease in the amount of monsoon rainfall which may cause drought in various areas of the world. The increase in aerosol particles has also contributed to the warming of the atmospheric temperature of the Earth with it reflecting more solar energy into the atmosphere. Much debate has risen on the issue of global warming, not because of its existence, but because of the conflicting information in reference to the causes, effects and gravity of the issue.