Lets look at what global warming actually is. A definition of global warming pulled from dictionary’. Com defines global warming as, “an increase in the earth’s average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the greenhouse effect” (Dictionary. Com). Looking at the definition of global warming many may ask, well what is the greenhouse effect?
The green house effect is, An atmospheric heating phenomenon, caused by short-wave solar radiation being readily transmitted inward through the earth’s atmosphere but longer-wavelength heat radiation less readily transmitted outward, owing o its absorption by atmospheric carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and other gases; the us, the rising level of carbon dioxide is viewed with concern (Dictionary. Com). After looking at that long and complex definition of greenhouse effect to try and understand global warming a little better, many of you are probably puzzled.
To help you, here is a much simpler definition that you don’t need to be a scientist to understand; “Global warming is a significant increase in the Earth’s climatic temperature over a relatively short period of time as a result of the activities of humans (Strickland, and Graininess). In this definition a relatively short period of time means, “an increase of 1 or more Celsius degrees in a period of one hundred to two hundred years would be considered global warming’ (Strickland, and Graininess).
Now that we have a definition that we understand, I’m going to enlighten all of you on some more details about global warming and why global warming is such a controversial topic. 27432004175760An illustration of the greenhouse effect for a better understanding of the process (“globalgreenhousewarming. Com”). Moan illustration of the greenhouse effect or a better understanding of the process (“globalgreenhousewarming. Com”). 2286000131826000An increase in the greenhouse effect is said to be causing global warming, the greenhouse effect is not bad though, as it is essential for our planet to survive, it keeps in the heat that warms the Earth.
To help you understand the greenhouse effect am going to give a simple explanation. When the Sun’s rays enter the atmosphere, about 70 percent of the energy stays on the planet, being absorbed by plants and water. The other 30 percent is reflected into space by reflective objects such as clouds, snow, and CE. All 70 percent of the energy doesn’t stay on Earth forever or else it would burn, the heat is radiated back into space by oceans and landmasses, but not all of the heat makes it to space, carbon dioxide, methane gas, and water vapor absorb it and then give off more energy.
The heat that doesn’t make it out keeps the planet warmer than it is in outer space (Strickland, and Graininess). The concept of global warming and the greenhouse effect seem to make sense when you look at the gases being put into the air by nature and humans. The three substances that naturally occur to cause the roundhouse effect are carbon dioxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NON), and methane gas (Strickland, and Graininess). Carbon dioxide makes up less than 0. 4 of the Earth’s atmosphere, which were put there thousands of years ago by volcanic vapors (Strickland, and Graininess). Today, humans are contributing to the amount of CO in the air resulting in an overall increase of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a big deal because, “These increased concentrations are considered the primary factor in global warming, because carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation. Most of the energy that escapes Earth ‘s atmosphere comes in this form” (Strickland, and Graininess). Nitrous oxide is another gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect.
Human activities do not release nearly as much NON as they do CO, but NON is another factor because it absorbs a substantial amount more energy than CO. For this reason NON is a concern, the use of large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer on crops emits nitrous oxide into the air (Strickland, and Graininess). Methane is the main component of natural gas, it occurs naturally through decomposition of organic material, but it is man made in a people ways: extracting it from coal, landfills, livestock, and bacteria from rice paddies.
Methane is much like CO, but it emits twenty times more heat and energy than carbon dioxide (Strickland, and Graininess). Global warming may be true or it may not, if global warming is happening it can cause a rise in sea levels due to melting polar ice caps, rise in temperatures, increased hurricanes and storms, longer seasons, and droughts (Strickland, and Graininess). I would like to now share with you a passage from the prologue to Jurassic park by Michael Creighton, a piece of literature I heard on he radio that was read by Carlton Weston.
It gives an interesting perspective on the way the Earth has evolved and that life continues on and adapts to the changes in the world. I want to begin with reading you the first paragraph to the prologue, You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years- old. Theres been life on it for nearly that long, 3. 8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicultural life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land (Creighton).
Earth is four and a half billion years Old, there has been limited change going on for all those years with the Earth adapting and changing itself, through land structure and movement, mountains forming, sea levels rising and lowering, plate tectonics, and the evolution of species. As we went over before the definition of global warming and the greenhouse effect I want to go over the definition of climate change. Climate change is, “a long-term change in the earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature” (dictionary. Com).
An explanation that is simple and easy to understand, other than picking apart a benefiting to be able to understand it. Climate changes have been happening for years, there’s even been evidence found that there was a warming period during the medieval times. A team of scientists led by geochemistry Sunlit Lu found that the ‘Medieval Warming Period’ was not just confined to Europe, but it extended all the way to Antarctica, 500 to 1000 years ago. The evidence they have is through a rare mineral called Katie, with the discovery of this mineral; it shows that the Earth has experienced global warming without the emissions of human CO (Thrilled).
One reason for the global warming scare” I believe is AY Gore’s book and documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It had a lot of the facts right but tended to mislead people and scare the public with fictional video clips and over exaggeration. Gore makes a couple claims throughout the documentary; one of them being that the snow and glaciers of Mat. Kilimanjaro are subsiding because of global warming. Gore says visual evidence shows that the ice and snow are melting, when in fact surveys of the mountain began in 1880 and have shown a steady decline in snow before man’s contribution to CO (utilitarian).
Gore claims that there will be an increase in hurricanes and storm activity and global warming will cause flood and drought. He specifically focuses on Hurricane Strain and Lake Chad in Africa. His evidence is that warmer ocean water will increase the severity of storms. Researchers were unable to find a direct link between an increase in hurricanes and rising sea level temperatures (utilitarian). He also chose to focus on the hurricane that was in a highly populated area and was so catastrophic because of the failure of the levies.
The claim that Lake Chad is drying up is true, but researchers found that, “Lake Chad is drying up because t is the most irrigated lake in Africa and one of the most shallow. From evidence taken of sediment, it has nearly dried out multiple times over the last few thousand years”. In the last century, it has nearly dried out in 1 908 and 1 984″ (utilitarian). One more claim want to show all of you before I introduce a huge flaw in the documentary are that polar bears are threatened by global warming and are dying because of it.
The evidence Gore gives to prove this is the movie provides anecdotal evidence of a dead polar bear being spotted way out to sea using computer graphics animation utilitarian). It turns out that in fact, “Polar bear populations have been increasing and have almost tripled in the Davis Strait area of Canada since the ass’s” (utilitarian). One Of the biggest flaws in the documentary is that a scene from ‘ ‘The Day After Tomorrow”, a movie about an extreme climate change all over the world, shows a clip of ice glaciers collapsing during the opening credits of the movie.
In AY Gore’s documentary he uses 240030011430000the same scene as the one in ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ depicting that it’s a real helicopter flying over these glaciers and capturing real dotage, while in fact it is made 30861002057400The picture above is comparing the two scenes that are the same (Newscasters). Tooth picture above is comparing the two scenes that are the same (Newscasters). Digitally by computers and is completely fictional (Newscasters). From the documentary you can tell it put a lot of fear in the U. S. Bout global warming. It did so with the over exaggeration and the false claims that weren’t necessarily proven or correct, and the digitized footage provided in the documentary. I would like to read to you another excerpt from the prologue to Jurassic Park, Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth.
Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself (Creighton). Here I want to look at the way CO is affecting the atmosphere. In computer models of climate, CO is the most important greenhouse gas and causes climate change. Yes, the amount of CO that is emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels and other resources affects the environment, but CO is not the most important greenhouse gas.
Water vapor is in fact the most important greenhouse gas, with this in mind; water has not caused catastrophic climate change (utilitarian). Also, water is often omitted from the computer models of climate because it’s effects are too difficult to calculate. I want you to keep this in mind that nature pumps 150 billion tones of CO into the atmosphere. Man made contributions account for about 7 billion tones utilitarian). This shows that nature itself contributes a massive amount of CO into the atmosphere.