Global Warming

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Arguments for Global Warming

Global warming has been thought as a theory that global average temperatures have been rising and will continue to rise as a result of mankind activities. As an effect, this paper critically discusses the argument put forward by the believers & the argument put forward by non- believers of global warming. It also highlights solutions which can be used to solve this global problem.

Global warming has been defined as “the rising average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans and its related effects” (Gleick, 2001). Believers of this theory have attributed anthropogenic activities to climate change. People like Gore have called for actions in which they say that each of the human races has the responsibility of dealing with climate change.

In proving that global warming is not a theory but a fact, believers claim that, it impacts like: melting of arctic sea ice, rise in the sea level, surface temperature rise, melting of glaciers and permafrost, desertification due to extreme drought conditions, prevalence of heavy down pour leading to flooding, increase in average surface temperature, increase in strength and frequency of hurricanes, increase in frequency of heat waves and acidification of sea water are just evident and anybody can either feel or see them.

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According to believers of global warming, the number of category four and five hurricanes has almost increased in the last few decades, waves of heat will at one point be more frequent and more intense as temperature increases, death will double in a quarter a century to 300,000 people annually.

In addition, millions of species globally will at one point be extinct as a result of global warming, by 2050 there will be no ice in Arctic Ocean, new and invasive species will be introduced and sea level will rise by over 20ft coupled with loss of shelf ice in Antarctic and Greenland. All these seem to be fully supported by those like Eric.

Most scientists like Eric Staig, who is an earth scientist agree with this, claiming that the whole issue about global warming has not been addressed well by different stakeholders; hence its effects will still be evident. He mentions the drowning of four bears as being one of the effects of global warming (Michael, & Nikkhah, 2004).

Sceptics of Global Warming

It is worth to note that sceptics of climate change have very strong roots from the past sceptics of global warming. According to Glover (2007), believers of climate change have based their arguments on serious scientific errors that are misleading. He claims that, when Gore claimed that glacier will melt due to global warming is misleading.

Historical records show that ice has been melting in some mountains since 1880 as a result of land use changes, humidity changes and rainfall patterns. In a ruling made by Burton, scientific evidence proves that ice melting is not mainly due to anthropogenic activities (Glover, 2007).

The argument that increase in CO2 in the environment is immoral, is among the claims refuted by sceptics, because it ignores photosynthesis science. It is a fact that plants need CO2 to manufacture food, so an increase of CO2 gas will translate to plant productivity.

It has been argued that CO2 gas is not poison. As a matter of fact, in Devonian era, vascular plants thrived well with CO2 levels being over 20 times the current one and temperatures were not much different from what we are experiencing today, in fact man will have plenty to eat with high CO2 concentration.

By looking at the argument that sea level will rise by six meter 20fts, is an exaggeration that is unreasonable. This prediction is not in line with scientific results like the IPCC, which holds that in the coming 100 years, sea level will rise by between 0.1m and 0.8m.

According to scientific records, sea level rose by 1mm between 1900 and 1951, which later decline by almost the same rate in 1980. It is also worth noting according to them that, 125,000 years ago at a time when CO2 concentration was much lower sea level abnormally rose to excess of six meters, 7,000 years ago it went up more than two meters and 1,000 ago it rose by 0.5 meters.

Climate is defined scientifically as “average weather conditions over a long period of time. So, climate is having inherent variables hence individual weather condition cannot indicate climatic trend” (Stern, 2007). Using events like floods, hurricane and Katrina, to explain global warming is incorrect.

Moreover, claiming that U.S responsibility is misleading and unfair, according to economists. This is because, comparing fuel economy standards of the country and that of others is unfair; some say that if burning fossil fuels is done away with, emission of green-house gas will reduce. But, what will happen to businesses? They will end up coming to a standstill, leading to loss of jobs which translates to poverty. The argument provided by U.S not to ratify the Kyoto protocol is basically from economic reasons (Stern, 2007).

According to a ruling made by Burton, drowning of polar bear was not as a result of global warming as many have claimed. Non-believers have asserted that a number of bears were drowned while trying to swim further to find ice. However, the fact is, the four polar bears drowning was as a result of violent storm

Sceptics have also refuted the claim that increases in CO2 release, will lead to increase in surface temperature. This is because, the statistics and graphs were wrongly interpreted, sceptics claim that the data are not ice core one but rather Mann et al research group. Documentations prove that between 100-1300 AD temperatures were just as high as now.

So, claiming that CO2 gas caused an increase in temperature was disapproved based on the fact that, increase in CO2 gas was trailing temperature increase between 800 and 2000 years (Revkin, 2005).

In addition, according to Walter, et al (2006), the green house effect is as a result of a combination of various variables including clouds, water vapour, CO2 contributing to, 24%, 54% and 14% respectively. Now, using Stefan Boltzmann equation to CO2 gas, raise in temperature will be less than 0.5 degree Celsius between now and the time its concentration will double (Walter et al, 2006).

Proposed Solutions to Global Warming

Mitigation; this has been done to reduce global warming effects in future particularly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This involves manufacturing products that can be reused or recycled as one way of dealing with this problem. Recycling needs much less energy as compared to new materials. In addition, recycling or reusing reduces the number of products needed to be manufactured, hence using less energy.

Another way of mitigating is forestation and reforestation. Due to the fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then store it, if more trees are planted, then more carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the atmosphere. In addition trees reduce flood effects as they act as barriers to run off waters hence reducing their destruction forces. Reducing emissions from industries by using cleaner fuels like bio-energy which is environmentally friendly is highly called for (Revkin, 2005).

Geo-engineering has also been used to solve global warming problem. This has involved the use of different techniques like removal of CO2 from the atmosphere as well as reflecting incoming sunlight. Lastly introducing the concept of carbon tax has been proposed to help curb the problem although it has generated serious debates (Walter et al., 2006).

Conclusion

From the review of global warming, views from both sides of the divide have been brought forth. Strong arguments for and against the whole idea has been succinctly covered. The last section of the paper deals with the possible solutions that can be used to curb the problem. It is important to remember that despite the arguments for and against global warming the problem is real and calls for timely solutions.

The Newspaper article

The link to the article is http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html

The newspaper talks of global warming being a serious problem. However it acknowledges that there a number of technological, economic as well as political that need to be resolved before the entire world embarks on collective effort to arrest the problem. Major causes of global warming are clearly brought to light. Similarly possible solutions have been proposed on how best to tackle the problem.

References

Gleick, P. (2001). Climate change in a warming World. New York: California Water.

Michael, J & Nikkhah, R. 2004. The truth about global warming – it’s the Sun that’s to blame. London: Taylor & Francis.

Revkin, C. (2005 November 5). Rise in gases unmatched by a history in ancient ice. The New York Times. P. A2.

Stern, N. (2007). The economics of climate change — the Stern Review. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Walter, K., et al (2006). Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming. Nature, 443 (7107): 71–75.

Categories: Events

Global emissions. (3) The increase in agriculture,

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Global warming is an increase in the earth’s temperature due to fossil fuels, industry, and agricultural processes caused by human, natural, and other gas emissions. This results in an increased evacuation of greenhouse gases. Short-wave solar radiation sinks into the Earth’s atmosphere and warms its surface while long-wave infrared radiation emitted by earth’s surface is absorbed, and then re-emitted by trace gases. (2)
Climate changes occur in our earth’s atmosphere due to a buildup of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases can occur naturally as well as a result of human activities. The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels, and wood are burned. (2) The gases help to warm the surface of the Earth. Each greenhouse gas absorbs heat differently. If natural gases did not occur, the temperature of the earth would be considerably cooler. Problems can occur when higher concentrations of greenhouse gases are present in our atmosphere because they have enhanced our earth’s heat trapping capability. (3)
Human activities add to the levels of these gasses, causing more problems. Automobiles, heat from homes and businesses, and factories are responsible for about 80% of today’s carbon dioxide emissions, 25% of methane emissions, and 20% of the nitrous oxide emissions. (3) The increase in agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining contribute a significant share of emissions also. These gases that are released into the atmosphere are tracked by emission inventories. An emission inventory counts the amount of air pollutants discharged into the atmosphere. These inventories are important in studying the affects of global warming on the Earth.

The Centers for Disease Control have been involved in studying global warming’s effect on human health. Its affect on the climate can adversely affect humans. Plagues have been attributed to global warming. An increase in temperature can result in a longer life cycle for diseases or the agents spreading them. Global warming will lead to more precipitation, which enables infectious diseases to be more easily contracted and spread. (2) Effects of global warming on human health might not be immediately detected.
Birds are a species that will be affected by a change in the climate. Global warming might result in birds finding a more permanent home in northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The ecosystems of fish will be affected by global warming in a variety of ways. The chemical composition of water could be changed. Fish may migrate to different areas. Other animals could be affected due to the changes in climate and habitat.
Nature will be affected in many ways also. Many acres of forest have burned due to increasingly warm temperatures. Temperatures are being recorded in many places that are at an excessive high and length. When temperatures are on the increase, the tides and waves get higher. Additionally, the temperatures in the oceans create saltier waters, which erodes beach lines and vegetation along shores.
Global warming can affect our future ability to obtain food. As climates change, plants and animals will change, leading to a change in the eating patterns of humans. An increase in precipitation is one result of global warming that could have devastating effects. First, the quality of crops would be affected by an increase in precipitation. Second, increasing rain could lead to an increase in soil erosion.

There are many ways that people can help prevent global warming. Carpooling, auditing the energy in homes, buying fuel-efficient cars, and reducing the electricity used in home are ways to help prevent global warming.The government can play a very big role in preventing global warming. Government authorities can help by passing laws to reduce emissions from factories. They can also form a treaty with other countries to legally bind limits on emissions of heat trapping gases.
The future of emissions damage depends on several factors including but not limited to demographics, economics, technology, policies and institutional developments. Future predictions do not look good for this planet if nothing is done. Without the help of emissions control policies, carbon dioxide levels are projected to be 30-150% higher than today’s levels in 2100. (3) Our renewable resources will be very limited. With cooperation from citizens, further science developments, and the government, mankind can slow the effect of global warming.

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Categories: Industry

Affects or natural gas). These fuels are used

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Affects of Global Warming on Human Health
Throughout the world, the presence of particular diseases and other threats to human health depend largely on the local climate. Extreme variation in temperature can directly, and indirectly, cause the loss of human life. The threat of a gradual increase in temperature could be catastrophic to the world, as we know it. As recently as 1999, a heat wave killed more than 250 people in Chicago alone (Union of Concerned Scientists). Many right off such an event as a natural disaster. However, scientist warn the average global temperature has increase 0.5  F in the past 40 years. This is half of the total increase in surface temperature, 1F, since the late 19th century. At its current rate, the global temperature could rise 2 to 6F in the next 100 years (Union of Concerned Scientist).

Such a drastic increase in the rate of temperature increase is due to the industrial revolution. In the past 40 years, the world has seen a drastic increase in population and the use of fossil fuels (gasoline, oil, coal or natural gas). These fuels are used to run our cars, heat and cool our homes, manufacture goods in our factories and to ship goods for worldwide consumption. The focus, until lately, has been to produce maximum product at a minimum price to maximize profit. Little to no care was taken to minimize the amount of fossil fuels used in the production of goods. Recently, it has become evident that such practices lead to the production of greenhouse gases. Whenever fossil fuels are burned for energy, greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide builds up in the earth’s atmosphere (Union of Concerned Scientists).
Another reason why greenhouse gases have increased is due to the decrease in the amount of plant life, commonly called deforestation. Plant life is the only thing known on earth to consume carbon dioxide. However, due to the need of raw materials (wood and paper pulp), industrial nations tend to cut down more trees than they can reforest (Fuller 454). Also, toxins produced as a by-product of industrialization have killed plant life. Therefore, a greater amount of carbon dioxide is being produced at the same time less carbon dioxide is being consumed, leading to dangerous consequences.

The combination of pollutants and deforestation has lead to what is commonly called the Greenhouse Effect. The term “Greenhouse Effect” comes from the understanding that pollutants thickening the earth’s atmosphere keep heat trapped in the atmosphere. Thereby leading to an increase in the earth’s temperature, or Global Warming. Although, a increase of a few degrees over hundreds of years doesn’t seem like much to some people, the variance is great enough to allow some deadly bacteria to thrive and disease to spread. Moreover, warmer temperatures can increase air and water pollution, which could harm human health.

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In the past few years, there has been an increasing amount of reports that correspond with these theories. Worldwide, there have been reports of cases indicating a spread of mosquito-born infectious disease, heat stroke and asthma / respiratory disease. It is believed that the 1F change in average global temperature has much to do with such harm to human health.


For example, there are an increasing number of reports of mosquito-born, infectious disease in areas that have not been previously exposed. Such cases include a malaria outbreak in the summer of 1997 in the Kenyan highlands and a spread of dengue and yellow fever in the Andes Mountain of Colombia, previously limited to below 3,300 feet, is now seen as high as 5,600 feet (Union of Concerned Scientists). Many countries from Tanzania and Indonesia, to as close as Mexico, have also reported outbreaks of such infectious disease. The outbreaks are a result of an increase of temperature in areas which mosquitoes previously could not breed. The populations of these areas are also more susceptible to these diseases because the disease is foreign to their immune systems. A lack of natural enemies in such areas also allows the mosquito population to grow more quickly. The result in Kenya was the death of hundreds of people.

Rodents also thrive in warm weather. In the case of unusually mild winter weather in Australia in

Categories: Global Warming

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