Global Warming - What Is It And How Does It Affect Climate Change
Global warming has been an increasing environmental problem for the past few decades and governments all over the world are trying to find solutions to combat this. However, is global warming a result of man or a natural phenomenon?
Evidence That Global Warming Is Happening:
- According to the NASA Institute for Space Studies, average temperatures have raised by 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880, and this rate has been rapidly increasing.
- The United Nations panel on Climate Change has stated that the past 11 years are among the warmest since the 19th Century.
- Countries in the Northern Hemisphere have felt the effect of global warming far more, with Alaska and Russian average temperatures rising at double the usual rate between 200 and 2004.
- The Arctic is estimated to be ice free by the year 2040 as it is being rapidly melted away.
- Extinction of certain species living in cold climates. Polar bears are already at risk of becoming extinct in the next few decades.
Evidence Against Global Warming:
- Some scientists have concluded that the Earth has a natural 1,500 year cycle in which the climate of the planet changes.Portraits during the Middle Ages show very sunny skies and further historical evidence suggests that the Nile has a record of flooding 5,000 years ago.
- The Earth's history shows periods of an Ice Age followed by warmer conditions. The last Ice Age was around 1750, indicating we are heading towards a warm period, which will be followed by yet another Ice Age in the upcoming centuries
Why Is Global Warming A Cause For Concern?
- We have already witnessed in the last few years; increasing natural disasters such as hurricanes, heatwaves and droughts. As temperatures continue to rise, there will be an increasing number of these natural disasters.
- New evidence states that by the end of the 21st Century, sea levels will rise by approximately 15 inches causing many islands and parts of Asia to be completely submerged. Perhaps this was the fate of Atlantis?
- Over a million species of wildlife face extinction. In years to come, that could also include humans.
- The rate of global warming could rise to huge levels if methane and other gases are released from the melting permafrost.
Are There Any Solutions?
- Scientists who do not believe that global warming is man made say there isn't much we can do but slow the rate down. This means restoring the greenhouse gas level to what it should be and let nature take its course. However, this is very unlikely in a world where the population is increasing by a million a week.
- Renewable Energy - Countries are being urged to create more centres that will provide renewable energy. These include wind turbines and solar powered panels.
- Efficient Fuel and Vehicles - Bio fuels and a number of new tests involving hydrogen suggest that future vehicles will no longer need to rely on traditional petrol and diesel as methods of fuel. Hybrid cars are becoming more common with some running on electricity from kinetic energy and these will hopefully improve our current situation of polluting the air.
I personally think the alternative argument is a more appropriate reason for global warming. Although I do not agree with it being man made, I do feel man has contributed to the natural cycle rapidly accelerating it and this is what causes the most concern.