Global Warming: Is It Real?

 

It seems like it is impossible to turn on the news these days and not hear something about global warming. It is the trend topic, and more people are being concerned about the welfare of the earth--and with good reason! Global warming is defined as a gradual increase in the earth's temperature over time. It is often contributed to many human factors, such as the increase in CO2 being produced and pollution, creating a greenhouse effect. While global warming is not occurring at an alarming rate, it is, in fact, very real.

Seeing as how every single human being lives on earth, global warming should be a phenomenon that concerns everyone. After all, it is affecting the planet that they live on. It will affect future generations--everyone needs to take a stand to prevent handing the world off in a worse state than we got it.

ere is a general consensus amongst the scientific community that global warming is real. In fact, over 97 percent of climatologists believe that it is even because of human activity that it is occurring. Climatologists make it their job to study long-term changes in climate. The fact that 97 percent of these professionals believe in this occurrence is a strong indicator of just how real global warming is, as disagreeing would be going against the vast majority of the scientific community involved in global warming.

The main indicator of the fact that global warming is real is the increasing temperature of the earth. While the exact amount varies, the temperature of the earth has increased by around. 74 + .18° C between the years 1906-2005. While this may not seem like a lot, this small amount has had its effect on the earth, including melting ice caps and earlier springs. On top of this, the years 1983-2012 have been the warmest period in around 1400 years, with the last decade being the warmest on record according to the National Climate Data Center. This rise in temperature may be due to the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide that humans are producing, along with various industrial activities. Carbon dioxide levels have increased by 38 percent since the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s. An overabundance of carbon dioxide is dangerous due to the fact that it absorbs infrared radiation, keeping even more of it on earth rather than it escaping Earth's atmosphere. This information was gathered by researchers who have been taking various samples from the Antarctic ice cores and recording its data. Some may argue that it is impossible to gather data from that far back, when accurate measurement was not possible. However, there are various indicators of what the temperatures were like in older days, including the conditions of trees and sediment gathered from under lakes.

Global warming can also be witnessed in the rising sea levels. When water is heated up, the molecules speed up and spread apart. Due to the fact that the global temperature is rising and the water is absorbing heat, the seas are expanding at an average rate of 1.7 millimeters per year, as observed from tide readings; since 1993, this rate has increased to around 3.5 millimeters a year. This increase in sea levels may also be due to the fact that ice all over the world is melting. This includes ice in the Arctic, Greenland, and the tops of mountains. Sea levels are rising at the fastest rate in 2,000 years.

Yet another indicator of global warming can be seen in the retreating snow cover over the northern hemisphere. Currently, the current snow cover is at a record low aco National Ice and Snow Data Center. When compared to the 1979 average, the 2011 levels was 2.92 million square miles below. When compared to the 2000 average, the 2011 levels were 865,000 square miles below average. The decreasing snow cover can even be witnessed via satellites, as the snow is melting at 50 days earlier than usual! The retreating snow cover can be another contributor to the increasing sea levels.

It is clear to see that global warming is occurring. When various statistics including Earth's increasing temperature, the rising sea levels, and the retreating snow levels of the northern hemisphere are tracked, it is hard to deny something is going on. With this in mind, it is just a question of how fast it is affecting the creatures of Earth, and what humans can do to stop