An Introduction to the Issue of Global Warming Controversy

Introduction

A major threat we faced today that could put the survival of mankind at risk is global warming. Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Decades of study show that the temperature is indeed rising and is projected that it will continue into the future. Temperature in the atmosphere rose nearly 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in the 20th century which is the warmest in years.

 The reason for this gradual increase in temperature is because of humans. We release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and it depletes the ozone layer. Without a balanced ozone layer, the earth is subject to harm from the sun’s rays and more heat enters the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are caused by air pollution which is a result from activities such as burning of agriculture or forests, motor vehicle emissions, burning of fossil fuels and the burning of wood, coal, fuel oil, and natural gases. These pollutants are the cause for the destruction of the ozone layer which is a threat to humans and the ecosystem.

Even though there is clearly enough evidence to support the existence of global warming, there is still controversy surrounding the matter. Many believe that global warming is an issue that needs immediate action while a handful of others disagree with global warming.

 

Body

 There is an ongoing debate about the existence of global warming between scientist and skeptics. Many of which who disagree are not climate specialist but advocacy groups and politicians. Various controversial issues that are relate to global warming include: whether the climate change is abnormal in the earth’s history, whether human activity is responsible for the change in temperature, and the impact of future changes. Also there is much debate over what should be done if global warming does exist. The people who believe that global warming is not an issue worth concern takes little action to put an end to it. Others that believe of the existence of global warming takes necessary steps to reduce air pollution such as cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions. These two groups both have their assertions on the existence of global warming.

Supporters of the existence of global warming have many scientific facts too support their point. Studies in ice core samples of gas bubbles reveal that there has been an increase in carbon dioxide levels. The ice samples show that the carbon dioxide levels now are higher now than at any time in the past 800,000 years. Studies have shown the carbon dioxide gases at 380 parts per million by volume, an amount that is 27 percent higher than it was 650,000 years ago. Another assertion is that the temperature raised 0.4–0.8 °C in the last hundred years. Also temperatures are at its highest in the last thousand years. Even climate models that observe climate change find that the warming is caused by human activity and not likely because of solar variation. These climate models recreate the warming trend through model and observed change in temperature at the presence of greenhouse gases. The models also predict that the temperature will continue to rise resulting in more severe storms and heat waves. Storms like hurricanes and El Nino has become more frequent and more violent as well. A majority of facts show that global warming is real and if we don’t do anything, it will be a threat to the survival for future generations.

People that oppose the global warming theory also have many assertions that attack supporters of global warming. These people believe that there is not enough scientific evidence to provide a solid answer and ridicule supporter’s argument as premature. Some of their assertions include that there is no cause and effect connection between human activity and the weather. They believe that the rise in temperature doesn’t mean that it’s the technology’s fault. Also they state that the period since the Industrial Revolution produced urban heat islands. These are places that are inhabited by humans which produce more heat than the less densely populated areas. Because of this, they believe that it’s the urban heat islands that cause the increase in temperature, not global warming. Opposition to global warming also state that the global warming issue has made a compromise with the public. It has become so publicized, that climatologist who disagree with the theory are afraid to speak out, fearing they will lose their jobs. In oppose to the climate models, opponents state that the computer models are not yet fully developed to get accurate results. Another assertion is that they compared global warming to the medieval warm period which lasted from the 10th to the 14th century. This period of warmth was followed by a cooling period known as the little ice age.

Conclusion

Global warming will always be an ongoing issue. Wherever it goes, controversy will be sure to follow. Scientists argue with opponents of global warming on whether human activity is to blame for the warm temperatures or how much change is in store in the future. I believe that the supporters of global warming have more scientific facts that help prove their theory. Much of the people that go against the theory of global warming have few facts and main just use history and personal opinion in their account. Even though these issues do not have a certain answer at this point, we do know that there is an increase in temperature. Whether it is global warming to be blamed or something else, as humans we must consider what’s best for the Earth. People must cut down and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Harmful activities such as burning fossil fuel and deforestation have to stop even if global warming is not real. Global warming maybe argued over but it is a fact that mankind is polluting the planet and we must do something to stop it.

Bibliography

  1. An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Perf. Al Gore. DVD. Paramount Classics, 2006.

  2. "Global warming controversy." Wikipedia. 14 Jan 2007

  3. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy>.

  4. Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships. Tenth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.