In recent years, global warming has been the focus of a great deal of political and scientific controversy as reported by NASA. As scientific knowledge has grown, the debate is changing from whether humans are causing warming and toward questions of what are the best ways to respond to it
There are many signs that our planet is warming and these signs are recorded all over the globe. One of the easiest way to see the temperature increase is through the thermometer records that were saved over the past century and a half. Around the world, the planet’s average temperature has gone up more than 1 F or 0.8 C over the last century and about twice in the parts of the Arctic. This doesn’t mean that there were no temperature fluctuations among other regions of the planet or between expected seasons or different times of the day, but if the temperature is averaged out the temperature all over the world over the course of the year, you will see that temperatures are going up.
Although, there is no way of looking back at thermometers going back thousands of years, there are some records that can help in figuring out what temperatures and weather concentrations were like in the past. For example, every year, trees grow thicker and form new rings. In wet and warm years, the rings are thicker. To have a proper look at the atmosphere of the past, scientists drill cores through the planet’s polar ice sheets. Tiny bubble trapped in the gas are actually trapped past atmosphere, frozen in time. That was how scientist know that the greenhouse gases concentration since the industrial revolution are higher than they’ve been for hundreds or thousands of years.
Computer models also help scientists in understanding the Earth’s climate or the long-term weather patterns. These models allow scientists to make predictions about future weather and climate. The computer models simulate how the atmosphere and oceans absorb energy form the sum and transport it around the planet. Factors that affect the mount of the sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s surface are what drive the climate in these weather models and simulations, as also in real life. These includes the particles in the atmosphere, greenhouse gases and changes in energy coming from the sun itself.
Global Warming Arguments
Global warming is a very hot topic these days. Arguing about global warming is just like having arguments about religion and politics. Each side have their own reason in making the beliefs to be the winning one. It’s a hot button issue for many and the arguments for and against the said phenomenon can be confusing as they may appear to use the same data to prove different and contradicting results.
Scientist and people who believe in global warming being real base most of their evidence on the interpretation of the change in the atmospheric gas levels and the ocean. The actual warming of temperature is something they say they can actually record or document, but the primary evidence is acquired from detecting the cause or what precedes the temperature rise – which are the changes and the effects of atmospheric gases on the planet’s environment. Their arguments are as follows:
- Rise in sea level. Sea level is rising in many areas around the world. This is partially due to the melting of ice caps and glaciers, but more on the gas changes that are contained within the sea. In the past ten years, the global mean sea levels have doubled as compared to the 20th century trend of 1.6mm/year. The global sea levels rose about 6.7 inches in the last one hundred years.
- Rise in the planets average temperature. The planet’s temperature have risen during the past century and continues to do so. Tracking global atmospheric temperatures since the 1800, many scientists point to a steady rise with a distinct period in the 1970s, a lull in the 90s and a return of rising pattern in the 2000.
- Ocean temperature rise. The steady rise of the numbers of vehicles and industries has resulted in trapped greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increased heat is absorbed by the oceans and this has been documented over the past 50 years that shows a steady rise in ocean temperature since 1969.
- Melting glaciers. The Greenland and Antarctica glaciers are decreasing in size because of the reduction in gases that help in maintaining temperatures and the changes in the region’s climate. Studies made by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment showed that Greenland has lost 36-60 cubic miles of ice every year form 2000-2006.
- Rise in acid levels in the ocean. Acid levels in the oceans are increasing making it more acidic. This is because of the harmful gases in the atmosphere and the pollutants being dumped by humans. This results in uncontrolled increase in algae blooms and mass death of different species of fish, as well as the change in chemical composition of the water.
On the other end of the pole are the skeptics and the non-believers. Many of them even say that global warming is a hoax and many scientist and people make a strong case against global warming. Some people say it’s just propaganda to scare people. Many scientist in this spectrum mostly look towards the same evidence as those in favor of proving its existence, but provides different conclusions. They also looked at some evidence that are not considered on other of the arguments. These scientists believe in the definition of the phenomenon as being defined as a rise in atmospheric temperature because they do not consider the atmospheric forerunner as a valid evidence. Their counter argument are as follows:
- No prolonged or significant temperature changes since 1997. Scientists who argue against global warming say that the phenomenon is not real because there has been no significant temperature change since the 90’s. The rise started form 1975 and continued until 1997. And since then, they argued that the temperature has been flat and no significant temperature rise in the last 17 years.
- There is not enough historical data to support the claim. According to non-believers, there is no solid consensus about global warming. Advocates also point towards to the fact that a recent gathering of 31,000 scientists in the environmental science field couldn’t agree on a consensus on whether or not global warming is true. Many of them believe that they don’t have a long term historical climate data to support the claim.
- The Arctic ice has gone up by 50% since 2012. The volume of Arctic ice increased by 50% in 2012 alone. The core measures of the Arctic ice show that it has gone up in volume, which contradicts against global warming causing ice caps to melt. Few people have also predicted that global warming would cause the whole Arctic ice will melt. The weather and climate models are proven unreliable. the climate model used to predict t the effects of global warming have been proven flawed, thus it means that the long term predictions that global warming advocates are wrong or are just plain meaningless. Some scientists argue that any increase in global temperature is just a natural climate shift.
- The early predictions were proven wrong. Al Gore predicted that all Arctic ice would be melted and be gone by the year 2013, but it did not happen. On the contrary, the Arctic Ice has gone up by 50% since 2012.
These are the points that anyone can research on to see if the arguments are valid. But one thing is for sure, anything that we do to ourselves, to the environment and to the planet will have its effect, one way or another.