Global Warming: A Dangerous Reality Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

Global Warming has been a nuisance to environmentalists in recent years. It has been affecting Earth’s oceans, habitats, and biodiversity. Over the years, scientists have conducted experiments to understand the causes and effects of global warming and they have searched for solutions. They have warned others about the dangers of pollution and human activities and have urged others to do something about it. Films, such as Al Gore’s documentary “The Inconvenient Truth”, have also raised international public awareness of climate change and have re-energized the environmental protection movement; however, some politicians, government officials, and scientists have opposed this theory. They have gone on to say that global warming is a hoax and that it is just a way for governments to influence people to agree with policies, and to raise taxes. Opposing scientists have said that global warming is natural and has happened since the Ice Age. They claim scientists use improper statistical methods, short-term temperature trends, or faulty computer models to make analytical and anecdotal projections about the significance of man-made influences to Earth's climate. They also claim that global warming is caused by tectonic activity, atmospheric gases, earth’s orbit, and solar variability. I do recognize that the Earth’s climate is influenced by natural causes, but I believe that human activities, such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels, have made global warming a growing, concerning danger.

To begin with, burning of fossil fuels has been a major reason for global warming. The largest contributing source of greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) leading to the emission of carbon dioxide. Almost 100% of the observed temperature increase over the last 50 years has been due to the increase in the atmosphere of greenhouse gas concentrations like water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and ozone. The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year (one ton of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 44/12 or 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide) (No Fossil Fuels). Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response (Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change, and Energy ), which most climate scientists agree will cause major adverse effects. Carbon dioxide emissions create a thick cloud of gas (the green house effect) which traps other gases from escaping into space and is maintained in the atmosphere. It allows solar radiation to penetrate through the atmosphere and is trapped into the earth, which causes the warming of the earth. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from human activities...

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