Global Warming: A Natural Process
The Earth’s current CO2 level is at 393.84ppm (CO2now, 2013). This is the highest of the high levels in the past 450,000 years. Extra carbon dioxide in the air is believed to keep temperatures steady and contributing to the greenhouse effect which causes the planet to warm. Scientists believe that humans add CO2 through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and livestock farming to name a few. Natural processes also contribute to the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere including forest fires. Two sources on Earth remove CO2 from the atmosphere: Trees and the ocean. Deforestation can contribute to global warming because trees absorb carbon dioxide and when trees are removed the Earth loses its natural carbon storehouses. Phytoplankton consume CO2 through the photosynthesis process and transport it from the ocean’ surface to the deep. These sources eliminate 30-50% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
For decades scientists have claimed that the Earth is undergoing global warming caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuel. However, one can look back through history to see that global warming is a natural cycle. The Earth routinely goes through a process of cooling and warming. Approximately, every 100,000 years there is a documented spike in temperature on Earth. Historical data indicates that when this spike occurs there is an increase in CO2 levels.
The Earth has been experiencing a warming period for the past 30 years indicating that a cooling period is about to occur. There are several factors that contribute to climate change including a rise in the temperature such as the Earth’s tilt, tectonic plate changes and volcanic activity. A shift in the Earth’s tilt initiates changes in the atmosphere. These changes cause cycles of cooling or warming. Interestingly, the Earth’s position in orbit also varies on a 100,000 to 400,000 year cycle (NOAA, 2013, para. 3). Weather phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina also influence warming and cooling in the atmosphere. Volcanic activity and the collision of tectonic plates can influence the weather climate.
One can look back 55 million years ago to the Eocene period which was a time that the planet experienced global warming. This warming trend was influenced by higher levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. It was followed by a cooling period in which the carbon monoxide levels were reduced. The collisions of India and Asia (Maasch, 1997, para. 18) contributed to this reduction in the...