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Global Warming: Is Mankind To Blame?

2125 words - 9 pages

“Global warming is controversial, of course, but the controversy is mainly over whether human activity is driving it (Michio Kaku).” For years, the suspect or suspects that cause global warming have been unknown. Two of the well-assumed and controversial possible defendants are balancing on a slightly unbalanced seesaw with scientific evidence that back up or refute their degree of involvement in the crisis. There is evidence that global warming is taking a toll on the earth and will continue to further affect it significantly in the future. To begin preventing these future calamities caused by global warming, society must first assess whether mans’ actions are causing global warming or if it is a natural phenomenon.
Future environments on certain parts on Earth have been foreseen, and global warming seems to be a leading game changer in it. The term “global warming” and “increased global temperatures” have been a hot topic for years now, but what are they? Global warming is simply, the gradual warming of the Earth. Climate change is also synonymous to global warming. The Earth getting warmer is not at all new; “Since 1951, Earth’s climate has warmed by about 0.6 degrees Celsius…” (Spotts). However, prior to the presence of humans, climate changes happened completely from natural causes such as changes in volcanic eruptions, natural changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and solar energy changes (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
In this day and age, fossil fuels are a major source of energy around the world. The carbon cycle exists in order to flow carbon through the many different aspects of the Earth’s system - which includes water, air, land, and etc. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is labeled a greenhouse gas because it contributes to the greenhouse effect by taking in infrared radiation. The other greenhouse gases include water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Although CO2 is a minor aspect of the atmosphere, it is the most predominant because it absorbs heat more rapidly and it is released from natural and human related activities as well. Water vapor is the most ample greenhouse gas, but it acts more importantly as a response to the Earths’ climate. If the Earth’s atmosphere increases, then the water vapor increases, along with precipitation and clouds. According to the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “…the increases in the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are combined with those of other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, the overall concentrations are the highest in at least 800,000 years…”(Spotts). Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal over the last century have significantly contributed to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere because the process of oil burning combines carbon with oxygen in the air which results in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation for agriculture and its land uses are impacting the atmospheric composition...

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