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Global Warming: Natural Issue or Manmade Disaster?
There is no doubt that global warming is occurring. The average air and water temperatures have increased 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (.8 degrees Celsius) since 1880. Not only is global warming occurring, the rate of occurrence is increasing. The last two decades of the century were the hottest in 400 years. The ongoing question is not if man has contributed to this warming, but in what amount has man contributed (1).
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Arctic regions are feeling the effects the most with temperatures that have risen at twice the global average. Glaciers, Arctic ice are disappearing at an alarming rate which affects the life there as well as around the world. Coral reefs being very sensitive to water temperature changes are being bleached in some cases by 70%. Increases in weather events, wild fires and tropical storms are on the increase (1).
If you consider the changes in the footprint of various factors, it becomes apparent that the greenhouse gasses are by far the greatest factor. The natural volcanic activity as well as the sun’s energy output, has remained fairly steady since at least 1880. Even urban pollution aerosols have decreased rather than increased. This leaves the gasses created by man’s use of fossil fuels and other aerosol emitting chemicals.
The greenhouse gasses cause the heat energy to be held in the earth’s atmosphere which increases the average temperatures of the air and water. These gasses not only increase the warming trend, but remain in the atmosphere for decades. These gasses come from the burning of fossil fuel and coal among other things, and are exacerbated by deforestation and the ever increasing world population (2).
There is overwhelming evidence and thousands of studies that all indicate, that the processes of man have a huge and increasing effect on the changes in the warming trend. This is not to say that the earth is not going through its normal cycle, but is saying that man’s daily industrial processes are and will continue to add to the warming of the earth.
The facts are indisputable, and every major country is in agreement that we need to find cleaner more efficient ways to produce energy and the products that we use while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. The thing that is standing in the way of these studies and changes is the corporate/political machine. The money that is paid by the big corporations to coerce Congress into denouncing the greenhouse gas affects and to belittle the scientific community is the biggest stumbling block to progress in this area.
The global warming will continue, and the rate of change will continue unless we all make the necessary changes to our lifestyle, and the corporate machine makes the changes form dirty fuels and processes to cleaner ones. There are alternatives and technology is far enough advanced to make the necessary changes, but money and greed are the current stumbling block that we need to overcome.
Global Warming 101
(1)Global warming fast facts. (2007, June 14). Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html
(2) Global warming facts. (2006, May 21). Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/humanfingerprintshighres.pdf
James Hansen said this: Game Over
© 2012 Mark G Weller