For many decades, scientists, meteorologists and climate experts have been advising the public of global warming and the effects it would bring to the planet. Recently, these concepts of the Earth’s temperature increasing and its effects have been considered to be contrary to what has been happening in the world today. So much so that many are now questioning whether global warming is as much as a concern as what scientists have stated, and even wonder if the concept of global warming is just a myth. In this paper, a brief summary of the global warming issue will be presented. It will then provide evidence supporting that global warming is present in the world today and how human activities plays a major role on this issue, as well as why certain predictions made by experts in reference to the effects of global warming have been subdued. The Global Warming Issue
In order to determine the validity of whether global warming is a myth or otherwise, the issue of global warming as how it was initially presented must be explained.
The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a number of gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. These gases trap energy coming from the sun. This is termed as the “Greenhouse Effect.” It is this greenhouse effect that made life possible on planet Earth (Buchdahl, Twigg & Cresswell, 2002).
The problem of global warming began during the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel in the form of coal and petroleum were being burned to provide electricity and energy, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This caused the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to increase. Because of this, more solar energy is trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere. This brought the rise of the global warming issue (Ramanathan, 2006, Wang & Oppenheimer, 2005).
Experts have alerted the public of this concern by addressing the possible changes to the climate and how it will affect the ecology of the planet. Among these changes are the melting of the icebergs, increase events of wildfires, reduced monsoon rainfall, increased of floods due to coastal storm surges, and increase incidents of respiratory diseases (Buchadal, et al, 2002, Pielke, Jr., R. A., Landsea, C., Mayfield, M., Laver, J & Pasch, R., 2005, Ramanathan, 2006, Wang & Oppenheimer, 2005).
Over the years, various events have supported the threat of global warming on the planet. For instance, scientists have suggested that the more frequent and strong hurricanes that hit the United States in 2004 could have been linked to the global warming phenomenon (Pielke, Jr., R. A., et al, 2005). Heat waves that occurred in Europe back in the summer of 2003 had temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making this the hottest summer Europe has experienced within the last 500 years. The increase in wildfires spreading was attributed to severe droughts caused by the unusual warm waters in the western Pacific region, which was linked to global warming. The same warm water conditions had caused massive coral bleaching back in the years 1997-98 affecting 16% of the coral reefs worldwide (Wang & Oppenheimer, 2005). Also, the Andean glaciers, which have been intact for the past 5,000 years have been recorded to be melting at a faster rate than expected (Wang & Chameides, 2007). This could be due to global temperatures increasing by as much as 0.6 degrees Celsius, or 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit, within the past 100 years (Buchdahl, et al, 2002, Wang & Oppenheimer, 2005).
Many climatologists have seen the 20th century as having the warmest temperatures in record with the year 2005 having the highest temperatures. Perhaps the most alarming evidence for this is the significant decline of the Artic sea ice from Greenland and Antarctica. This led to the increase of the sea level average. This change in sea levels could eventually change the global ocean circulation patterns, which is crucial as a climate regulator (Jordan,...
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